Sickness

A patient reported today the Neupro patches they requested from a Spanish pharmacy were returned because the dry ice required for shipping required special consent and paperwork. The patient continues to try and balance his medications, attempting to find a happy equilibrium between over medication and dyskinesia, and under medication resulting in more slowness, rigidity and episodes of freezing. The specialist in movement disorders commented freezing episodes usually occur independent of medication dosages. However, the patient claims Sinemet relieves such episodes. To manage the balancing act, the physician recommended cutting back on the Requip; he prescribed 1 mg tablets, to replace the 2 mg dose.

The patient had been interested in deep brain stimulation for controlling dyskinesia, and had visited a specialist in another city for a consultation. The clinical physician commented, of the six patients he has that have undergone surgery, only two continue to do well with their implants. He emphasized the surgery doesn’t cure anything, and the operation comes with considerable risks; settings require adjusting and not all clinical staff are capable of superior post- operative care. While training is required to adjust settings, a spectrum of talent is employed to maximize the beneficial effects of neurostimulation.

The patient scheduled for 2:00pm sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half before the staff realized the allotted patient appointment drifted past. Consequently, the patient was in an ugly frame of mind. Though the reason for the visit was called, “Tremors” the patient exhibited none of the characteristic motions. Instead, the patient described spontaneous, involuntary movements like sudden face slaps, jerks, or kicks. The physician inspecting the patient’s medical record noted the patient took a wide variety of antidepressants, and pain pills. Several of the daily medications are capable of producing involuntary movements and slurred speech. While the patient waited two months for an examination by the movement disorder specialist, hoping that the doctor would be able to identify the ailment and how to fix it. The patient’s hopes crushed, tears flowed. The specialist stated he was the wrong doctor to be handling the case
and in his opinion the medications were the cause of the involuntary movements.

The specialist recommended the patient phone the social worker and begin the process of applying for disability. Clearly, it would be hard to keep a telephone position with a slurred voice, and inability to write in a timely manner. The good news was the patient suffered from no neurological degenerative sickness; the bad news was the patient was too depressed to appreciate good physical health.

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