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Personal Narrative: Parkinson's Disease

Decent Essays
“Nothing is a trifle.” I whisper to myself as I approach the patient. I need to notice every detail. I must not miss a single word or a single movement. Each detail is a clue and each clue is imperative to solve the case and find the diagnosis. I am Sherlock Holmes and this is my mystery to solve. I take a deep breath. “What seems to be the problem today?” I ask. “I am having trouble moving.” replies the patient. A movement disorder, I think. My mind races with possibilities:
Parkinson’s? Huntington’s? Or perhaps even a stroke? I must narrow down the options. I need the perfect question. I have four more minutes left. “Are you having trouble initiating movement or controlling movement?” I ask. He shrugs. His “answer” does not narrow down the options. I need
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He then slowly moves upward and walks across the room. I take a deep breath and start to observe. He moves slowly: Parkinson’s symptom Muscle stiffness: Parkinson’s symptom Dr. Ramachandran wrote in his book that to diagnose a movement disorder, one needs to hear the patient instead of seeing them. I listen keenly. Shuffle, shuffle, drag. Shuffle, shuffle, drag. It hits me. Parkinson’s, most definitely. All I need is his age. I am confident in my diagnosis until I look at his face. He cannot be older than 50. Younger than 60: Huntington’s? The panic settles in again as my stomach feels like it is twisting in on itself. I do not have any questions left. I can only use the evidence. I grab his MRI on the table and stare furiously at it. Every nook and crevice of the brain must be examined. I cannot miss anything. I have one minute left. Everything is normal. No decaying gray matter, no basal ganglia deficits, nothing. Exhilaration flows through me as the answer races through my mind. “It’s elementary, my dear Watson.” I whisper triumphantly to myself. “Parkinson’s disease.” I say
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