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Blog Posted in avatar   Bill Schmalfeldt's Blog

Hippity Hop to the Doctor Shop!

By Bill Schmalfeldt
Posted Aug 8, 2012 in Health
Well, it's that day again. Time for my "once every four months" visit with my neurologist. I love the guy. I really do. I go there, we run through some tests, we check my balance and other areas where Parkinson's disease is causing deterioration (had it for 12-1/2 years). We'll chat, and he'll tell me I need to lose weight.
It's a thing we do.
I admit, I'm heavier than I should be. It's a family thing. We're not big boned. We're chubby.
I walk on my treadmill three times a week, a half-mile at 2 mph. (Canadians, divide that by 0.62 and get Kmph.) On Saturday or Sunday, we go shopping and I walk (with my walker) for at least a half-hour. So I think that's plenty of exercise for my advanced stage of PD.
My friend the doctor is one of those insufferable people who used to be much heavier than he is. So everyone else should be much lighter than they are. And I agree. I should be. However...
I gave up drinking in 2009 when I learned the combination of alcohol and the meds I take on a daily basis could kill me. (Now THERE's a a way to lose weight!)
I gave up cigars, a pleasure I have enjoyed since 1972 back in 2010.
I turned over the keys to the car in 2009.
I took early retirement from the federal government in 2011.
The combination of the disease and medication I take have left me as impotent as a Nevada Boxing Commissioner.
I have one real physical pleasure left in life. Num nums!
I cramp regularly.
I fall about once a month -- with increasing regularity.
My muscles are tight and sore.
I cannot stand in one place for more than a few seconds without the strap muscles in my back trying to force me into a hunched over position.
And that's just scratching the surface.
So. Doc. I love ya like a brother.
But I am not going to add "hungry" to my list of discomforts.
Not gonna live forever. Never gonna be physically "normal" again. Parkinson's is a progressive disease.
But I wake up every day in a good mood. I'm happy. I'm more-or-less mentally sharp.
So I believe if that Ben & Jerry's "Cherry Garcia" is calling my name, I will answer with spoon in hand. And when my hand cramps from holding the spoon, I will switch hands. I'm ambidextrous where ice cream is concerned.
(My book about this long dance with PD, "Put On Your Parky Face" is available from and is on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and most other major online booksellers.)