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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dorothy gets a job at the Emerald City Neuroscience and Movement Disorder Clinic.

Dorothy gets a job at the Emerald City Neuroscience and Movement Disorder Clinic.

Many years have passed since Dorothy left the land of OZ. Sadly Dorothy and her friends are long gone. Dorothy’s great granddaughter, a young nurse, also named Dorothy, vows to keep the family history alive. She applies, and because of her pedigree is hired, sight unseen, as a nurse at the Emerald City Neuroscience and Movement Disorder Clinic.

Upon her arrival Dorothy is immediately thrown into the fire, so to speak, when Dr. Oz, the mysterious head of the clinic, gives her the job as chief nurse. Elvira, a wicked old nurse, had long sought this job, once held by her late sister, and vowed revenge upon Dorothy.

“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little job too,” stated Elvira before being escorted from the building.

Dorothy’s first duty is to deal with the Munchkins, a group of very short Insurance Company and drug company sales representatives.

The first patient that Dorothy Encounters is a man in need of dopamine. Dorothy now in pigtails and wearing a blue paid dress and ruby red slippers asks the man.
"What would you do with dopamine, if you had some?”

I said "What would I do with dopamine if! had some? Well 1..." (I start singing)

"My legs would be like Towers,
I'd be able to smell the flowers.
I'd have a normal dream
And the baseballs I'd be catchin'
I might even get some action,
If I had some dopamine.
I would try to play the fiddle,
touch my toes, not just my middle
And walk and not have to scream."

(Nurse sings)
"With the way, you'd be a lookin’
you would really be a cookin'If you had your dopamine"

"Oh I, would close my fly.
I'd remember that it zips.
On the dance floor, I'd remind you of the pips.
In the pool, I would do flips.
instead I stand here shakin',
no longer good at fakin'
I'm not part of the in scene
what happened then? I wonder
someone really stole my thunder
when they took my dopamine.

Dorothy then goes to the next patient who is complaining of a tremor

When a man just moves like Elvis,
'but can’t control his Pelvis,
Nor any other part..
There is no mistakin’
that because I stand here shakin’
I’d like a new fresh start.
I walk softly-I walk slowly
and all of those who know me
hate to watch me fall apart.
And those friends who have forgotten
I surely would not label rotten
I hope that I’m in their heart.
once was I- A handsome guy. Ladies all would swoon.
How I loved the scent of their perfume
Out on a date
I was Great.
Just to relax sitting by the Ocean, quietly no motion.
Now I shake at every part.
I’m getting old and I'm bitter
And soon may need a baby sitter
I’d like a new fresh start.

Dorothy then approaches a third man who complains about constipation and his loss of the ability to smell

Yeh, it' sucks, believe me, nursey,
but something did just curse me
When they took my sense of smell.
I wish that could smell a Hot Dog,
or a fire from a dry log
But I guess it’s just as well.
I'm afraid Constipated,
with a Frank, I’d be frustrated,
When I hear the dinner bell..
So I've have tonight some Ex Lax
No Pizza and No Six Packs
Cause this disease is a living hell..

Friday, September 12, 2014

My new diet

My new diet.

The effects of Parkinson's are not only what is evident to the outside world. Without getting too graphic, the effects on one's digestive system of both the disease and the pills is tremendous.

I love to eat. That picture is me in my younger days (notice the full head of hair) having my traditional meal of old shoes.

Because an old shoe is so heavy, I can no longer eat one. so on Rosh Hashannah, when I arrive at my mother's home, and she serves the traditional sandal with gefilte fish, she will wonder why her 6 foot 2 inch 240 lb son is avoiding his favorite shoe.

My wife has been trying to get me to quit eating shoes for years. "You can no longer eat like you once did. Leather doesn't agree with you, and as you know laces and velcro are binding."

But still I sneak out of the house, go to the cobbler down the street, for my daily snack of a left foot size seven Puma Clyde, with half an Air Jordan. Someday, I'll learn.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Put me in coach

Put Me in Coach 

Baseball, the greatest game known to man.    When I was young and was a lazy reader, I'd read the Mark Harris stories.   I truly believe that my almost obsessive calculations of batting averages, as a child, earned me 100 points on my SAT.

The game has the strategy of chess, a good pitcher, catcher and manager are thinking many pitches ahead.    There are even stories of Willie Mays calling the pitches from Centerfield.   Tom Seaver once said that he was the only outfielder who wanted to know what pitch Seaver was throwing.  He was smart enough to position himself based upon the pitch and the angle of the bat.

I loved to play.   I wasn't bad. As a kid, before I hurt my back, trying to be Brooks Robinson,   I could hit a ball a mile. and to any field.   That ended when someone threw me a curve ball.  I soon went from Mickey Mantle to Mickey Mouse.   I could catch anything at third base.   Brooks Robinson was my hero.   But unlike the Great Vacuum Cleaner, I would then proceed to throe the ball 20 feet over the first baseman's head.   So eventually I settled at First Base.

I'm sure that I could still swing a bat, catch and maybe even throw.  I haven't done any of this in years, and boy do I miss it.   It's in my blood,  I see a stick and I swing it.   I sometimes stand in my office and swing my barely used cane.

About seven years ago, I went with a friend of mine and his son to the batting cages.  I went into the medium speed cage, and missed the first couple of pitches.    Then the voice of my Uncle Jerry came to me.  "Marc, keep your elbow up!"  I moved my left foot in, raised my elbows and proceed to hit line drives.

On to the fast pitch cage.  Four pitches went by me.  "Cut down on your swing."  a couple of line drives.

