Thursday, May 16, 2013

#ROW80 POST 6 – DESIGNED BY VERSACE?


Okay, another Wednesday check in missed. I promise to get back into the groove. We've been blabbering a lot over here about personal freedoms and Civil Rights and of course, I jump in with my Constitutional and Bill of Rights hooey, as I understand it. And, pray tell, what on this here blue-eyed world does Versace have to do with all of that. Why, not a damned thing, but this has been on my mind, because I know people who have had their freedoms and rights curtailed because of past mistakes. I don't think it's fair, but there sure is one hell of a lot of judging going on by people who probably need to take a good, stiff look in their own mirrors. Right. Maybe if I get to Be World King or Poobah. I'd make a bunch of shit change. First thing I'd do is fire Rick Scott and send him to Devil's Island. Dreyfus went there, so it's plenty good enough for Rick Scott and the French can keep him.




Neener, neener and ha ha ha, Rick Scott. You couldn't deport me after all, ya jackleg. 

Anyway, I went to my doctor who is wonderful. She has some unpronounceable last name, so she's Dr. K to everyone, even herself I think. Everything looks pretty good. The usual. “You have anemia, low potassium.” She said to me. I hear that every time I have blood drawn. “Okay, I'll keep taking my B-12 injections and double up on the Niacin and Potassium. I weigh 104 pounds. After being 79 lbs and fighting back to this weight, I've been here for a year. Great news. No cholesterol problem or anything like that. Yay! Time for 12 dozen deviled eggs!

What was unexpected was this: the presence of antigens in my blood was off the charts. I have to go to an allergist. Well, shit. Then, Dr. K, being the awesome doctor she is, said, “You do know that Parkinson's Disease is an autoimmune disease.” Nope. I did not. I know it's a neuromuscular and psychological disease, but the autoimmune thing threw me. I've never been allergic to anything. So, oh boy! A new doctor to go to! Someone else to annoy! The next day I went to the Dermatologist and had a bunch of cancers zizzed off. The one on my lower right lip looks splendid. Kinda a Popeye thing. I look like I've been dipping snuff.


I think I broke the camera when I took the lip pic; here's a picture of our stove that I took in the dark. At around 1 am-ish. For no particular reason.

Part of my lip fell off into my lap onto my keyboard the other day and I was all, AAAHHHHH!!! I have leprosy!!!! AHHHHHHH! JC was napping on the couch. He thought we were having an air raid. Geeze. The Dermatologist was funny and cool. The good doctor reminded me of some beachcomber that got lost and ended up in a medical suite. Colorful shirt, Loose dockers and very laid back. He came in and we talked; he noticed my braces on my arms. I had carpal tunnel in both wrists, but my right hand was broken, the little finger and the 3rd finger knuckles were crushed. I spent 12 weeks in a cast.

So, as I'm peeling off the hardware, he starts looking at my hands and upper arms, then he notices my right hand and knuckles. He said, “How did this happen?” I kind of blushed, and then said “In a fight, doctor.” He looked at m, and grinned. “I'm guessing by the condition of you hand and the fact that you're standing before that the other guy is no longer among the living?” I looked at him and laughed. “Well, in a manner of speaking. That whole payback thing...”

So, he took care of all the little barnacles and the bigger ones that are in fact, basal cell carcinomas, the most benign form of cancer (if you can say that and not sound totally silly.) But, you can't ignore them, either. I had one on my left bicep and I ignored it for years. When I finally had it removed, the damned thing was deep, nearly to the bone. I have a scar that was cleverly sculpted like my bicep. Lesson? Don't ever wait. I was still playing and I put black medical tape around my bare arm, as I wore a velvet spaghetti strap gown until it healed all the way and it took months. Stylish!

I thought of this Versace thing because no one's Parkinson's Disease is like anyone else's Parkinson's Disease. I keep hearing about all sorts of different symptoms and some of them I have and some I don't. Likewise, I have symptoms that no one else seems to have. We all share some sort of generalized stuff, but then we put our own “spin” on things. I suffer mostly in my upper body, which includes my head, especially my brain. I can still walk and do a sort-of run pretty well.


Race-walkers; so competitive. Once you get over how ridiculous it looks, you get drawn in by the race to the finish line. They always take it down to the wire; I guess it's the nature of the sport. Fun!

Of course, we already know we can kiss the eyesight goodbye. It's 20/20 in both of them, but not at the same time; it's like a really crappy kaleidoscope. If I am able to focus, then my brain refuses to see 1 of anything. It sees 2. Go figure. I'm so used to this, if by some miracle it could be fixed, I'd walk into everything in my path. As of now, I have no “path,” I just walk kind of sideways, but at least there is forward motion. It's rather more like a controlled fall. The only time I came close to losing it was when the neurology intern took away my cane and made me walk up and down their hall. I should have gotten whackamole back and beat her about the head and shoulders! What a jerk!


