Category Archives: News

Medford’s Sole Support for PD

The Sole Support Walk-a-thon was a huge success!!!

Our town raised more per person than the rest of the state and considering Medford is one of the more depressed areas in Oregon, that’s a big deal!

We (myself, Josie, Ken, and the invincible Finn {who is checking out the balloons in the photo below}) did the 1k walk quite successfully. No tripping, no falling…

Our team (Team Grammy, as Finn aptly named us) raised 3 times our  personal goal, thanks to many of you.

Finn’s mommy made an adorable custom shirt for him, which is modeled in the last two photos.

We were able to meet some other local PWP’s and see Holly Chaimov, PRO’s director, hear the Uke-ladies, meet some healthcare vendors and more.

Thanks to all who supported my team and I, once again.

You are a huge encouragement!!!


Grammy’s Team


The Invincible Finn and Mommy


The Uke-Ladies


Holly, myself, and Melissa Moran


Finn, Mommy, myself

(picture courtesy of Holly Chaimov)


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.

On Haldol (Haloperidol)… Again.

In Black and White
In Black and White

For some time, it has been known that Haldol (Haloperidol) is one drug that should be avoided by people who have Parkinson’s disease.  It amazes me that conferences I have attended, webinars I have seen, things I have read by specialized doctors in the PD community all reiterate the claim: stay away from this and other like drugs.

However, when you talk to many PD patients, they have no idea that there is any concern over certain drugs being administered to PD patients.  Why? Because in most cases, they administered while you are in the hospital for some other reason other than PD related and the medical staff is unaware of the dangers, as well.

Most nurses AND doctors are not educated in the field of Parkinson’s disease and so administering drugs to calm a patient is seemingly protocol – NOT.

Over Thanksgiving, my mother n-law was telling about her time in the hospital a few years back and a doctor on duty ordered an MRI for her. She fought with the orderly over going to have it done as she lay in her hospital bed. She told the orderly, after insisting she wasn’t stepping foot in that room, that she had a pace maker.  The doctor later came to her and apologized for that ‘minor’ overlook.  What if she hadn’t been coherent? What if…

The point: you have to be proactive with your care and treatment. You have to know more about you than those caring for you or a life-threatening mistake could occur (see my previously published article of a PD patient and their experience with Haldol as told by his son in-law).

So, if you have PD,  here are the drugs you need to make  a note of to AVOID: Haloperidol (marketed as Haldol, Haldol Decanoate, and Haldol Lactate). This is an antii-psychotic drug, often prescribed to people with schizophrenia. Other like drugs include risperidone (Risperdal), aripiprazole (Abilify) and olanzapine (Zyprexa). These drugs will play havoc on your brain or much worse. One conference speaker (doctor – movement disorder specialist) went so far as to say they will KILL a person with PD.

There are, however, two drugs (antipsychotic) that can be used  without  a problem to the PD patient: quetiapine (Seroquel) and clozapine (Clozapine).

Well, I have done my Haldol rant for the year, but I’ll be back just in case you forget.

Day 4: Did You Know?

Flying foxes… Heard of them? They are a species of bats that can grow to a whopping six feet across. Ugh! How'd you like those hanging around the attic? Don't worry – unless you live in Guam and have been fixing them for supper, which some have and in turn? Well, becase the 'foxes' eat cycad seeds and becasue those cycad seeds contain a neurotoxing, many of those fox eating Guam feasters have developed PD.

Did you know that in 1875, there was a French neurologist by the name of Henri Huchard? Did you know Henri had a patient that had all of the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease? Did you know that patient was a mere three years old? Oui oui – yes- it's true.

And did you know that Nicolas Culpepper, an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer claimed that worms were useful in the treatment of PD symptoms? Anyone want to try a little Alfredo sauce with their worms?

And – speaking of physicians and such, in medieval Damascus in the 9th century there was a Syriac Christian physician named Yahya Ibn Sarafyun, who collect and put together in an abridged form the opinions of the Greek and Arabic physicians concerning diseases and their treatment. One of these opinions was his, which was that he believed that a formulation that he himself had devised would treat PD. The formulation? Frankincense, myrrh and – you guessed it – gold frogs!

And then there's James Parkinson, the man who Parkinson's disease is named after – but he never knew it.

PD is labeled an 'old' person's disease – a disease whose chances of getting hold of you as you age are greater – but did you know that those who live longest (namely those in the 110+ yrs.) almost wholly escape this monster? Crazy!

The 'Evil Eye' is known as a 'sickness' transmitted by a child of Bombay's Parsi people, who is jealous, envious, or covetous. It is 'treated' by burning poisonous Aspand seeds. Which is worse? A child's jealousy or the ritual to treat said condition, which in turn can produce PD in those breathing in the toxin of tyranny?


Day 1: How Many?

  • As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig's disease.

  • Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected.

  • An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's disease.

  • Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50.

  • and just because it happens to be April 1st, we're not fooling around… Although it typically develops after the age of 65, about 15% of people with the condition develop “young-onset” Parkinson's disease before reaching age 50.
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