Category Archives: Parkinson’s Disease

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….

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…

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…

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,…

Prescription Hope

On November 5, 2015 – the anniversary of Guy Fawkes and his Catholic crew’s attempt to blow up the British Parliament in 1605 – my world was blown up with a diagnosis. “Could it be anything else?”
I asked the head of UCLA’s Movement Disorder Clinic “No, it’s Parkinson’s Disease,”  he replied. There was never denial…

Neuro Normal…

On a crisp November morning, an esteemed neurologist confirms what I already know. “It’s Parkinson’s Disease.” “Could it be anything else?” “No. You have PD. But I have patients who are in their eighties and nineties – and I know that you’ll be one of those too.” Learning that one has a neurodegenerative disease is…

Crazy?!

I am losing my mind. Am I’m losing it to my Parkinson’s Disease?  To age? To maladies yet to be diagnosed? I stare into space, trying desperately to remember what was right there, right there, on the tip of my tongue just moments ago. Then it hits me: I have children. It’s not the Parkinson’s…

Flu Fret

“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” Well, then, I am lacking. I am afflicted. But so are many. My conditions are my constant companions. They’ll shuffle along this mortal coil with me for as long as I shuffle along upon it.  But there is a gift in my conditional state: my chronic ailments…

Parkie Steps

There is no challenge that duct tape can’t overcome in the right hands. My husband has such hands. There is a pesky, Parkie peculiarity pertaining to stairs. Specifically–walking down them. When I look down, I see the step as if I’m wearing reading glasses and looking at a distant object. The challenge is heightened when…

The Touch

I Have the Touch* Of a community that doesn’t want me afflicted. Of literal embrace. Of phones that would be answered in the middle of the night. I am touched. “Have you heard?” “No, what?” “I have Parkinson’s Disease,” I share my then-recent diagnosis as I join the parent posse outside of our children’s school….

Delusion-Less

“Do you have delusions?” asked my husband while we were watching TV, reacting to the commercial that just aired. “No!” I said emphatically. Delusions of grandeur? Perhaps. But the people who are in my room are there in the flesh.  And they’re usually asking for something.  True, I do hallucinate occasionally that my children aren’t…

A Terrible Beauty

Throughout time, great physicists and soldiers put their heads together to create.  In Wuppertal-Elberfeld Germany in 1938, in Los Alamos in 1945. They combined their superior intellect for its seemingly highest purpose— to create a stronger pesticide, to split the atom—all to improve our lives. Instead they gave us the threads to sew our own…

White Picket Fence

I had a vision for my life.  Perfection of the sort seen on big screens and small greeting cards everywhere.  I had a vision of my life – and then I lived it. The white picket fence with the blended family of four – two steps, two bios — all living happily together, memorialized in…

Claw Fret

I’m a huge fan of Jim Carrey’s “Liar, Liar,” about a workaholic attorney who loses his ability to … well… massage the truth… and in so doing becomes a better person and father.  I’m particularly fond of Carrey’s Claw routine when his arm is possessed by a loving ‘Tickle Monster’. My husband and I enjoyed…

Laughter Fret

I think about mortality as much as the next 51-year-old – maybe more so because I have a neuro-degenerative disease that may result in disability, dementia or death – but not now. I’m here and quite alright now. And now is the only gift that we are guaranteed so hope that you’ll join me and embrace it….

Parkie Reveal Part II – Shop Away the Fears

The day after we told my mother about my twitch was sunny and beautiful. The type of Saturday that makes Palm Beach appealing even to those of us from postcard-worthy LA. Naturally, my mother and daughter decided on an indoor activity – shopping.Shopping is my daughter’s and mother’s ‘thing’. As my daughter puts it, “I…