someone with parkinson's disease falling down the stairs

The Criminal Intent of Parkinson's

Last updated: October 2022

"They" say that Parkinson's doesn’t shuffle people off this mortal coil. Instead, "they" would blame Parkinson’s related health "concerns" (like aspiration pneumonia and falls) for this criminal act.

Here, it seems all-too convenient for "them" to shift the blame. As if Parkinson’s wasn’t in cahoots with the increased likelihood of exponentially growing "concerns" in our lives! Thus, "they" create a sense of doubt on a technicality, and Parkinson’s gets off the hook.

True - Parkinson's is not a life-ender, but whoever "they" are, they need to reassess their evaluation. Otherwise, we need a special master since "they" seem to have vested interests in these "facts."

People with Parkinson’s are not impressed with walking with a potential criminal. If you ask me, "they" seem to be forgetting "Colonel Mustard" when they say at "the front stairs" with "Sparky’s leash" or in "New Orleans French Quarter" with "some really bad pathogens."

Life with Parkinson's is challenging

Also true - Parkinson's makes life a lot more challenging. If we look at objective facts, I’m going to state for a certainty that the pneumonia I concocted wasn’t the bi-product of some voodoo curse. That I contracted pneumonia while on vacation in NOLA back at the end of 2017 also wasn’t the fault of the person thwacking me while he swung his satchel indiscriminately as he ran off the plane. It would make a good cable movie if it were any of these things, but it’s not true. Here, my symptoms started well before that thwack on the back.

In the world of epidemiology, I can probably trace pneumonia back to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, that’s not unfortunate exposure to being too near the Gates of Guinee.

Let’s face it; New Orleans is cool, but it’s not clean. Thus, Parkinson’s doubled down on the effects of the regular variant of this dumpster fire. This led to my doctors’ worry that my lungs could be permanently damaged by food going down the wrong tube.

Who is to blame?

And yes, being slid into the MRI machine after the pneumonia came back in early 2018, it did feel like being at St. Louis Cemetery #1. In that moment, I knew what I was getting into with the worry about where my food could be going when I went back to the hospital that second time.

A world of not so goodedness.

For this, I demand a reassessment of who is to blame because something or someone needs to face the wrath of my GRRR. Being able to go after the implement of destruction itself will not suffice.

Attacked by life's essential functions

It’s not a good thing to be facing mortality. Like filling out a will in 1991 before being deployed to the Turkish/Syrian/Iraqi border after Operation Desert Storm, the twists and turns of life placed the reality of the game before me. That moment was heavy, but life is about showing us heavier moments.

When I was 19, I had no idea what I was going to face in what I saw as a war zone. At 46, the difference with pneumonia the second time was that I knew what the "line of fire" felt like. In reality, that military deployment was just a support role, close, but far enough from danger. This main event battle with pneumonia was the real thing.

My chest felt heavy, and I couldn’t breathe effectively walking across the room. The hot and cold flashes sucked. The fear was real. This is why I took COVID extra seriously and felt others should take respiratory concerns seriously as well.

Have a nice fall?

In the same way that pneumonia scared the tar out of me, having my dog Sparky pull me along on his high-speed zoomie adventure was a nightmare waiting to happen. His excitement at being granted freedom and his uncontrolled urge to catch up with a dog, which was walking up the street, was a brutal combination.

My lack of balance mixed with his energy twisting his long leash around my legs. As I struggled to control him, inertia took over and I went down the front steps.

Going down the first 3 steps, across the sidewalk, I flew over the final 4 steps. I barely remember the sidewalk before my left ribs smashed the street. My left knee and elbow hit the street, too. So did my right hand. Other than a little blood and bruising on my knee, I appeared okay, but over 3 weeks later, I still hurt.

Fourteen pounds of uncontrolled fury

As for Sparky he came to check on me when I wasn’t moving. Fortunately, he didn’t run away, but when he determined I was still breathing, he walked back over to the flowers and smelled the flora. At least he didn’t run away or play in the street. He’s got that going for him.

The time since has been tough. I love my little mutt, but a part of me got caught up in the "you hurt daddy" response. It was tough to play. I had difficulty getting up. Coughing was an ordeal. I didn’t want to take it out on my little guy, but a part of me has been cautious around his play.

I’ve been more angsty about his playful nibbling or ankle attacks to get my socks. It’s not a fun feeling, but something in me has to be cautious about what can happen to me. So, rather than take this out on Sparky, I want Parkinson’s charged in full. Is this too much to ask?

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