WILL POWER

Have you seen my friend, Will Power?  Will and I have been hanging out together since I published my book.  Will’s my best friend.  He’s the sensible one, always keeping me out of trouble.  With Will Power at my side, I have flourished.

Today, Will and I walked into the Garden Fresh Super Market together.  Will thought we should stop for lunch first but I was in a hurry to get home and prepare dinner.  On entering the store I noted an attractive young woman standing at a table selling her goods, so I stopped to see what she was offering.  Will was with me one minute and gone the next.  I figured he wandered off for a moment and would return shortly.  Mr. Will Power is a loyal friend; he wouldn’t abandon me!

Anyway, this young woman was sampling a multitude of cheese spreads on delicious, gluten free, crunchy, whole grain crackers.  Any idiot knows not to walk into a grocery store when he is hungry but I figured I was safe since Will Power was with me.  Unfortunately, with Will missing in action, I was doomed!  They sure were delicious.  All seven varieties!

I quickly gained my composure and started searching for Will.  Searching the aisle at Garden Fresh was like maneuvering through a mine field.  One aisle over was another sampling of cheesy treats.  Two more aisles to the north and I was accosted by samples of fresh baked goods.  

I figured Will Power would be waiting for me in the healthy produce area so I ate my way through the mine field, seeking refuge in the green leafy aisles.  They were waiting for me and Will was nowhere in sight!  Taco salsa and guacamole dip and chips tripped me as I turned the corner.  They assaulted my mouth with jalapeño peppers.  Over by the celery was another woman, offering tastes of hot dogs and queso blanco.  I searched for Will while working my way towards safety in the fruit aisle and the hope of getting to the checkout counter without any other treats.

I’m home now.  I’m calling everyone, asking for help finding my friend.  I’m not worried about Mr. Will Power.  He’s tough and can handle himself.  I’m worried about me.  Without Will Power, I’m afraid I’ll fall off the wagon.  I know what they say, “If you fall three times, get up four;” but, without Will Power’s help, it’s going to be tough.

When I find Will, I’ll apologize for not listening to him.  I’ll never go grocery shopping when hungry again.  I’ll also walk right by pretty young women peddling their wares.  

If you see my friend Will, tell him I miss him!

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MY BLOG

In 2013, I wrote, “The problem is that I can’t quit!  Not caring for my patients would be like not breathing!  I’m a doc and I’m old school.  I believe my profession is a calling, not a business to be run by corporate America or the government.  I can’t imagine not taking care of Nolan, or JJ, or Hadley, or 1,000 other souls I am entrusted with.”

Six years later and I’m retired, not by choice, but out of necessity. Nine months into retirement and I still can’t breathe. I wake up every morning wanting to dress and go to the office.  Instead, I go to my computer and write.

This blog is my way of communicating with my patients old and new (readers). It’s also helping me breathe.  In reviewing my old articles, I have a rare opportunity.  I get the benefit of listening to a younger me lecturing the old me on how to live with Parkinsons and recover and maintain as much “Wellth” as possible.

Unfortunately, my blog is poorly organized, making it next to impossible for a new reader to see what’s available.  There are 121 articles published so far.  While they contain 40 years of accumulated knowledge, you have to scroll through a lot of material to find what you are looking for.  If any of you know WordPress and want to pitch in, let me know.  In the meantime, please make sure you are sending links to your friends and family.

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NEW YEARS PART 2

I don’t get it!  Sure, New Year’s Eve is a great excuse to party but what’s with New Year’s resolutions?  Today, my patient proclaimed, “On New Year’s Eve, I’m quitting!  It really didn’t matter if he was quitting smoking, eating, or drinking alcohol.  New Year’s Eve is his magic moment to correct his last 20 years of sins against his body.

“It’s the New Year. You resolve to diet tomorrow. For sure! Tomorrow you will feast on tofu lumps and carrot chunks and swear off nachos for the entire millennium. Never again will a chocolate éclair or an ice-cold beer greet your lips. At dinner, you will munch on fricassee of algae while dishing up crispy fried chicken for the family. When you go out to eat, you’ll graze on cauliflower and kale stalks, oblivious to the ambient aroma of sizzling sirloin and the mouthwatering sight of the chocolate truffles at the next table. In the evening, you’ll sip your second gallon of water for the day while you catch the news, the weather report, and the commercials for juicy burgers with cheese fries. You’ll quit smoking, give up the booze, and never cuss again.

As for exercise, you’ll sign up for triathlons and join the local boxing gym.  No more driving to work. You’ll park the car 5 miles away so that you can sprint through the crowds, perfecting your jumping jacks as you go. You’ll leap up the stairs, 2 at a time, to your 10th floor office, skip down the hall to the water cooler, and practice squats at your desk. After work, it’s off to aerobics class before you race home to pedal to Peoria on your exercise bike. Tomorrow! Absolutely! Positively!  You are looking forward to it as much as having a root canal except root canals are quicker. 

You’ll run away with your wife, go to Paris, make love from dusk to dawn.  When you get back, you’ll take the kids to Disney.  Since you are going to be fit, you’ll climb Mount Everest.  You’ll do everything you’ve ever dreamed of tomorrow.  Today, you’ll work to pay for it. 

Today is the day you make a killing in the market!  You’ll quit your job, buy expensive cars and houses.  You’ll spend a few hours a day managing your funds.  Today is the day!  You would pray on it if you had not forgotten how.” (excerpt from “Diets and Other Unnatural Acts”).

So, why is New Year’s Eve so special?  Is it that the new year brings new hope?  If so, why wait until January 1 to resolve to change your life for the better?  Why can’t your new year and new life start today?  It seems to me that any day is a good day to quit whatever unhealthy habits you have and resolve to find happiness and “Wellth!”  Wouldn’t it be better if every day brought hopes of a better and healthier future?  Rather than resolving to change our lives for the better once a year on January 1, wouldn’t resolving to do better on a daily basis have a more enduring effect?

New Year’s Eve is a time when we let go of the past and look to the future.  We wish our friends and family a happy and healthy new year.  We even greet strangers by wishing them well.

When you wake up every morning, try letting go of the past and look to the future.  Resolve to have a better day than yesterday.  Wish someone well.  I know people may look at you as if you are weird but wish everyone you meet a happy and healthy new day.  I bet you’ll feel better.  

New Year’s resolutions are often short lived.  New day resolutions only need to survive 24 hours!  This new day, resolve to be happier and healthier.  Resolve to find “Wellth!”  May every day be better than the last!  May every day bring you hope and joy!

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