When Life Gives You Parkinson's
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10 million people in the World have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Yet, so few people seem to know much about it. Join me, Larry Gifford, as I share my personal journey into what it’s like to live and work with Parkinson’s disease as a 40-something husband and father with a career.
||CleanExtra Dosage | A check-up with my doctor and a check-in with my siblings||This is a special bonus episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s which we are calling “Extra Dosage.” Full episodes will be release every other Wednesday. In between, Niki and I will share new information, original interviews and extra material that provide more context to topics raised in the previous episodes of the podcast. We’ll also answer your questions. Feel free to write us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every six months I go to the neurologist. Each time, he runs me through the same battery of tests. You can see him put me through these tests in this video https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/1320906819867/?jwsource=cl. I just saw him again, did those same tests, and my symptoms appear to progressing. It’s not the news anyone wants to get. It’s not the news we expected to get. I even challenged my neurologist. I said, “Uhh, I thought this disease was slow moving. This doesn’t seem slow moving.” He agreed. Once again, he’s increased my levodopa-carbidopa dosage. While I had his attention, I brought up the fact that I’m having a terrible time staying asleep. I’ve tried nearly everything it seems from meditation, light therapy and aroma therapy to Magnesium Glycinate and Melatonin. There are two more options on the table now. In this Extra Dosage, I discuss my options with co-host Nike Reitmayer and it results on our embarking on a journey. After my neurology appointment, I texted my brothers Bruce and Dan and my sister Tracy to update them on the Parkinson’s. I really do not relish delivering bad news. I know they are holding out hope and praying hard for my health to improve. Hearing me explain about progressing symptoms and increases in medication every six months must be difficult to digest. We grew up in a home where humour was used to defuse tension. So, in my texts I often use self-deprecation and Parkinson’s jokes to lighten the mood. Those moments of levity are often greeted with a heavy silence. Not even a hapless emoji in response. I can almost hear them moan across the international border. So, I confront them about it. What about this disease makes it so difficult to joke and laugh like we used to when we confronted life and death issues with relatives growing up? What I learned is that my perception is not necessarily reality. Follow me, Larry Gifford Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to my wife Rebecca Gifford and my siblings Bruce Gifford, Dan Gifford and Tracy Cherry. For more info on our partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline mentioned in this episode is 1-800-565-3000 Or follow them on Twitter Parkinson Canada @ParkinsonCanada Parkinson Society BC @ParkinsonsBC Credits Dila Velazquez – Story Producer Rob Johnston – Senior Audio Producer||10/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDisease Guy, getting recast in your life story, and other things you can't put on your LinkedIn | 3||I wish I didn’t have Parkinson’s. You wish I didn’t have Parkinson’s. In fact, as far as I can discern no one is really happy about it. My Parkinson’s is inconvenient and uncomfortable for everyone involved. That uncomfortableness has led me to apologize for having it. I have moments nearly everyday when I try to make people feel better about my diagnosis and symptoms. (Frankly, I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around.) But, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. We all play roles in each other’s lives. We’re cast. I’m the baby brother, the college buddy, ‘Smokey the sports radio guy’ and more. For each person in my life, I played a particular part. The inconvenience and uncomfortableness arises from the reality that no one cast me as ‘disease guy.’ It can be really awkward and depressing to face realities of disease — for everyone. In August 2017, Parkinson’s hijacked my storyline and recast me in your life story and mine. Now, in addition to high school theatre geek, loving husband and wine lover, I’m Larry with a degenerative brain disease. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s a skill set I can to add to my LinkedIn profile. Yes, I wish I didn’t have Parkinson’s. I am, however, grateful that my story continues to be written. Parkinson’s has given me an opportunity to update my character and made me realize that as people change, our narratives about them need to be rewritten too. In a rather healthy way, disease actually jumpstarts that process and forces people to see others in a new and different light. In this episode of “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s”, my Mom, my wife Rebecca, my co-host Niki and I examine the roles we’ve accepted in each other’s lives, how we feel about those roles changing and what we can do to keep moving forward in life. Follow Larry Gifford Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer For more info on our partner Parkinson Canada head tohttp://www.parkinson.ca/ Or follow them on Twitter Parkinson Canada @ParkinsonCanada Parkinson Society BC @ParkinsonsBC Thank you Courtney Doherty, registered clinical Counselor at Parkinson’s Society. Thank you as always to my wife Rebecca Gifford and my mom Marty Gifford Thank you to @SickboyPodcast – check them out here http://sickboypodcast.com/ Follow them on Twitter Brian Stever @SteverBrian Taylor MacGillvary @Taymacgillivary Jeremie Saunders @JeremieSaunders 10 steps to help you cope with a Parkinson’s diagnosis https://www.parkinson.ca/wp-content/uploads/10_Steps_eng_PC.pdf||10/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra Dosage | Love and Strength Through Adversity||I love my wife. Rebecca and I just celebrated out 19th wedding anniversary. Last year, we were both thrown for a 20-yard loss when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. But a year later, we’re marching forward and trying to make the most of each moment of every day. Rebecca keeps me positive, motivated, grounded