The Decline and Fall of Posy
In the previous article, What's Wrong with Me?, I described how our erstwhile sparkling young lady was now suffering a myriad of minor health problems. Please read on ...
Going through withdrawal
OMG! Hard to describe. Hell to experience! Almost every pill that Posy was prescribed caused utter misery when it was stopped, however slowly. Teetering on the point of breakdown, she was suddenly rushed to hospital with severe streptococcal pneumonia.
She spent 10 days as an in-patient. She was given intravenous antibiotics, oxygen, and high doses of painkillers. She was dismissed home to the care of her parents.
The ongoing prescription for morphine kept her pretty comatose, but there seemed no other way of controlling the pain. After two months, Posy managed to taper down the dose to zero...Hoorah!
But, the rebound was a terrifying tumble into a deep depression. Posy was paralyzed by a loss of all hope, other than a wish to cease to exist.
Mental health challenges
She subsequently suffered an onslaught of panic attacks, crippling anxiety, akinesia, and a totally unfamiliar desperation to escape from people. Trying to haul herself out of a pit of despair, using her nails was indeed hell.
In spite of a succession of anti-depressants, nothing worked. Finally, however, Escitalopram seemed to help and, slowly, over two years, Posy "recovered". I hate to use the quotes, but she never really felt herself again.
A resting tremor
Posy's exciting list of other ailments began to necessitate days off of work. She was still a dedicated, much loved, and respected high achiever, so she could not admit to any weakness. And then she noticed a resting tremor in her left hand.
On researching, she found similarities between her afflictions and the symptoms and Parkinson's disease (PD). But as PD did not run in the family, it seemed a little over the top.
Maybe it was just another trapped nerve in her wrist? Incredibly, and in retrospect, Posy was reassured, twice, that "No, she definitely did not present as having Parkinson's".
A diagnosis at last
Finally, a private neurologist carried out various tests. He conducted tests directing her to, "Lie down, cross your arms... count backwards from 1000... as fast as you can... in multiples of 6". Posy, rising to a supposedly mental challenge, raced through the arithmetic with pride. But why were her arms beginning to tremble?
The neurologist concluded that he thought it was Parkinson's and ordered a DatScan to verify his diagnosis. Posy, convinced she was a time-waster, was not unduly worried. On returning for the results, and wearing her usual friendly smile, she was ushered in to see the neurologist.
"Oh, I thought you might have brought someone with you" he exclaimed. "I am so sorry. It is, indeed, Parkinson's disease. You have hardly any dopamine left at all".
Which of the following caffeinated beverages do you regularly consume?