I was in the men’s locker room at the gym yesterday standing next to a fellow I’ve seen there for probably five years. Up until yesterday, it’s been a typical male relationship in this type of environment where you’re there for another purpose, to work out, and the interactions are limited to impromptu group discussions on just about any topic and random, well-timed insults hurled at each other. I will occasionally come home with a funny story about one of these interactions and share it with my wife. She’ll then ask:
“And who was it that said that?”
My typical response is “One of the guys.”
“What’s his name?”
“I don’t know.”
Despite being flabbergasted at this admission, being the wise woman she is, Lace will smile and say something like “Oh, well it’s nice that you have fun with your friends.” She is well aware of and accepts the differences between men and women. Put her in that same situation, for just ten minutes, and she would know the whole life history of the woman standing next to her. So, we’re standing there yesterday at our lockers talking about what cardio machines we prefer and I make some wisecrack about him only liking the elliptical because of the “hot babe” he manages to get next to every day. He laughs then asks me, “What’s your name, I’m Bart.”
Now, over the past few months I have noticed a gradual deterioration in Bart’s physical condition. He has become increasingly limited in his mobility and his voice has become more frail. Recently, he was struggling with getting his down parka on and I offered to help, for which he seemed very grateful. Up until recently, I knew Bart to be an active man in his mid-sixties, an avid sailor with a boat of his own, bright and quick-witted. It was clear to me that something serious was going on with Bart and I had my suspicions, but up until yesterday, it was never discussed. Shortly after introducing himself yesterday, he shared with me that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. The informal, light-hearted relationship we had shared for years just became deeply personal and emotional. Contemplating the devastation this disease can cause, the impact on his family and even a little of my own mortality, my mind immediately started racing in the direction of articles I have recently read about the connection between diet and certain chronic diseases. I spent most of last night scouring those articles and was pleased to find several examples of how diet can have a dramatic impact on both the prevention of Parkinson’s and the progression of the disease. Several of these I plan to share with Bart today and I’m going to direct him to this video below with the hope it may be of help in managing his symptoms. Whether you are interested in preventing the onset of Parkinson’s or you know someone who is afflicted, this information is of premiere importance and should be shared.
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