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Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

Jeremy and me in Sept 2010
2010 was not a good year for me, I felt awful for most of the year. I don't know if it was the Parkinson's Disease or not.  2011 didn't start out well, either.  My best friend Jeremy, whom I had known for 30 years, died on Jan 12th.  I felt lost.  My Wonderful Husband did his best, but even he couldn't fix this.  

March came and things changed for the better.  I had written a song parody a few years earlier about the "snowbirds" leaving to go home for the summer and I decided to make a music video of the song and put it on YouTube.  Next thing I know, the local NBC station (KYMA) contacts me and wants me to come on their morning show to talk about my funny song.




I then saw an editorial in my local paper (Yuma Sun) about a Parkinson's Disease seminar.  I didn't know much about Parkinson's then, except that I had it.  It sounded informative, so I went to the seminar and learned more about Parkinson's Disease in 2 days than I had learned by having the disease for 11 years.  A speaker said "IF you are wide awake at 3 am and need someone to talk to, find a Parkinson's Chat Room, there will be other wide awake Parkies to chat with". I found a local Parkinson's support group as well.  

Within days, I was chatting with new friends from around the globe and they were laughing at my Parkinson's stories.  One of them, Karyn from Australia, suggested I start a Parkinson's humor blog, so I did.  I wrote my first story on July 17th and this is  number 50.  Who'd of thought I had that much to say?  And I never, ever, expected so many people to read it.  It amazes me everyday! 

Now here it is, the end of 2011 and I have 75 new Parkie Facebook best friends, a couple dozen new Parkie chat room best friends, a couple more dozen local Parkie best friends and over 100 Twitter Parkie best friends and I still have my Wonderful Husband. 

I wonder what new adventures will come my way in 2012?  Maybe Cat and I will actually get to meet Mr. Fox.  

I wish all of you a very Happy Parkie New Year!

PS Want to hear the whole song? It's called Another One Leaves the Park.




You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:
Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Learning the Parkinson's Disease Lingo

It won't be easy and the words are hard to pronounce, but you will be a better Parkinson's Disease patient if you learn the medical lingo, so here is a primer.  I will try my best to make it fun and add some humor.




ON - when the medicine IS working and your symptoms are better

OFF - when the medicine is NOT working or has worn off 

TREMORS - those shaking body parts 

RIGIDITY - when you feel like you are in a body cast

DYSTONIA (dis TOE nee uh) - those severe cramps you get 

BRADYKINESIA -(BRADY ki NEE zee uh) like you are in slow motion

DYSKINESIA - (dis ki NEE zee uh) those rhythmic movements (like Michael J Fox) that are a side effect of the dopamine meds

POSTURAL INSTABILITY - when you are stooped over or can't maintain your balance (help, I've fallen and I can't get up)

MASKING - when your face no longer shows emotion

Don't worry about not pronouncing them correctly, just do the best you can.  I'll write a song about them, like the song from Mary Poppins:  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious  Once we sang along with her, everyone could pronounce it! 

Song written.  Here it is, words go along with the song, so sing along with me and we'll be Learning the Parkie Lingo together, plus singing is good therapy for our voices.







You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dinner with the neighbors on Christmas Day

In everyone's life, there are certain dates on a calendar that make you smile because they remind you of happy events and there are dates that make you sad because they remind you of very bad events. I have many happy dates and only three bad ones. The worst of my bad dates is December 24th and it can't be ignored because it's the day before Christmas.  It doesn't matter what happened on this date, it's just the prologue of this story.

Phil, the Ham carver
My Wonderful Husband has similar feelings at Christmas and that's why we don't decorate or buy each other presents. We usually have a big plate of pasta and stay by ourselves. For the last two years, our very nice neighbors (Phil & Ruth) have invited us for Christmas dinner and we've said no. They invited us again this year and we said yes, because we didn't want to hurt their feelings.  


