Parkinson's Disease

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Culture Shock, a short story (I notice that I write horror stories when depressed, especially zombie fiction)

I was lost, asleep, caught in a nightmare, until Professor Andrews rescued me. His treatment was new, radical and no-one else had thought of it, let alone tried it. I was the first successful guinea pig - all the others had 'died' or remained unchanged but I was saved. The current was too strong, too weak or the condition of the others was too far gone. After the series of shocks, I started to remember who I was, who I'd been before and then I was slowly able to communicate this to others. "My name is Charles Ward," I said, stumblingly.

"I used to live in Acacia Avenue, Fulham. I was married with two children, until the illness took me. My family - God no! Were my first victims (I would have cried, had it been physically possible but my condition stopped me).

"It's alright old man. Steady on. It's perfectly understandable. The horrors of your previous life," said the professor.

He was the only one who treated me with kindness. The others in the establishment called me a monster and didn't trust me.

"Once one of them, always one of them," they intoned behind my back.

"You just can't trust them - I wouldn't turn my back on him for a second."

I was still a monster, a misfit to them and would revert to type, given half a chance. Maybe they were right - how could I tell? I could be fine one minute and slide back into bad habits in an instant - who knows? Even the professor can't be sure, which is why I'm monitored so thoroughly. The cameras pan me. Eyes follow my every move. If it wasn't for the recovered memories of who I was, I might become paranoid.

My beautiful daughters! My wife! How could I do this horrible thing to them? I was a monster alright. A creature not to be trusted. I was an addict of human flesh and the professor had saved me.

They give me insulin and feed me nutrients, intravenously because they say I cannot digest food normally yet. Apparently all the dead flesh is returning to life and I am becoming 'human' again. They say the return to conscious awareness is the first stage and that they might be winning this war, if they can turn me back to normality. The professor believes that consciousness is what keeps the animal urges under control and stops me - us in fact, from being condemned to a life of mindless cannibalism, eternally. I hope he is right. He further believes (and the evidence seems to suggest it, strongly) that once you've captured the mind and got it in thrall, the body will follow. He says, like criminals and addicts, it's a question of reprogramming the being. I really hope he is right.

The guards wanted their revenge on me - not for my crimes against my own flesh and blood but for those they had lost to 'my kind.' It gave them a sense of closure and of power, to beat the hell out of me. It made little to me as I felt nothing and was broken already, in mind and spirit, and as the professor said the body just followed down the mineshaft of terror.

I am not alone here. The others are chained and locked in cells because they have been known to gnaw off their own hands and pull off their own feet, to try to escape - such is the effect of their deep hunger. They look at me with pleading eyes - like animals that cannot communicate in any other way. I turn my back on them, glad to no longer be one of their number, sad that they are still trapped in this lifestyle and ashamed that I cannot help these lab rats.

Talking of lab rats, the urge is returning in me. It started with surreptitiously swallowed insects, then rodents, birds if I can catch them and once a hedgehog. Oh yes, as they learned to trust me, they let me out into the grounds - at first supervised, then quite freely. By this time Andrews had moved on. I was no longer his favourite 'pet,' just an old project that he let others monitor. I was still fenced in. I still had cameras aimed at me but by this time I was considered mostly harmless. The smell of rotting flash that was me, had subsided with time and the effects of various treatments. On top of that people had become acclimatised to my odour. I was the grenade that hadn't gone off.

Now, like a prisoner of war, I searched for a weak point - the spot where the searchlights or cameras missed and I dug.

I had known I was starting to revert when the Parkinson's like symptoms started to reappear and I found it hard to kick start my body into normal, human motion. I hid the shuffling gait as best as I could, the creeping catatonia but I knew the condition was returning and that there was no point fighting it.

I saw my people wandering in large, distant herds. I heard the sound of gunfire and explosions as the humans culled them. I longed to join them. I wanted to forget the normality I'd been a part of in the past and rejoined here: The bright light effect of coming out of a cinema into daylight, the noise, the smells, the sensitivity of touch and above all 'taste.' I wanted to forget all of these plus the memories of what I'd done to others, who trusted me to be at least 'human.' The wounds of these half remembered crimes against what I was, was just too much to bear. I wanted to slip back into the opulent dark of unknowing. To be without that sharpness of conscience and consciousness, was all I longed for. I wanted to forget, big time and tonight my opportunity came. I scrambled under the wire and got away, joining my brothers and sisters of the flesh. At first they sniffed me, like some new animal but then realised I was still the same underneath. Soon the zombie army marched on, with me in its midst. Sorry professor but I must remain true to my calling as you do yours. You didn't sin against what you were but for me there is no going back and no desire to. Even now the language centre is going and with it my mind.

"Ugh, snarl, grunt."

