Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wachet auf -- the raging Lion

Although I am Jewish, I do love the great Christian choral music of Bach and Handel in particular.  This morning as I lay in repose (see picture above), I heard "WACHET AUF!"  "Sleepers Awake," J.S. Bach commands us in his magnificent cantata.  I wasn't actually asleep, J.S.B., I was thinking about rising up and grading papers or taking a walk before doing anything that demanding.  Conveniently, just as I put my hand on the door knob, the heavens opened up, and I was forced to revert to my first idea--grading the English composition finals, the stack of which was growing taller and taller as I had lain thinking.

For inspiration, I  pulled up Bach on You Tube and, after painstaking and time-consuming (anything to avoid the obvious) analysis, I chose the best version to play. Continuing to avoid work, I then studied the translation and became confused by a verb form that challenged my German fluency.   Having finally worn my OCD self out pursuing distractions, I opened the first student paper on the stack.  It had been written by an older, very mature student. There was a personal note attached to it, and it was about Parkinson's.   He said his grandmother is in stage 5 and he wanted to talk to me and get connected with the Neurology Department at Vanderbilt. So this time I had a valid excuse not to grade papers or take a walk in the rain. I had to write a long overdue blog. After all, first there was the subliminal message telling me to wake up. Then there was there was the lightning bolt in the form of my student's questions.

My student's mention of the stages of PD intrigued me, so I did some research.  My neurologist thinks I have had PD about 10 years, but she also said I was at possibly stage 2. Slow progression?  My fears are well documented in earlier blogs, but I am avoiding the temptation of rattling them off again.  I found an outstanding web site that discusses stages of PD, answers some of our scariest questions, and provides positive information to help us battle PD the best we can.  What did they say at the Vanderbilt Symposium that inspired my first blog Come Run with Me?

EXERCISE.  If they said it once, they said it a thousand times.  So here's the  WebMD site  I am working with right now.  The stages of this thing we have are undeniably worrisome, but living with it is key to our survival, and WebMD site is a gold mine of information.  As I get my pedaling exerciser set up for a morning of activity indoors, I have to conclude with a reference to Vanderbilt's Symposium again.  They have posted the presentations from October's magnificent program. I highly recommend reading these. No, I will exercise professorial privilege and assign them.

For those of you who have walked this path with me, you know I promised exercise and everything proactive I could do.  I have, sadly, slipped.   The season has gotten me down, school has consumed me, and trip preparations have forced me to give our vehicles the tender loving care I am not giving myself or my beautiful partner.   So....won't you join me again?

The lion is now raging and ready to take on the world again.