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Sunday, June 10, 2012

But You Don't Shake

But you don't shake. I HATE those four words and every time I hear them, I want to scream! 

And I hear them often, from strangers, from cashiers, from salesmen, I have even heard it from Doctor's, Nurses and Pharmacists. They always come right after I say "I have Parkinson's Disease". 

My Wonderful Husband and I drove 200 miles to San Diego to attend a Parkinson's Seminar hosted by UCSD and the Parkinson's Association of San Diego. My built in GPS failed me, or I just couldn't remember what I saw on the map, I'm not sure which, but I took the wrong exit and got lost. I quickly realized my mistake and after several U-turns, found the signs and made it to the program, 20 minutes late. We signed in and found seats.

During the break, I met Karen & Sue, people I've met online through Twitter. I'm not sure which of us was more excited to meet the other, I guess it was a tie, but either way, I was glad to meet them in person.

I wandered around and introduced myself to some of the folks who were attending the seminar, told them about this blog and gave them refrigerator magnets with the Parkinson's Humor web address on it. I even told a funny story or two.

And then it happened, those four words "but you don't shake". I didn't scream, I didn't even get mad. I just said "You're right, I don't". I explained that tremors have always been the least of my problems and are controlled fairly well by medications. He asked "How long have you had PD?", I said 12 years. Wow, he said, how do you manage your symptoms so well? I explained about  Charting my symptoms and a great relationship with my Neurologist. A few others nearby, heard our conversation, and asked me about charting. I explained it, told them I had written a story about it and gave them magnets with the Parkinson's Humor web address and told them how to find the story on my blog. 

The seminar was very informative and afterwards I handed out a few more magnets and told a few people about my Parkinson's songs.  I got to talk to several of the Doctor's who spoke at the seminar. The best part? None of the Doctors said "but you don't shake" when I told them I have Parkinson's. That gives them an A+ in my book.

Clicking on colored words in a story will open a new window and take you to the appropriate 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 or your favorite online book seller. Thank you and have a Happy Parkie Day!


  1. I am so glad that we were able to meet. Your writing is fun, filled with laughs and most important encouraging. See you again.

  2. My husband doesn't shake either but all the other symptoms are awful!

  3. You don't? So you mix your drinks the old way then? lol

  4. I don't shake either. It's a constant mantra I launch into very professorially -- there are 2 types of PD blah blah, actually there are many--but anyway.

  5. Because I had an DBS operation 5 years ago I dont have so many tremors, but I have PD, started 25 years ago.

  6. You don't have to shake my shakes just fine all by itself!"

  7. Thank you for your explanation which matches mine. I get rather impatient with people who query me when I say I have PD. I am well controlled by medication also. Purchasing your book from Amazon. We have a great support group here in Australia.

  8. Not 20 minutes had passed after I read this that someone said but you don't shake, actually I do but is from Essential Tremor which I've had since college, if not before. Yes, I do have PD but as with each person our symptoms are all different. Love your charting plan and will incorporate it in my daily activities. Love your Blog.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this. I think that not shaking is one of the hardest things to explain to people.

  10. This is the biggest misconception about PD. I don’t shake (yet) either. But, it’s not always what’s happening on the outside. We need to educate people on the full reality of this disease. But let’s just keep laughing for now!

  11. I had someone tell me I needed to get a second opinion, because I don’t look ill. Needless to say, they had no medical training but they’d read a book about Muhammad Ali.