It was a small gathering, just nine, Phil & Ruth, Shirley & Jerry (Ruth's sister & brother-in-law), George & Freida (my walking partners), Erv (another neighbor) and us. It was a planned potluck and each brought their specialty. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, corn pudding, 
deviled eggs, Hawaiian sweet potatoes, three kinds of dessert and a nice bottle of blackberry wine.   
My famous deviled eggs



We only had one mishap, a glass of wine got knocked over as we finished saying grace. I guess we should have included not spilling anything in our blessing and I was thankful that it wasn't me who did the knocking over. In fact, I didn't drop or spill anything and no one complained when I ate most of my meal with my fingers, since I was having trouble with a fork.   

It was a feast and after dinner, we sat around and talked and laughed about all kinds of things until we had room for dessert. Shirley told us about her neighbor who cooked really strange things and always wanted her to try them, Erv told us about growing up on a farm and I even sang a little bit of one of my funny songs. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day and I thank Phil and Ruth for inviting us.  

And a special thanks for sending home some leftovers with us, we gobbled them up the next day.

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Seven Dwarfs come for Christmas

Clicking on any picture will enlarge it
This is our Christmas Tree, it's about 10 inches high and was made by a dear friend many years ago when we lived in a RV.  She died soon after and we put it out each year as a tribute to her.  It is the only sign of Christmas in our home and there will be no presents under it.  We buy each other gifts whenever we feel like it but never for Christmas and we never put cookies out for Santa.

So, it was a big surprise when we woke up on Christmas morning and found some of the Seven Dwarfs and a few of their cousins had taken up residence.  They were as follows:  Grumpy, Dopey, Sleepy and Sneezy and they brought along: Coughy, Achy and Sniffley.  Yup, you guessed it, my Wonderful Husband woke up with a bad Cold and by the time the day was over, I had it too.  We like to do EVERYTHING together.


Colds do not agree with Wonderful Husbands or Parkies.  We do not find anything humorous about them.  Colds make all Husbands miserable and tend to aggravate the symptoms of people with Parkinson's Disease, since the virus stresses our immune systems.  I don't know how a Husband with Parkinson's Disease would be with a Cold, but I don't want to find out.


Later in the day, another Dwarf showed up at the door.  His name was Fevery and we did our best to keep him out, but he got in anyway.  We both really hate that one! 



Parkinson's medicines come with a huge list of "Do not take with blah, blah, blah" so finding a cold medicine for a Parkie ain't easy.  I tend to use Moomer's tried and true remedy, rub Vicks VapoRub on my chest, put on an old t-shirt and go to bed.  




Dats juss wha dis Pawkie is gone do  
Translation:  That's just what this Parkie is going to do, it's hard to talk proper when you have a cold.

Funny thing about all of this, both of our noses are now just as red as Rudolph's! 

If you see Snow White, please tell her to come get her Dwarfs!


Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve in Yuma, Arizona

  
click on pic to enlarge
Since we live in the desert and close to Mexico, people tend to do Christmas a little differently around here.  Tamales are a favorite Christmas food and this is an agave Christmas Tree.  Agave's are a cactus that gets a huge flower spike.  The dead spikes are treasured as decorations.  Below are some pictures of the agave plant and blooms.
                                          
                                                                                  
Close up of blooms
That's me standing in there   
Dead spike next to a car

As you can see, they are quite large and the plant expends so much energy producing the bloom, that the plant dies afterwards.  It is common to see lights strung on cactus and palm trees and even ornaments hanging on them.  Even with anti-shake software, I am too shaky to take pictures of Christmas lights, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Santa comes to Yuma in a 4-wheel drive Jeep, he leaves Rudolph and the other reindeer up by the Grand Canyon where it's cooler.  There are no chimneys, no fireplaces either, it's just too warm, so I'm not sure how he gets in to leave the presents under the agave tree, but if you are good, he figures it out somehow.  

Have a Merry Christmas!


Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas from a Parkie

On the morning of Christmas, Santa gave to me
Twelve pills to take
Eleven aches and pains
Ten twitching fingers
Nine dropped cookies
Eight shirts I can't button
Seven trips to the bathroom
Six hours of sleep
Five cramping toes
Four hours of wiggles
Three stumbles and falls
Two cold feet
and I'm stiffer than the frozen snowman.

Here's my new Christmas song, Happy Parkie Christmas!






You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Memories of Parkinson's Disease

Have you ever misplaced your glasses, car keys or cell phone?  Have you gone into a room to get something and then forget what it was that you were supposed to get?  Do you find yourself writing notes to remind you to put out the trash, pay the electric bill or make a Doctor's appointment?  If you answered yes, then you are probably over forty and it's perfectly normal.

However, if you find yourself setting an alarm clock to remind yourself to eat breakfast then you might have some memory problems.  I fall into this category.  I set my cell phone alarm clock to go off to remind me to take my medicine.  I always brushed my teeth after I ate breakfast, but due to nausea related problems, I need to brush my teeth before I eat. I can't remember to do that so, I have a note on the cereal box.  


Rather than get upset about my diminishing memory problems, I just wrote a song about it.  A humorous one, of course!  I thought I share it with all of you (if the tune seems familiar, it's Winter Wonderland, a Christmas carol).  Just click on the arrow in the center of the picture below and have a laugh with me.





You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:

Clicking on the colored words will open a new window and take you to a different story or link.

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!



Monday, December 12, 2011

The 5000 mark

Thank you to everyone who has read my stories, can't believe it's over 5000 now.  Had a nice party to celebrate.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Parkie goes to the Doctor

I recently went to my Family Doctor.  This was a scheduled visit for a normal check up, nothing urgent, and since my Wonderful Husband's least favorite place to go is a Doctor's office, I went in alone.  

The first thing they did was give me some forms to fill out.  I reminded them that I have Parkinson's disease and that writing isn't easy.
  
Then the nurse called me in and asked me to climb backwards onto a scale so that she could measure and weigh me.  (Sure, I thought, no problem, want me to dance a jig, too?) 

Next, the nurse handed me a small sterile cup and asked me to give a urine sample and be sure to write my name on the cup.  (Sure, I thought, urinate in that tiny cup, maybe.  Write my name on it so it can be read, she's got to be joking!)  But, off I went.  
Clicking on any pic will enlarge it

Now, folks, urinating in a tiny cup isn't easy for any of us girls, but just try it when you are rigid and your hands are shaking.  I managed to get a small amount in the cup and didn't spill any on myself; however, the floor wasn't so lucky. 

Then I was escorted to the exam room and directed to get undressed and put on a designer "one size fits absolutely no one in the entire world" paper gown and climb up on the table and wait.

By the time the Doctor came in, I was laughing almost hysterically. Why?  Because we Parkies try to avoid embarrassing or harmful situations and as I sat there, I realized that I had just told a room full of people that I can't write, I could have peed all over myself and maybe broke my neck trying to get weighed.  

When I stopped laughing, I told my Doctor that visiting her was the most dangerous and humiliating thing I did all week!  It turns out she has a sense of humor, too.  She said "Well, at least we know how to dial 911".
  

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

From Yuma to the World

I just wanted to personally say Hello and Thank You to all the people from around the World who have taken time out of their lives to read my stories, and I can't think of a better way to do it than in your own languages.

 Здравствуйте и спасибо большое
 Բարեւ, եւ շնորհակալ եմ շատ
 您好,非常感谢你
 Hallo en hartelijk dank
Hello at salamat sa iyo napaka
Bonjour et merci beaucoup
Hallo und vielen Dank
Γεια σας και σας ευχαριστώ πολύ
Bonjou ak di ou mèsi anpil
שלום לך ותודה רבה לך
नमस्ते और आपको बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद
Helló, és köszönöm szépen
Halo dan terima kasih banyak
Dia duit agus buíochas a ghabháil leat go mór
Ciao e grazie mille
Labdien, un paldies
Hei og takk
Olá e muito obrigado
Hola y muchas gracias
Hej och tack så mycket
สวัสดีและขอบคุณมาก
Доброго і спасибі велике
Xin chào và cảm ơn bạn rất nhiều
     
I hope Google Translate did it correctly!
           

