Thursday, February 26, 2015

"My Degeneration" a Memoir About Living With Young-Onset Parkinson's Disease

After four years of wandering in the desert, burnt by the Sun, frozen by night, chapped from the wind, infested with sand flies, dazed with heatstroke, faint with hunger, dejected, rejected, demoralized, but nevertheless, oddly optimistic, I seem to have landed a publisher for my graphic-novel style account of my confrontation with young-onset Parkinson's Disease.

The hope is that many who would be intimidated or otherwise disinclined to learn about Parkinson's will find this an alternate way into this complex and destructive disease. I especially wish this to be a comfort to the newly diagnosed, something that can offer credible hope. The initial manuscript has undergone massive renovation to fit comfortably in a series of books that Penn State Press is undertaking on medical comics, created by patients, doctors, nurses etc. on the sensible theory that comics offer a powerful lens to examine the relationships between doctors, patients, disease and how it all plays out in the larger context of community and society.

The plan is to bring out the book, entitled "My Degeneration", this coming fall. Here are a couple of pages. The first is from a section on Parkinson's terminology, the second is from a description of Deep Brain Stimulation, a surgical intervention for Parkinson's Disease as well as several other neurological disorders.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Parkinsonian Facial Masking Jumps the Language Barrier

Many years ago, I drew this cartoon

Over the years I have had many requests to reprint, or repost this drawing, which I am usually happy to grant (yes it's a power trip.)  And I appreciate the effort these people go through to track down an obscure cartoonist who lives far, far away. But I have a new BFF, Leszek Dobrowolski from Poland. Leszek not only tracked me down from another hemisphere, but across a formidable language barrier as well. In fluent English, Leszek graciously asked permission to reprint a Polish-language version of the above cartoon (The translation appears below). Parkinson's Disease, uniting the World.