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is becchae. I've been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos-linked Dopa-Responsive Dystonia. Basically my muscles contract so hard that they yank my joints right out of their sockets. Thankfully levodopa helps enough while I'm awake so that my joints only sublux a bit, not fully dislocate. I am nearly fully bedbound. 6 months ago I was an active and healthy 23 year old. Now I have no purpose, happiness, or peace. I do blame this on the doctors that wasted months, in some cases years, assuming I was a drug seeker or a psychiatric case instead of a neurological case, which allowed my disorder to generalize all over my body and resulted in permanent brain and nerve damage. I cannot feel entire parts of my body and what I do feel is always pain. I will never trust a doctor or a hospital again, not that I ever really did to begin with. I am, however, now a wealth of resources because nobody knows anything about my condition. So come chat with me about POTS, EDS, Dystonia, hell, Parkinson's. I'd love to feel a tiny bit less useless stuck here with everything that has every brought me joy ripped away from me in a few short months by the ignorant and unempathetic.

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Good Mental Health

I think good mental health is wanting to know everything possible (be responsible for your own existence and enjoy the rest of existence) as depression is not wanting to be responsible for anything. This is why they talk of a saint being able to walk through hell without getting burned. He is lost in pursuit of knowledge ('Oh look at that interesting flame!').

It is why my mind is still alive and trying to make sense of the world around it, including symptoms of its own unease /disease, including depression of my own when it arises and what might be Parkinson's disease (personally I think he should keep it as I'm not sure I want it).

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People forget that forgetting is more than names of people, places, objects and even time. It is forgetting sequences, what things actually do (how you operate them to achieve a result you want) and eventually the significance of anyone and everything (who is that person and what is he doing in my house? Is this my house?).

By the way mental deterioration isn't a blanket issue, it is like The Curate’s Egg, good in places, bad in others. My wife still notices things I miss and has ideas I wouldn't have thought of. One symptom I have noticed is that she is literally becoming more open. By this I mean doors aren't shut and windows thrown open, which I think shows this return to childhood innocence and irresponsibility.

Alzheimer's and dementia are about forgetting but in the case of Parkinson's, it is forgetting to move at all. I had a friend in America, whose friend on LSD eventually became nothing more than a child or vegetable through use of this drug. It may remove the veil of perception but it also removes all memories it seems.


Wrong again?

Last night I stumbled upon a post from here on Pinterest, which covered Parkinson's. I thought various symptoms I had were down to various other factors, like a recent bug, twenty years and more of migraines (brain damage) or the fact that I might be autistic. Now it seems a lot of my symptoms through the years could be down to slowly developing the above disease. Oh well, not pernicious anaemia either. Time for a doctor's appointment to be sure.

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Unable to be there

In the past 3 years I have lost 2 younger brothers and 2 brothers-in-law. They have all lived too far away for us to travel. Both my husband and I are seniors with health issues. This morning I received word that my dear, sweet sister who lost her husband two years ago was taken to ER with chest pain and a mass was discovered that could be cancer. She has Parkinson's and as a result many other issues. Fortunately her daughter's are very close and caring. But my heart is aching to be with her I have so many emotions bombarding me that I feel paralyzed.

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Some interesting Facts from Netflix's New Documentary, 'Hack Your Health: The Secrets to your Gut'

The gut is the center of a biomedical revolution. This whole field is disrupting modern medicine.

Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Parkinsons, and Cancer are ALL related to the gut microbiome

Our gut affects our whole body. The gut is the second brain. Our brains have never existed without signals coming from the gut.

70% of our immune system lives in our gut.

You get your first habitable microbes when you are born out of your mother's womb. We shape our gut microbiome based on our experiences. The relationships you have, the pets you have, exercise, stress, the food you eat. Because of this, everyone has different microbiomes. It is a collection of microbial memories.

Knowing the microbiome is the key to health is key because you can't change your genes. BUT you can change your microbes by simple edits to your diet and lifestyle.

The modern-day microbiome is pretty unhealthy and is pushing up to this prevalent rise in chronic conditions such as hypertension, food allergies, diabetes, obesity, etc. The way we think about disease needs to change.

Changes to our environment. Western diet. the way babies are born (c-section), baby formula, sanitation, and antibiotics, all lead to decreased microbiome diversity, Exactly what we see in today's industrialized microbiome.

Currently, in the states, 60% of the calories eaten are ultra-processed and ultrally refined. This strips it of its natural ingredients and adds in a ton of processed sugars and chemicals.

When you look at quote healthy labels, it is hard to depict what is even in it. Most healthy labels are full of sugars and processed chemical components. Because of this, it is very hard to navigate what you should be eating. The food and wellness world is incredibly confusing.

Current recommendations in the United States recommend 28-40g of fiber per day, HOWEVER on average we are only eating 15g at most in the average American diet. The field of microbiome science is realizing we need to be eating access to 50g of fiber per day. If you don't feed your microbes fiber, they start to eat you. If you stop eating dietary fiber, the microbes need to start eating something. If there is no fiber, it will start to eat away at your mucosal gut lining and spread to various parts of your body, causing inflammation all over. Which can lead to many diseases such as IBD or IBS.

If a gut microbiome is very diverse and has a different variety of bacteria, then it can adapt to what life throws at us. A bouquet of possibilities.

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