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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Marky the Parky

Come gather round folks
as our tale does begin
welcome all friends,
 strangers and kin
some 10 years ago
my body more agile
my legs not yet this slow,
my ego not fragile.

Then I was just forty-eight
too blind to foresee
what would be my fate
by age fifty-three.

One day I did realize
my handwriting was small
my assistant said,
“Marc, I can’t read this at all.”

I noticed when driving,
over mountains and rivers
all the time my foot shaking,
I thought I must have quivers.
Driving much faster than I like to go.
Or was the schlamassel in front of me,
just driving too slow.
So I found myself thinking
“Have I reached the age,
that time in one’s life
when he must turn the page?”

So I made an appointment
With the good Doctor McNutt
He first stick his long finger
Deep into my butt

“But Dr. my problem,
does not come from that end…..”
He begged to differ,
and told me to bend.

“You have carpal tunnel.
I’m never mistaken.
While I was in there
I found two strips of bacon.

You should be happy,
For there were no problems up your ass
and while I was in there
I also caught this giant sea bass.

Your problems, I fear,
are all in your head.
Go see the head shrinker,
and then off to bed.

I then tried to pay him
with insurance, not dough.
“We don’t accept insurance,
From Larry Curly and Moe.”

So the next day I went
To visit the shrink.
He said, “I can cure you,
But  first fix me a drink.”
So as I fixed the martini,
not stirred ,  but frankly well shaken
he said, “my friend I can tell when you’re fakin.”

“Like all male problems,
this derives from your schmuck.
Tell me, my friend
have you made love to a Duck?”

As I ran out the door, I said
“you are clearly a quack,
before I leave here,
can I have my Sheep back?”

Next was the brain scan.
Or hadn’t you heard?
Not part of my plan
I thought the whole thing absurd.
As I lay on the table,
they played me their tunes.
The feature that day,
was a man playing spoons.

“Your head is just empty.
Is no sign of life.
Just a poor homely man,
An his poor homely wife.”

So next to the doctor,
to check my nerve ending.
This time I’ll be more careful
before starting bending.

But no putting his finger
Where it  didn’t belong,
he said, “I see the problem,
please come along.’

Your arms hang by your side,
like two fish on Canal Street.
And I notice when you walk,
you can’t help but shuffle your feet.’

We are what we refer to
as a ‘classical Parky.’
Don’t look so stunned
I not full of Malarkey.’

Take 10 of these pills,
and you will no longer shake.
Of course you have trouble,
just staying awake.’

Please, be forewarned
if you have an obsession.
Like gambling and sex,
These pills could give you
One  expensive lesson.
Please see this pill,
that I give you today,
can compound those obsessions,
you’ll know who to pay.

At the end of this chapter
I hope you enjoyed reading.
To put me away,

would take a legal proceeding.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Help Me

We all need help once in awhile, even me, so a few weeks ago I decided it's time to look for it. THe first Doctor that I went to see was had a military background CAptain Philip Queeg.

Captain Queeg: "So I can help you find your missing Strawberries."

Me: "Who said anything about missing Strawberries."

Captain Queeg: Don't laugh at me or make jokes because I can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to your brain exist, and I can produce that key and find the missing Strawberries."

Mr. "'Doctor who is looking for strawberries, I need dopamine."

I paid the fee and left

The next Doctor was Dr. Vito Corleone. His advertisement was a little "over the top," but then again, so am I. He advertised, "I'll give you a cure that you can't refuse."

Dr Corleone: "So Why didn't you come to see me first? I understand. You found paradise with dopamine. You had a good practice, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. So you didn't need a friend like me. Now you come and say "Dr. Corleone, give me justice." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me "Godfather." You come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married and you ask me to do murder - for money. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you'd come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by some chance an honest man like yourself made enemies they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you.

Me: "What are you talking about? I don't have a daughter and I and every reader are the one's suffering.

I now decided that it was time to take extreme measures. I would see Dr. Oz.

