blogs

April 18, 2017

April is Parkinson Awareness Month. It is important that everyone at

least have enough awareness of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

to know when you or a loved one should go and see a neurologist. I

found out, at 41 years old, as Michael J. Fox discovered in his late 20’s,

that I had Parkinson’s disease. As the doctor that diagnosed me

explained to me, I had all the classic symptoms: micro handwriting,

blank facial expression (called masking), arm did not swing when I

walked, did not blink and hand shaking. The funny thing is that I did not

notice any of these symptoms. AND neither did the 3 doctors that I

recently went to for unrelated medical issues. I have found that this is

not unusual, but more like the norm.

This goes out to the hundreds of millions of people who have no

association with Parkinson’s disease and no idea what it is. Yes, that

likely includes you.

Parkinson’s occurs when the brain slows its production of dopamine. It

is not until your dopamine level gets lower than 20% that you start to

really feel the effects of it. However, unrecognized earlier symptoms

may include, among others, loss of sense of smell, vivid dreams, acting

out of dreams (I was once a superhero jumping off a blimp into

powerlines and woke up on the bedroom floor with cuts all over my

face from hitting the nightstand with my face), voice unknowingly

getting softer, unexplained fatigue and an occasional hand tremor.

Once the dopamine level in the brain gets below 20% of what is normal,

you have Parkinson’s disease whether diagnosed or not. Parkinson’s

disease can manifest itself in painful muscle cramps, uncontrollable

shaking, inability to walk, no longer able to drive, swallowing issues,

loss of short-term memory, stress from no longer being able to earn a

living, sexual difficulties, freezing up, stiffness, compulsive behavior

(gambling), bathroom issues, loss of self-esteem, depression, etc., etc.,

etc.

This is also Parkinsons Awareness Month for the many

extraordinary people who have found the inner strength that they

never imagined they possessed to see themselves the way that I see

them: courageous, tenacious, strong, perceptive, kind and, especially,

loving. A true community.

I want to dedicate this Parkinsons Awareness Month to those who

have loved ones who have died this past year to be given

the awareness that their loved one has not lost the fight, but they

simply just ran out of rounds. We win when we have done all that we

could, demonstrating extraordinary discipline and inner strength, to live

the best life possible for as long as possible. Healthy Food, Exercise,

Positive Thinking, Remaining Mentally Challenged, etc. That’s how we

win!!!

Testimonials

I do not have the words to thank you enough for making the trip to Dallas to do two presentations for us at CC young. You truly are special and a rockstar and clearly touched many lives today. It is a victory! I was able to run all over campus and welcome guests and host you. It was a victory. Thanks to you for helping me think that way. We will catch you on the next round. Get some rest my friend. Safe travels. And know we love you from CC Young and Dallas!

Patty CC Young and Dallas

“After two years of not being able to hear speakers in person , I was thrilled to have John Bauman as a speaker at our “ Living Well With Parkinson’s’ Gala!. Not only was John engaging and inspiring to get to know off stage , on stage he truly drove home the theme of empowerment to our audience and left our growing community of attendees with several “ aha “ moments and desire to hear more. He spoke from personal experience as a Parkinson’s patient ,inspiring the audiences motivation to truly wish to make a difference and uniting us all in our humanity. Attendees after listening to John , felt inspired to make a difference in the world and do their part to create change for those living with Parkinson’s. My only regret was not being able to spend more time with John and I look forward to having him speak again to our audience.”

Naomi Wong WPP Program Manager

John’s message of hope, inspiration and laughter was ideal for anyone living with PD. He was extremely flexible and a delight to work with.

Leisha Phipps, MSW Program Director - Dallas Area Parkinson Society

We all felt inspired and enjoyed listening to your presentation. Even though we are not living with Parkinson’s, we felt boost of motivation to continue helping those who are living with this disease. I am motivated to make more personal phone calls to people living with PD and asking how they are doing. Sometimes that “extra” bit of kindness truly makes a difference to someone. I am also motivated to research program ideas and partner with other organizations that may have similar values.

I learned that life is unexpected and that you cannot control it. What matters is your attitude!

-Great way to end the day, brave man, thank you very much!

-Good, excellent, great, outstanding speaker, very moving!

-Inspirational who just “gets it”

-Positive thinker and very funny!

-Honest speaker but also humorous!

Parkinson’s Society of Southwest Ontario, Canada, Symposium Keynote Presentation

“whatever hand life deals you, whatever life changing adversity you have to endure, you still have some control over it.” “You don’t have to just to live well,” he advises,” but live an Amazing Life.” The formula he proposes: Faith in yourself, discipline, determination, desire, intensity, and inner strength.

MARY SPREMULLI VOICE AEROBICS

Yes, you touched every person at our conference, who will in turn change and impact so many others. The feedback from our participants was overwhelmingly positive. You are the only speaker to ever receive a standing ovation. Thank you for taking time to share, motivate and inspire. We are blessed to know you.

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING REHABILITATION HOSPITAL

I will be honest. During the first 10 minutes of your presentation, I started reading work related material on my laptop. For surely, I had watched your You-Tube and seen your videos and knew what to expect. Surely, as a therapist I had studied this disease, the pathological components, the psychological components, the treatment alternatives……..Surely, I understand it.

Not so much. You caught my attention and I was enthralled. You were able to couple the impairments you experience with the emotions felt. You walked us through your life with the disease through “your eyes”. A perspective that a therapist/nurse rarely has the chance to hear. We get so busy telling patients how to deal with x, y and z, but our eyes are blurred by the science of it all most of the time.

You did it through truth, Through your humor, humility and determination to tell your story. One that most deservedly needs to be shared.

I will advocate to have you share your story. I appreciate your determination, diligence and dedication.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER REHABILITATION HOSPITAL