I received unsettling news from two former golf companions this week. Both have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Advice, they asked?
I shared completed portions of a planned short book about my PD journey: “Counter Punch: Sparring With Parkinson’s.”
Same week, I met a Medical Resident during a visit to USF’s excellent Physical Therapy and Orthopedics Departments. We exchanged emails about our conversation. I learned her MD father is a Parkie, for more than 20 years.
I wrote this to her:
“Neurology is exploding with progressive, treatable but incurable disorders. You know the list.
“Treatment protocols are difficult/impossible to write due to the idiosyncratic nature of individual cases. The best answer, short of a cure, is doctors committed to patient-centric, interdisciplinary, holistic and neurorestorative care.
“I call to your special attention Chapter 3 of “Counter Punch” on Tom Graboys. He is the “Caring Doc” model for many of us. I sense you will become that no matter your chosen field.
“I have copied Dr. Michael Okun on this letter. He heads the superb mobility disorders center at UF.
“I consider him a genius in all PD matters that count. Perhaps after your internal medicine residency at USF, you could train to become, ultimately, an MDS.
“To unfairly tug on your heartstrings, your Parkie-Dad-MD might be honored by a choice of neurology. Forgive me for that nudge; I am an overly passionate, patient advocate.”
Okun, true to his legendary form, answered in minutes.