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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 23, 2010. This is My Life

There are currently about 1,000,000 people in the United States who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. However it is estimated that about three times that amount or about 1 in 90 people have the Disease, but have not been diagnosed yet.

Early symptoms go relatively unnoticed. For instance, my first symptom was my handwriting. The letter were cramped and difficult to read. Since my handwriting has always been poor, I ignored this for some time. This coupled with a difficulty grasping fine objects, for example a pen or a fork, led me to believe that I was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. This made sense to my General Practitioner, because I was constantly typing. That was ruled out quickly.

When I finally was diagnosed, I asked the prognosis. The Doctor said, "You don't die from Parkinson's."

I'm a trained Lawyer, so I read everything, so I found out that it is true, that people don't die from PD per se. People do however die from the results of Parkinson's, falls, aspiration pneumonia, infections. Furthermore, about 1 in 3 develop Parkinsonian Dementia. That thought scares me the most.

So to revisit yesterday's post, bravery is not the issue. This is my life. It may have 10 more years, it may have 40 more years. It's foolish to be morose. I'm not being brave, I'm accepting a fact and doing the best that I can to live with it.

So I'll wake up in the morning and go to work. I'll watch the old movies on television. I'll watch the Yankees. I'll quote Groucho forever. I'll read. And someday, many years from now, someone will ask if I'm comfortable. I'll answer, "I make a living." Those will be my last words. Leave them laughing.

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