A big welcome to readers of my new blog, Deep Brain Thoughts! This is my first blog and, not being a big time writer, is a little bit scary. But I've been through scary stuff before and made it through fine, so I am sure this will be the same (although a few hiccups along the way are expected!)
So... to start with, I'm Tom, and you can find out more about me using the 'About' item on the right side on my blog home page. In this blog I am going to talk about a number of different topics, but the two biggest will be #1: my journey with Parkinson's Disease (PD). And #2: since I just retired from being a computer programmer (for 38 years!) I'll be throwing in some technical stuff here and there also. And who knows? Along the way I might thrown in a few other odds and ends (and some humor as well).
Becoming a Parkie First off, Parkinson's - Yes, I unfortunately have it, and am now an official 'Parkie'
An FYI here: 'Parkie' is what a lot of us call ourselves in the Parkinson's community. Some loathe the term, others - like myself - use it freely. It's important to note that it does not refer to the disease, it refers to a person with the disease. As another blogger (Peter Dunlap-Shohl) put it, "Used between two people with Parkinson's disease 'parkie' is a diminutive that functions a little like the word 'namasaste', only instead of the spark within me recognizing the spark within you, it's the pain in me that recognizes the pain within you, my fellow person with Parkinson's. What could be more ruefully human than that?" I agree; besides it beats the so-called 'real' definition of the term when I looked it up! (Go ahead, try it!) And now you know more than you ever wanted to, huh? :)
I was diagnosed back in 2014 and have been on this journey for a few years now. It is not something I would have chosen, but right at the beginning I decided that I can't do anything to change the diagnosis, so why worry about it? Rather, I decided to fight it for all it's worth, and keep hoping for that future cure! For those of you who have ever watched Bill Cosby's "Himself" video (if you haven't - no matter what you think of him - do it, it's hilarious!), you'll remember that he says he and his wife were 'intellectuals', meaning that before they tackled something (in their case, childbirth) they studied everything they could about it. Well, I guess that makes me an intellectual also (Ha!) because once I was diagnosed with PD, I dived into books and the Internet to learn everything I could about it. So I may not be a walking encyclopedia on PD, but I've learned a lot so far, and am hoping to use some of the knowledge that I have gained to help others out there reading my blog who also have PD. I will also try to present from time to time some of the newest information and research on PD.
One of the exciting things I intend to cover is my own DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) surgery that I hope to be having in the next month or so. Yes, it is brain surgery, but if successful the benefits can be dramatic. I'll explain in a future blog post about DBS and how it will give me an 'electric' brain!
Technology is cool!
Also, I am, and always will be, a 'techie' (or a nerd, and proud of it too!). I got into computers in high school, and ever since then I have loved computers, technology, science, and all that 'nerdy' stuff - sometimes to the annoyment of my sweet wife! (Me: "This new technology will really help us out!!", Her: "But why do we need it?", Me: "Uh... Cause it's
cool??") Well, if I see something 'cool' out there I just may give it a good hashing here in the blog!
There you go... thus ends my very first blog post! I hope you will find my blog interesting and follow it, whether you are a 'parkie', a 'techie', or neither. Feel free to leave feedback, and I'll catch you in the next entry!