Monday, January 26, 2009

Shivering Penguins! This blog is a year old!

"Troubles Overcome are Good to Tell" -

Italian Proverb, from the writing of Primo Levi

Yikes, this blog is now just over a year old! The first post went up January 19, 2008. In the following time we've looked at everything from the Greatest Parkinson's Love Story Ever Told, to some of the dumbest things doctors say, when delivering a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease.

Since I installed a hit counter about two weeks into the project, "Off and On" had a total of 2,695 visits (only half of which were me checking for comments) from 66 countries and territories all around the World. There have been visits from every continent but Antarctica, where the penguins are all in denial "Tremor? Nah, I'm just shivering, you idiot."

Here is a sample of visits from unexpected locales tallied for the year by my hit counter: Israel (8 visits), Malaysia (7 visits), Singapore (7 visits), Turkey (6 visits), China (4 visits), and let's not forget Iran, Bangladesh, Belarus and Jamaica, with one visit each.

Wow. Parkinson's Disease: Bringing the world together.

I hope, dear reader, that this has been valuable to you. It has certainly helped me to cope. Writing is a sort of deliberate thinking. It is a focused exploration which simultaneously creates ideas and reveals them. When I try to explain my thoughts and feelings to you, I come to understand them better myself. Or at least, it feels that way.

Just as important, your comments and even your silent visits, (which are currently running between 5-15 a day) tell me that there is solidarity and understanding out there that reaches around the Globe. That is heartening. I'm sorry that you who read this were dragged into the struggle, but it is good to know we do not struggle alone

What does the future hold? Dangerous question, but I can go at least this far: More trouble and more telling. Because not only are troubles overcome good to tell, telling is part of the overcoming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A friend sent me this link and I just had to pass it on. It touched my heart. Hopefully it does the same for you.

My name is Steve Alten, I am the best-selling author of ten novels, including the MEG series, DOMAIN, The LOCH, and GOLIATH. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. I was 47 at the time, with no family history. Parkinsons is a degenerative disease that causes tremors and muscle rigidity. For me, the symptoms affect my dominant right side. My arm no longer swings freely when I walk, and doing certain activities can be challenging. I have never felt sorry for myself, I consider myself a lucky person and have too much in my life to be grateful for. So I will fight this setback as best as I can, and hopefully contribute something of value that can help find a cure, if not for myself then others.

Parkinsons is a disease that can be cured. Michael J. Fox and his foundation have done an incredible job organizing researchers to focus on the medical science that makes a difference.

Since my own diagnosis, I have asked myself what I can do to help. Writing books is a time-consuming labor, plus I spend time visiting schools, plus I have a family?plus I need to work out or my muscles stiffen up. Oh yeah, every day I answer 100 e-mails from fans. It?s a labor of love, as an author, my most valued asset is YOU, my readers. Over the last 13 years, I have worked hard to earn your trust. All of you who have ever e-mailed me know I ALWAYS RESPOND PERSONALLY. Students know I am always honored to answer their Q & A assignments for school. Thousands of teachers in the Adopt-An-Author program know I am always there to speak with their students via phone, e-mails, or personal visits.

Times are tight for many of us, and so many organizations need money ? I know because many of you contact me asking for donations on their behalf. I never say no. Over the years, I have also sent boxes of signed books to our soldiers overseas in appreciation for their sacrifice. But I need to do something to support the Michael J. Fox foundation, not because I have Parkinsons, but because I am convinced they are doing valuable work that can help all of us.


I am asking each person reading this to please go to

and donate $10 dollars to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Please, only ten dollars. Because ten dollars from ten thousand Steve Alten readers CAN make a serious difference in the fight against a disease that affects millions of Americans?including this humble author.

My deepest heartfelt thanks,

Steve Alten