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Wife says she is concerned I have Parkinson’s

I am 67 years old. I have always been an athlete. I am a US Marine. Several years ago I attended the Florida Forestry Tour for Educators. I was shocked that I could not keep up with the group an walking tours. I have a great deal of Arthritis in my right hip and right elbow.

My right ankle has been operated on, 5 operations on my left knee (high school sports, Marine Corps, auto accident) – the last was a total replacement. The doctor made my right leg an inch shorter than left. It really hurt my hip when I stood to sing in church because of length difference. Now I have an inch added to my right shoe. Right shoulder ball replaced (rifle and shotgun shooting).

I have diabetes. As I look back at high school sports I realize I have always been very insulin resistant. I was good at baseball, basketball, and soccer but could not run a 440. I simply ran out of go juice. I would walk the end of the race. Now when I work out I can feel my muscles empty of energy. At first I thought I was having low sugar spells. When done working out I must lay down for an hour to get back energy. I work out for an hour each time, 18 machines.

I have great difficulty standing and walking at the end of a meal. It is as I my hips get welded. After a dozen steps I loosen up.

I walk very slow. My wife has pain if she walks slow. She walks at her pace, stops and waits for me. She stops several times going from the car into a grocery store.

I have thought my hip pain was from the 1,000 sit ups I used to do with 100 pounds on my chest in the Marine Corps. Now I am not so sure that is the only reason.

I will volunteer to teach at an elementary agriculture academy when school starts. This week I could hardly walk after being at school to prepare my room. Lots of pain at night. After sleeping I am pretty much pain free in the morning. I use a lot of Blue-Emu. It really works for me.

By the end of the day I simply need to go to bed and stretch out. When we have visitors in the evening, I am OK for about an hour then need to excuse myself and go lay down.

I seem to lose balance when I dry my hair after a shower. I am generally more concerned about balance as I have gotten older.

What kind of doctor treats Parkinson’s? Is there medicine that helps?

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  • Angela Robb moderator
    3 years ago

    Hello Shoe – Thank you for posting your story. So sorry you are having troubles with balance, fatigue and pain. Seeking a doctor’s input on what you are experiencing seems like the next step. As Chris mentioned, a neurologist who is a movement disorder specialist would be someone who can give you information about Parkinson’s. You may also want to visit your regular internist/general practitioner and let them know about the issues you are experiencing. Don’t forget to take your notes and documentation (like your story above) with you to the appointment so you don’t miss any details. Also, you may want to have your spouse, family member or friend accompany you since they can help take notes during the appointment. I accompany my husband on visits because two sets of ears are better than one! Hope you find some answers and help to your questions. Angela – Parkinson’s disease Care partner and Team Member

  • Chris H. moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Shoe,

    Thanks for submitting your story and telling us a little about you. I’m sorry to hear about the pain and fatigue you’ve been experiencing, but I am glad to hear that you’re continuing to exercise and stay active! Regarding your question about doctors: a movement disorder specialist is a neurologist with special training to assess and diagnose people with movement disorders such a Parkinson’s. Seeing a movement disorder specialist is the best course of action.

    Here’s a link to an online movement disorder specialist finder tool. You can use it to find a specialist closest to you: Additionally, we have some more information on diagnosing Parkinson’s here: I hope you find this information helpful. Please keep us posted!

    Take care,
    Chris, Team Member

  • SteveChapel
    3 years ago

    I too am retired military and was diagnosed with PD 4 years ago when I was 69. I won’t tell you any war stories but I have a walking problem with my right leg and repeated back operations have effected by balance. Listen to the advice given by these people and if you have PD just put yourself back in the “can do” frame of mind. You are a Marine so I can tell it to you straight (I had 5 years sea time on LHA’s). Your TASK will be to lead as normal a life as possible, till the end, under all CONDITIONS and to as high a STANDARD as possible. Yes you will give up a lot, can’t walk find a bicycle, fall off the bike then get a 3 wheeler, can’t weight lift then try rubber bands. Take your meds, eat right, watch the weight and take care of that gal who let you be that Marine. Find a Parkinson’s PT program – I do Rock Steady Boxing – 3 days a week.
    I have Parkinson’s, but you see I have Parkinson’s but it doesn’t have me.

    Steve Chapel

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