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Face of Stone - Parkinson's Disease

I sometimes have, what might be described as a Stone Face, in other words, a blank look.  The technical term for it, when it happens to us Parkinson's disease people is Masking, I guess because our faces seem rigid like a mask.  I think I'm smiling but might actually be frowning, which can be embarrassing when a humorous story has just been told at a party.  Of course, doing just the opposite can be worse.  

We had several neighbors over for dinner recently and as I was washing up the dishes afterwards, I noticed my cheeks were aching.  They felt really strange, so I stopped what I was doing and went and looked in the bathroom mirror and this was what my face was doing:
Click on any pic to enlarge it





Yup, I looked like Garfield, the cartoon cat.  No wonder my cheeks hurt.  How long has my face been doing this, I wondered?  I asked my Wonderful Husband, but he didn't know.  The next morning, I asked one of the neighbors if I had been grinning all during our get together the night before and she said "Yes, but I thought you were just having fun".  

Geez, that's great, I'd spent 2 hours grinning like a crazed cartoon cat at our dinner party.  It's a good thing they all know I have Parkinson's.  What if I had been at a funeral?  Or in court?  Yikes!  

But what if I was playing Poker?  I bet I could really have the other players confused, they wouldn't know if I was bluffing or not!  Hmm, sounds promising, but my hands would give me away.  They'd shake like crazy if I got Four of a Kind or a Royal Flush.  Oh, well, guess I'll stick to Solitaire.


Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Friday, the day after Thanksgiving

Here's a new song parody I wrote about Thanksgiving.  It's meant to be funny.  Enjoy! 

Just click the > in the middle of the picture below and it should play it for you.




You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:



Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving. What am I thankful for?


Clicking on any pic will enlarge it
It's 4 am on Thanksgiving morning 2011 and I am wide awake.  It's dark outside and very quiet, the coyotes aren't howling and even our neighborhood owls aren't hooting.  Everyone seems to be sleeping, except me, but I am not complaining.  As I sit here in the darkness, I am thinking, not about funny stories or new song parodies, but what all I am thankful for, and the list is long....

My Wonderful Husband:  He wakes up alone every morning and hates it, but never complains.  He makes sure I get a good meal every day and is a great cook.  He goes to karaoke with me, even though being in a noisy bar type atmosphere is the last thing he wants to do because that's what he did for a living.  I don't know how I got so lucky, but I'm glad I did and I love him very much.  Thanks for being my best friend.

My Good Neighbors:  Mr & Mrs George walk with me most mornings, Phil & Ruth are always smiling, Willie & Sharon invite me to all their social functions and bring over home-made desserts and all the others who wave and say hello when I stagger past. Thanks for being my friends and making this such a nice neighborhood.

My Parkie Friends:  They live in Canada, all over the USA, Australia, Europe and the rest of the world.  We talk online and I can always count on them to "know" what I am feeling like.  Plus, they will even listen to my latest song parodies and sometimes even request them.  Thanks for being there.

My other friends:  I am so lucky to have met so many nice people over the years and most keep in touch.  If I run into any of them, I can be guaranteed a big hug.  I love hugs, the whole world could use more hugs.  Thanks for all the hugs.


My Facebook friends who make me smile, my Twitter friends who cheer me up 140 characters at a time, the people at karaoke who laugh at my songs and don't throw tomatoes at me. Thanks!

I am thankful that I just have Parkinson's Disease and not something more serious, that my Doctors really seem to care about me, that I haven't lost my sense of humor, that my step-daughter and grandson are good people, and that I live in America.
 
I am thankful that I live in Yuma, Arizona where the sun is always shining and it never snows and occasionally, because I am always up early, and because it's taken several hours to write this, I get treated to beautiful sunrises like this one I just saw.


