Parkinson’s Disease – Taming the Beast

I begin this entry with an ending:  If you ask me, “Would you go through all of this again?” I would now answer with a resounding “YES!” My sister was correct; the difficulties of the last five months are rapidly fading as I rediscover much of what is “normal.”

Today, I ordered some new music reading glasses. I lost the last pair months ago, and didn’t bother finding them, for it seemed that I would never need them again. I was no longer coordinated enough to play the piano. Two days after my most recent visit with Dr. Haq (my neurologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health), I sat down and tried to play a dearly-beloved Italian song. As if by magic, my fingers navigated the intricacies gracefully, skillfully, belying the years that have passed since I could play with such finesse. Now, the biggest handicap I seemed to have involved only my eyes – my fingers were working better than they have in more than five years. My favorite composer, Mendelssohn, is once again my friend!

My handwriting has taken a decided turn for the better – I can sign my name legibly without taking three minutes to do so! My face seems to have shed its expressionless mask. I can climb the stairs on my own, and even step up into my house without that gentle push from my husband. My “want to” is returning – although it’s going to have to wait for my energy and stamina to catch up. The rose garden, abandoned to the weeds for the last two years, is slowly taking shape again.

I could go on and on…but suffice it to say my experience as a DBS patient has taken a definite turn for the better. You see, four weeks ago, the computerized device implanted in my chest was optimized more for my own needs. The results for me are nothing short of miraculous!

For now, I believe the Parkinson’s beast has been tamed. I’ll admit, I keep waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop – can’t believe it really is working. There still remains a “blind” element of the clinical trial, so I occasionally wonder if this is a placebo effect.  However, given what I know about the success of DBS for other Parkinson’s patients, I’m banking on this being the real thing.

I am one of the lucky ones, it seems, as my Parkinson’s symptoms are the ones best suited to DBS treatment. This treatment isn’t going to fix all of the issues, and it apparently will  not slow the progression of the illness.  However, I’ve been granted a reprieve, and I fully intend to make as many minutes count as possible . There is much I will not ever take for granted again, much to be grateful for, much living yet to do!

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The dawning of a new year shines over the wake of what is past.

This morning, I finished reading a wonderful book entitled Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, by author, Carol Wall. She offered some profound observations in her recent book, many of which most certainly will become additions on a famous quotes page someday. I end this edition of my own blog with a quote from her book: “In every moment there exists a lifetime.” Carpe diem! Seize the day. Live with intention. Amen.

About vivace1017

I grew up in the hills of East Tennessee, in a well-educated, articulate, highly creative community. Venturing forth from my hometown at age 17, I attended a small college near Knoxville, and began my career as a music teacher in Taichung, Taiwan. I wound my way from there through grad school in Louisville, KY to a brief sojourn in Georgia, and landed finally, with a husband and two sons in south central Virginia. My career journey has meandered from private music studio to public school classroom, from church organ bench to grant writing and photography. Now, roles are changing again, settling into places that have always been a part of me, yet are only now realizing my best attention. This site is my internal voice as I work through who I have been, who I want to be, and the legacy I want to leave in my wake.
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2 Responses to Parkinson’s Disease – Taming the Beast

  1. beccaswope says:

    I am so happy for you, my friend. I wish I lived closer, because I’d be at your door with a BIG HUG and a lemon meringue pie 🙂

  2. vivace1017 says:

    I would EAT the pie, return the HUG, and revel in your presence. What can we do to make such things happen?

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