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How to talk to my spouse

  • By lschwartz

    My husband is 52 years old and he and I went for a walk the other day. I noticed when he walks he doesn’t move his right arm. His dad has PD and he has seen how much he has deteriorated over the past couple years. It’s very hard for him to see that. I want to talk to him about him seeing a doctor, but I have a feeling he will be in denial and not want to talk about it. It’s just the conversation I’m dreading. Any suggestions?? Thank you.

  • By TwitchyWoman Moderator


    I understand your hesitance in initiating the conversation. No one wants to be told that they may have an incurable neurological disease, especially when they have seen the effects on a close relative. However, I think that bringing it up now, rather than waiting for other symptoms emerge, is probably best for your husband. Early diagnosis, if it is PD, will give him a chance to start doing the things he needs to do now to delay the disease. Treatments and therapies have changed dramatically in the last few years, making life easier for many people with PD.
    If he has noticed that his arm is not swaying, he may be reluctant to admit it. It may actually be a relief to him if you bring it up. As a person who has Parkinson’s, it was actually a big relief when I was diagnosed. Not knowing what was wrong with me was very scary. I would suggest that you search this website for information about Parkinson’s symptoms and treatments that can help you talk to him about it.

    Do you have a doctor that he sees regularly? One thing you can do is speak to the doctor about your concerns. Unfortunately, most general practitioners do not know much about PD and do not look for it unless the patient brings it up. You want your doctor to be prepared to look for PD symptoms other than a tremor the next time your husband goes in for a checkup or office visit. This will take some of the pressure off of you to approach him about it now.
    I hope that this will help you. Please do not hesitate to ask more questions. Sending you hugs.
    Sharon team

  • By eurekadan Moderator

    It’s not easy to talk to people about medical issues, especially with something like Parkinson’s, especially when they’ve seen the later stages.

    I know when my parents saw my finger twitch at age 40 (I’m all but 48 now – diagnosed at 45), I was also in hiding / denial. When my moment came years later, I went in thinking it was something else I was misdiagnosed on and then it was there. It was a heavy moment, but like many things, we confront them and fight back, knowing there are good days and bad days. However, treatment and medicine now can be helpful in the early stages.

    Twitchy Woman makes a lot of good points about the benefit of treatment early. A solid neurologist can make all the difference. I’m thankful for mine.

    Being supportive, active, and positive, both as a caregiver and “Parkie” is important. Diagnosis is a big pill to swallow. I call that moment “Avalanche Day.” That said, we all have these moments in life, though in different ways as life throws us curves, but we’re able to work through them in our own way. I wish you luck in helping your husband find his way. Perhaps building him up to a discussion could help cross that bridge if it’s something that could be too much in the moment.

    I want to thank you for your request for info. Just the fact that you’re here asking shows how much you care for him. I wish you the best possible outcome in this journey. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance going forward.

    Dan team

  • By lschwartz

    Still haven’t talked to him. I think he is concerned with the high blood pressure in general and he’s been trying to work out more and eating better. He’s also making home a little bit more of a priority than work. I think he realizes stress has a big factor in all of this. But that is where I feel like I shouldn’t stress him out more with bringing it up to him. I appreciate all of you who responded. I’m hoping to bring it up soon to him but I know it’s nothing we both want to discuss. I guess this is what getting older is about. Time to start acting like adults!