Mr. Parkinson, An Update

032It’s been a while since my last update about life with Parkinson’s disease. As far as health is concerned, I’m doing well. My drugs are still effective; I walk 4 miles a day (with my trusted cane), meditate and stay as far away from stress (good and bad) as I can. However, I have noticed a slight tremor in my left hand as opposed to my main tremor in my right hand. There are some differences in its development for I remember all too well how my right hand started to shake. Though PD is Continue reading Mr. Parkinson, An Update

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Mr. Parkinson, “We All Fall Down”

5EA2FE752FwalkingIt’s been a while since I’ve talked about Parkinson’s Disease. The good news is I’m on my same basic medication I wrote about in Part 8- Medications… the Road to Levodopa and Part 9- Medications… All in Good Time. Though I know I will probably not decrease the amount of medication I take daily, its good not to have to increase. Continue reading Mr. Parkinson, “We All Fall Down”

Mr. Parkinson Goes to Clinical Trials, Part 2

You have to cry with your own good tears, you have to laugh with your own good cheer.JosephWright-Alchemist   -Toad The Wet Sprocket

Upon my acceptance into the program, I made arrangements and decided on the week I would check in. I am self-employed so it was not hard to schedule the time. They required me there for 7 days, checking in on Sunday and checking out on the following Saturday and told me to fast the night before and not to take my medication as they had to draw blood upon my arrival.

Levodopa is the type of drug that if you don’t take it at scheduled intervals then you feel the lack of it immediately. The term for this medication as to its’ losing its effectiveness is ‘off ‘ as compared to ‘on’ when it is effective. So I was definitely ‘off’ after fasting without coffee or meds. Upon arrival, I was instantly rushed to a chair to sit down. But even in my lethargic state I could tell something was wrong. Continue reading Mr. Parkinson Goes to Clinical Trials, Part 2

Mr. Parkinson Goes to Clinical Trials, Part 1

When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease I went online and signed up for newsletters, free publications, and became a member of several major Parkinson’s foundations. As you may have guessed, I have collected tons of information and the one thing all these sites suggested is volunteering for clinical trials. Yet for some reason, I did noMattheus_van_Hellemont_The_Alchemistt think they were talking to me? Maybe that was the ‘denial’ part of me; if you take part then you acknowledge you have Parkinson’s.

One day a friend gave me the phone number from an advertisement, looking for volunteers for a Parkinson’s study. I asked my neurologist about it and with his encouragement I called the number, left my name, and did not think twice about it. After a few months, I received a call from a research facility and they Continue reading Mr. Parkinson Goes to Clinical Trials, Part 1

Parkinson’s, the Starry Night and Creativity

images (2)Science Looks to Find the Connection Between Parkinson’s and Creativity

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.             -Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh suffered from manic depression and epilepsy, Edvard Munch with hallucinations and anxiety, and as a new study has revealed, Beethoven also suffered from manic depression. One cannot think of the genius of these three without thinking them eccentric to say the very least. Would they have displayed such genius if manic depression and anxiety were not an issue; if the seeds of great ability manifested in spite of illness? Would we then not think of them as exceptional in their field? Or did manic depression and anxiety give rise to their extraordinary talent? Maybe it was a little of both. Ask yourself the same question, would you become more creative after such a diagnoses? Continue reading Parkinson’s, the Starry Night and Creativity

Part 9- Medications… All in Good Time

astronomical-clock-5706_640“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life,”                                                                     -Mary Oliver

“All in good time, the bad times will be gone, ”                 -Ron Sexsmith

By the summer of 2014, this was the state of my mental and physical condition. My tremor was still constant; it had not decreased or slowed down. Indeed my hand shock as much as it ever did. My movements were slower because I was more conscious of the way I moved. I could think now to pick up my feet, move my arms, and walk erect. But as you can imagine I felt awkward and looked the same. To walk and have to constantly be mindful of it; like remembering to breathe… stop and the outcome is not so good. Stop being mindful of my movements and down I go. Continue reading Part 9- Medications… All in Good Time

Part 8- Medications… The Road to Levodopa

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“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks,” -John Muir

Fresh from my diagnosis in October of 2012 for Parkinson’s disease, I began a new life, one filled with the mystery of drugs. I say mystery because, before my diagnosis, aspirin was the most potent drug I had ever taken. Now I was to go on a learning spree of medications, side effects, and biology. And yes I had not favored science while in school so this education was a long time in coming. Everyone says you can’t escape; now it was all coming back to me.

Continue reading Part 8- Medications… The Road to Levodopa

Part 7- Hallucinations… Song in the Key of ‘P’

Albert_Maignan_-_La_muse_verteUnder the influence of the dark side of a dark moon, or was it an angel?

I was lying in bed one night and saw colors on the ceiling… colors in stripes of reds, blues, yellows and greens. The room was black so the tint of these colors was dark but distinctly each their own shade.

It was while I was considering the display on my ceiling that I first heard the music. My hands felt my ears for headphones, but I didn’t have any on. It was as though the sounds were coming from within me, from my being. And it was beautiful music; I kept thinking I’ve got to remember this melody. All the while I knew I was hallucinating, none of this was real. But the song was such that I couldn’t possibly want to forget it… as it was becoming fainter and fainter, floating away like a cloud and then it was gone along with the colors from above.

Continue reading Part 7- Hallucinations… Song in the Key of ‘P’

Part 5- Meds… The Art of Symptoms and Side Effects

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,”  -John 1:5

It was the medical treatment with an emphasis on medication, exercise and mindfulness that came to my rescue from the deep-sea of cognitive and physical disparity. Those who knew me at the beginning of this ordeal and see me now comment on how much better I seem. With excited eyes they infer that the doctors must have made a mistake, the diagnosis was wrong, you’re not sick! So when they ask how, I tell them the truth, “I’m on drugs.” Suddenly they get this quizzical look on their face, not knowing what to say. I reassure them, “it’s still the same me shaking under this mask of medication.  I’m in control with a little help from my friends… for now”. Then it suddenly occurs to me, what an absurd statement that is; am I ever really in control. Yes, on some days you have to look a little closer to see if I have Parkinson’s at all. But it’s there and never really gets too far away, tied at the hip it seems constantly waiting for the next adventure. Continue reading Part 5- Meds… The Art of Symptoms and Side Effects