Frank’s Story

Things Were Out of Control and I Knew Something Was Wrong.

During a trip to the supermarket I was pushing the cart and began moving uncontrollably faster until I crashed into the shelves. My problem had progressed to the point that while walking I would routinely speed up and collide with things. Because of this condition I would fall a lot and on separate occasions fractured my nose, my finger and big toe. The fire department had to come to my house two different times because of my horrific falls. Things were out of control and I knew something was wrong.

Several different physicians over the past few years did medical workups on me and they all came to the same conclusion – I was diabetic so neuropathy seemed like an easy diagnosis for them. From the get-go, I knew it was something else. After one of the falls, I ended up in yet another hospital. The hospital staff asked me where I wanted to go for a couple of weeks for walking rehabilitation. I told them St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. I previously had physical rehabilatation therapy at St. Mary’s and I really liked the hospital and staff.

The first time I met Dr. Arif Dalvi, a neurologist with the Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute (PBNI), I was using a walker. I could not get up to the examining table, I even had trouble getting up on the scale to be weighed. Right then and there, Dr. Dalvi spent an hour with me. He diagnosed me correctly with two neurological disorders: normal pressure hydrocephalus and Parkinson’s disease. He started my treatment plan and put me on a medication for Parkinson’s disease called Levodopa. 

Dr. Dalvi wanted to make sure I was responding properly to the medication so he sent me for a DaTscan test, a brain scan that checks whether dopamine levels in my brain were at proper levels. The DaTscan was performed at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Dr. Dalvi said to me at a follow-up appointment at PBNI that the test showed I was responding to the Levodopa medication and that’s what counts.In addition, CAT scans indicated excess fluid around my brain.

To treat the normal pressure hydrocephalus, a harmful fluid buildup in my brain, Dr. Dalvi referred me to a neurosurgeon. During the surgery, a laparoscopic ventricle peritoneal shunt procedure was performed to relieve harmful fluid buildup in my brain. When I entered St. Mary’s for the neurosurgery I was in a wheelchair and when I walked out of the hospital the next day I was using a cane. Now that the pressure has been relieved from my brain, Dr. Dalvi is continuing my treatment plan with the daily dosage of medication for Parkinson’s disease and at the present time I am no longer using the cane.

Once I went on the proper medication everything in my life changed for the better. My wife Wendy told me she thought I was 100 percent better after Dr. Dalvi’s treatments. She is so happy with the care he provided. She went through a very difficult time for approximately six months taking care of me and helping me do simple tasks we all take for granted. You don’t appreciate being able to walk until it is taken away from you. A simple task like carrying a glass or being able to sit or stand can also be taken for granted. Witnessing me fall so many times made her very nervous and reluctant to see me without the walker or cane. She is now confident that I can walk without the cane and happy with the care Dr. Dalvi has provided. He is the first doctor to recognize my problem and treat me with the proper diagnosis.

For several years, other doctors would tell me, “you don’t look like a Parkinson patient, you are too strong.” They didn’t go one step further and take the time to listen to what I had to say. Dr. Dalvi is very knowledgeable in his profession, but he is more than that. He cares about his patients. He is polite and professional. I remember on our first visit his words to me were “we want you to have quality of life.” This is so true and now I have it, he gave it back to me! It’s been a pleasure having him treat me.

I can now shop at the supermarket like a normal person. I am not crashing into things and hurting myself. Before finding Dr. Dalvi, things had gotten so bad I rarely left the house. I remember one time when it took me an hour just to get out of a chair and now, I can go out to dinner with my wife. Dr. Dalvi saved my life and I am back on track. This fairy tale has a happy ending. My wife Wendy and I are now planning a holiday cruise at the end of the year! Thank you Dr. Dalvi for giving me my life back!