Shaky Foot Wisdom
August 5, 2020
Breadcrumbs Beneath the Moonlight
Last evening while relaxing with Dawn, my wife of twenty-seven years and now my all in partner on pursuing our best life through tackling my diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, we watched a video of a Canadian Neurologist discussing the precursors that may give clues to the genetic clock that turns on the marker for developing PD.
As I look back on my adulthood, there have been left breadcrumbs beneath the moonlight. Thirty-three years ago there was a bout with an unknown condition that exhibited a disturbing array of systemic illness, It began with an inner ear infection diagnosed as Labyrinthitis with severe vertigo followed by ulcerative colitis and a hepatitis infection that the doctors could only label as NonANonB hepatitis. Liver enzyme levels rose to dangerous levels. And after six months of disabling symptoms, the illness resolved.
This is important to note as was noted in the presentation on PD precursors, what goes awry in the intestinal tract may provide pivotal clues and perhaps even early indicators of someone developing PD. My dealing with disabling illness was not done by a long shot.
Nine years after the previous illness, I was diagnosed as having Crohn’s Disease, again involving the intestinal tract. Though this was thought to be a lifelong disease, I recovered from this too with no lasting ill effects.
These two breadcrumbs beneath the moonlight, may have been the markers to alert a time-travelling neurologist from some future time to hear the unsteady footsteps of tremors on the horizon and ordered a newly discovered genetic test to see if these important symptoms were indicative of my developing PD.
My body though was not at all done in shouting clues to an empty symposium hall. In 2014, I underwent life-saving open-heart surgery to have performed a single-bypass and to investigate the defective bicuspid heart valve that I was born with, which as it turned out would immediately need replacement with a biomechanical heart valve.
Now, assuming there still had not yet been that time-travelling neurologist by now who had realized ‘whoa horsey, let’s stop and investigate further right now’, having the intestinal clues and this new evidence of an assault upon the cardiac muscle would have sent this super future sleuth racing back in time to try and prevent PD from occurring.
Perhaps this is just a newly diagnosed ‘Parkie’s’ presumption of hope. Yet, I truly believe that in the future, there will be proven tests to determine a predisposition to developing Parkinson’s disease and even a treatment milieu that would strive to prevent brain nerve death and subsequent drastic reduction in dopamine levels, before the fire alarm of symptoms loudly ring.
I even have hope that having been diagnosed with PD in 2020 there may still be time in my lifetime that treatments might be found to alter or even further slow or ameliorate the progression of symptoms.