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Take a Hint from PD

Tuesday June 24, 2014

It’s March, 2000. I’m lost in the Spandex of the Tour of Anchorage pre-race crowd. I gawk at all the super-fit athletes around me and try to reassure myself I’m prepared to cross-country ski 50 kilometers through the middle of town. As our pod of racers starts, I notice that they seem to be pulling ahead of me. It’s as if an invisible force is gently but inexorably drawing them forward. Or is it holding me back? Later as I chug up to an aide station, a woman watches with concern, and asks if I’m alright. No problem. I’m fine. Why would she even wonder?

I struggled on to finish hours later, blissfully unaware that in a little more than a year I will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

One of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease is slowness. Not just the slowness of the patient, but also the snail-like progression of the disease in most people. Of course, that is a good thing. With a disorder’s description includes progressive, disabling, and incurable, you don’t want to see words like rapid, swift,or sudden.

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