I am ready to shake things up.
Perhaps it is due to the fact that a New Year has started. Turn over a new leaf. Fresh start, fresh perspective, fresh goals. Makes sense.
But it's more than that. I am in a somewhat unique position. I am a 66 year old PWP with related cognitive issues. More importantly, I have been a husband for for 45 1/2 years, have two fine sons (42 and almost 40), two wonderful daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren (3 boys and 3 girls from 6-11 years old).
I am happy that I was able to write a book for the PD community that shares intimate insights into my life with a focus on the challenges of living with mild cognitive impairment. I also shared how I have been attempting to cope with the situation as well as plans for the future.
Linda and I have been travelling extensively for the last few years to places like Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Montreal, and China. Last year we were at the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Dallas and the Masters golf tournament in Augusta (a lifetime dream). We have also continued to make presentations to PD support groups periodically in the Denver area and participate in the Parkinson Disease Foundation (PDF) Parkinson's Advocates in Research (PAIR) program. Exciting new developments have included the opportunity to provide "patient perspective" to the planning and grant submission for a PD palliative care clinical research study at the University of Colorado Hospital and development of a personal PD resource website (www.shakypawsgrampa.com).
In spite of all this, it has become clear to me that the time is right to set new goals that may improve my health and quality of life. In the process, I would send a positive message to my family, showing them that I am still willing and able to be proactive in order to maximize my time with them. While I accept that, ultimately, this in in God's Hands, I have good reason to believe that my efforts could well make a difference. Beyond that, I may also have a chance to motivate fellow PWPs and provide feedback that could be useful to the PD research community.
I have started this past week on a 12-week program with my PCP that is designed to allow me to lose 25 pounds. The program includes emphasis on nutrition and exercise. I may provide more details down the road, but for now let it suffice to say that I am committing myself to this plan and am determined to see it through.
It has long been clear to me that we (PWPs & Care Partners) are all in this together. I have seen and felt this time and again. We are a source of love, support, and encouragement to each other. With that in mind, I would covet any words of support you would care to post at the bottom of this page or on my Parkinson's disease facebook page (www.facebook.com/carinaandhercarepartnergramma).