Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life...

Life, and how it progresses is an interesting thing. I have seen many changes and many amazing events in my lifetime. Space travel, the microwave oven, personal computers, and cell phones, all technical marvels. Especially since I remember having a party line telephone and I remember when passenger airplanes were propeller driven. But the thing I have seen that disturbs me, very much, is the decline of America!! Our society has completely descended into self-gratification and moral decay.

The America I grew up in was not perfect. There were unwanted children, poverty, crime, illicit sex, and drugs. But not to the level of today, and not marketed by Hollywood. Mom's stayed home and raised children, made dinner, cleaned the home, had gardens. Husbands worked, came home to a relatively well adjusted family, played with the children, and later, played with the wife. Today, everything is throw away. If anything goes wrong, its' gone. Including marriages and kids. People are only interested in their own gratification. The motto of the 60's, "If it feels good, do it." is the mantra of today's society. More is good in every arena, money, houses, cars, sex, drugs, booze, college degrees, and possessions. But all of this means nothing and can be thrown away if it fails to meet the irrational expectations of the individual.

Why has America fallen on its' own sword of success? Because it was easy. Our parents, if you are a "Boomer" made life easy for us. The government made life easy for us. Most of us have never really had to work for, wait for, save for, anything. Credit, parents, government programs, have made everything easy and therefore diminished the value of everything. We have even diminished the value, and intimacy of sex through pornography, and loose morals.

OK, to you who are younger, I sound like an old prude. But, experience has taught me that all that glitters is not gold. Sometimes the most precious thing we obtain are the thing we had to work the hardest for. But, if you never had to work hard for anything, you will not understand that. But, America, stand by, because we are going to have to work hard, just to survive. And even at that, we may not.

So, how does this fit in my PD blog? Well, having Parkinson's and Dementia makes me work hard to appear and act normal, to do the things I used to do without effort. But, I keep trying to be what I was before this challenge. Some folks look at me and say, "Your not sick" or "You look fine." That aggravates me and makes me happy at the same time. Aggravation because people think I am lying about my issues. Well, they don't know how hard I am working to look "Normal" to them.. Happy, because I know I can still "Do it".

What about our country? I don't know. I think as a nation we are about to get the biggest dose of reality we have ever seen. How this "Me first" generation responds will be interesting and will tell the future. When there is no easy food, no easy jobs, no safety net, that's when we will see what we are made of. Protecting yourself and your family will be your job. Providing food, shelter, warmth, will be your job. The future will be interesting, but I am not sure I want to watch. We will see what we will see.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Parkinson's and Dementia, The beginning

I am a retired Navy Master Chief Gunner's Mate, who worked in the MK 42 and MK 45 5"/54 gun mount world. To say that we "Bathed" in the hydraulic fluid would be an understatement. We did not use protective clothing, respirators, masks, or eye protection of any kind. We often had open cuts and scrapes that permitted anything to enter our bodies. On my first three ships, showers were a luxury. So was drinking water on my first ship, for that matter. I remember going for 30 days without a shower! So, we were constantly in contact with, drenched in, covered by, and breathed in, hydraulic fluid, Mil-F-17111. But, whats to worry? It's just good old petroleum based oil. Nothing synthetic like some of the Snipes (Propulsion Rates) had to deal with. Then, in 1989, the year I retired, the Navy told us that there was a chemical added to the hydraulic fluid, that was carcinogenic and neurotoxic!!! That chemical was tricrysl Phosphate. They changed the formula of Mil-F-17111, but did not flush the old oil out of the hundreds of gun mounts, missile launchers, and gun turrets in the Navy. By this time, I was a tech rep at Naval Sea Support Center,, Atlantic. Doing what? Bathing in hydraulic oil.
The date of this writing is May 28, 2009. A little over 18 months ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Dementia. The neurologist, who took 9 months to make that determination, believes a contributing factor was my extensive exposure to the hydraulic fluid in the gun mounts. She has been very aggressive with my treatment, just as she was with the testing that lead her to this diagnosis. I take medication for the PD and it helps with the rigidity. I take Razadyne and Namenda for the Dementia, but they do little for the Dementia's progression. I have good days, and bad days. However, I notice the downward spiral of these degenerative conditions. Not to worry.
My goal of this BLOG, is to share my experiences, good and bad, and to learn from others experiencing the same challenges. Those of us with PD and Dementia have few to talk to, discuss experiences with, and to compare note with. Sometimes, I feel alone, and I am looking for a friend to walk with me these last few miles.
So, hop on board if you have PD and/or Dementia or are a care giver for someone who does. We can learn from each other and get stronger together.

Monday, May 25, 2009

First post

The Beginning: