Some of you are aware that I went to the hospital. AGAIN.
It’s bad news, good news and …unexpected news.
The bad news: I have kidney stones. AGAIN.
Good news: they’re too small to obstruct; should pass with no problems.
The unexpected: I also have gallstones. Which can’t be treated with ultrasound, which means full on invasive surgery. Who knew?
It’s been brought to my attention by the Teeming Dozens (Cecil Adams has his Teeming Millions; I do the best I can …) that, the eponymous name of my blog notwithstanding, I haven’t posted a whole walloping lot about Parkinsons Disease. (One person in the back is pointing out — loudly — that I haven’t posted a whole lot about anything in most of the years I’ve been writing it. Why? Because shuddup, that’s why.)
Those who are late to the party — I’m currently producing a film called Blood Kiss (that’s right, all the good names were taken.) it’s a period piece, a vamp noir (don’t bother; I made up the genre too.) I’ve been told that, in order to goose the publicity as much as possible, I should trumpet the fact that I’m producing the film while living with 20 years’ worth of PD. Fine with me; I’ll spout stigmata if it’ll help. I couldn’t be more serious — or cynical.
An excuse that I trot out to explicate my curmudgeonly behavior at times is that I really don’t want to be seen as a whiner. I’ve battled depression most of my adult life, and learning that I have another searing neurological problem just means I put my head down and go faster. One more thing (actually two more … )There are others out there like me — unable to talk, or write, but with a fully functioning brain. Don’t marginalize them –they still think, and they have good ideas. (Even though mine are better). And they’re all facing the same thing: a future that’s leading irrevocably toward what is literally (and literately) a fate worse than death, that of being “Locked In”.
Locked in is the end stage of PD, which leaves one trapped his own body — paralyzed, mute and eventually blind (the last being due to a lack of control over facial muscles, resulting in the inability — again, quite literally — to keep one’s eyes open).
Think about it. I’m a full-time free-lance writer. Been one all my adult life. It’s what I wanted to be — all I’ve wanted to be — all my life. And it’s being taken away from me.
And I still have stories to tell.
For a writer — or just about any kind of artist who works with his hands — it is surely designer Hell.
And yet — even with such a life before me, I still consider myself lucky.
Even as someone who has to deal with a chronic progressive disease and who also has had to deal with intense sciatica and depression (mustn’t forget that),I still think my life has been pretty good. I have a shitload of bad luck, that’s true, but the ill fortune is offset (well, mostly) by the simple fact that I’ve never had to work a day in my life.
Worth something, that.
So now I’ve yet another procedure to schedule. (You know there’s something wrong when you walk into the OR and you’re greeted like the cast of Cheers: “Where everybody knows your name”…) And I’ll try to be brave. Shouldn’t be a problem.
After all, I’ve certainly got the stones for it.