Every day I get a glimpse of the future. Yesterday I visited an 85 year-old man who has Parkinson’s. He has it pretty much under control with exercise and medication, but, like all of us, he has his good days and his bad days. Yesterday wasn’t one of his best. He told me he spent half an hour trying to get his pants on, not realizing one pant leg was inside out. Think about that for a minute. Is this the way you want to spend your so-called “golden years”? He also told me he’d also spent considerable time trying to pick up an alarm clock which had fallen under his bed. Logical thinking would be to ask why he doesn’t have a caregiver, at least part-time. Well, he’s fiercely independent, and wants to remain that way as long as possible; who am I to argue with him? Parkinson’s is one nasty disease, and though there seems to be a genetic component, physical activity is one intervention that, according to research, seems to be a powerful preventative tool. Once you have Parkinson’s, exercise is vital for maintaining strength and balance. I receive these pictures of the future in various forms, and at times it’s downright depressing, but I keep telling myself that it doesn’t have to be that way for me. I’m not going down without a fight. I hope you won’t either.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.