I was told I had Parkinson’s disease 11 years ago at the age of 45. The reason I was referred by my PCP to a neurologist was during a routine exam I mentioned to him that my right index finger on occasion, would move by itself when at rest. As if it was conducting a silent symphony. My progression with the disease has been slow thankfully. When I look back to my pre-diagnostic days I realized there were signs well before that neurologist visit that pointed to Parkinson’s. I will list them in this story for information purposes only. This is strictly my own personal symptoms. I am not a Doctor and I strongly suggest if you recognize a few of these symptoms you may want to mention them to your Primary Care Physician.
1) Resting tremor. As explained above just a tiny movement in my index finger that I thought odd. In addition when I tried to put on a pair of gloves one snowy day my hand wouldn’t stop trembling. I blamed it on the freezing weather. 2) Arms not swinging equally. I was an occasional jogger. As a matter of fact I ran in the New York Marathon in 1981 with my dad. It was a wonderful experience. Jogging one day I realized my right arm wasn’t moving like my left. It was just hanging there by my side. It didn’t hurt or slow me down. It was just odd. 3) While on the PC I couldn’t move the mouse where I needed it to go. My hand and arm muscles just stiffened. Also when I would hit the left click button with my index finger, my middle finger would by itself hit the right click button. This was odd and annoying. I actually had to use my left hand to direct the mouse even though I am right handed. 4) A constant feeling of dread. The best way I can describe it is to picture your walking in the
city. It’s the feeling of looking up at one of those really tall buildings and seeing an iron safe has fallen out a window and it’s the moment before it lands on you. That about sums that up. 5) Posture, I noticed early on my posture was strange. I was often hunched over and one arm hung longer than the other. Looking at my photos I see the classic Parkinson’s posture. Shoulders bent and my jaw almost touching my chest.
I was able to hide the symptoms from mostly everyone. That is the first reaction I had. However, there were some people that had family members with Parkinson’s. They could diagnose me in a flash. I wish you all well. Remember these symptoms were what I experienced. There are many others. If you are concerned be sure to see your physician.
Reference: Pathophysiology of bradykinesia in Parkinson’s disease