What are you thankful for?


Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I re-write the songs

I have a knack for re-writing the words to songs, it's easy for me and I have been doing it since my teens. I hear a song and new words pop into my head immediately. I will admit that the words I came up with years ago were not always designed for family audiences, but hey, I was a teenager. 


I kept these lyrics to myself, singing only to the radio when I was alone. You see, I know that I can't sing. I entered a school talent show when I was in sixth grade and my teacher took me aside afterwards and gently said "Beverly, I am sorry, but you hit every note off-key" and she was right, I couldn't carry a tune.


But that didn't stop me from composing new parodies, like the one I wrote a few years ago, about RV'ers heading back home after spending the winter in Yuma. I was living in an RV Park at the time and overheard the manager say "Another one left the park today" and that was all it took. I went home and wrote Another One Leaves the Park to the tune of Another One Bites the Dust by Queen. I surprised everyone, including myself, by showing up at karaoke and singing it. It was the first time I had sang in public since the sixth grade and no one booed. My song made people laugh. If I had a perfect voice, it probably wouldn't have been as funny. 

Since then I am unstoppable, I write songs about everything and anything, most of them funny. Sometimes all it takes is a comment to inspire a song, or a saying on a t-shirt. I written songs for WWII Veterans, Birthdays, Anniversaries and even a song about Angels (one of the few serious songs I've written). I've even written a few about Parkinson's. I use karaoke versions for the music and copyright my lyrics.  

They all have one thing in common, they are humorous.  Since I cannot upload the songs by themselves to Facebook, Twitter or on here, I make music videos to go along with the new lyrics.  I enjoy taking the silly and sometimes unflattering pictures that I use to illustrate the lyrics.  Here are three of my songs about Parkinson's, have a laugh on me.  Just click the > and it should play the video for you.




                      Laughing at Parkinson's




                            My Dopamine 




                  Just Another Day of Parkinson's

I've often wondered what Mrs. Serles, my sixth grade teacher, would say now.

You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!





Saturday, November 12, 2011

Helpful Advice for My Friends and Family

Dear friends and family,

With the big holidays approaching, here is some advice from a person living with Parkinson's Disease to all my friends and family who don't know exactly what I go through each day.   Please invite me to join you for whatever you have planned.  Don't assume that I won't feel well enough to attend, but please try to understand why I MAY say no.

I have difficulty with fine motor skills, so please stop and think before you ask me to serve liquids or help put away those crystal wine glasses, there is nothing humorous about breaking glass or spilled gravy.  I have trouble cutting meat into bite size pieces and maneuvering peas from the plate to my mouth, so I do much better with finger foods and stuff that won't fall off the fork when my hands won't cooperate.  I feel uncomfortable eating around strangers, they tend to stare, and I know they can't help it, I find myself staring at people, too.  

I really should take my 'dopamine' medicine on an empty stomach.  Pretty much my entire daily routine is dictated by taking my medicines.  
Here is a sample day:  
4:30 am  woke up, took empty stomach, first thing of the day meds
6:00 am  ate a banana, need the potassium to prevent foot cramps
6:45 am   took dopamine medicine, stomach should be empty now 
7:30 am  ate some crackers, to settle my gurgling stomach
8:30 am  walked with neighbor
9:00 am  finally eating my breakfast, a big bowl of cereal
12:30 pm   ate lunch, which is usually my biggest meal of the day
2:00 pm   take dose of dopamine medicine, stomach empty again
3:00 pm   took a nap, have been up 11 hours already  
6:00 pm  ate dinner, which usually consists of a salad and sandwich
9:00 pm  ate a snack and another banana
11:00 pm take last dose of dopamine and go to sleep 

As you can see, eating a huge meal at 2 pm will just throw my day out of whack, but sometimes I do it anyway. 

I can go from "on" (which is when my meds are working their best and I feel my best) to "off" (which means they aren't) in 10 minutes or less.  This explains why I walked into the restaurant just fine, but moved slowly going out. 

