- No sense of smell (anosmia). This was the first indicator that occurred a dozen or more years ago.
- Loss of manual dexterity in my right hand. I have a difficult time buttoning the left cuff button on my dress shirts. Worse, my handwriting, which has never been good (I got a D in handwriting in the 6th grade), is now so illegible that I can't read it myself. I can still type slowly, but often leave letters out and double other letters.
- Lack of facial expressions. This phenomenon is called blunted affect. I do smile (occasionally) and laugh (pretty often), but my ordinary expression is, um, expressionless. On different occasions, two nurses have said they thought I probably had Parkinson's Disease just by looking at my face.
- Soft speech. This odd phenomenon is quite common to PD folks, I'm told. To me, my volume sounds normal, but those listening say I speak very softly.
- Balance issues. I have to be careful when I stand not to start tilting backwards. Occasionally I have to take several, small corrective backward steps to maintain balance.
- I have difficulty getting out of chairs. Odd as it may seem, I lack the balance and strength (it seems) simply to stand up out of a chair. I have to grab the coffee table in front or else make two or three efforts to get up before I am successful.
- I read aloud too fast. In my regular speech, I sometimes stumble over what I want to say. Both of these behaviors are new to me, so I attribute them to my PD.
I don't have any tremors, and that is what makes my neurologist think I have a PD-like disease instead of genuine PD.