Yesterday, I had the honor and privilege of testifying in front of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about symptoms of Parkinson’s and how they impact daily living. The event brought out at least 20 or more of the FDA’s neurological specialists and decision makers. I watched as they listened to my fellow panelists testify about their struggles with Parkinson’s disease and many took copious notes about what was said.
I am confident that they were listening to the plights of those of us facing a variety of issues related to our illness. It is my sincere hope and plea that something positive, like an ongoing dialogue between FDA and patient, or even a rapid push for speedier development of therapies is implemented. It is encouraging and wonderful to see interest from the FDA and the Parkinson’s community. This can be nothing but positive and hopeful!
Whether you see time as a naturally occurring force, a convention of man, or just the unforeseeable perpetuator of those unwanted wrinkles and age-related developments, there is no denying that time dictates our lives more than any one influence. Clocks, watches, calendars, the atomic clock, day planners, PDAs, cell and smart phones, all contribute to the confirmation of navigating the preset standard of our daily lives. Tools of organization and predictability add order and structure to a world that is far beyond predictable and is nowhere near orderly.
Time robs us. There is a perpetual cycle that takes from us but also gives back as well. Sometimes it heals us. There is no telling where it will lead us. As best as we can understand, there is a finite longevity to our lives.
There are 1440 minutes in a day. For someone with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) there is no knowing when or how long your medicines are going to work for or last. It is a disease that forces patience and relinquishing of control. Stress, lack of sleep, commotion and noise, being rushed, daily hustle and bustle, and crowds effect even the healthiest of people but someone with a neurological disorder like PD is most likely unable to function well when exposed to one or more of these stressors.
There was a time when society believed that good things came to those who wait and that patience was a virtue. Now, fast is best. Fast has become the staple of the Western diet and is quickly invading the rest of the world. Speed is king.
Maybe the journey is as important as the destination. It is so easy to miss the little lessons that are thrown our way, every day. In a world of constant flux, on-demand gratification and throw-away everything, it is only natural to wonder if the affliction of PD is the result of the demands and taxing of a weakened immune system.
The harder we push, the harder the stress and negativity that comes with our need for rapid results pushes back. Some systems may be predisposed to accommodate for the frenzied pace, but many of us are not. Are we on a collision course for neurological disaster from stress and pressure?