World Parkinson’s Day

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My head seems to be spinning with many thoughts, concerns, and fears concerning my upcoming DaT Scan. In two days, I will be having a DaT Scan at the hospital. The process takes 5-6 hours, because the injection needs to stay in for 3 hours before the scan. Although the scan itself only takes 30 minutes, I have fear for the results.

The DaT Scan is used to differentiate between Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease. Both disorders have tremor, but they’re not the same.

One of the hard things about getting this scan is that I must abruptly stop my anti-anxiety medications: Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. Stopping these drugs cold-turkey makes me go through withdrawal symptoms, which are not at all pleasant. I had to stop Wellbutrin for 8 days and Cymbalta for 4 days.

The first withdrawal wasn’t very noticeable, but I was more tired. When I stopped Cymbalta I began having bad headaches, more joint pain, and more fatigue. I find myself feeling wiped out, with no energy to get up and do anything. I’ve read that this is normal. There are other symptoms of withdrawal, which I don’t have: agitation, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.

I don’t want to have Parkinson’s, but nobody does. Chronic illness is something that nobody wants and something that nobody understands until they are the chronic illness patient. Anticipating a new diagnosis has become too common, but I still get nervous.

Because I understand the withdrawal process, it’s easier to just rest and let my body deal with the symptoms. When I know my body is trying to adjust to the sudden loss of medication, I know that relaxing and taking care of myself is the best thing I can do.

Today is World Parkinson’s Day! April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Whether I have PD or not, it’s an important day and month to spread awareness. I never knew much about Parkinson’s until it was a diagnosis possibility for me.

World Parkinson's Day poster

There are many Parkinson’s foundations to learn from and they work hard to raise funds for research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is a great place to visit, read, and learn. They’re raising money for research for a cure for Parkinson’s.

You can also find plenty of information at the Parkinson’s Foundation. Their theme this year is the ABC’s of PD. Each day during this awareness month, another letter of the alphabet is used to explain about living with Parkinson’s.

I’ve never met anyone personally who has Parkinson’s Disease (although I might have it myself). Reading and watching videos of Motor-Disorder Neurologists can be found speaking on YouTube to teach us all about it.

While I await my DaT Scan and deal with medication withdrawal, I can read about PD or other Parkinsonism. Thank you for joining me in my journey and taking a few minutes to learn about Parkinson’s and how it’s diagnosed.

@2024, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my opinions and experiences and is not to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please consult your personal physician.

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