Holy Cow – Does It Work That Way?

Where does one derive a belief system? In others separate from this writer, beliefs seem to arise from perceptions of authority and knowledge of a particular body of science.

For example, a doctor or doctors generally are accepted as having a greater knowledge of human bodily functions. They do , of course, but this perception can be tainted or dismissed by specialization. You may not wish to be seen by an OB-GYN for a problem with your sinuses. So, how do belief systems develop?

Marketing? Personal service? Religion? Advertising?

All of these in some way seem to be used to influence, introduce and develop belief systems within us.

Cheryl has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It is not a death sentence. It is, however, an annoying extra to be dealt with during daily life. In addition to the manifest reality of the slow deterioration of her nervous system, the drug treatment regimen can be complicated in the extreme.

At six distinct and critical times of each twenty-four hour period, several different chemical compounds must be ingested to combat the effects of Parkinson’s. And after they are ingested the associated side affects must be dealt with.

The initial side effect is nausea. This is dealt with initially by carbidopa which is added to the levodopa to relieve the reaction of the stomach to expel unwanted chemical content. Two saltine crackers also help and enough water to dilute the whole mess and get it to the small bowel where it can work its magic.

Because magic it is when the levodopa works. Levodopa is a dopamine precursor the human body turns it into dopamine which is a chemical the brain and nervous system needs to function. Dopamine deficiency is the proximate cause of Parkinson’s.

Dopamine (chemically – 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is a neurotransmitter and when you do not have enough of it your neuros (neurons) cannot transmit. Dopamine deficiency is linked to a whole host of crappy life problems.

This is from Wikipedia — In popular culture and media, dopamine is often seen as the main chemical of pleasure, but the current opinion in pharmacology is that dopamine instead confers motivational salience;[3][4][5] in other words, dopamine signals the perceived motivational prominence (i.e., the desirability or aversiveness) of an outcome, which in turn propels the organism’s behavior toward or away from achieving that outcome.[5][6]

Wow! The treatment for PD is a chemical that can push the brain around. An oversimplification but one that can help to understand the side effects of Sinemet and other commercial versions of Carbidopa/Levodopa compounds.

As one can imagine, hallucination, confusion, misconception, delusion and false perception can accompany ingestion of this substance. The lack of dopamine in the inner brain can cause some of the same. It is a delicate balance.

Recently, she had problems with the perception of urinary incontinence at night. Perception is used here because we base our belief structure on our perception of our surroundings by our senses. Touch, smell, sight, auditory, kinesthetic tell us where we are, too hot, too cold, too bright, too dark, not loud enough, too loud, is my arm up?; is it down?; is this wet?; or not. When that perception of the world based on one’s bodily sensors breaks down an anxiety can set in.

The caregiver was unable to convince her that she was not incontinent. No odor. No wetness. No evidence.

Not an expert. Not believable.

We recently went to visit with a urologist to check out that specific problem of urinary incontinence.

According to the expert, all is well. A part of the belief structure is still intact. The young urologist is also an excellent marketer and persuasive in her knowledge and bedside manner.

The first night afterward she slept comfortably all night. One or two get-ups to urinate but blissful sleep after returning to bed. A second night in a row was achieved.

The third night she slept straight through for seven hours.

A streak!

Huh? Can it be that easy? All that is necessary is to find the correct expert that can persuade the belief structure that the hallucination is not real? The one that can give the cognizant mind – still there even with PD – the ability to overcome the sensory mis-perception?

Parkinson’s sucks AND its a lot of work.

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