My name is Rick and this is my story about medications for Parkinson's disease that are known as Dopamine Agonists and the related Compulsive Gambling Disorder that has robbed my wife and I of all we have worked for leaving us in debt for many years to come
Working consistent and extra hours, we always stayed ahead with bills and always paid our credit
card in full if we did use it. By not dining out or going to events we were able to pay our mortgage off early while saving as much as we could for retirement. Now after all our sacrifice, we are in debt; my retirement savings is gone, loans have been taken
from my wifes retirement and we have leins against our home as well as a large amount of credit card debt.
We did do as much as a lot of people we know; but we owned our home, felt we were secure and on track.
Then it came, like a theif in the night and took away what we had worked so hard for in no time at all.
For many of you with Parkinson's, you know exactly what I am talking about and many are in the same, or worse situation.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease
in 2010 and I was started on Carbidopa/Levodopa (Sinemet®). The Dopamine Agonist, Ropinirole (Requip®) was then added to the Sinemet.
I would ocassionally go to a casino just for something to do with a small amount of cash and leave when it was gone. That changed and slowly grew into the theif that
robbed us blind before we even realized how bad the problem had grown.
I had to stop working because of awkwardness, confusion, visual difficulty and frustration with being unable to concentrate or focus on one or more things. This was hard; I loved my job, and now I needed some thing to do.
Spending more time on the slots along with more money did not appear to be the issue that it grew into. I was not thinking clearly and was drawn in to lights and sounds and the possibility of winning, but it gave me something to do and my wife was sympathetically on board with it. And, so it continued and grew as we borrowed from our 401k's, took out additional credit cards and home equity loans.
Today, we have to monitor my spending activities and I have taken the precaution of banning myself from the local casinos. At the same time, we struggle to pay back the debt that was incurred.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that anyone at the casino cares. Athough, I have read that they are required to monitor for and deal with such issues, I can tell your first hand that they will do nothing accept take your money. Unable to sleep or eat, I have spent countless hours at a time continuously returning to the cashier or ATM for more money. I have even told several of the workers of my illness, (and it is obvious to people) but the casinos took no action.
My sole purpose for creating this site is to make both patients and caregivers aware of what can happen so that hopefully you may be able to avoid what has happenned to us and continues to happen to so many others.
The levels of devastation are very real; We were lucky enough to have some great people that helped us avoid the potential of losing our home. Others have lost, their home, their spouse and very sadly even taken their own life.
If this is happening in your life,
do not delay, it will only grow worse.
Caretakers/friends/family - Be Aware!
Learn what to watch for and be there!
DO NOT WAIT or IT WILL GO TOO FAR!
Tabs contain links to information that my wife and I have found usefull in dealing with this and other Parkinsons related issues.