A pill and a pamphlet

One of the many scary things involved in having Parkinson’s is the unknown. The first meeting many have with a neurologist is the first professional outreach they have in defining steps toward how to live with this new challenge. While there are many wonderful neurologists that do incredible work, there are also some who miss the mark beyond the clinical work.

To wit, at my dad’s first meeting with his neurologist, he was told he would be in a wheelchair at some point. It could be six months or thirty years from now, but it was going to happen. Not the most comforting news - not just because of the content, but because of the vacuous nature of it. The doctor also said that while they (doctors) didn’t know everything about PD, they knew a lot. The logical fallacy there is astounding - but not at all uncommon.

Many People With Parkinson’s (PWP’s) and their care partners have told me similar stories. In fact, the phrase most often heard is “A pill and a pamphlet” - as in, that’s the main takeaway from the meeting. That and see you in six months.

The tragedy there strikes on multiple levels:

  • One: it doesn’t address the day-to-day concerns of the PWP or care partners.

  • Two: It doesn’t provide the concrete opportunities the exist to do something to positively impact how to live with the disease.

  • Three: Most damnably, it doesn’t point the PWP or care partner to the most important thing they can do outside of their medication: get involved and active with your local PD community.

That’s why we’re so passionate about Day One. We want to make it our mission to have neurologists point their patients to us so we can help get you what you need and where you need to go. There’s no magic pill, no one exercise or diet that will cure PD. But there are many people in our community who will be thrilled to meet you, embrace you and help you live your best.

We look forward to meeting you, helping where we can and listening at the least. There are strength in our numbers when we are together.

— Robert Cochrane

Parkinson's Place