and focused on the present moment. She’s full of strength, love and wisdom. What I wasn’t as conscious of was how much the disease has already changed the way I am around the home. In this episode, Rebecca talks to Global News reporter Neetu Garcha about how she is dealing with the diagnosis, how it’s impacted our everyday life and how she and my son have had to adapt and adjust their expectations of what I can do. “I am in awe of him as much as he’s thriving,” said Rebecca. “But, I also see the challenges. Maybe I see it more than anybody else. And that’s heartbreaking, at times, to watch the disappointment and the frustration when there is something new that crops up.” Warning: This interview triggered tears for me and it might for you. Rebecca shared with Neetu, “It’s deepened my love for him to see how he’s managing all of this and still finding so much to take from it, to offer to us and to offer to the community.” Parkinson’s can shake up life and relationships, but as with all adversity, it can also strengthen bonds of love and bring more meaning and purpose to each day of living. The interview Rebecca was recorded while filming a three-part series about Parkinson’s for Global News. Part One:‘I’m arriving with each step:’ B.C. man creates podcast on learning to live with Parkinson’s Part Two:Game-changing UBC research into Parkinson’s Disease Part Three:One Parkinson’s patient to another: ways to cope with the condition Follow me, Larry Gifford Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Special thanks to Rebecca Gifford and Neetu Garcha (@neetugarcha) For more info on our partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline mentioned in this episode is 1-800-565-3000 Or follow them on Twitter Parkinson Canada @ParkinsonCanada Parkinson Society BC @ParkinsonsBC Credits Dila Velazquez – Story Producer Rob Johnston – Senior Audio Producer||10/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSharing the news, saying I love you, and "The Larry Filter" | 2||On April 4, 2017 I texted my brothers and sister. It read, “Hi all... news of a sort from up north. For some time now, I've been experiencing issues on the side of my body leading to foot dragging/clomping, favouring my left hand over right for many tasks, slurred speech at times... life threatening issues have been eliminated. Today I went to the MS clinic for tests. MS is very unlikely, but it appears I have something in the Parkinson's family. I've been referred to a specialist, will be getting a brain MRI and will be taking drugs to increase dopamine which should relieve my symptoms. I would encourage you not to worry, it seems under control and we aren't exactly sure what it is yet. But I wanted to make sure you were all in the loop. Love, Larry” That text provoked many emotions from my siblings: shock, sadness, devastation, confusion, anger, and guilt. In this episode, you’ll hear the most intimate conversations I have ever had with my two brothers and sister. I talk to Bruce, Dan and Tracy about that text, my Parkinson’s, our fears, and unconditional love. I also learn what the “Larry filter” is and I answer their questions about living with Parkinson’s. When you get Parkinson’s disease it makes you reevaluate your relationships, how you live your life, your priorities, everything. These conversations are part of that process for me. What I discovered is that while it is my diagnosis, Parkinson’s is given to everybody in your life. It impacts each person in some way. Follow me, Larry Gifford Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to Bruce Gifford, Dan Gifford, Tracy Cherry and Rebecca Gifford for being an important part of my life and this story. For more info on our partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline mentioned in this episode is 1-800-565-3000 Or follow them on Twitter Parkinson Canada @ParkinsonCanada Parkinson Society BC @ParkinsonsBC Credits Parkinson Canada – Podcast Partner Dila Valazquez – Story Producer Rob Johnston – Audio Producer and Sound Design||9/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra Dosage - What’s Up Doc? Larry talks to his Neurologist||In this Extra Dosage episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, I talk to my neurologist and pepper him with questions that I’ve never asked him before. Why is it hard to diagnose? What would he do if he was diagnosed? Is there really a gut health connection? What should I ask in my check-ups? What’s he looking for? And more. I find Dr. Jonathon Squires frank, funny, authentic, and accessible. I hope you do to. Meanwhile, Niki sits down with a Sandie Jones and Grace Ferrari at Parkinson Canada. Sandy pre-dates the Parkinson wonder drug levodopa. She shares her experience with Parkinson’s as a nurse in the early 1960’s. After hearing what it was like, I’ll likely never complain about having to take my pills so often.||9/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Diagnosis: constant companion & frenemy | 1||My name is Larry Gifford. I am 46 and navigating life with a degenerative brain disease, which has no cure. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in August 2017 after years of collecting what I thought were disconnected symptoms. I shuffled when I walked, I lost my sense of smell, and eventually it was tremors that scared me enough to seek help.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWelcome||I'm Larry Gifford, I have Parkinson's disease. I'm one of 10 million people diagnosed by a disease people know very little about, so, I will be sharing my personal journey into what it’s like to live and work with Parkinson’s disease as a 40-something husband and father with a career. Podcast will be released in Sept. but please subscribe now so you don't miss a single episode.||6/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
This is such a heartfelt, personal story. Thank you so much to Larry for sharing this. I can already tell I'm going to be needing more kleenex for the next episodes.
This hits close to home. Excellent podcast
Inspiring, a must listen for anyone dealing with this disease
I was diagnosed three years ago and while Larry’s sincerely was inspiring, I applaud his bravery in sharing his journey. I’ve already started recommending the podcast to family and friends. By sharing, he’s provided a voice for so many of us...
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