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General Health Care Prison Health Care.. Medical, medications and all that go with it related to health care in the prison system...

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Old 08-18-2014, 09:13 PM
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Zumbagirl63 Zumbagirl63 is offline
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Question Diagnosed with Parkinson's in prison......

After a long video conference my brother was diagnosed with Parkinson's and started on meds. I worry this will depress him even more. Any experience with this would be appreciated.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:30 PM
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depression is a symptom of Parkinsons. You need to let him know that. Have him look at negative thoughts and depressed feelings as part of his Parkinsons rather than a true reflection of his mood. It may help him fight the Parkinsons.

There is a type of dementia that is frequently misdiagnosed as Parkinson's early on. Make sure you are both aware of the symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia so that if it's not Parkinsons but Lewy Body Dementia, it can be addressed as early as possible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia_with_Lewy_bodies

You will want to do as much reading as possible. You should be able to get some self help guides from your hospital or Parkinson's Support Group to help him. Since depression is a problem already, and a symptom of Parkinson's, you'll want to encourage him to get a schedule and keep it, including but not limited to doing some PT every day. The guides you get from the hospital or even online should give him some stuff he can do now, in his cell.

Chances are he's got lots of years before it becomes so problematic that a compassionate discharge to a care facility is feasible. He will adapt, and encourage him to come up with his own adaptations as symptoms develop, while keeping track of those symptoms. Hopefully he'll be out long before that's something you all really need to consider.

Fwiw, I knew a guy with pretty advanced Parkinson's back when I was about 20. I mean, to the point that he had to drink from a straw without picking up the glass because his palsy was so severe. He still beat my ass every time in lawn bowling. He still could place the damned ball wherever he wanted. Moral of the story - life's not over, and he'll still be able to engage in the stuff he enjoys, especially if he's willing to adapt (and use a straw) for those things that give him trouble.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:31 PM
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One really good link about the disease:

https://www.michaeljfox.org/
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:40 PM
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Thank you...his health is so compromised already but he is a fighter.
Staph took his hip and femur ...he wears leg braces to hold his feet upright and walks with a cane. He is 71 and they told him he has probably had this a good 10-15 years back already.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zumbagirl63 View Post
After a long video conference my brother was diagnosed with Parkinson's and started on meds. I worry this will depress him even more. Any experience with this would be appreciated.
Zumbagirl,

Do you know what kind of Parkinson's he was diagnosed with? There are 6 common varieties that can appear and treatments vary widely. By default, depression appears concomitantly with Parkinson's disease, even prior to diagnosis. Do you recall or are you aware what medications (if any) your brother was taking prior to the emergence of the Parkinson's symptoms and what if anything was changed medication-wise?

How old is your brother? Have they classified a stage yet? A lot of the treatment depends on the phyisician and how current s/he is on their research / medical journals. There are three commonly used medications to combat the effects of Parkinson's and two different schools of thought on when to introduce them. I need to know a little more about his history to offer an opinion and also need to know a bit more about the facility and the attending physician. Are they treating your brother in the medical unit or having him see a specialist? If it is anything like Massachusetts, and isn't a trauma or life-endangering chronic condition, they will typically treat it at the prison and throw pills at him and hope for the best. No judgement against the physician per se, but I have issue with the process. The facilities are there to make money and often won't spend money on much needed equipment and/or pharmaceuticals. Been there. Done that. Once had to wait a week for an X-Ray. Good times.

Hope that helps... and it's not as grim as it appears. Trust me. I've been away from this site for a year or so (busy with work) but am glad I came back to see if I can help in any way.

Cheers
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