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Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012. The Hills are Alive

Had an odd dream last nght. There I was in my palatial estate in Austria over looking the Alps. ( I, of course, have never been to Austria, but it sounds so much better that my 2 Bedroom Coop, overlooking Flushing Meadow Park.) When the Von Trapp children came into my room all freightened. I started to sing in a lovely falsetto voice. (But first I put in my falsetto teeth.)

Frozen cold faces and chairs we can’t sit in
Once in fine fettle, now I look like Fred Gwynn
How strange it feels walking the rare time my arm swings
These are a few of what my PD brings

Can’t distinguish my handwriting from doodle
I shimmer and shake, the whole kit and caboodle
My keys are so sly, they just dance as if on strings
These are a few of what my PD brings

Dishes that fall to the floor in loud crashes
Zippers I didn’t close that cause flashes
Falls in the winters and sweats in the springs
These are a few of what my PD brings

When my arm shakes
When my head rolls
When I can't sit still
I simply remember what PD brings
And then take me another pill

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8, 2012. In the Beginning

I wonder when this whole thing started.  Because the changes are so subtle, there is really no way of detecting the onset.   I know that it was considerably before I was diagnosed at 49.

My wife, in hindsight, points to instances of "freezing up," a few years prior to diagnoses.  I remember, in 2003, profusely sweating while taking a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk on Miami Beach.

One professional, whom I respect, believes that since there is no history in my family, of Parkinson's Disease, that it may have resulted from a car accident that I had in 1981.

Nobody has convinced me that I am wrong about my belief that there were subtle indications in childhood.

My legs would at times shake.  I was unusually awkward.  People attributed this to the fact that I was very tall.  In all honesty,  I grew out of most, but not all, of the awkwardness.

Why is this pertinent?  Because if they are ever to cure the disease, they may have to do so at the early stages.   But how do you get a young person or their parents to consider Parkinson's is the cause of minor affectations?   I wouldn't do it. And, as far as I know, nobody is considering the possibility that it could start in childhood.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summertime Blues

I love the outdoors.  As a  kid, the day the weather warmed up I was knocking on doors to get enough people to play softball.   (This was before the internet.)    In the cold weather it was either basketball or street Hockey.   I'm now 55 years old, and although I believe that my old friends would relish a game of softball, we might need some oxygen.

I still hate being cooped up inside,  but today the temperature in New York City will be well into the nineties.  Among the other failed systems, a person with Parkinson's Disease "inner thermometer" often fails.   Some  people are unusually cold, some people are unusually hot.

I sweat profusely. To the point where it is pouring out of me by the time I've walked a block.

Today, if I didn't have PD, or if I didn't get this side effect, I would have gone into Manhattan to see my mother.  Then I would have walked to Central Park, entered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and gotten lost in the Park.

When I think of my special places, I think of The Mall in  Washington, D.C.,  Portland Head Lighthouse, in Portland Maine, The drive along Southern Vermont from Bennington to Brattleboro,  Rockport, Massachusetts,  Stanley Park, Vancouver, Walden Pond and Central Park, New York.   These are places where I can find peace.

Because I don't drive much anymore and  walking in the hot weather is problematical, the memories of these places are in my mind and my photographs.

Without lecturing being didactic if you have such a place, go to it soon.   It hurts when it's taken away from you.