Patrick Carey here, born ’52 in Footscray, a western suburb of Melbourne.
I had PD as an infant and cried incessantly for months. My mum told me that Penicillin, which was apparently new at the time, saved my life. About age 9, when I was again home from school because of illness, I overheard my mum tell a friend that I would always be sick, and vaguely remember something about not surviving beyond my teens; a somewhat frightening thing to hear at the time! I have no idea what caused the PD, and that is all I knew about it until recently.
I was the third of 4 kids. Neither my brother or sisters had it, nor have I ever met anyone who has.
I was very shy and lacked confidence. I hated school, just did not fit in; just felt different. My mum had had a number of miscarriages and was petrified that she would lose another child, so growing up I got more than my fair share of attention from her, far too much for my liking, but I had to stick to her as I was so shy. She must have gone through hell.
I have always been suspicious that the after effects of PD have affected my health, although nothing specific. I never felt really healthy. I was not as strong or as co-ordinated as other boys, and although I played some sport I was not particularly good at it, as much as I tried. I was also quite skinny. I have always had a weak back, but this is probably unrelated, although lack of muscle tone may have contributed.
I spent a lot of my youth in a dentist chair, at considerable pain and expense, and constant criticism for not looking after my teeth. Finally I had all my teeth out at 27yo … very embarrassing!
I have had poor attention span and been hyper most of my life. My mum was continually telling me to slow down. Night sweats are common and I get anxious about things quite easily. And I am very impatient and get quite irritable.
I have suffered fatigue all my life. As there are many factors that cause it, I was unable to get anyone to take it seriously and get to the bottom of it.
I have always hated noise and I am very sensitive to bright lights. I suffer from dry-eyes which is quite painful and persistent, but it is not uncommon these days and may be unrelated to PD.
I have always spent a lot of my time trying to clear my throat, especially in the morning.
I was lucky in that I was born for electronics so I did well academically, and went on to have a solid career in it, including running my own company which employed quite a few people over 25 years.
I am now quite healthy but still get fatigued easily. This has been exacerbated by long Covid which my wife and myself got last November. This has brought a lot of fatigue, and throat and breathing issues. A nursing friend told me that Covid attacks one’s weaknesses!!
Maybe a lot of this may be unrelated to PD but I am putting it out there as it may ring bells with other people and help them.
I want to thank all the people behind this group, and the website, for the opportunity to present my little story. Reading other people’s stories touched me deeply and brought a lot of comfort. I hope that this brings others some comfort as well.