Paris: Parkinson’s miracle or mystery

When I left for Paris eight days ago I was experiencing tremendous stress, and a good number of Parkinson’s symptoms, by which I mean muscle stiffness, extreme aching from my waist to my ankles, and twitching in my left foot. All of these symptoms were painful and lasted, cumulatively but not consecutively, about 2-4 hours a day.

I did my best to work through the pain, distracting myself with TV, social engagements ( which sometimes constituted a nice long phone chat), a walk. But when the pain refused to let up I turned to my friend Ativan (aka lorazepam). Without fail, within about half an hour this teeny tiny white pill cured what ailed me, softening my muscles, un-tremoring mt foot, and eliminating all pain, which begs the question: why don’t I just take it earlier in the pain phase? Because it’s addictive and can lead to cognitive impairments. So I aim to limit its use to no more than three times a week.

Since arriving in Paris I haven’t been tempted to use the Ativan once. Nor have I experienced more than the occasional twinge of pain. Why could this be?

Now we must employ the scientific method, though the details of what that is escape me. Never mind, I’ll just make it up as I go along.

First, we must determine the facts. Fact 1. Pain present, along with stress, when I left for France. Fact 2. Absent the usual sources of stress, almost as soon as I arrived in Paris, I actually relaxed. Even if thoughts of stressors invaded my brain, they did not take root. Fact 3. A few days before departure for France I reached my goal dosage of pramipexole. Maybe that’s the reason. Fact 4. Waaaay more exercise here. At home I could manage an hour and a half walk on a really good day. In Paris, I’ve been walking – briskly-between two and four hours a day. Fact 5. I just started taking Co-Q10 and magnesium.

I propose a study to determine the effects of beautiful places (Paris, for example) on Parkinsonian symptoms. I would be happy to stop whatever I’m doing to join such a study. In the interest of science, of course. Though perhaps the study might introduce another variable: urban vs. rural places. How about Kauai? I’ve heard good things.

But wait. You may have observed that the study is, in effect, already underway because, when vacation’s over, I’ll be returning to my normal, stressful life. Will my Parkinson’s symptoms return? Will I remain relatively pain-free? Your faithful scientist/study subject will report back.

And now, more Paris!

My new home in lovely 13th arondissement
Needs no caption
Tres charmant
I think I may need to stay in Paris a couple more weeks. A food and knitting festival???? Sign me up!
More Paris
What I wore to fancy dinner party

13 thoughts on “Paris: Parkinson’s miracle or mystery

  1. susangsikov

    Love your writing!kuai is glorious! I’ll go too! Your necklace is gorgeous- the one from The Shop? Must be… have fun!❤️🍯🍎

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Vicarious American in Paris! Merci beaucoup, Andi! Like Susie, I also loved your necklace! Fancy dinner party? C’mon! I need more deets! Technical suggestion: Captions under photos should all have exclamation points, not just some. Nuff said! Luv ya!


      1. Anonymous

        I haven’t been, but I hear that Moloka’i is the place to really get away from things. I’m going to be looking into it, as a possible day trip or extension of a future stay in Maui.


  3. I immediately related to the description of the aching from your waist to your ankles. That’s exactly what I experience! But my Movement Disorder Specialist said, “That doesn’t sound like PD.” Arghh! So glad you’re feeling better in Paris. You do point out, however, that the fact that you’re feeling better could be attributed to several factors. That’s what makes figuring out this disease so frustrating— every time a symptom improves (or gets worse) I’m usually making several changes at the same time; so which change is the actual determining factor? Or is it a combination? It’s impossible to live life as if we are conducting a scientific experiment, controlling for all factors but one in order to determine what is cause and effect. Oh well, we are human and we are not in a lab (thank God) so we must just keep chugging along. (And I suppose it’s better to be chugging along in Paris, anyway.) 🙂 Thanks for the blog. I really enjoy it.


    1. Thanks for writing. I’m wondering if your movement disorder specialist doesn’t think that your ache is PD them what does she think it is? Do you have a PD diagnosis? If you wish to take this conversation offline feel free to get in touch.


    2. Andi

      Did you contact me again? I thought I saw a response to my response to you but now can’t find it. If so could you please resend? Thanks.


      1. I didn’t, but I appreciate you following up! Thank you for your blog. It’s nice to feel connected to others with PD. I recently started a group for people with PD in my area. We had our first get-together last week. It was great to compare notes!


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