September 27, 2019
It’s 4 am and I’m awake again. This is crappy! Occupying my time until the rest of the world awakens is not easy. I read and write but sometimes that’s just not enough. When the sun comes up, I take my first walk of the day. Coffee, and breakfast and exercise fill some of my solo time. Finally, Renee’s awake, and I have someone to talk to (and bug). Retirement might be nice if I was well, although I doubt it.
Recently, one of my friends turned me on to the educational and entertainment attributes of YouTube. This morning I discovered Dr Okun’s lecture on Parkinson’s. He’s a professor of neurology and a Parkinson’s specialist in Florida. One of his slides really hit home! The slide stated:
“The four simple words, ‘you have Parkinson’s disease’ will pierce the heart and drain the dreams of 50,000+ people worldwide each year.
After I finished crying, I realized that Parkinson’s had done that to me! My grandfather and father had Parkinson’s and the memories of how it affected them haunt me, much like a Steven King novel might.
Dr Okun takes a hopeful approach when he talks about Parkinson’s. He quotes Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha as saying “Every challenge you encounter in life is a fork in the road. You have the choice to choose which way to go: backward, forward, breakdown or breakthrough.”
Well, I’ve been at the fork for years now and I’ve gone in 3 of the four directions. Currently, I’m in breakdown. To be more precise, I’m broken! I’m also busting my ass trying to get up and “breakthrough” to the healthier side.
The gist of Dr. Okun’s lecture is that exercise is a critical component of treating Parkinson’s. He recommends that exercise be started before the diagnosis is made and continued throughout the course of the disease. THAT SUCKS!! I HATE EXERCISE!! I championed exercise for years, recommending it to pretty much all of my patients. Unfortunately, I never made time for it. Time to pay the piper.
The next lecture covered the genetic nature of Parkinson’s. Yes, like my grandfather and father, I’ve possibly cursed my progeny. Basically, the professor giving the lecture stated, “Genes load the gun and environment pulls the trigger.” Listen kids! Find time to exercise every day forever! (Erin, Jeremy, Lisa: pay attention) Unfortunately, the environment he talks about includes foods. So now not only do I have to exercise but I need to clean up my diet.
Whoopy! Parkinson’s pulls you backward. Going forward is going to be difficult and require the exercise I successfully avoided for 65 years. Breakdown sucks. Breakthrough is a pipe dream.
Time to go exercise. Yeh.