For the day, I didn't have Parkinson's.  My feet did what I told them, My hands were able to grip the bat.  My ever present companion was obviously intimidated by a baseball.   He is a wimp.

The moral is,  that I am still here, and someday, I'll sneak out and go back to that cage.  I guarantee that my dreams of being Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle will return if only for a few minutes.

Parkinson's on my Mind

Parkinson's on my mind.
Let me first say, that I am not an expert. I will state no medical facts, I don't know any. This is purely a first hand account.
At 57, I should be hating my work, hoping that I'll be able to someday retire and have a long a fruitful life. But at age 49 my life veered off the highway.
My immediate reaction was fear. I knew nothing about this disease. Some of the articles that I read even indicated that they were "5 years from a cure." That it appears was an exaggeration. Some people still say that. I wish that they'd stop. It is very cruel.
Since much of my problem, at the time of diagnosis, manifested itself in my driving, I would have terrible panic attacks when I had to drive. I felt like somebody had stolen my instincts.
I also was depressed, probably not clinically depressed, but the type of depression that we all know. I hated going to sleep, I hated waking up, I felt sorry for myself.
As years have passed, I find that it has had other mental effects. I was very quick with numbers, now I find that I have problems. I often do exercises to keep this strong. I'll figure out bating average in my head. But, I'm not what I once was.
There are times when my medications and fading and it's too early to take another dosage, that I have to fight myself to keep going.
The biggest mental problem is that it is always with me. when I sleep, shower, eat, work, watch television, go to the bathroom etc... it is always there. There is no escaping it. There are times that I want to scream when somebody mentions Parkinson's Disease. It has become my life. I am no longer a husband, child, lawyer, class clown. I am a Parkinsonian.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Strange Days, Indeed.

These days are strange.  I've actually done more work the last three days than in any three day period since I left my office.   But, there are those pockets, during the day when I can't lift my head and  my legs shake like the magic fingers of a bed in a cheap Catskills Motel in the 1960.     What happens when this occurs while I conducting business?

Strange that you should ask that question, because to a limited extent it occurred yesterday during a closing.     I had timed the pills wrong.       I know that this is always a possibility, so I attempt to do as much as possible before I walk in to the closing.

Math, Algebra, Geometry never scared me.   I was good with numbers.  In my father's store, at slow times, the staff would often try to see if they could put double digit multiplication into a calculator, before I could do it in my head.   I won at least 50% of the time.   One of the few things that I like about what I do is that I have the opportunity to use Algebra and Geometry.    What pisses me off, is that I now have to rely upon a calculator.   Is this a function of age or of Parkinson's disease?

I left my office in 2008.      I have strange, many would call bad work habits.  I work for 20 minutes, get up and pace for 5 and then work again.    When I used to pace at the office, I would talk to someone.  Now, for the most part I'm alone.   I don't mind it sometimes, we all need our time to ourselves, but for the  most part I need people.

I don't have the most exciting job.   I'm an Attorney specializing in Real Estate and Estates.   If you had asked me 10 years ago if I liked my work, I would have laughed.   Now, my main goal is to not quit until it is my choice.    Parkinson's has no choice in this matter.

So today, I will tell clients the same tired jokes.   They will laugh, because it's the first time that they've heard them.  For me, I've honed them over thirty plus years of practice.    At the end of the day, I will hope to tell them tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The things that you enjoy doing, were never as much fun as when they are taken away.

I was happiest when I was writing. Today will start again.

I often wonder if it is preferable to ignore the inevitable.

I don't do the things that I love, because of the consequences each now carries.

I don't go to the Stadium, anymore. I loved going to Ballgames. Not so much night games, but an afternoon at Yankee Stadium was my idea of heaven. I never drank much, and in the afternoon it was more of a family crowd, I was more comfortable there. Now I don't drive, I'm afraid of being jostled on the Subway, The heat gets to me, and the fear of the steep steps. I'm afraid of the possible consequences so I avoid something that I love.

I no longer eat red meat. I loved a good hamburger. The best one that I ever had was at a tavern in an inn outside of Woodstock, Vermont. They put Maple syrup in it. I only ate half. I gave half to my wife. It's been 15 years since I had that burger, but I still taste it. Protein blocks the dopomine. If I had Red Meat, I would shake all day. I can't work. But would it be worth it to taste that burger again?

I don't go to the Theater. I can't sit still for prolonged periods of time. If I were to go, I would have to have the back seat, on the right aisle in the orchestra. I miss the theater. New York has many great and unique features, but there is nothing like Broadway.

Speaking of New York's many features, my favorite spot in the world, may be Central Park. It's the place that I hit the longest home run of my life, hobbled around the bases on a torn ankle, in front of a young lady whom I had a crush on. It's the place that I saw Elton John and Simon and Garfunkel. At Simon and Garfunkel, it may have been the only time in my life that I was seriously drunk.

When my dad was ill, I would go into Manhattan on Sunday Morning, spend the morning with him, and then walk to Fifth Avenue, making sure to look at the vendors outside of the Met, and walk into the park. I'd often take my camera. One day I saw this beautiful Orange Crested Bird. I took a picture. A British couple asked me what kind of bird it was. I said, "I think that it's an Oriole, but they are not in town this weekend." It fell on deaf ears. The moral is know your audience. Now the only time that I enter Central Park is for the Parkinson's Walk.

Fear of falling, fear of shaking, fear of sweating, fear of fear.

The things that you enjoy doing, were never as much fun as when they are taken away.