Northwestern Hospital sponsored a Parkinson's Disease Symposium last Saturday. It's an opportunity for people, in all stages of PD and their caregivers, to get valuable information from medical professionals. You also get the chance to touch base with others in the same situation.
There was lots of technical info. There were also the usual vendors.
I had an interesting conversation with someone trying to sell me on the benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation.
Howie: This is brain surgery, right?
DBS Guy: It's a minor procedure. We drill a hole the size of a dime.
H: Yeah...that sounds minor to me.
Dude: No really...it's only six hours and you're awake the entire time.
That was all I needed to know. Look...I'm sleep deprived (more on that later this week) and I was hoping the "procedure" would get me at least six hours of nap time. I do know it has helped plenty of people but I'm not at that stage....and hopefully never will get there.
Talking about stages, these events bring together people that have been affected by PD in many different ways.
Like many other diseases, there are supposedly four stages of Parkinson's. It ranges from people you'd never guess had the disease to those who at a first glance you immediately think Parkinson's.
I like to call these stages....Good, Okay, Bad and OMFG!!
You run a wide range of emotions at these events. You're sad when you see the suffering. You're hopeful when you see those in good shape. Still you can't help but wonder what the future is going to bring for you. I know...I know...Day by Day. Easier said than done.
Yet the interaction with others is the best part of these events. Kindred spirits.
Little did I know the best exchange of the day would be with the man sitting next to me. He felt a need to tell me about his meds.
"My wife goes to sleep at 8pm. My meds keep me awake until 1. They also make me really horny. I get in bed....wake her up....she rolls her eyes and tells me to take care of it myself."
His wife was sitting next to him. She looked at me....smiled and nodded her head.
Yep...it was quite the day. I should have known it was going to be special when I saw hot coffee in paper cups, served to people with tremors.
And the good news is Moving Day-Chicago 2014 is coming up next Sunday. We get to do it all over again.