Stress and excitement aggravate my symptoms.  Even good stuff, like weddings or other emotional parties can adversely affect me.  An argument or shouting will have me shaking from head to toe.  

This is why I usually spend the holidays with just my Wonderful Husband.  We have a simple meal and a very calm day.  It's not that I don't enjoy your company, it's just that I do better in more casual situations with smaller groups of people.

Happy Holidays,
YumaBev


Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How do I explain Parkinson's Disease to a ............. Cat ?

Cat is a beautiful young lady from West Virginia, USA, who contacted me through Twitter and asked if I could answer some questions about Parkinson's Disease.  I said yes and the emails began, but there was just one problem, Cat is blind, she has been since birth, so describing Parkinson's Disease became a challenge. 

Cat and I have some things in common:  We both have a wicked sense of humor, she wants a T-shirt that says "Don't stare at me, I can't stare back" and I want one that says "What's shaking? besides me?".  We both like Michael J. Fox and would like to meet him someday.  She refers to him as Mr. Fox, because her parents taught her manners and I refer to him as Michael J, because I am older than him. 

We have our differences as well:  She is shy and self-conscious about her looks and I am definitely not shy and don't give a hoot what people think about me, but that comes with age.  I am old enough to be her Mother.
   
Cat "reads" what's on her computer by using software that vocalizes what is on the screen, kind of like Books on Tape.  She read some of my early blog stories and her question was about tremors, were they caused by the Parkinson's or the medicines we take and what is the difference between tremors and dyskinesia?  (There's that really big word, again) 

The first part of the question was easy, tremors are caused by the Parkinson's.  Describing the difference was going to be harder.  This is what I came up with:  

Tremors are like when your hands shake because you are nervous or scared and can be similar to shivering or having the chills when you get a fever.  Shaking hands or fingers can be stopped by sitting on them or if someone else holds them still.

Dyskinesia or The Wiggles, as I call them, are caused by the medicines we take to stop the tremors and are sort of like trying to hold on to a squirming child that does NOT want to be held.  You can't stop it!  If my wonderful husband grabs my moving hand and holds it still, the movement goes to my arm and if he holds both my arm and hand still, the movement goes to my upper body.  Your body is going to move, usually in a rhythmic fashion, almost like rocking, so I just go with it.  Fortunately, it doesn't last long, at least not for me.

A pretty good explanation, right? 


You can find both of us on Twitter, I am @YumaBev and Cat is @gilman_gal.  Give us a Tweet, but be sure to mention this story, so we know how you found us.

By the way,  if any of you know Mr. Michael J. Fox personally, please tell him we said Hello.

PS Cat says that she thinks she prefers blindness over Parkinson's.

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Halloween Party

I often mention a Parkinson's Disease Chat Room on here and there is a really good reason.  The people on there like to have fun.  They had a party for Halloween night, an online party, anyone with a computer and internet could attend and you didn't even have to leave home.  The host of the party, Steve, played YouTube clips of the Monster Mash and Teen Wolf with Michael J Fox.  We told silly jokes and laughed at our real or Photoshop created costumes and for a little while, we were able to forget we had Parkinson's Disease and just have fun.  


As some of you know, I like to re-write the words to songs, so I wrote a humorous one about a Halloween Party and I picked out costumes for a whole bunch of my online friends.  Then, using their Facebook profile photos and Photoshop, I "put" them in the costumes and made a music video of my song and played it at the Party.  We had some great laughs and I think they all enjoyed it.  Here it is, just for you:





You can find all my videos on my YouTube channel:
Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on my Way Back from ........

We went to Laughlin Nevada to watch the National Karaoke Finals a few weeks ago and after the elimination rounds were over each evening, they did karaoke in the Casino lounge.  I know it sounds funny, but the contestants (I was NOT one of them) just couldn't wait to get into Party mode after spending hours being in Competition mode and they were fun to watch.  

