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Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am Special

I AM SPECIAL and I have a sense of humor.  I have Young Onset Parkinson's Disease (YOPD), also known as early onset. What does Young Onset mean, exactly? It means that instead of waiting until my late sixties to get this disease, I was precocious and got it in my thirties. This makes me special, just like Michael J. Fox, but without his bank balance. It also means I didn't have to wait until 62 to collect Social Security or 65 to get on Medicare. I get both now, thanks to Parkinson's. Of course, the check I get is no where near what I made when I could still work, but I don't have to commute or wear heels!  

I may be special, but I am not rare. For awhile, I thought Mr. Fox and I were the only Young Onsets out there. I was wrong. I found a chat room for us Parkie's (an affectionate term we call ourselves) and have since found quite a few other precocious people out there, some in their early twenties.

A sense of humor is a requirement when you have Parkinson's. Not only is it a good idea to be able to laugh at your predicament, but laughter helps your brain produce more dopamine, which is the "stuff" we are lacking and causes all of our weird symptoms. 

I was never, what I would call, normal. I was always small for my age, and a couple years ahead of the rest of the class in school. 

My Mother used to say I had "an old soul". Maybe it's that "old soul" that got the Parkinson's.  

Darn! Maybe I am not special after all.


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!

22 comments:

  1. Love this!!!
    Diane

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  2. Thank you. I have always thought of Parkinson's as an "old" disease.

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  3. Ya gotta love Bev and her take on life and Parkinson's! SC Young Onset Support Group.

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  4. I love reading your blogs. You are awesome and have made me feel so much better about my recent YOPD diagnosis at age 37. I am coping so much better now with it and I am learning to laugh myself though it. Thank you! xo JHS

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  5. Lol for the 2nd time will try to comment ;) Bev is great love n hugs to you- You a source of inspiration laughter and you have been there with contacts for Parkinsons and I would break both ankles in those heels ;) Sherri

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  6. Read this and loved it. You are a special person to all of us. Cara

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  7. Brilliant! Xx
    Heather

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  8. Yes, we are not special , just doing our best everyday as everydone is doing. But you are a special parkie to all pwps. Jin, Seoul, Korea

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  9. love your blog! PWPs and their care partners need to laugh at #Parkinson's - life would be pretty gloomy otherwise. Keep it up!
    ParkinsonSask via Twitter

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  10. I love your outlook on life! You are a real trooper :) I am learning alot from your blog...thanks--
    Tina

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  11. I am SO glad that I found your blog tonight! I am 44 and was diagnosed almost 2 years ago. I have had noticeable symptoms since at least the age of 40, but couldn't get dx'd for quite awhile. I am looking forward to learning more about how you are dealing with all of this and getting to know more about you. Thanks for having this wonderful resource!

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  12. Michael J Fox has got nothing on us. We have to figure out how to put on mascara, do battle with hot hair styling devices, shave our legs with minimal loss of blood, and then we get to take care of our families. Do we ever need a sense of humour to get through it all!

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  13. Hi Bev, I was recently diagnost with young onset at age 38, although my symptoms were minor (left hand shaking, memory loss, and Charlie horse like cramps in feet and lower back) I ignored them and attributed it to being tired or stressed. It wasn't till my wife was watching me eat one night and I couldn't get the fork to my mouth with food on it that she insisted on me getting it checked out. After many tests (MRI's etc.) that I was diagnosed and put on medication. Wow what a change, I had never realized how much it had effected my everyday life till I started the treatment. Just wanted to tell you I love you stories and it's nice to know I'm not alone in the parkinson world!

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  14. I am now 29, was diagnosed about 4 years ago. There are lots of us out there! My sons piano teacher who is in his early 30's was just diagnosed. I thought I was the only weirdo that got a strange look when I told them why I was tremoring uncontrollably or bobbing n weaving.

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  15. Bev is certainly one of the brightest stars in our Parkinson's Galaxy but not everyone can shine with humour like her. There is nothing funny about this disease and the pain it brings is hard to bear. My pet hate is people who know nothing about Parkinson's and yet tell me to be positive as if it was easy which is not fair. Am I a natural born positve chap. No doubt about it but my strength can slso sap. I have been a chronic heart patient for twenty years and a Parkinson's person for a decade who into Bev's Galaxy stares. Yes! I am a Poker Face who frequently gazes into space. Is this young lady asking to much of her fellow Poker Faces? No, she is just doing what comes natural to her "being positive" while others are pulling out their hair. Bev I salute you and your humour but remember that for some people, Parkinson's is a tumour. I have sold 900 copies of my book "Poetry in Motion". It has in it a great deal of humour and a love potion! Recently my heart specialist died from a heart attack. A very positive man of 64 and me a VPM of 69 who always fights back. Bev is a Jopark and I am a old fart. However it makes no differance for we both have Parkinson's and live miles apart.

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  16. Beverly I am not an old soul but I have some old soles on the shoes on the floor in the back of my closet. Alex in New York

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  17. This, rather like you, is deliciously quirky. You ARE special, but without the parenthesis :)

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  18. I got mine about 6-7 years ago. I'm 38 this year. You might be right about the 'old soul' bit. I always believe your preference in music reflects your soul. And for me it was The Beatles, The Doors then Hendrix, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Clapton, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan with sprinkles of hair bands etc, from school all the way through college and office life. So technically I'm in my 50-60's. No wonder....hahahaha

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  19. Another YOPD fully agrees; a sense of humor is a requirement when you have Parkinson's
    Nina

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  20. There are lots of reasons you are special. Love having you in our community!
    Parkinson's Resources

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  21. Laughter is one way I deal with my "old onset" PD. Thanks for sharing your story in a humorous way, thus giving me an additional way to laugh.
    Su

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