The Thing About Nurses

imageYou’ve most likely heard about it.

She comes out from behind the curtain. Will she tap dance? Sing opera? Play music on the rims of water-filled crystal glasses?

No, one of this years Miss America comes from behind the curtain dressed in scrubs and donning a stethoscope around her neck. She’s a nurse and she gives a little bit of insight as to what that entails.

Nursing is not your usual talent that is seen or heard at Miss America pageants, but it is a talent. And a gift. Not just anyone has the talent, gift, or guts to pull off that job. But, members of The View, an afternoon gossip show made up of women, felt inclined to mock Miss Colorado for her presentation of being a nurse.

It’s all over the news. Apologies and excuses are being made. Back-pedaling is in full speed, but the damage has been done. Members of The View have shown their realistic level of intelligence while nurses of the world united and demanded an apology. And rightfully so.

Reading up on Kelley Johnson (Miss Colorado), I found she graduated this past spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Grand View University and was also valedictorian of her nursing class. Not a simple feat.

View members mocked Johnson for her presentation, asking themselves why Johnson would be wearing a doctor’s stethoscope. I’ll just start with that…

I have had three brain surgeries in the past three years. Between doctor visits in preparation for those surgeries, pre-ops, surgical nurses, before surgery and  after surgery  nurses – I have seen and been cared for by several nurses, male and mostly, female.

They have held my hand, wiped my brow and covered me with warm blankets. They have inserted needles, changed IV bags, removed stitches. They have cleaned wounds, emptied urnals, freshened soiled linens. They have provided prompt medication, explained procedures, answered urgent calls.

They always wore a stethoscope. And a uniform. And shoes.

They all had a four year degree or they wouldn’t have been able to do what they do. Not all were valedictorians. That is a gift. A talent. An exception. A feat to be admired and honored – certainly not laughed at.

They are there at the doctors beck and call, carrying out his orders. They put the motion to the process, providing the care to get the patient back to optimal health. They are there from beginning to end – the first to greet the patient, the last to see them out the door.

They are the ones to go through the discharge cautions and warnings, tips and transitions, explaining the what’s, why’s, and therefore’s. They are cautious yet capable. They are merciful yet tough.

Talent is defined as a special natural ability or aptitude, a power of mind or body given to a person for use or improvement. It is often defined as a gift.

You have to have a gift for changing bloody, infected bandages, day in and day out. For bathing strangers and assisting someone with a bed urnal. You just don’t sign up for those tasks  unless you feel called to serve in that capacity.

A nurse, specifically a RN (registered nurse), must have a four year  degree from an accredted college. A firefighter or an emergency medical technician don’t even need a two year degree and yet we trust them unquestionably with our lives. They get thanked, praised, and commended – deservely so. But how often do you see banners posted, thanking nurses for their services after a disaster or tragedy and hospitals are inundated with an onslaught of patients? Just sayin’.

Thank you, The View, for expressing your thoughts and opinions so that we were able to bring attention to where attention is long overdue and give heartfelt thanks to the nurses who pull long, hard hours to assist in keeping us, and those we love, alive.


I love lists. Grocery lits. Cleaning lists. To Do lists. I like checking things off on lists and feeling a sense of accompishment. If you search around my website, you’ll find lists: a list of books to read about Parkinson’s disease, a list of resources (websites, articles, etc), a list of blogs related to PD and more.

Today I am (hopefully with your help) going to start a list of doctors. Doctors who have earned the respect of the patients within the PD/Movement Disorder community. 

It can often be extremely difficult for people with movement disorders to find a doctor who can best treat them in regars to their disease and often end up driving many miles to see their doctor when a good one may be right in their own town. And, to someone just starting out seeking for a qualified doctor, one name isn’t any different than the next.

Do you have a neurologist/movement disorder specialist that you trust? Respect? One that takes you seriously and makes you feel as if you’re not just another number and you matter? Stays currrent with treatment options?

If so, would you ming helping me make another list? A list of doctors (I’m concentrating on the United States but will include other countries if they come in) who specialize in movement disorders.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • The name of the doctor you would recommend.
  • Their location 
  • The physician should be a neurologist/Movement Disorder Specialist
  • Should be taking new patients
  • Why you recommend them (optional)
If  you can help, please leave a comment below (if you are reading this on the Parkinson’s Journey website) with the information above (your name will not be included unless you want it to be and comments will not be poste). Or, if you are reading this elsewhere (Facebook group or page, Twitter, etc), you can email the information to me (Sherri) at

Doctors: The Old and the New

The following was originally posted a few years ago, but when my website crashed, it ended up in cyberspace. I recently found a back up with several posts on it and am trying to restore them to Parkinson's Journey. This is one of the restorations


I have a new doctor. No, I didn’t dump mine and contend for another. As most of you know, mine lost his practice because of lack of funds, and cutting back on Medicare closed the doors. I can say with certainty that he was the best in the west.

A patient never waited more than ten minutes, tops. His nurse was the best you could ask for. Dr. S. spent time with you as if you were all that mattered on his list of patients for that day. You knew he cared and understood what you were dealing with and what you were going through. He explained things in such a way so that you felt educated when leaving and could understand for yourself what was going on inside of you. He was compassionate and so very kind. And, he was funny.

But he’s not there anymore. The building is empty. Ghosts walk the halls.

So, I searched for a new doctor. Was pointed to 'the best in town', or so I was told. (Obviously, they didn't know what 'best' looked like, like I did.) The difference between the old and new was blaring. The new doctor (new to me but actually very near retirement) was kind enough, smiled at the right times in which one should be expected to smile, and all the rest that you might expect to pay for a kind enough, smiling at the right time neurologist, but he most certainly was not Dr. S., MD, MDS, VIP. Didn’t even come close.

I didn’t know this new doctor and he didn’t know me. Upon first impression, I was quite confident that I was not going to enjoy these ‘new’ visits, unlike those I had with Dr. S., who always had a smile, a laugh, a genuine concern for each of his patients. And, I NEVER had to strip down to my skivvies for an exam.

What in the world is up with that?

The new doctor became my old doctor immediately. (Note to readers: If you think what a doctor asks you to do is weird, it's probably weird. I surveyed about 20 people with Parkinson's and not one has ever been asked to disrobe for a PD exam.)

I came home and cried. I just want Dr. S. back but I know I have to grow up and I have to face this. Problem is – I don't want to. Waahhhh waahhhh.

Meanwhile, another reason I want my doctor back is for another situation my GP is concerned about. They’re wondering whether the lupus that some doctors thought was possibly a brain tumor and then wondered if it possibly had turned into MS, but ruled that out for sheer lack of evidence, finally settling that perhaps it was the PD starting in my early 30’s instead of Lupus – (take a breath) – well now they’re back to looking at Lupus AND PD, since my ANA is off the charts.

See why it's so hard to pinpoint a movement disorder? There's too many to choose from. It's like Cheerios. Original Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Oat Cluster Crunch Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Yogurt Burst Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Dulce de Leche Cheerios, or MultiGrain Peanut Butter Cheerios. So many flavors, all the same idea.

Movement disorders. Same idea. Different flavors. When you find a doctor that knows what he's doing, it's hard to let him go. But letting go is sometimes what you have to do. Until you find him again. But that's another story…

Until then, we are promised only this day – right here, right now – and I am so grateful I know the Great Healer and that we don’t go through anything alone. So very grateful.