Posts in My PD Journey
Boxing Gloves and Paint Brushes

So where to begin, honestly, I have no idea. I guess it starts six weeks ago with my diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. It hit me like a load of bricks. Well, actually, it didn’t. I wasn’t surprised at all. It wasn’t a shock, totally expected. So what to do with the diagnosis then… lay back, get sick, rollover… NAH, I was energized. Within two weeks of my diagnosis, I had attended four support groups, joined seven Facebook PD groups, started a blog with my wife(that turned into a full-blown website) and bought a treadmill. If I’m going down, I’m going down “all in” I figured.

The engagement I have on Facebook is mostly with people who are worse off than me, typically a lot worse. And among those peeps, there’s a lot of chatter about rocksteady boxing. I looked up rocksteady boxing in Colorado Springs and found… Two gyms, both over 70 miles away. That does me no good. What is a guy to do? I’ll tell you, you start your own gym. Backtrack two weeks to a support group where I Met Emily the PT. Emily has big plans for newly diagnosed for group wanted to meet to discuss. I have big plans for a new gym.  So, we get together and chat. During our discussion over coffee, Emily informed me there are multiple boxing classes, and big and loud classes, and power classes, and delay the disease classes, and cycling glasses, soon to be water aerobics classes, you get the picture. On top of that, they’re all free paid for by the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies and free for participants. Rocksteady boxing gym idea down the toilet. But Emily says, art, what we really need is art for our PD community.

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Overpacking (or as subtitled by Mo "A Stellar Wife")

I used to travel for work a LOT.  Back before my son was born I was a consultant for a company that had me on the road at least one full week a month.  Some jobs I would stay onsite for weeks and only come home for weekends.  I don’t travel as much now, but packing has gotten harder.  The older I get, the harder it is to leave home and the more of my home life I end up wanting to take with me.  Of course, you can always buy what you need if you forget it, but many of the things I use and love are things you can’t go to Walmart or Target and replace. (That is a whole other post, lol).   As a result, I am a classic over packer.

Every what-if scenario gets consideration.  It’s springtime and sunny so short sleeves for sure except that I always get cold and it might rain so long sleeves and maybe we will go somewhere nice for dinner but I’m not sure if it will be really nice or semi-casual, so I need several choices for dress up.  Don’t even get me started on the pants and shoes to match these choices, or the pile of workout clothes that still need to be tucked in there somewhere…. This last trip also included all my rug-hooking clobber, so this time I actually needed a second suitcase to cram it all in. 

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"Badass Treadmill"

So my dear wife bought me a new toy. A NordicTrack “1750 bad ass treadmill”, really, that’s what it says on the side. This thing is a beast. Basically, it is desktop computer with a spinning tread. It’s pretty amazing. The problem being, I have some thoughts on exercise. Uh, exercise sucks. I think it’s safe to say I haven’t done anything that could be considered exercise for at least the past seven years. A stint or two at a gym or two that might have lasted three weeks tops. That would be the extent of it. I don’t “do exercise.” Back in the day, and were talking 30 years ago, I was quite athletic: biking, scaling Mountains, climbing rocks… Generally fit and rather buff. Those days are long gone as is my will to exercise. Enter Parkinson’s. Everyone says exercise, exercise,

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Cherries On Your Sundae

I'm still in recovery mode from my vacay/staycay in St. Louis. I was way out of my normal eating mode, eating every snack mom had in the house, plus eating the Gooey Butter Cake that I cannot get anywhere except St. Louis. If you have never had it, fly immediately to St. Louis and get a piece. Maybe have another before you fly home. Maybe grab an extra piece for the plane ride.  Did I mention I also took home a pan of walnut squares in my carry-on? Thanks mom, they were gone within 24 hours of arriving home. :)

So here I sit, bloated and uncomfortable, trying to get back into my routine of work and exercise and being an annoying slightly-helicopter-end-of-school-year-parent to my seventeen year old son, and of course being a care partner. My thoughts today and the last few days have been about relationships, especially the ones that have been established and moving along for a long time before PD became part of the vocabulary. 

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It's Quiet... Too Quiet...

I'm back from my little vacation that was more like a staycation, even though I was in a different city.  It was nice to get out of my house for a little while and escape this pit that all of us have probably experienced around the time of diagnosis – the hole you fell into where it was ALL PD, ALL THE TIME.  It’s all you think about and worry about and talked about and stress about and it becomes an inescapable thing.  Lucky me, I got to climb out of the pit for a little while and breathe some non-PD air.  Unfortunately, I left Mo in the pit for a little while.  There is definitely some guilt that goes along with the notion that you the care partner can exit the building, while your Parkie is stuck.  However, I think we have to let the guilt go if we can, because those moments of ‘freedom’ might be few and far between, and we have to accept the respite from stress when we can get it.  And let’s face it, your Parkie may be grateful for the quiet and break from the constant chatter about PD as well.  It might be nice not to be reminded about Parkinson’s every minute of the day.  Have you taken your pills?  How’s your tremor today?  Are you having trouble swallowing?  Is that dosage of C/L still working?  You need to exercise.  When’s your next neuro appointment?  So, maybe a break for Mo, too.

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11 things I learned... 5.5.18

Spent the day today with 200 of my closest friends at a Parkinson’s symposium here in Colorado Springs. Guest speakers- neurologists, PTs, OT’s, STs and the like, vendors and door prizes! (I didn’t win anything)

Things I learned today:

1.       Now that I’m on carbidopa-levodopa I can fill out a name tag without my wife. It’s been a good while since I’ve been able to fill out a name tag that anyone else could read.

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Grief... short and sweet

Greetings peeps. Have a BS in psychology which makes me totally unqualified to discuss the following subject, but here I go anyway. Thoughts today are swirling around grief …in terms of Kubler Ross’ definition. She described five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. When this theory first came out it was presumed one traveled through these stages in order, denial to acceptance. The theory has evolved over the years and now it is assumed that you bop back and forth between all the stages over time.

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I'm No Superman

The inspiration to write does not come easily to me. Participating in a blog with my wife is almost ironic on some levels; not a great sharer, not a great writer, and my follow through on such things leaves something to be desired. Figuring out what to write about, also, is a challenge, one that I'm not sure I will always be up to. My guess is my wife will post more than I will. My guess is I will respond to comments, feedback (and our soon to come forum) and do admin tasks more than she will. Like all things, this will be a balancing act and delegation of duties, not unlike our marriage ; )

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Greetings peeps

Well, here goes nothing... My wife (Tami) and I (Mo) are setting off on a joint venture to explore all things Parkinson's... I, at the ripe old age of 49 have PD  and at the tender age of 46, Tami became a 'caregiver'. We thought we would document our path(s) together in one place. The PD  was diagnosed last Friday the 13th, 2018... Yes, just 4 days ago. 

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