"...I'm flat on my back on a couch that's too short in a windowless room in the bureau. I can't even sit at the computer, much less make the keyboard work. My arms and legs are shaking uncontrollably. A;though I am only 53 years old, I have already been struggling with Parkinson's disease for seven years. And right now the disease in winning." A Life Shaken My Encounter with Parkinson's Disease by Joel Havemann, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.
Damn it! This is the book that I wanted to write. I started to read this yesterday. Made it about half way through the book. I'll finish it today.
Mr. Havemann, lives his life the way I would like to live mine. He is realistic about the disease. Yet at the same time goes about his life as best he can. After being diagnosed he was the caretaker for his aging father. He helped raise his three children. He also continued to work as an Editor for the Washington bureau of the Los angeles Times.
He, like me, had the support of his family ad co-workers. Not everybody does. He tells stories of people in his support group, who when their employers found out that they had Parkinson's, the employer made life on the job very difficult.
Parkinson's takes some adjusting. Mr. Havemann chose to immediately tell his friends and co-workers. This wasn't my strategy. His approach was very successful.
He learned all that he could about the disease. My approach, at first, was to stick my head in the sand. I've long since changed that approach.
He's concerned about dying with some sort of dignity. This scares me more than anything. I don't think that people are afraid of dying, they're mostly afraid of the journey. Dying doesn't scare me. Either I'm right, and there is no afterlife, in which case, I'll never know. Or others, who believe in an afterlife are right, in which case, I'll take Woody Allen's advise and pack a change of underwear.
I look forward to finishing the book. Mr. Havemann's approach an optimism is something that I'd like to learn from.