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Living with Parkinson’s Disease

By: Norma Dittman, staff writer

November 29, 2012

Harvey Carroll 
 Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Harvey Carroll
Coach Harvey Carroll’s story
Ringing in his ears and a noticeable stiffening in his back as he walked across the Fulda High School gymnasium were the first symptoms that indicated something was “wrong” to Coach Harvey Carroll. It was then that the Carroll’s began a year-long process of doctors visiting in an attempt to try to determine what was causing Coach Carroll’s problems.

During a visit to a neurologist in Sioux Falls, Coach Carroll was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He was given medication for Parkinson’s. Knowing very little about the disease, but believing that it is “something that affected older people and made them tremble,” Coach Carroll called the doctor’s office shortly after starting his medication. His question to them was, “How do you know this is Parkinson’s Disease?” The answer he received was, “If the medication helps with the symptoms, it probably is.”

“Parkinson’s affects people differently,” Coach Carroll expained. “Some have the shakes and others have many other symptoms. There are varying forms of Parkinson’s and the medical field doesn’t know what causes it. There are many people in tow that have Parkinson’s Disease. Their best way of determining if someone does have this disease is to treat them with the medication. If it works to relieve symptoms, then they have the disease.”

Coach Carroll began seeing a neurologist in the Twin Cities at the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurolog. “The doctor and the nurses are so positive and they are morale boosters. They are so proactive and share information about what research and trails are taking place.”

A doctor of the University of Minnesota works with deep brain stimulation and Coach Carroll has had deep brain stimulator surgery.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms—most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which are tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems. For now, thisprocedure is used to treat patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications.

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