In order to get an appointment with Dr. Oz, one must first get past nurse Dorothy. Nurse Dorothy has a very unusual method method for screening patients. It often includes the talent show.

Nurse Dorothy in pigtails and wearing a blue plaid dress and ruby red slippers says, "It says here that you are out of Dopamnie. 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 Dorothy 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.

When suddenly the alarm clock goes off. I never had an appointment with Queeg, Corleone or Dr. Oz. It was all a dream.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Parkinson's Paranoia

The gift that keeps on giving.

In my most lucid moments, which are getting fewer and fewer recently, I realize that this has gotten to me lately. 

My sleep patterns are awful, moments of paranoia and complete fatigue.

These all go along with Parkinson's disease. Now just because I am paranoid, does not preclude the possibility that people are really out to get me. 

I'd see a therapist, but I know that she has it in for me. My doctor is in collusion with the therapist, and of course the little green men that follow me everywhere. They especially enjoy going out for bagels. I on the other hand want to know who put a hole in my bagel?

SO this is an example of a lucid moment. God help us when a non-lucid moment appears.



In the classic TV show taxi. Bobby Wheeler helps the reverend Jim with his road test.

Bobby: Have you ever experienced loss of consciousness, hallucinations, dizzy spells, convulsive disorders, fainting or period of loss of memory? 

Jim: Hasn't everyone?

What we never knew is that Reverend Jim may have been taking Mirapex.

Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

Change in how much or how often you urinate, or painful urination
Changes in vision
Chest pain or trouble breathing
Extreme sleepiness or drowsiness

Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

Muscle pain, stiffness, tenderness, or weakness

Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there

Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control, tremors, problems with balance or walking

This medicine may cause the following problems:

Low blood pressure
Urges to gamble, spend money, binge eat, have sex, or engage in other compulsive behaviors
An increased risk for skin cancer

This is one of the three medications that I am presently taking.

I have experienced the chest pains, muscle pains, seeing things not there, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, dizziness and compulsive behavior. Unlike Reverend Jim, I hate it.

The question that I must ask my doctor is "is there a replacement that will keep my leg still?". If not which is worse Godzilla or King Kong?



Depression and Parkinson's disease is something that I have successfully fought for most of of the past eight years.

When I felt it coming on I would convince myself that this is a waste of time. I would only come our the other end older and having accomplished nothing. If that didn't work I would write about it, by the end of the blog, I would get so pissed at myself because of the self absorption, that by the end I was cursing and laughing at myself.

I had developed this belief that I had a choice I could wake up tomorrow sad with Parkinson's or happy with Parkinson's. Since the Parkinson's was a constant, why not be happy.

Be it the accumulated affect of eight years of meds, the general progression of the disease, an upcoming birthday (birthdays have always been difficult for me. Any of you want an unused birthday?) the change in the weather or being stuck in a room alone up to ten hours a day, this is a tough one.

I'm going to get a haircut. That should cheer me up.



Do you remember Spaldings (known in my neighborhood as Spaldeens) and Pensy Pinkies? They were pink rubber balls, that were great for stickball and other games. My dad sold them for $.19. This past week I have been a Spaldeen. I've been bouncing off walls.

One moment I'm sad, the next I'm content (never reached elation), then back to sad again. Friday night, I never fell asleep. Sunday morning in the midst of a Parkinsonian dream, I fell out of bed. Last night was the best night's sleep that I have had in years.

I don't know if it's the pills, The Parkinsons or have I entered the Twilight Zone?

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is in the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Parkinsonian Zone.

Submitted for your approval, Marc Sherman, an ethical if not too successful lawyer on Long Island. Life has always come easy for him. Too easy. So now he has entered the Parkinsonian Zone.

This is another dimension. Day after day, I never know what part of me will say, "I'm on strike today."?

