I Good Morning Cow Girls and Cow Boys
I had a wonderfully - carefree - fancy free - see right though me - experience Friday morning. You should go with me next time, you’d love it. I went to the Baptist Heath Warehouse and had a Modified Barium Swallow Test done. This is were where I had one of the incredibly professional, well groomed, and articulate healing responsibilitators and life savulators has me drink a RADIOACTIVE chemical called Barium, It was presented to me with various degrees of viscociy in what must be it’s most unpalatable form. It does what the name says it tests the efficiency of my ability to swallow.
This is a test that all parkinsons patients will eventually have. One of the major causes of death for PWP (persons with parkinsons) is Pneumonia. The human throat was designed so that when you swallow, food or drink, a little flap of cartilage closes access to your trachea, routing this addition of nutrition to your esophagus and down to your your stomach where it belongs. The muscles on your throat are responsible for this and they usually they do a bang up job, but when you have parkinsons your throat muscles can brome slackers, dropping out of school and sleeping until 3 pm. Causing this flap to take a vacation from which it rarely returns. You aspirate - you get fluid into you lungs - you get Pneumonia - you die. Pneumonia is often called the old persons best friend because it ends your life quickly before your insurance runs out, saving you the hassle of picking out which hospice to use. With friends like that...
Notice I said - Old persons friend - I consider any one under the age of 80 to still be young. I am well within that self derived oldness parameter. I AM NOT OLD. I might not be a young man any more - BUT I AM NOT OLD. Todays test is one of the reasons that I can still make that statement . I passed with fyiing colors. The really nice and thoroughly talented person who gave me the exam said I had some penetration with very little, if any, aspiration. I am also able to easily cough up any thin liquid - syrupy nectar - or soft food (like applesauce) well before it gets a chance to enter my lungs. This is because I am in good shape - I don’t smoke, and ( I’ll say it again - I AM NOT OLD). I also use a little device daily that helps me to exercise my throat muscles. I passed this test because I studied very hard, there is no way to cheat when you are being evaluated by a thoroughly trained a swallow test administer. I passed because I get up every morning ready and wiling to kick mr parkinsons ass. Sometimes I do., I do kick his sorry good for nothing ass - sometimes I don’t. On those days I don’t pound his stupid face back to19th century England or wherever he is from, on those days when I feel like I'm in the middle if a tornado made from my perpetually sore muscles, on those days I may lose, however, he does not win. In order for mr p to win I would have gave up - quit fighting - and let him take my life - a schoolyard bully taking my lunch money.
Ain’t nobody, bully or otherwise, taking this man’s lunch money. I worked too hard to get it and I am hungry as hell. Nobody is going to take my lunch away from me as long as I remain a fighter, as long as I remain a lover of all the good things God has given me, As long as never think or act like I am old. Of course, we all have to graduate and move on to the next phase of our education the next phase of immortal existence. I too will turn in my books and make way for the next class of students, someday, when its my turn. I refuse to leave before graduation day, as a mater of fact I’m gonna work even harder and pass every test that it given to me and then some I want the extra credit. That is not what an old student who is tired of school would say because... I AM NOT OLD. I AM NOT OLD.
It was the Summer of Rachael - welcome to the Winter of Chris
Rachael has moved on, our arrangement was temporary. I new this day would come, I miss my little buddy, but I am not sad. She has landed a great job and moved into a cute little garage apartment walking distance from my house. We became the best of friends during her short stay here at the Garden and I will miss her. Next up is Chris Musker, a friend of my son Donovan who has worked as part of my support crew for several years. Chris hails from Atlanta GA. but we won’t hold that against him. I have more to say about Chris in the weeks to come, I will say that with out his help as a facilitator of my ever expanding hydrogen bomb imagination the GARDEN OF COLORS would never open on time. .
The other day Chris read on the wall of my triangulated studio of serendipity overlooking the GARDEN OF COLOR “I will not act my age” I explained to him (as I have to do with everyone) this does not mean that I will not act in a manner that is considered appropriate for my sightly advanced age and instead act like a person much younger - staying up all night - jumping up and down on the bed - making prank phone calls. No, it means I will not act like the age that I feel, which changes constantly. Somedays I feel like I am eight years old, riding my bike too fast, playing in the rain, carrying frogs in my pocket and somedays I feel like I’m a college student again drinking until I can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys and somedays I’m back in high school doing donuts with my car in an empty parking lot. But the most destructive behavior of this chronologically impaired PWP is when I think I can work as hard doing physical labor as a man half my age. I must realize - I can’t. No one can. I have to constantly remind myself of this fact, that is what I mean by “I will not act my age.”
Chris who has seen the same amount of birthdays as Donovqn (30) thought about that for a moment an responded with this profundity."So that means the older you get the amount ages that you can act and feel like like increases. I’m not saying that you should act like them but it’s nice to know our options increase with age”
So true - I at 57 know what it’s like to be 19 but a 19 year old has no idea what it’s like to be 57. Yes Chris, our options do increase as we get older as does our opportunity to make mistakes. But mistakes aren’t nessesarily a bad thing as long as you know when they happen and you have a plan to keep them from reoccurring. Welcome aboard Chris.
That’s all I have for now, see you in a dark alley late some night in the near future .
just say yes!
meet Andy Ward King, a professional musician and artist until a diagnosis of parkinons dsease at age 49 forced him into an early retirement., he now uses his music, his art along with the whimsical world he has created in this blog as therapy to ( as he puts it ) outsmart his brain and make the daily battles with parkinson’s a little bit easier, to give him that all important reason to get up on the morning, to make his life worth living. Andy has learned how to say NO to gving up \ NO to depression and apathy \ NO to following willingly the road of decline that stretches before him. he learned that to say no to all of these things all one has to do is say yes. Andy has learned to just say YES to life/\\