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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!