Not "millions," you moron. I said "billions." It's "billions of lives are at stake! No wonder you can't talk!
Now, talking is getting to be a riot. My voice is getting weak and hoarse and I get tongue-tied and stutter at times. JC doesn't hear very well, so I get to make all the phone calls. Last night, we decided on pizza; Dominos. Oh goody! I not only get to call them, there's the added pressure (put on me, by myself) of making sure the order is right. So, I'm excited. When I experiencee any type of extreme emotion (C'mon, it's ONLY pizza, for God's sake. You're not Jack Bauer and millions of lives are not at stake!) I start getting tremors... everywhere, pretty much. So, after I've successfully leapt the hurdle of ordering, I now have to provide the dreaded debit card number. I open my mouth and say, “lBlurk grik orutu lljljll no?” JC hollers from across the room, “Good God, why are you so tongue-tied?” (He's still getting used to this.) I can't help it. I just burst into laughter. Laughter is good for PD, or Parkies. It's like crack. We produce endorphins when we laugh. The guy on the phone is all, huh?


Getting JC to smile for a picture is impossible. You have to sneakphotograph to get this! He's talking to an old friend and all they do, is laugh. Works for me. JC, savior of cats and love of my life!

I explained to him what was up with me and said, “you gotta admit, it's funny.” So, he started to laugh, too. I was able then to give him the card number and we chatted for a few minutes. He's recently lost his job in the construction industry, where he's worked for over 20 years. I said, “Oh, I am so very sorry. I hope you land something soon.” He said, “Lady, you're amazin'. I wish you well. It'll be okay.” I said, “I know; it is already. Take care.”

So, this whole thing is like Florida and Michigan weather; if you don't like your current symptom, wait 5 minutes, it will change. Some of them are just flat-out annoying and ridiculous. My favorite was the 3-day festival of underside-tongue-tip-twitching. And that was all that was going on. It drove me bonkers. I mean, WTF? I've heard of similar stories from other people. Another top 10 in the hit parade is the Pseudo Bulbar Affective Disorder. Just the name is enough to give you tics. What it is, is this: you cry at nothing, and you laugh at everything inappropriate, or in questionable taste. Huh? I would just call that a matter of taste. Guess what? There's a pill for it. Like there is for Asperger, which I've had all my life. I call that “doesn't play well with others.” My teachers called it that, as well. So, doctors, you can keep your pills. The side effects are bad; “sightings of the dead, levitation, horn and cloven hoof sprouting.” I'll pass.

One other thing that happens and has since I had my psychotic break is dementia (and who doesn't love a little dementia? I have friends who say they can't tell the difference) caused by my precipitous drops in sugar. It will go from 150 to 47 in less than 30 minutes. At first, I didn't recognize the signs and it would hit really hard. I couldn't recognize things, I felt like I was seeing God, that I was dying and every neuron in my body would fire at once. As soon as I drank some orange juice, it would stop. I am not diabetic and this is very common. The lack of Levo-dopa (the chemical that helps to regulate our autonomic functions) that my brain no longer produces causes this and a whole host of other really neat-o, keen and fun stuff. Like heart rate, (about 120 beats a minute) and a bunch of other junk I can't remember now.

So, I have all this great stuff: Parkinson's Disease, which in fact caused my Bipolar I disorder, Asperger and somehow this Pseudo Bulbar Affective Disorder latched on, most definitely with the PD, because I didn't cry a lot. My mom wouldn't allow it, and it's a habit I carried into adulthood. I've always laughed, so, I guess I just picked up the other half, but I didn't truly start all of this until after my psychotic break which was caused by my PD to begin with. Round and round. Very chic, designed just for me; and if I don't like it, I wait. Generally, my health is good, even with bits and pieces falling off. I fell last night for the first time in over 2 years. I caught myself and landed on my right knee and it hurts like a BITCH! But, I don't feel that crisis of confidence when I was falling all the time. I'm strong now and just have a sore knee to go with my lip leprosy.

A little note here about Sunday's Check in. I am privileged to know a wonderful gentleman, by the name of Terry Carroll. He has published a truly awesome and charming book called “Among the Fourth Graders.” He has been generous and kind enough to send me my very own, hardback and signed copy (SQUEE!) and 3 paperback copies. I am going to be quoting some excerpts and reviews (it's flat out marvelous) and I'd like to interview him, I would love you all to stay tuned and we'll have a book give-away!


 
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