I wanted to sing one of my humorous song parodies, but by 10 pm, I was worn out.  What happened to that Disco Queen that used to start partying at 10pm?  Oh, yeah, right, I forgot, duh, I have Parkinson's Disease.  I'm absolutely sure it has nothing to do with being 51 years old! 


The Emcee would play a "real" song every once in awhile and she played Thriller, by Michael Jackson.  I had gone to the Ladies Room and on my way back, I took a short cut across the dance floor, which was almost empty.  All of a sudden, people started clapping and cheering.  I looked around and they were cheering at me!

I didn't know it, but while I was in the Ladies Room, they had called an impromptu dance contest and the people thought I was dancing.  They were shouting "She's doing the Mummy" and "She looks like Lurch from the Addams Family".  


I wasn't dancing at all, I was just walking back to my chair, but being me, I got into the spirit of things and I tried to time my steps to the music (not easy).  Everyone was clapping and I was pronounced the winner!!!  

I stayed "in character" and stiffly climbed up on stage to take a bow and then "Lurched" my way back to my seat! 
  It's a good thing they didn't ask me to Moonwalk.......LOL!!

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Living in a RV, what is it like?

For 16 years, my Wonderful Husband and I lived year-round in an RV (recreational vehicle) and traveled all over the USA and Canada.  I would still be doing it, if I did not have Parkinson's Disease.  Many people have expressed curiosity about RV's, mostly from other countries, but several Americans as well.  So here is the story...
 
Yuma Bev cooking eggs
We bought our first RV in 1991, a 21-foot long Motorhome (motorhome means that it has it's own engine and you drive it like a car) and took off on a three week trip.  There wasn't much room in it, you had to make a bed out of the sofa every night and you couldn't pass each other in the hallway, but after two weeks, we didn't want to go home, EVER, so, we traded it in on a 34-foot Motorhome and kept on traveling.


The 34 foot motorhome
This RV was small inside as well, but it had a full size bed in it (you had about 6 inches on either side to walk around) and a sofa and dinette, so we thought we were in heaven. We took this Motorhome from Florida to Colorado to Arizona and back all in one summer. Living in an RV requires a very good sense of humor.


Several years later, we got rid of the Motorhome and from then on, we had a variety of RV's that you towed behind or placed in the bed of a truck.  Sometimes, we would buy a very small one to take a specific trip and then sell it after we were done, it all depended on where we were going, but we lived in an RV of some kind or another year round. 


YumaBev and the truck camper
Aliner








We spent 5 months in the little Aliner above and 4 months in the truck camper! 

The last RV we owned was the biggest and we towed it behind a big pick up truck, however, it was still only about 200 square feet of living space!  For most RVers in America, this would be called a weekender, just big enough for 2 or 3 days, but we lived in it for 7 years!  I did 99% of the driving and could back it into the tightest spaces.

Truck and camper parked lakeside in Idaho
 
It was still very small inside, as the pictures below will show
and to give you some perspective, there is a photo of me standing by an inside door of the RV and one of me standing by an inside door of my house.  See how much narrower the RV one is?

YumaBev by RV door
YumaBev by house door

As you can see, the space is quite narrow in the bedroom and bathroom and as my Parkinson's symptoms progressed, it became increasingly difficult for me to manage without constantly bumping into things.  The entry steps to get in the camper were tricky as well and I didn't feel comfortable towing the RV anymore, so we gave up that life and started a new one.  Adapt, adapt, adapt.


Living room and sofa
TV across from sofa and hallway door

Bathroom sink
Tub and toilet

Dining area right  next to sofa
Bedroom area
Kitchen area

Do I miss it? Yes, very much.    


Clicking on the colored words will open a new window and take you to a different story or link.

Thank you for reading this story, I hope you enjoyed it. This is just one of a hundred stories in my book, Parkinson's Humor - Funny Stories about My Life with Parkinson's Disease. Please consider purchasing a copy from Amazon.com or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!