Will it be my feet, refusing to sit flat on the floor. Or will it be my legs, shaking constantly. Or my knees, which crack and hurt, because my body mechanics have thrown them out of whack. My bowels, I leave this to your imagination. My arms, that don't want to swing. You should try this, it puts an enormous strain on your neck. Or my mind, that is constantly forgetting things. I am now starting to make lists. However, I forget where I put them.

I promise that this morose mood will end.



The past couple of weeks I have been experiencing drastic mood shifts. I don't know if this is the Parkinson's Disease, The medication or just em that have caused these mood shifts.

It appears that mood shifts are not uncommon in Parkinson's. I feel that I am in touch with my Feminine side, I suddenly understand ladies an aspect of PMS. Let me tell you that this is the first side of a Female, that I don't enjoy touching.

Perhaps the changes in my mood and mental functions scare me more that anything else. This seems to compound itself. I get depressed or angry, don't recognize the cause and continue to get angrier and sadder.

This combined with problems sleeping have made me great company recently.

Now that I recognize this problem, I hope that I can deal with it, without additional pharmaceuticals.


I think that I’ve hit a wall. Not literally but figuratively. By the way, did you know Webster’s dictionary has changed the definition of literally to include the common usage. That really stinks. What’s next, “irregardless,” or “supposebly.” ? Now where were we?. I was telling you about my wall, every so often I go through this, where I just get frustrated. Yesterday was one of those days.

I’m just tired of all the shit. I’m tired of every day my body doing less and less. Tired of my once photographic memory being shot to hell. Tired of thinking is not the same person I was eight years ago. I want to get up tomorrow, and not have to get up at half-hour early, to take a pill. I want to know what I’m like off of the medication.

I imagine that everybody goes this frustration. Somehow that doesn’t make it easier. I’m tired of faking a good mood so that everybody else can feel better. Tired of sitting up here alone in his office every day.

Yesterday I did hit the wall. I’ll bounce out of it. Always do.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Frankly I have everything to be thankful for. A majority of the world suffers far more than I do. Will be with my family, having the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, chicken Parmesan and spaghetti.


Word Recognition Software

Because it's sometimes easier for me to stand, I have found the wonders of word recognition software . However, one must be very careful with this. One time a friend asked me how my leg was feeling. A little background: it seems I had torn a muscle in my left calf while walking in Manhattan in April. I answered this friend that the pain was almost gone. What is software picked up was that the penis was almost gone. Imagine the look on this friend's face , when she read that. The moral of the short story is always reread anything before you send it out.

Self discipline

Self discipline has never been my strong suit. Yes it's true that not only have I never smoked a cigarette, I've never even held one in my hands, (That's not discipline, it's brains.) I quit pot on the third or fourth try (If I wanted to be "wasted" I'd root for the Mets.) I've only been drunk once (Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park.) and I didn't jump from bed to bed (This was not a choice. On the Basketball court I couldn't go to my left, in a pick-up bar, I couldn't go to my right or left.) my weakness is eating.

Nathan Hale said "Give me Malomars or give me death!." John Paul Jones said, "My only regret is that I have but one slice of Pizza to give for my country. I ate the other seven!" Abraham Lincoln said "four score and seven donuts ago..." Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only thing that we have to fear is no Haagen Daz." Ben Franklin said "Early to bed, Early to rise, gives you the first shot at the leftovers."

Gluttony and Parkinson's disease, not a good combination. last night we took a dear friend out for his birthday, and despite having timed my Meds well, I could not control the shaking. I had overeaten during the day. Proteins often block the dopamine. Despite loving red meat, I haven't touched it in 2 11/2 years. I rarely show the same, or any discipline with other foods. Last night this resulted in, what may have been, the physically most uncomfortable evening that I've ever had..

So despite all of these iconic quotes, and despite my Patriotism arising from these heroes, I again turn to Lincoln for inspiration, "You can eat some of the cookies, some of the time, but you can't eat all of the cookies all of the time."


It has gotten to me

It has gotten to me.

I've been irritable and grouchy.

My always caustic tongue has at times been cruel.

