Above, a rare photograph of The Ogre Who Says No caught in reflection on the back of the resophonic mandolin
Well the new brain hardware is getting road-tested this weekend when our band, Whiskey Jacks heads for Homer to play Alice's Champagne Palace. In an earlier post, I explained why it was difficult to tell if the device was actually working as I stumbled toward the right mix of stimulation to medication. Now it's a different story. The effect of the electric stimulation seems to have become more pronounced in the past three weeks making me wriggle with involuntary movement.
After experimenting with my meds again over the past few days it seems that I am about at the correct level to avoid frequent "off" periods, during which movement is minimal and difficult, but the trade-off is that I spend much of my on time uncomfortably dyskinetic, or "Joe Cocker" to you lay persons out there. During these dyskinetic "Ons", I tend to wave my arms, grimace and stagger, presenting the appearance of a tipsy street preacher. This is even less charming than it sounds. I've begun to think of myself as alternating between "Off" periods and "Oaf" periods.
More important, it makes me a bit erratic at time keeping when flailing away at the mandolin. The upshot of all this is that I am now actually dialing back the strength of the electric current that flows to my brain. (Man, I just reread that sentence, how 21st Century can you get? My mandolin is acoustic, but I'm electric!) Let's hope I can achieve a harmonic convergence between medication and stimulation by Saturday night.
In the past I would have been spared this precarious position by the Ogre Who Says No, my old alter ego who could always find a reason not to do something new or risky. The Ogre would have pointed out, for example that Peter can't play the mandolin. And I never would have learned. Thanks for nothing, Ogre.
It's imperative to say "Yes" sometimes. To live "Yes". If you spend too much time wth the Ogre, you'll get smothered by the musty blanket of boredom.
So I'm sending the Ogre an invitation to the performance, (not that he'll come) and betting that everything will be OK, or better. And if I'm wrong, well, I'd rather answer to my band mates than the ogre any day.
Welcometo all with an interest in Parkinson's Disease. This blog was to be an information clearinghouse for the Anchorage Parkinson's Disease Support Group, where meeting schedules, agendas, speakers etc could be found. It's still that, but has also become a sort of therapeutic hobby. So I invite you to join in the discussion and experience a little therapy as well. This will be as interesting as we as a community make it. Think loud and sound off!
Our Support group meets the third Saturday of each month at 3:30 in the afternoon. The meetings take place at the Anchorage Pioneer Home , 923 West 11th Avenue in downtown Anchorage on the fifth floor in the West lounge. You may call 350-9691 with questions about the group and meetings.
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The Knight Digital Media Center, judges of the Alaska Press Club's annual journalism awards selected The Alaska Parkinson's Rag for second place in the "Best Blog" category for 2008. Here is an excerpt of their comments:
"...Alaska Parkinson's Rag is many things: a community resource, a humor column, a science and medicine explainer. But it's also something that few blogs ever manage to be: addictive and gripping. Everything seems to work just right on this blog, and it is a powerful testament to what a person can achieve in this medium. "