Tuesday, May 13, 2014


    My thoughts after reading the New Yorker's article on Parkinson's Disease, April 28, 2014,  "Have You lost Your Mind?" ---

Apparently, many people who have PD are ashamed and/or embarrassed about the diagnosis.   Do they see it as a personal failure?   Or, maybe a defect?

My personal attitude is that 
1) it's not a personal failure - because, as far as I know, I had nothing to do with acquiring it,
2) and yes, it's a defect.  So What?  Does that make me "bad" or "undesirable"?     No way!

I've had a lot of personal success over the past 60 years, creating a strong self-image  (good news) - but, also strong enough to foster an un-healthy level of pride and independence (bad news -  too much of anything can become a negative, IMHO.)

Actually, I want people to know that I have PD.  I want people to know 'why' I look and respond the way I do.  Most of the time I'm smiling inside - something  desperately lacking in my demeanor.  (I've tried to notify my face, but unfortunately it doesn't respond to my mental commands  very well.) 

Because I had DBS surgery, My Parkinson's tremor is gone -- however, my speech has been extremely impacted.  I recently made a calling card to help break the ice with strangers:  
Today, at age 63, Parkinson's is not a 'career buster' for me, but rather a journey to a new place - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Fortunately, my diagnosis came at a time in my life when my vocation was morphing into a technological rat race.  I had been pleased with my accomplishments by age 55, but not necessarily excited about chasing the learning curve of the tech/video future.    (Maybe that apathy was a non-motor symptom of PD -- undetected at the time)   I was ready for a change - but not necessarily Parkinson's

Now, mind you, I'm not a stranger to change - having lived in numerous locations from:
               Philadelphia to Anchorage,   New York City to Detroit,
               North Hollywood to Modesto,  Sacramento and Yuba City, CA.  

Currently residing in North San Diego County, in retirement, I look back at the many hats I've worn since the 1960's: 
o   professional musician, magician/entertainer;  laborer/carpenter on the Alaska Pipeline;
o   construction superintendant;  racquetball and fitness club manager/owner; 
o   roller skating rink owner/operator;  Independent Business Owner with Amway Global; 
o   professional videographer  and audiovisual contractor,  producer/director. 

To be certain, I've had a very full life and my bucket list is small.  I'm sure there will be some surprises yet to come, but I have learned that  adversity happens.  How we respond to adversity determines our well-being in this life...and potentially, it determines our status in the next life to come. 

I don't like Parkinson's Disease.   It has grossly altered the dynamics of our lives - Beckie, our children and grandkids have been negatively impacted.  It has forced us into a place of pain and emotional trauma - a place, in some small way reminiscent of the trouble encountered by the ancient patriarch, JOB...a place of psychological and philosophical drama...a place,  however, where I am learning about faith and hope.  A place  where I'm connecting with my Creator -

A place where the 'glass is half full' --- always.