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susan62 (@susan62)

Parkinson’s symptoms

Parkinson's Disease | Last Active: Dec 13, 2018 | Replies (33)

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Hello @susan62 and welcome to Mayo Connect and the Parkinson's (PD) discussion group.

I am glad to see that you will be seeing a neurologist. That is the best type of doctor to sort out your various symptoms. I encourage you to learn as much about PD as you can before your appointment. Here are some links to websites that will help you understand the indicators of PD. The Parkinson's Foundation can be found at this link, http://parkinson.org/. Another great website is the Michael J. Fox website, https://www.michaeljfox.org/.

As you look through these websites you will become familiar with the various symptoms (i.e., loss of smell, taste, constipation, soft voice, swallowing problems, sleep problems, etc.) and you might have more to discuss with the neurologist when you see him/her.

I am currently involved in physical therapy with a PT who specializes in PD. (I usually go to PT at least twice a year in order to keep flexibility and reduction of pain). There are specific ways that they help with the numbness, pain and stiffness. It is most helpful. Massages can also be great way to help with the stiffness and pain.

There are many exercise classes now for people with PD. I go to a PD dance class which is done seated but the music is really great! There are about 10 in our class and we have a great time and feel better when we leave. Here is a website where you can view some Dance with PD videos, https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Dance+for+PD. Most classes can be done seated until you are comfortable standing. I still sit for the major portion of the class.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Please feel free to ask any questions that concern you. I'm going to invite some other members to join this conversation, @mariemarie and @ggopher. @mariemarie has been involved in a Pedaling for Parkinson's class for a while now. These classes are offered at various YMCA's and are very helpful to many PD patients. Here is a link to information on those classes, http://www.pedalingforparkinsons.org/


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Replies to "Hello @susan62 and welcome to Mayo Connect and the Parkinson's (PD) discussion group. I am glad..."

Thank you so much for your concern and support. Thank you also for all of the suggestions to help. I also greatly appreciate the websites info.


I look forward to hearing from you again! When is your next appointment?


Hi Teresa. My husband is the one who has recently contacted Mayo Connect about my pain, as I most obviously have too.
I am thankful that I basically don’t have tremors. My discomfort/aching and sometimes pain is pretty much confined to my right arm. My fingers on my right and left hand have hardly any shake. The pain is in my right arm and hand. It most often manifests from time to time in those fingers. It is really more strong discomfort. It feels like my fingers are dislocated and need to be popped back into place. Before I started to have the pain(recent in last couple of weeks) my fingers did click out of place and I stretched them to pop back in. I realize this maybe some other problem, but it is what really bothers me. That, and the fact that I have a really hard time writing without strong pain.
As far as actual pain goes..I get a feeling of numbness in my right elbow that comes and goes, really sore stabbing pain that comes from time to time also in my shoulder and general aching discomfort that wraps around the top of my arm to the back up under my arm.
I am scheduled to see a neurologist on Tues Aug 14th in Minneapolis and then one on Weds Sept 7th at the Mayo. It is on a recent trip to the Mayo for a physical that my internist(from my describing symptoms and his findings during the physical) told me he thought that I may well have Parkinson’s. He scheduled me for an EMG and a consultation with a neurologist. The neurology department at Mayo is extremely busy so Sept 7th was the first appt I could get.
I know that I am jumping ahead because I don’t have a confirmed diagnosis, but I have many of the symptoms along with what my internist said that I would be very surprised if it is not Parkinson’s. I am a really proactive person and want to find out and start treatment for whatever neurological problem I have. I have been on the Internet reading like a woman possessed. Again, thank you so much for your help..

Hello @susan62

The one-side symptoms are certainly a PD sign. I'm not familiar with all of your symptoms, but then PD affects everyone differently. The EMG is a very good idea, when is that test scheduled? After your follow up at Mayo in Sept. everything should be pulled together together nicely and you should have a good picture of what is going on. Have you had an MRI of the brain and/or spinal column yet?

When my symptoms started they were confined to the right side as well. I had right sided foot drop (my foot would seem to stay stuck to the ground when I was walking and it would trip me up.) I would stagger when I walked and seem headed to the right side rather than walking straight. I also had some right handed problems, trouble with fine motor coordination (clasping jewelry, picking up pills, etc.). At that time I was a school teacher and I would drop chalk all the time.

By the way, have you noticed any change in your handwriting? Or any change in taste or smell?

When I started the PD meds it felt like my brain and my lower extremities were connected better. I could walk straighter, no more foot drop and everything seemed to come together quite nicely. I started physical therapy and keep with that at least twice a year and exercise regularly. PD patients who exercise regularly have much less disability than those who don't exercise. The combination of meds and exercise has been very good for me. I always say that Parkinson's is not something you can take laying-down, you must stay active. However, it is hard to do for some people, because there is always a tendency towards depression when your brain chemistry is changed because of PD.

I love what you say about being a proactive person, that is just great! Reading all you can about PD is also important. I hope that you continue to post if you have any questions, I would really enjoy hearing from you especially after your next appointment in August. Wishing you well!


No, I have not had a MRI of my brain and/or spinal column. When I go to the Mayo at the first of Sept I am scheduled to have an EMG and then see a neurologist. Yes, I am having trouble writing. It hurts to hold a pen. My writing gets smaller as I write. My internist at the Mayo asked me this and said it was one of the symptoms of PD. Very odd to experience. The symptoms I have are so strange.
I do have trouble from time to time getting earrings in and the backs on. I am much slower doing things in general. My walking is not bad at this point. The differences are that I tend to walk on the balls of my feet and tend to not swing my right arm. I have to constantly think heel toe and to swing my right arm.

Hello @susan62

I asked about an MRI because it is usually done to rule out any other disorders of the brain, but it does not diagnose PD. The handwriting problem is so common with PD, also the slowness and the lack of arm swinging. In Steve's post, @lsdempsey, he mentions "BIG" exercises. BIG is a specific type of physical therapy for PD. It trains you to make bigger movements than you would naturally. Part of BIG therapy is also the LOUD portion where you learn to talk louder – we with PD tend to have softer voices. Here is some information about this type of therapy, https://www.lsvtglobal.com/LSVTBig.

The constant thinking about "how to walk" was something that I experienced as well until I started to take the PD meds. I generally don't have to think about it quite so much now (unless I'm very fatigued and/or it's been a while since I had my last dose of PD meds). Are your symptoms worse when you are tired or are they always the same?

I'm glad that you continue to post, this will help you pull together all of those symptoms that you can discuss with your neurologist at your next appointment.


Does PD stem and flow from being better to being the same or worse from one day to the next? The last two days were quite good until night(was manageable though). Now today has been pretty hard. Pain in right hand/wrist and arm. Had hard time with fine motor coordination. Eating at restaurant was kinda embarrassing. Difficult managing fork and knife.

@susan62 Hello Susan:

Yes, PD symptoms do ebb and flow. My symptoms will increase with fatigue. Some days are very good and some days are very uncoordinated.

If you are determined to have PD, then the meds and physical therapy will help you tremendously. If I go even a week without intentionally exercising, I really feel the difference and I'm much less coordinated.