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Category: Parkinson’s Disease

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The Language of Lemons

The Language of Lemons

“I brought you some lemons,” she said, showing me a bowl brimming with sunny spheres. “Thank you,” I replied to my longtime housekeeper. That’s one of the blessings of living in Southern California, stuff grows. I mean everything, everywhere. Citrus trees are fecund with fruit. “One tree will serve a whole family,” says my husband. “No one plants just one,” say I. Thus, the largesse on our countertop. “The other lady I work for said I could take as many as I wanted, and I know you need to use a lot of lemons.” “Thank you.” I do use a lot of them. Thanks to Dr. Laurie Mischley I take my Parkie pills (and several complementary supplements prescribed by the… READ MORE

Awareness

Awareness

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. I am quite aware I have Parkinson’s. I bet other twitchers are too. What good does awareness do? Does it help the outstretched hands of non-profits? “Now that you’re aware of fill-in-the-blank will you write a check?”  Maybe. Every day of every month someone is trying to make me aware of something through one campaign or another. And reassuring me that the price of this newfound, now essential awareness is a donation – any amount helps… $500 (or more) is suggested. Frankly, the only people whose radar I’d like Parkinson’s Awareness Month to ping are doctors, researchers, scientists, drug developers and their brethren. To all of you, those of you who can turn awareness into research… READ MORE

The Faraway Nearby

The Faraway Nearby

“Georgia O’Keeffe moved to rural New Mexico, from which she would sign her letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway nearby.” It was a way to measure physical and psychic geography together. Emotion has its geography, affection is what is nearby, within the boundaries of the self. You can be a thousand miles from the person next to you in bed or deeply invested in the survival of a stranger on the other side of the world.” Rebecca Solnit Of late, I feel that my muse, the talent that sometimes I believe is mine, is “faraway nearby,” caught in the purgatory of almost. I read the fragments on my screen and wonder how to connect the thought dots.… READ MORE

Tears

Tears

“Do you ever cry?” asked the blue-suited banker as our formal lunch segued from spreadsheets to stories. “I had a very dark weekend when I was first diagnosed.” Reflexively, I share the story of the weekend after my Thursday diagnosis almost five years ago. In truth, I barely cried then – the reality of the diagnosis left me more numb than weepy. “Do you ever cry?” The question spins in my head. Occasionally, my tears flow. When I see yet another skill diminish my eyes well up with thoughts of what used to be.  I type quickly, but not at the near warp speed of a court stenographer that was my habit before my left hand trembled. I rage at… READ MORE

Hand’s Solo

Hand’s Solo

This post originally appeared on the Parkinson’s Community LA Blog in the fall of 2019. In honor of James Parkinson’s birthday (April 11, 1755) I am reposting it here.  My left-hand dances to a beat all its own. It doesn’t need a partner or even music. The digits just flutter.  Constantly. Faster when I’m cold, slower when I’m well-rested. Sometimes my hand’s compass points north, then gyrates south; sometimes it boogies east to west. My hand – like most Parkinson’s patients – is still only when I slumber, yet another neurological oddity on this disease’s idiopathic path. Progression is inevitable, but not necessarily terminal. As my dopamine-producing cells continue marching into That Good Night, my body will offer a plethora… READ MORE

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