Can I slow down the aging process to ease my way into becoming elderly? Join me on this journey.

MY PARKINSON'S REPORT: I feel tremors inside of my head

IMG_6786-2

In the almost four months since i've been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, it has been a wild ride.  My gait has changed dramatically with steps requiring me to concentrate on going "heel-toe" for each step.  Not only that.  I now walk with a walking stick that my grandsons seem to enjoy using too.

Besides that I have trouble getting out of bed and have trouble getting off the toilet.  Going up and down steps has become more of a chore, especially the just below the surface feeling that I could lose my balance.

Most recently have been the tremors with my head.  However, my wife-Gladys has watched me carefully and has seen no movement in my head.  Nevertheless, I feel the movement inside my head.  It feels like constant movement, even though it doesn't show.  

Right at this moment it has slowed down, but it can come back at any time.  What does this all mean?  I have no idea.  The way I understand Parkinsons can present itself a variety of ways.

Is this frustrating me?  It could very easily.  So far I've been able to fend off the serious frustration.  It's like having a double-feature playing inside my head while this is happening.

 


Here’s what I like about Dearborn Christian Fellowship:

2460537E-0366-4B69-90BE-878F88A60759

I’ve checked in on Swarm five different times at Dearborn Christian Fellowship in the town that made Henry Ford a household name.  I’m now the Swarm mayor which means absolutely nothing.

What impressed me was to make a seeming difference in the lives of people who go to church there, especially the kids who attend like my four grandkids who are active there.  Because of a seeming partnership between  their parents and the church, they know who Jesus is.  Their lives will revolve around that relationship.

I was touched by other things, like:

  • My son-in-law bringing me a cup of hot coffee as the service was beginning without concern that an elder would admonish him about bringing caffeine into the service.
  • Then there was the banner to the right of the pastor giving the sermon.  It was a reminder that “God Fights Our Battles.”  I presume this includes guys like me fighting Parkinson’s Disease.
  • There was the young family sitting behind us who were extraordinarily friendly.  It seemed sincere.

Did I experience the presence of God there?  You bet.  He was there.  I saw him through other people.


I got really pissed off this morning at my Parkinson's Disease

IMG_6786-2

I allowed myself to really get pissed off, angry and frustrated with my Parkinson's Disease.  It's my voice.  I can't carry-on a conversation with anybody other than myself and that's not been too stellar lately.

I want to be able to talk and hold a conversation with my wife, my kids and my grandkids.  I want to be able to talk over the phone and hold a decent conversation with anybody without getting frustrated about not being able to form my thoughts into clearly understood words.

This morning sitting on the couch as we read our email, Facebook and news stories, I tried to share what I was reading.  But I had trouble getting my voice to carry to the other end of the couch.  That ticked me off.  I could have cussed, cried and complained.

I hadn't yet done my exercises that I learned in speech therapy for Parkinson patients.  I asked my wife to measure me on her decibel meter on her phone.  

When we sat at the kitchen table to do them, I found that I was still totally frustrated.  I tried to flat hand our oak table.

Using my frustration, aka anger, I belted out some of the strongest and clearest voice yet.  I need to be able to box up that frustration and save it for when I want to talk.  I'll try this out when I talk with my friend Ken over the phone at noon when he and I do a Bible study together about Jesus.

I pray that God will give me the power to not let PD become a prison for me.  With his help, I can beat this.  I need my wife and my family to get this done.

I've just added doing a TED talk to my bucket list.


The best years of my life have been the past 38 being married to Gladys

 

Today is our 38th anniversary of being married.  If I ever doubt the presence of God or the reality of his existence, all I have to do is think of being married to Gladys.  What gives our relationship vitality is our mutual relationship with God.  

Our family started at two and now numbers twelve.  It's further proof of the love of God and his existence.  My memory bank is filled with so many kid and grandkid memories.

We've shared all this, whether it was the birth of our first child, our daughter Krista.  She carried her for nine months, but it was an experience that we shared.  The night that my late mother died, Gladys was there too.

And there's everything in between.  We've entered a new phase of our life.  

What are we going to do to celebrate.  We're going for a sandwich at a place in Mason called the Vault.

Thank-you God for Gladys.


Bill Thompson, a friend and former colleague, just wrote a book about his career as a Great Lakes broadcaster

 

IMG_6862-2

IMG_6859 2

Bill Thompson's book about his career as a Great Lakes Broadcaster is just starting to hit the bookshelves at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  It's worth picking up if you fall into one of two groups:  you remember when radio news dominated the airwaves with what was happening or you're really young and have no memories of the glory days of radio news when a radio personality was in more living rooms and kitchens than any politician.

Bill's broadcast footprint over the past four decades was huge.  For a lot of people around the state he was a voice that could be trusted.  He gave them the latest-greatest of what was happening at the State Capitol and what was happening in agriculture around the state.

I got to know Bill during the 12 years I was pressroom manager at the State Capitol.  I was a conduit for news happenings between the legislature and state government.  He came to me to learn where the restrooms were and for news happenings.  

He was one of a large contingent of radio news types covering state government.  They had the ability to do an interview or news conference and get it on the air quickly.  They were from all over the state of Michigan.  Bill was a mainstay of that group.

His book is chockfull of stories based on a career spent in Great Lakes Radio.  Lots of names and lots of stations.

And if you look closely you'll see a picture of me sitting on my throne in the old pressroom at the State Capitol.

I would recommend his book.  The title "My Life As A Great Lakes Broadcaster."  It's also on Amazon, including a Kindle e-book.