In my last post, I listed the experiences that could have been a factor in why I was predisposed to developing a neurological condition like Parkinson’s. I was inspired to write the blog after reading Micheal J Fox’s books, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up.
Actually, my main motivation for reading these books was to see if in fact MJF and I did have something in common. I’ve only known two people personally who had PD (a police officer who worked with my dad when I was a kid and my high school history teacher), but both have passed on and I know nothing about their life experiences. Interestingly enough, the police officer was my best friend’s dad and I was diagnosed with PD shortly after I started writing my first book, The History Teacher! Weird eh? I think it means that if your best friend’s dad and the teacher who teaches your favourite subject develop the same disease, run! Better still (since there’s really nowhere to run), call your MD!
So, in reading MJF’s books it was with some hope that I would find commonalities in our experiences … and I wasn’t disappointed.
First, like me, MJF experienced at least one severe head injury (concussion) growing up. The potential for damage to the neurology of the brain from a head injury is rather obvious. Second, we both lost ‘best’ friends to tragedy when we were young (mine to leukemia, MJF’s to suicide). Something like this can really mess with your mind (brain chemistry), especially if you’re not encouraged to grieve. Third, we both drank excessively in our teens and twenties. Again, I think the connection to a disruption in brain chemistry is compelling.
That’s not all we have in common. We both:
- ate poorly
- drank a lot of diet pop (sweetened with aspartame, in my opinion, the most toxic substance ever approved for human consumption)
- were rebellious in our teens
- grew up harbouring a lot of anger
- are Canadian (to be honest with you I don’t really think this is a factor)
We also have commonalities in what I would call, personality traits. We both:
- have a sweet tooth (which I’ve always associated, energetically speaking, with trying to fill a happiness void)
- are busy-aholics (we both have a need to keep busy with work and other activities)
- are always looking for our next success/accomplishment (another addiction, stemming, at least for me from a fear of not being good enough)
- grew up with a need to please (especially our fathers … mine a police officer and MJF’s a member of the armed forces … another interesting connection, with both of our fathers involved in serving and protecting)
- we dislike confrontation
Now, there are some significant things we don’t have in common:
- I was 49 years old when I developed the first symptoms. MJF was only 29, which is very rare.
- MJF fulfilled his dream of being a professional actor, while I was unable to achieve my childhood dreams of being a professional hockey player and veterinarian
- MJF is happily married, while I am divorced
Again, I’m not clear on what, if anything, all this means, as it relates to healing Parkinson’s naturally, but I believe certain experiences, particularly those involving physical and emotional trauma leave us predisposed to developing specific conditions, be it PD, cancer or whatever, and in the cause quite often is found the cure.
Wait! I just had a thought. MJF’s and my first child were born with colic. I’ll never forget the endless hours of crying, particularly at bedtime (I was up until 5:30 in the morning with my daughter on her first Christmas Eve)! Yes, if anything can cause a neurological breakdown in an emotionally fragile father, it’s a colicky baby!
Have an awesomely connected day!