When last week’s bad days are this week’s good days, you’re in trouble.  I certainly am.  As each week passes, I find there is less and less I can do.  Today, my attitude sucks!  There are things I want to do but can’t.  About the only thing I still can do is write but writing uplifting articles is becoming more difficult.  Part of me wants to quit writing rather than write depressing material.  Part of me wants to document the effects of having to live with a degenerative disease and the progression from an active, healthy individual to an invalid.

I used to encourage/push my chronically ill patients to concentrate on what was good in life rather than on what was bad.  I used to push antidepressants despite their side effects and the patient’s pill burden.  I had full time counselors in my office to help my depressed patients find happiness or, at least, be less depressed.  Now I question if any of those interventions really made sense.

Pill burden is real.  Despite taking meds 5 times a day, I still watch myself failing.  Does living to take pills really make sense?  I’m not sure, but I do it anyway.  Coming from a physician, it may sound like heresy, but I really can’t see adding an antidepressant to the mix.  I’m dealing with enough side effects as is.  Besides, the physical destruction of my body is NOT from depression.

The best medicine is still being with Renee, our children and grandchildren.   

Renee is my mainstay; and, right now, her back is out.  RJ, my grandson is a natural born caregiver.  At six, he’s amazingly loving and low maintenance.  Just feed him Chick-Fil-A breakfast, lunch and dinner and he is content.  Unfortunately, I can’t do much more with him right now and I fear his memories of me will be as bad as my memories my grandfather’s Parkinson’s.  I can’t imagine what his 6-year-old mind thinks when he sees my stutter stepping and body freezing.  Today has been unusually bad. 

What’s truly scary is that, if my body follows its usual course, today’s really bad day will be next week’s good day and I don’t know how much longer I can do this for.  One of my patients used to say, “life sucks and then you die.”  I didn’t believe him.  So, I medicated him and had him in counseling and then he died.  Did I do any good?  I thought so. I’m no longer sure that he wasn’t right. 

If you are a physician, understand that with all of your training, you can’t possibly imagine what it really feels like to be chronically ill or have a degenerative disease.  The “LF” I wrote about a few days go becomes extra important.  Perhaps there should be a new specialty whose requirement for certification should be along the line of “been there and done that” and survived.  In other words, one should have had or have the disease he/she is treating.  I certainly would be better at treating Parkinson’s today than I was 10 years ago.

This is the last of my morbid articles.  If I can’t say anything good, I won’t publish anything.  Hopefully, I still have some good lessons/thoughts to share with you.

Here’s your music for the day and a joke. 

The old man sees an older woman sitting on a bench by herself and decides to sit by her. They make small talk for a little bit, and it is obvious to her that the old man is into her. 

He asks her if she’d be interested in holding his penis for a while. She thinks he’s cute, and she hasn’t seen a man’s penis in decades, so she says ok and holds the man’s penis. 

They do this on and off for a week straight. One day the woman is sitting on the bench and the man doesn’t show up. Another day passes and still no sign of the pervy old man. She wonders if he is ok and hopes nothing bad has happened to him. 

She gets up and decides to start walking home. Further into the park she notices the old man sitting on a bench with another woman and she’s holding the man’s penis. 

Upset she runs up to him and asks, “What does she have that I don’t have?”

The man looks up at her and says “Parkinson’s”.

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