Total Pageviews

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Day in the Life

The statement was made, that we shouldn’t let our Parkinson’s define us.   I agree in theory, but in reality, it's a difficult concept.

Think about our days, difficulty getting out of bed. Going to the bathroom is tough. In order to effectively brush your teeth you must use an electric toothbrush. If your sinemet hasn't hit, a shower is problematic.

Now after you've partially dried off, get dressed. Underwear is difficult, because you've been having difficult cutting your toenails. Now sit down, cross your legs and try to put your socks on.  It takes a few tries to cross the legs, and if they don’t cramp, five minutes later, the socks are on.

You're ready for breakfast. Mostly bran, because PD has caused constipation.

You're ready to leave from work. Why am I a half an hour late? You no longer drive so you take mass transit. By the time that you get to the bus or train, you're soaking wet.

Chances are there are no seats left on the bus. There is a 20 year old, listening to rap music, wearing a t-shirt that says "Leave me the f*** alone" taking up two seats. Do you dare ask him to move?

If you were lucky enough to get a seat, better start standing one stop early, otherwise you're not getting up in time.

You're at work, your boss calls you in. "Your typing has slowed to a crawl, and you've fallen asleep in meetings. Are you on drugs?"

Rather then tell your boss what the problem is, you struggle all day.

You get home, and your spouse, who is just trying to help, says something, and you snap. You then fall asleep in front of the TV. You are soon awakened by a violent dream

It shouldn't define us. Put some crazy glue on the seat of your chair and see if that chair hanging from your butt defines you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life

My friends say that I was hit by the perfect storm.   In 2006 at the age of 49 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's  Disease.  At that time my 80 year old father was in Mount Sinai Hospital with Heart Disease.   I am an Attorney specializing in Real Estate Law.   Due to the cyclical nature of the business and the sub prime mortgages, the business crashed.

In 2008, I moved my office into my home, which was further away from my clientele.       I was in an inevitable depression.  

During this time, I took up a long abandoned hobby, writing.    I loved it.   My friends, family and some strangers, found my stories, Dr. Seuss and song Parodies, and extremely light poetry funny and poignant.   I gave myself the "nom de plume" "Jello Marx," figuring that that would have been the sixth Marx Brother, and started to write a blog called "Memoirs of a Disgruntled Attorney."

Before he passed I made sure to take the bus into Manhattan (I had stopped driving in the city)  and see my dad every Sunday.   We had always had a special relationship, but this solidified it.  This week in 2008 my father passed away.  

My business was and is doing terrible.   I've managed to keep afloat with the help of wonderful family and friends.

The writings and my Sundays with my dad and the realization that I was wasting my time shook me from the depression.  

I've had a great life.   I wanted to give back, so I applied to the "People with Parkinson's Advisory Counsel" of the Parkinson's Disease foundation.   To my great surprise I was accepted.    Here I have met exciting people.   People with Parkinson's who refuse to be marginalized.  These people are not depressed.  They fight every day.   I leave these meeting with an optimism and energy that I've never had before.

I don't know what the future will hold, but no matter what, I won't complain.

Those Sundays helped me deal with his passing.    I eulogized him.