As Thanksgiving rapidly nears, I am compelled to once again share the many gifts and blessings given to me through luck, hard work, fate, love, and friendship.
- I am so grateful for my wife, Angela, who makes my my life so complete and fulfilled.
- I am grateful for my family members (by blood and not–you know who you are), my dear friends, and my devoted readers.
- I am grateful to my cat of over 14 years who has taught me that you can adapt and grow–she thrives with one eye and lived on the street for years.
- I am grateful to my dog of 7 years who keeps me on my toes and makes me laugh daily. What a goof!
- I am grateful not to be running for the United States Presidential nomination.
- I am so grateful for the buttons labelled “Mute” and “Off” on my remotes.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of your day–thank you!
- I am just grateful!
Please feel free to respond to this post or share with others, if you find something worth sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!
Maybe just maybe it’s time to turn off the news, or at least mute it. Let’s stop worrying about the parts of our lives that we can’t possibly change. There is that rare morsel of inspiration, a nugget of knowledge or a touching personal story that we connect with, but those moments are getting fewer and fewer. Not to sound cranky but I’ve had it with the news-time barrage of drug commercials and the fascinating narrative of side effects to watch for.
Add on the tragedies, issues, crimes, and injustices around the globe that may or may not have direct impact on us personally. The inundation of messages can become overwhelming. Should I really care that a coffee chain is using a blank red cup without a holiday message? We create controversy where there is none and where it isn’t needed. Let’s keep our eyes on the magicians and not the dazzle of the people who misdirect us elsewhere.
The carnival barker with the loudest voice and the most shocking tidbits to say aren’t always the brightest, kindest most meaningful, or pertinent. Speaking to hear your own voice, unless you are doing speech therapy, is strictly noise.
If you are dealing with Parkinson’s disease or any illness, you know as I do that our personal energy is precious, unpredictable, and can come and go without notice. I’m of the belief that it is crucial to weed out unnecessary distractions that drain us, derail us, or add to our worry. Next time you hear a controversy, ask yourself is this really another concern to add to the pile, or one that I can ignore?
Today, the newest James Bond blockbuster, SPECTRE, is released in the United States! The Bond films are now over 50 years old, just like the gold standard Parkinson’s drug, L-Dopa. The movie cost over $300 million and made $80 million in a record breaking weekend in the United Kingdom.
I am and have always been a huge Bond fan so don’t get me wrong. I am wondering why and how we can devote so much capital, time, and labor into the entertainment and sports industries and see so much innovation within those industries but see such little innovation within medical breakthroughs?
This blog post is a milestone! I can’t believe that this blog posting makes number 200! I hope that this sight has brought you some thoughtful entertainment with a dash of spiritual infusion. It has always been my intention to provide the readers, both Parkinson’s disease related and not, a thought, a picture, or a story that might inspire or spark conversation. I love to hear from my readers and encourage feedback as I approach my march to 300.
In honor of this occasion, I am bringing back a few of my favorites from past years. I encourage you to search the site archives for more of my postings. Thank you for reading my blog and book, I appreciate you all!
Please enjoy these 10 past postings (click the title to visit that post/page):
If your first experience with Parkinson’s disease (PD) was anything like mine, I went into a state of shock, disbelief, and a spiral of “what do I do now” syndrome. That was a long, long time ago, here in this galaxy, not so far away.
Since then, I have had almost 28 years to digest and understand (or at least try to) what it means to face the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. While in my very first neurological waiting room I found myself, a 23 year old, surrounded by much older patients in wheelchairs with various conditions. At the time, I, like most of the public was positive from all that I knew that only the elderly get Parkinson’s disease. A few years after my diagnosis, it was bittersweet reinforcement from Michael J. Fox’s release of diagnosis that Parkinson’s was not exclusive to those over the age of 60. I would like to think the world outside of the Parkinson’s community has a grasp on the nuances of our Illness, but I think I would be wrong.
Many are surprised that I was diagnosed so young despite that the face of Fox has largely become synonymous with this Illness. Both,
he and I and many others that I know are not anomalies. We are young and we are a growing segment of the population with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease.
At the time of my diagnosis, I was said to be in the rare two percentile of patients. Now, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) it is estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50. It is estimated that 60,000 new cases are diagnosed a year and somewhere between 1 million to 1.5 million people in the United States are living with it. The truth is, until data collection is put in place, all these numbers are sheer speculation. To learn more about data collection for Parkinson’s disease and what you can do go to http://parkinsonsaction.org/our-work/data-collection/.
Neurological disorders largely remain a mystery mainly due to the sheer complexities of the human brain. Better government funding, a drive for expediency, better institutional sharing and cooperation about data, and a public outcry that urgency is required right now must be reiterated over and over.
If you have Parkinson’s disease, you probably didn’t get it overnight. Getting better probably won’t happen overnight, so don’t expect a quick fix. Be patient and stay open to trying different complementary therapies and diet changes to see what might work best for you.
Reducing the stressors in your life and any trigger to stress that leads to stress can make a huge difference in your symptoms.
Do you ever notice that when you are having a great time (vacations, a hobby, an outstanding meal) that you may miss a dose of medication due to the fact that you didn’t need it? Isn’t it strange to find pills leftover at the end of the day because your body didn’t need them?
Don’t let a diagnosis of any illness brand you! I don’t believe the words “chronic, degenerative, and progressive” should ever be used for anyone! Don’t think of yourself in those terms!
Hope, tenacity, determination, strength and creativity are more than words. Being stubborn can be of help!
Don’t let denial delay you helping yourself! Every day is an opportunity to be better—whatever that means to you.
Positive thinking really can reinforce good overall health. Focusing on the negative is unproductive and only weakens the connection of the mind, body, spirit connection.
In Parkinson’s as well as other illnesses, just because one individual responds well to one treatment or drug doesn’t guarantee the same result for others.
Devising a health plan and staying open to solutions outside your comfort zone that aren’t overly expensive or invasive are worth consideration.
The issue of “control” plays a major role in the Parkinson’s world. Knowing when to let loose of it and when to take charge of it will make your life much easier and less stressed.
These are just a few of my observations from living with Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years. I hope you find them to be of help and encourage you to share what have learned with me and my readers. Remember, I am not a doctor and this not medical advice. Consult with your physician or neurologist before making any changes. Thank You!
I was going through my files of paperwork and came across years of documents that I considered to be motivational, inspirational, and truly worth being read and reread. You might even remember it.
Although this following post is not specifically Parkinson’s disease related, I find it to be sound and practical advice for everyone. I hope that you enjoy it, find at least 1 of the 10 pieces of advice to be a morsel to take away, and may even share once again with others:
Palo Alto High School Speech by Guy Kawasaki 6/11/95
10. Live off of your parents as long as possible.
9. Pursue joy—not happiness.
8. Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
7. Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play no contact sports.
6. Continue to learn.
5. Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
4. Don’t get married too young.
3. Play to win and win to play.
2. Obey the absolutes.
1. Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.
If I were to add to this thoughtful list, I might add – Tell the people in your life and those you care about, just how much they mean to you, while you still can!