I was diagnosed with PD in the fall of 2009, the year I turned 80. Until recently, I've fought to maintain as much of my pre-diagnosis quality of life as possible.
Now I'm switching my focus. I have a serious progressive disease, and I'll be 87 in a few months. I must re-examine virtually everything about my old "normal" life, make appropriate changes for the very different man I am now, and prepare for my final exit.
Guidance from President Obama
President Obama told Vanity Fair recently:
You'll see I wear only gray or blue suits.I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.Well, I don't have that many big decisions to make. I just want to conserve my increasingly limited energy.
For example, yesterday I decided I'd just put blueberries on my morning cereal and forget about the blackberries and raspberries. Blueberries are one of our healthiest foods, and a favorite of mine. Why waste the time and energy buying, storing, and eating the blackberries and raspberries? This change may save me only a few minutes a day... but that's over 12 hours a year.
Many of the changes I'm making will conserve much more of my time and energy. Several examples:
- I've canceled the daily delivery of the Washington Post and now get only the Sunday paper. I don't think I'm missing much by not reading yet another story about Metro breakdowns.
- I'm throwing away about 90 percent of the books I've got stashed all over the house, and most of the miscellaneous clutter I've accumulated over the years.
- My recycle bin is overflowing with the papers I'm discarding from my files. Many are clippings and printouts of information I can now easily find on the internet.
I started this blog six years ago to tell everybody with PD about my "miracle experience" with the OTC supplement 5-HTP. When I learned I was just about the only person experiencing this miracle, I began researching and writing posts featuring the latest studies about health generally, and about PD and aging in particular.
This change is win-win for me. The "me" posts are much quicker and easier to do, so I spend less time sitting at my computer -- another recent, important goal.
The blog readership statistics suggest that these more personal posts are more likely to be read and -- I hope -- enjoyed.