Friday, April 12, 2013





Actually, at some point, I knew I would be laid up and unable to sit in front of a computer. Rather than ask for permission, I followed the advice of the late, esteemed Admiral Grace Hopper, who said, “Do it now, ask forgiveness later.” So, that's what I'm doing. Doing 2 letters at once, and asking forgiveness. Yesterday, when I woke up, I had some of the most excruciating pain on the left side of my neck and jaw. I went to bed with it on Wednesday night. Really a big no-no.

Since this is Parkinson's Disease Awareness month, a little lesson on what can happen when people with the disease sleeps. We don't always experience symptoms, one is a tendency to “freeze” in one position and there is no changing of positions, nothing. Dead to the world we are. But, if we don't sleep frozen, we tend to have sleep disturbances, which are stupid. Once, I couldn't figure out how my significant other took a dowel, pushed my right big toe up, so that my knee hit me in the chin and woke me up and then, got all the way down the block to buy a newspaper. Beats me.

 So I awoke on Thursday morning in the exact same position I had gone to sleep in and in worse pain then when I went to bed. I got up with every intention of writing my Thursday posts, sat in my blogging chair for ½ hour and went back to bed. The pain was that bad and I have a high pain threshold. So much for Thursday.

I feel better today, but I did manage to aspirate something, so now I'm coughing like a tuberculosis patient. One of the things about Parkinson's patients, is I think it tends to make us secretive. I don't like to eat in public. I'm legally blind, so people are already rather wary of me with the dark glasses and cane. That I am used to. But I was in a grocery store the other day that I normally don't shop at, and the deli clerk was trying to get me to taste the roast beef and cheese I was ordering. I kept saying, “no, that's okay.” She finally said, “Are we shy?” I let her believe this is so, and nibbled on some beef and cheese. She was a very nice lady and drew me out of my public shell.

My friend who was with me, helped eat our unexpected treasure. But holy Hell, it's like a pig at a trough sometimes and don't give me a fork, or if you do, get yourself an umbrella and a lobster bib. I'll eat with friends, they understand and enjoy the impromptu leftovers I fling their way.

All kidding aside, and there's lots of kidding in the world of Parkinson's, just ask YumaBev and countless others. I have the strength of 10 men, but no depth perception. I did the clean-and-jerk with 3 cases of water. The 3rd one, sailed over the top of my cart and landed somewhere over by the meat department. Oops. A quick retrieval and apologies all around.

The one advantage I have is that with my blind cane and glasses, if I'm having a really bad day with the tremors, people don't accuse me of being drunk. I hear horror stories which is beyond sad. I myself am guilty of thinking just that in the case of Dudley Moore, who had a PhD in Piano Performance and I heard him play as a young man. Brilliant he was, tearing through Gershwin's “Concerto in F” one of my favorite pieces and a challenge, not just for the soloist, but also the orchestra.

He had this whole other career, as well as being a comedian.

Later on in his life, when it all was going wrong, he was accused of being a drunken sot. He wasn't; he suffered from a supranuclear braindisorder, which was progressive and degenerative and mimicked the symptoms of alcoholism, similar to Parkinson's. When he died, it was from pneumonia, a secondary symptom to the palsy that left him immobile. A cruel fate, indeed. I was one of those who tsked, tsked. Shame on me.

Found here, at the National Parkinson's Disease website, the Book, "Mind, Mood and Memory cites that 40% of Parkinson's and anyone who has a neuromuscular disorder suffers from mental illness. Prior to my psychotic break last year and the over manifestation of my Parkinson's symptoms (although I have had subtle symptoms for at least 15 years) I was your garden-variety undifferentiated depression, DSM 311 and a very high level functioning Asperger (probably some autism in there, but so what?) After the psychotic break, my tremors started and have increased rapidly, along with lovely drooling, freezing, thousand-yard stare and other weirdness.

Way cooler than Monty. I always wanted to drive a tank!

My Parkinson's is no one else's. According to the publication, "Mind, Mood and Memory," also tells us, that fully 35% of Parkinson's patients never get tremors at all. I believe that my Parkinson's manifests itself mainly in the psychological aspects. This is all guess work and comparing life before the psychosis to life after. I do get dementia, which I never had before. I believe my mother had it as well. I am starting a study at USF, the Center of Excellence so designated by the National Parkinson's Foundation on June 6, 2013. I guess I get to be General Eisenhower on this D-Day. I didn't want to be Field Marshal Montgomery (eww!) and damn it! Wouldn't you know, Field Marshal Rommel is already taken. That's one popular dude!

Post a Comment