This must stop immediately. As my father used to say, "Watch what you say, because once it is uttered, you can't take it back." He also said " What the hell are you doing in there?" We'll address the first one today, and save the second for some other time.

This isn't me. Yeah, I'm sarcastic, I come well armed to a battle of words, but I'm not cruel.

I guess that I'm just tired. I'm tired of shaking, I'm tired of dragging my foot, I'm tired of not remembering all of the things that I'm tired of.

I'm not a spiritual person. To me religion has often been a punchline, but I do wonder why, if this is God's will, I wasn't disinherited.

Note to self: Cut the shit!!

The Unseen Benefits

Are there any benefits to having Parkinson's Disease? It can't all be bad. I believe in looking at the bright side of life, ergo (a word that I learned in Law School, which I believe is restricted to use among lawyers. If anybody else were to use it he or she would be charged with being pretentious without a license.) today I dedicate this post to what Parkinson's has done for me.

1) If the Peppermint Twist ever comes back into vogue, I would be a star on American Bandstand. What? What is that you say? They canceled American Bandstand! Curses foiled again.

2) I can save a lot of quarters by not using those vibrating machines attached to the beds in those old Catskill hotels. What? What is that you say? They no longer have those machines? They no longer have those Hotels? Where does Jerry Lewis hang out?

3) all of my friends believe that because of my stone face I am doing a great Buster Keaton impersonation. What? What is that you say? Who was Buster Keaton? No not the kid with the dog in the shoe. That was Buster Brown. Not her either, that;s Diane Keaton, Did you hear me say "Lah-di-dah?" Nobody remembers this comic genius.

4) I mix a great Egg Cream, What? what's that you say? No! you don't need an egg for an egg cream! They don't make those anymore. Maybe I can start a trend.

So what are the benefits to having Parkinson's Disease? Maybe someone can learn enough from me to cure the next guy.



The next two days I will be meeting with "The People with Parkinson's Advisory Council" of the Parkinson's disease Foundation. This is my last year on the council. I like to say that I made a difference, but the truth is, they made a difference for me.

These are vibrant, active people. Despite the Parkinson's none of them feel sorry for themselves. They have taught me a lot, just by being there.

I'm going to miss these people, they mean quite a bit to me. Tom, Fred, Linda and Karen whose leadership kept the council running smoothly. Maria and Elaine, the Texas Neurologist and the New England Nurse, whose compassion and dedication have make be proud to know them and even prouder to call them my friends. Peggy and Steve have already left, but left an indelible mark upon me, Nan, who Bicycles across Iowa and climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro. I can't mention everyone, but they all have taught me that this is not a handicap.

These meetings energize me, and these people have become a part of me.


Parkinson's->inactivity->boredom-> depression

One of the ancillary problems connected with Parkinson's is the boredom. I rarely go to the office, so I rarely have people around me. Once I enter my home office, I check my mail, and then go to the local bagel place for coffee. This is like a non-alcoholic cheers. Everybody knows my name. The same guy sits in the same seat each day. There is an ignorant "know it all." The day thatI enter and the all yell "Marc," is coming.

Then back to the office to redo the same work that I did yesterday. I always had bad work habits, but now they are non existent. Never a truer statement was made then "if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person."

It is a direct line Parkinson's->inactivity->boredom-> depression. If I can give any advise, keep busy. It makes you happier and healthier,


The shutter broke

It's been a rough few weeks. Not that I've deteriorated, I don't believe that I have, I'm just very frustrated and a little angry about the whole thing.

I miss me!! I miss the guy who would have reveled in Derek Jeter's hit last night. I miss the guy who on a beautiful fall weekend would go for a walk in Central Park. I miss the guy, who enjoyed his own company. I'm just frustrated. I've conquered this before, I'll conquer it now.

What frustrates me most is that my memory is slipping. I had a nearly photographic memory. It seems that the shutter broke. If my mind is slipping, that would bother me more than my body deteriorating

Oh, fuck this self pity, I'm going for a walk.