Friday, April 22, 2011


We woke this morning to another cold, windy, and rainy day just like 15 of the past 22 days. This is getting old now. This Spring has been one of the worst on record as far as temperatures and precipitation go. Usually by this third week of April I have fertilized the lawn and cut it a couple times. I haven’t done either of those yet. By now we have been to the lake and opened the cottage for the season. We haven’t bothered to even think about that yet since there was a snowstorm earlier this week that dumped 8” of snow there. I normally would have played a half dozen rounds of golf so far, but I haven’t even swung a club yet with any real intention.

All this foul weather has bred some foul attitudes and dispositions around here. We’ve been mostly housebound for the past month—not actually stuck in the house but reluctant to venture out in the cold and wind and rain. There are just the two of us in the house and yet we seem to be constantly in each other’s way. She allows the slightest transgression or perceived wrong to get blown way out of proportion. I’ve been accused of such heinous crimes—the toilet seat in the wrong position, failing to turn the coffee pot off, allowing the kitchen garbage to nearly overflow—that you would expect an imminent divorce if not outright murder. I am not without fault though either. I sit at the kitchen breakfast counter nursing a cup of tepid coffee, mumbling mostly incomprehensible imprecations in her direction. I still have the good sense to nod in agreement with anything she says even though I don’t actually hear most of what she says.

We desperately need a few days of sunshine so we can get out of the house and out of each other’s way. We need some spring sunshine so I can tend my lawn and swing a golf club. And we need it soon. Our marriage is on the line.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

art show reception

This evening we attended the reception for the Art Over Adversity Gallery Show for Parkinson Awareness Month. There was a very nice turnout of both artists and their supporters. The show was organized by the Wisconsin Parkinson Association and, by the great response, was the first of many more to come.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

art show

Here are some pictures of the Art Over Adversity Gallery Show for Parkinson Awareness Month which is installed at the Thunder Mountain Press Gallery in Milwaukee through the month of April. The show was open to anyone with PD or their family members. I was pleased, and even a bit surprised, at the high quality of the art works presented. I guess I didn't really know quite what to expect. The show hasn't been advertised as much as I hoped and the gallery itself is somewhat difficult to get to (it is on the fifth floor with spotty elevator service) but according to the gallery operator there has been good response so far. There is a reception for the artists and supporters on the 21st of this month where I hope I'll get to meet some of my fellow artists. All in all a satisfying event.
The first picture shows my two turned vessels.

Friday, April 01, 2011

PD and massage

I missed my weekly massage this week and I’m feeling it. About three months ago I started getting a massage each week as a kind of therapy to help me stay more flexible and be less rigid and achy.

Parkinson Disease typically affects the PD patient’s muscles because we tend to ignore our physical fitness. It is just so damn hard to exercise when you have trouble moving normally. Exercise becomes too difficult, too much of a chore. Consequently our muscles get weaker and less flexible. Often you will see a PD person shuffling along, stooped over forward, unable to stand up straight because of those weakened and inflexible muscles.

I vowed that I wouldn’t let that happen to me. I exercise diligently every day, usually for an hour or so. I have a regular routine that includes the treadmill, the stationary bike, weight training, and stretching. In summer I ride my bicycle and play a lot of golf. In the inclement winter months I also use the Wii game system to provide some variety in the routine.

And then I added the regular massage to the routine and found it to be very beneficial. The first several weeks I didn’t notice any significant long lasting effects from the hour long massage. But then one day I realized that I no longer had the chronic aches and pains that had become so much of my life. I found it easier everyday to get into the exercise routine because I wasn’t so stiff and sore all the time. So this week when I couldn’t get my regular massage, I noticed the tightening of some of those muscles again. I don’t have any chronic aches yet again, but next week’s scheduled massage can’t get here soon enough.