(BPT) - When Bernadette first met her husband, inspirational speaker and attorney John Baumann, she was drawn to his positive attitude and confidence instantly. It wasn’t long after they met that he told her he had Parkinson’s disease (PD), a progressive disorder of the brain and central nervous system that causes a variety of movement problems such as shaking, muscle stiffness and difficulty walking. Bernadette didn’t know much about PD, but that didn’t matter, because as they became closer and eventually married, she began to feverishly research PD and embraced her role as both his wife and his caregiver. As this November marks the 17th annual National Family Caregivers Month, it is a time to celebrate people like Bernadette who dedicate their lives to the well-being of others.
Caregivers play a significant role in helping their loved ones manage PD, and it isn’t always easy. However, Bernadette still believes it is important to find time for herself, and encourages John to participate in activities they both enjoy. Self-described “fitness enthusiasts” Bernadette and John both love exercising together and challenging themselves. A perfect example is when Bernadette once ran the San Francisco half marathon while John rode his bike beside her. When John suddenly got a flat tire, he told Bernadette she would have to run home, get the car and pick him up. “No way, let’s jog together! I will carry you if you ask me to,” she remembers saying. “That's how we live our lives together. Whether I need help in motivating myself on a day when I’m down, or if he needs a little encouragement, we are in it together.”
Bernadette credits the active role she places in John’s care plan to their success as a couple. “I’ve been with John throughout his PD journey. As a caregiver, I am grateful that through our commitment to each other and with support from the PD community, he has been able to manage his PD.” John’s daily treatment regimen includes a strict vegetarian diet, exercises such as bikram yoga, taking his medications, such as AZILECT® (rasagiline tablets) and levodopa, and maintaining a positive attitude each and every day.
National Family Caregivers Month, along with the surrounding holidays, is a time for all of us to reflect on how thankful we are for our support systems. No one is more appreciative than John. “My life took an unexpected turn when I met and fell in love with Bernadette, but I consider this chapter in my life to be a miracle. I fell in love with a woman who accepted my invitation to experience the rest of our lives together and wanted to share my PD journey.”
- AZILECT® (rasagiline tablets) is indicated for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) both as initial therapy alone and to be added to levodopa later in the disease
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ABOUT AZILECT
- Do not take AZILECT if you are taking meperidine as it could result in a serious reaction such as coma or death. Also, do not take AZILECT with tramadol, methadone, propoxyphene, dextromethorphan, St. John's wort, or cyclobenzaprine
- You also should not take AZILECT with other monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Inform your physician if you are taking, or planning to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, especially antidepressants and ciprofloxacin
- If you have moderate to severe liver disease, you should not take AZILECT
- You should not exceed a dose of 1 mg per day of AZILECT in order to prevent a possibly dangerous increase in blood pressure. All PD patients should be monitored for melanoma (skin cancer) on a regular basis
- Side effects seen with AZILECT alone are flu syndrome, joint pain, depression, and indigestion
- When taken with levodopa are uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia), accidental injury, weight loss, low blood pressure when standing, vomiting, anorexia, joint pain, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, rash, abnormal dreams, and fall
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088
Please click here for full Prescribing Information