I am very happy to know that Parkinson’s is under a lot of research when, not too long ago, it practically did not exist. It is a terrible disease that most of the people who don’t have it or is not around it, just don’t understand it. It is not contagious nor will it cause others any harm. The only harm that may be done is accidentally to the individual.
Others do not realize that the individual that have the disease may trip and fall or shake something onto themselves or others. Others do not understand that the individual with Parkinson’s disease cannot help or control the shaking. I have a form of Parkinson’s and it is a form that most, and some doctors, have not seen. I am seen as normal and that there is nothing wrong with me. Most of the time I think that also until I use my right hand to write. Then everyone knows something is very, very wrong. I cannot control my hand enough to write anything. In fact, I cannot do anything with my right hand that requires any type of control.
I am teaching myself to write with my left hand and, slowly, trying to completely switch to my left hand. It is crazy that I can control my left hand but not my right. I can do just about anything with my right hand, including exercising, just like before; I just can’t write or do anything that requires intricate detail work with my right hand.
This slowly crept up on me over the years. I really didn’t realize it was happening until it was getting to be really bad. As I thought about when this started, I realize it was ten years or more ago. I can even go back further than that and I think that is getting to the root cause. A cause I think my doctors have not keyed on or have simply disregarded. I had a massive stroke in nineteen seventy two that paralyzed my right side. I was unconscious for two weeks and came out of it okay. The only outward effect I have from the stroke is my right eye is slightly off center with my left eye. Without my eye glasses I see double.
I believe I think straight and I have put two and two together and I believe the stroke as well as the Parkinson is related. Then there is Agent Orange. That is the chemical that was used during the Vietnam War as a defoliant. The United States Government believes Agent Orange, Parkinson and possibly other ailments are related and is paying a disability benefit for just being in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, no questions asked. I was there but I have been trying for four years to prove I was there although I have proven I have a form of Parkinson disease even though it’s a weird form.
To add it all up four things need to be done. There need to be more progressive medical research (more money for the research and more researchers). There need to be more doctors that will aggressively sink their teeth into Parkinson instead of a lot of seminars. There need to be more publicity to inform everyone about the disease. And, last but not least, the G. I.s must get what is due faster. Not just promises but action. Action comes from sincerely working on the problem and taking care of us G.I.s. Parkinson is one of the ugly diseases that deserve immediate action.