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There Is More to Parkinson's Disease Than a Tremor

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 108

What causes that terrible shaking I have seen in older people:and noticed that it is a hand/arm tremor, or sometimes a head shake? Kids would like to ask, "Grandma, are you cold? Why is your hand shaking? This wise Grandma would have an informative, honest and soothing answer for her grandchild: My child, I have an illness called shaking disease. It is really a brain disease, that is, it starts in the brain. It is very common in elderly people like me and it could come to Grandpa, too. No, right now, Grandpa does not have it.

Nerve cells in the brain need a chemical called dopamine to live and be able to control the movement of my muscle. See, you have muscles, too! If the cells that manufacture dopamine in the brain are gradually damaged or destroyed, the brain cannot work properly and the muscles do not get the messages they expect. And nobody knows why the brain cells die off. Dead brain cells cannot make dopamine.

Gramma, Gramma, will my brain cells die off? Do not worry, my love, this does not happen often in children. My dear little one, you may have noticed that my hand does not shake all the time. That is because the Doctor gave me some pills called Carbidopa/Levodopa: it is a long name, child, but this medicine does the same work as dopamine, and will help to keep my hand and arm from shaking. It will also help me walk better with my cane and will help me stand up straight and it will not be so easy for me to fall down. There will be times when you will not understand what is happening to me, times when I just do not feel well or I may not be able to swallow easily and cannot drink my juice or milk. But you will know that I am working on doing better and you will be able to help me a great deal if you will remind me when it is time to take my pills.

I would like it very much if you would walk outside with me when you do not have other things to do. Walking, you know, is a very good exercise for me: it helps me to keep moving, and you know, the more I move, the more my leg muscles want to help me. You might say walking keeps my muscles in the mood and will serve me better if I keep them active.

Gramma, will you die from Parkinson's Disease? Yes, my dearest child. But it will be a long time yet. My disease was diagnosed early and the disease will take a long time to get me down. In the meantime we can still play together with that raggedy doll of yours and have tea parties and hot chocolate when it is cold, and of course, bananas in bed. I love you!

Margaret Heaps is a native born Californian who sees life as not long enough to fit everything in. She has grass roots in Petaluma, California and Nicasio, California, where her great grandfather bought land from gold that he mined in the Gold Rush of 1848.

Source: EzineArticles
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