PD Community Blog

Book Review: on Carrying the Black Bag

Monday August 28, 2017

Dr. Tom Hutton spent most of his professional life as a neurologist in Texas, teaching medical students at Texas Tech and seeing patients, many of whom had Parkinson’s. Carrying the Black Bag is a bagful of stories. Some are autobiographical, such as the long chapter about how a thumb injury in a high school football practice led to his becoming a doctor rather than a lawyer.

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Make Anger Your Ally

Monday August 21, 2017

One thing I did not expect to feel when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease was anger. Terror? Well, yeah! Depression? I should say so! Disappointment? No jive! But anger? Anger at whom? And anger about what, exactly?

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The Parkinson's Life (You Should Be So Lucky)

Monday August 14, 2017

I know, I know it’s a counter intuitive title and for some, it may be right off putting. But recently, I’ve been reminded again that within every cloud there is that sliver of a silver lining.

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Distractible Me

Monday August 07, 2017

Remember the good old days when Parkinson’s Disease was thought to be a problem centered in the substantia nigra, a tiny structure in the deep brain? Good times! We thought if we could just discipline this wayward little piece of our mind, we could solve the problem of Parkinson’s. Now we are sadder but wiser, aware of changes elsewhere in the brain, and beyond, that tell us the problem is more widespread than we assumed.

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Parkinson's Takes Guts

Monday July 31, 2017

Back in the good ol’ days, optimistic and inexplicably naive types would write sentences like "Parkinson’s will be the easiest of the neurodegenerative disorders to fix, because the problem is centered in one tiny structure in the brain." This belief fostered the idea that the cure for Parkinson’s was just around the corner, leaving patients angry and bitter when the cure did not materialize.

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Being Defined by Parkinson's Disease

Monday July 24, 2017

We all hate the idea of being defined by our disease. It’s why we tag ourselves with labels like “Parkinson’s Fighter” or say things like “I’ve got Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s doesn’t have me.” To be defined by PD is to be seen as somehow less of a person than you were before you acquired the tag.

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Don't Mistake Your Claws For Virtue

Monday July 17, 2017

The philosopher Nietzsche laughed at the “weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.” A good point, but what about the the tough types who mistake their claws for virtue? Aren’t they just as ludicrous?

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A Day in the Life of a Parkinson Warrior

Monday April 10, 2017

It’s been said that if you’ve met one person with Parkinson’s Disease, you’ve met one person with Parkinson’s. That’s because each person with PD presents differently—despite several common possible symptoms. There are at least five common motor symptoms of PD (including tremors, balance issues, slowness, freezing and dystonia [uncontrollable movements]) and well over fifteen non-motor symptoms. The number of possible combinations are immense... No wonder Parkinson’s is called a snowflake disease—every instance is unique.

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Who Needs PAM?

Monday April 03, 2017

What can you do during Parkinson’s Awareness Month? Find a way to take action to bring a little color, a little laughter, a little April into the life of someone you know with this disease.

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Bicycling through Alaska Winter: Insanity, or Mere Stupidity?

Monday March 27, 2017

This is the fifth winter in Anchorage I have spent trying to get around mainly by bicycling. If you think it’s stupidity at best or even outright insane for anyone, let alone a person diagnosed 15 years ago with Parkinson’s Disease, to ride the icy dark streets of Anchorage in Winter, I have a certain amount of sympathy for your argument. Why would a person do such a thing?

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