My Name is Kendall ~ and I’m A Fighter!

Parkinson’s disease hits hard and does not discriminate. Unfortunately the stigma that comes with the disease is truly disturbing. There’s no know cause, no known diagnostic tool and no proven treatment plan.
Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004 and we lived with that diagnoses through 2004 and most of 2005 along with the devastation caused by his bipolar disorder. Please note that many psychiatric drugs may cause Parkinson’s disease but we didn’t know that at the time. Because there’s not a definite test to diagnose the disease, we don’t know why Tom trembles and it is severe enough to keep him from doing the things he loves.
Paula’s blog is of utmost importance to everyone. Please read and pass it on.

stuff i tell my sister

Kendall is my friend’s brother.  Watch this video.  Then help me share it, if you feel the power of it….as we did.  Walk a mile in my shoes ~

To Kendall ~ FIGHT ON!

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About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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25 Responses to My Name is Kendall ~ and I’m A Fighter!

  1. Dilip says:

    Empathy and hope are perhaps two virtues which come to my mind. The video leaves a huge impact in the mind! Regards Sheri.

  2. gpcox says:

    Can’t imagine how I missed this one! Be talking to you soon.

  3. My mom’s oldest brother had Parkinson’s. One of my earliest memories is seeing what a toll it took on him. So sad to think that 60 years later there is no cure.

    • John – Not only is there no cure, there’s no way to know definitely that it’s the proper diagnosis. A simple blood test or any other test has yet to be developed to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, when it’s suspected, the available medications are simply thrown at the patient to see if they help.
      Tom’s psychiatrist is continuing to evaluate why his trembling has returned. It’s not nearly as bad as it was but it still keeps him from doing those things that keep him from making jewelry, photography, stained glass and on and on.
      My best friend from first grade, her father had Parkinson’s and he was a rancher just like mine. He also played pro baseball for a while. We know what the disease did to those careers.

      • I’m sure that a large part of Tom’s depression is his inability to BE productive, even when he is capable of it mentally. An artist who can’t ART has to be IST off. That was bad.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. The more informed we are about these illnesses, the better.

    • Patricia – Thank you for stopping in to read with me. I so appreciate it as I’ve been such a ‘bad blogging friend.’ Plus it hurts me when I don’t make the time to search out your lovely blog. How’s the progress on the new novel coming along.
      The item that disturbed me the most about the Parkinson’s Disease is that we had no idea if that was an ‘accurate diagnoses’ for Tom. Therefore, was he taking more medication than his already over-medicated body needed. The black box warning on the side of the box gave no indication of a grave warning and I always read the medical insert and there was nothing there either.
      Have you checked out the River Cruises available through out France. I’m not ignoring the fact that Tom is very ill but we spend a bit of each evening planning our next trip abroad and are certain it will include a number of river cruises. I do hope you are doing well.

  5. Thanks once more, Sheri … you continue to educate us about so many pit-falls in doctor prescribed drugs. Parkinsons hit my family with a giant slam … my uncle, one cousins and my brother. What I’ve learned from my brother is that there is life after … a good life … and he continues to work on his crafts and when he can, he still paints 🙂

    • Florence – Thanks for stopping by. I had a blog of my own to post today but, when I read Paula’s blog, I felt compelled to pass it along. During the 16 months we thought Tom had Parkinson’s Disease along with his bipolar disorder were some of the darkest days I remember. It broke my heart to watch while Tom tried to read the paper or hold a book. He was an avid reader and that was immediately taken away from him; he couldn’t hold anything still enough to focus on the words. His diet turned to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I cut up into small squares. My once dashing military man could no longer feed himself but he wasn’t going to allow anyone else to do it for him.
      I’m happy to hear your brother is able to have a good life and that he can still continue working with his crafts and items he truly enjoys. To me, this makes all the difference in the world.

  6. What a poster child. Love this little tough guy.
    Thanks for sharing the video, Sheri. My first experience with someone who had Parkinson’s was when I was about 20. He was a photographer for our newspaper. That struck home.

    • Hello, Tess: Yes, it’s hard to be a photographer when fighting Parkinson’s. As the disease advances and takes control of the body, it’s more than difficult for the entire family. Slowly we are seeing a few treatment trends with positive influences but the only way to know if they’ll work is to take a chance on further destruction to the body.

      • That the other sad thing, taking a chance at treatment for one thing and destroying another.
        I know a man who took strong medication for his back only to go deaf because the medication burned all the little ‘hairs’ (?) in his ears.

  7. Fabulous video, Sheri. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing says:

    Thank you for your likes Sheri!

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