A new word: Festination

Yesterday, I went to the neurologist. He indicated the DatScan report was conclusive, that I had a significant loss of dopamine. He speculated I have been loosing it for at least the last 4 or 5 years. Because of my previous intolerance for the medication, he plans a gradual increase… increasing the dosing to four tablets a day. Then after four weeks starting two tablets at one of the doses. I was pleased to report some lessening of symptoms… he seems to think I will see a lot more improvement.

In reading through his notes, I saw a word I wasn’t familiar with. I learned a new word last night… then I experienced its effects in the wee hours of the morning.

“What is Festination in Parkinson’s?  Parkinsonian gait (or festinating gait, from Latin festinare [to hurry]) is the type of gait exhibited by patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD). This disorder is caused by a deficiency of dopamine in the basal ganglia circuit leading to motor deficits.”

Allow me to set the stage: Due to my Parkinson’s stiffness, I have discovered it is much easier to make a graceful landing on the porcelain throne with a ‘raised’ toilet seat :

Raised Toilet Seat

A couple more challenges to cope with is a sense of urgency which hits me as soon as I sit up in the night and a slowness to initiate movement. First I move to the foot of the bed until my hand find the round bed knob where I pivot, baby stepping between the foot of the bed and our WBV machine until I turn right and have a clean shot into the bathroom. As I clear the bathroom door frame, the urgency has intensified, so I raise my hands to tuck my thumbs into the waistband in anticipation of a speedy lowering… then the festination kicks in! I find myself rushing forward, unable to slow myself or free my thumbs!!

Propelled forward, while striving to turn my anatomy and simultaneously pushing clothing aside, I was spared a fall, as I landed with my head on the toilet paper on its portable magazine rack stand which was supported by the elevated bathtub side…sort of seated on my target.

After discussing my close call, with my sweetheart, he has come up with a plan to rearrange our bedroom, providing me with a much shorter, straighter pathway. I dearly love this man, and appreciate his tender affection and attention to details.

