Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?

This film tells five stories of children, ages 6-15, who are coping with grandfathers or grandmothers suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Maria Shriver provides commentary and delivers valuable “lessons” for the kids, urging them not to blame themselves for what their grandparents do or say. “We are all children of Alzheimer’s,” says Shriver, sympathetically making it clear that “if it’s too painful to visit, you don’t have to go.” Maria’s own father, Sargent Shriver, suffers from the disease; comparing his earlier vitality to his present condition is hard, but it is offset by good memories and an unexpected “gift”: bonds between generations that may not have been made otherwise. Ultimately, the film shows how important it is to “go with the flow,” offering up a variety of perspectives on how kids can handle a grandparent’s loss of memory through kindness, patience and compassion

Mixed Cursing: A Graphic Novel on PD

Peter Dunlap-Shohl is an obscure cartoonist who lives far, far away in Anchorage, Alaska.

His diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) lead him to create a very personal and open blog. Though “Off & On” started as an information clearinghouse for the Anchorage Parkinson’s Disease Support Group, where meeting schedules, agendas, speakers etc could be found it also become a therapeutic hobby for him.

Recently Peter has taken on the challenge of creating a graphic novel that illustrates his battle with PD. He has graciously allowed Patient Commando to host images of his work as he completes it.


More Mixed Cursing

In Their Own Words 1 : Allan

Over two decades of living with psoriasis has taught Allan a lot-including the importance of a strong support network.

In Their Own Words 3: Robert

Psoriasis has been Robert’s constant companion for 45 years, and though he has lived his life learning to accept his condition, he is now enjoying life symptom-free.

Taylor’s question

A young woman has a ‘flare’ for the dramatic on a first date.

Awkward Hands Move at a Snail’s Pace

One of the most troubling symptoms for those with Parkinson’s is bradykinesia, which is just a fancy word for slow movement. I’m grateful (alleluia) that my tremor and dyskinesia have subsided with help from a great Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) programmer and medication adjustments. However, I continue to be plagued by slow and stiff movement, particularly in my hands. I find it ironic that before Parkinson’s, I could talk and walk fast, eat quickly, play the accordion at a fast clip, type 99 wpm without errors, complete university in three years, work three jobs simultaneously, and overall function as an efficient and fast-moving person. People previously described me as an Instant Person.

With Parkinson’s, particularly when my medication and DBS stimulation aren’t working at an optimum level, life seems in slow motion and particularly my hands move at a snail’s pace. For example, sometimes buttoning my blouse, zipping my jacket, turning the key to open the door, folding a sheet of paper and putting it in an envelope, putting a stamp on an envelope, handwriting, taking coins and bills out of my wallet, eating with a fork, preparing or cutting food, putting on makeup–all can seem like insurmountable tasks with my [...] continue the story

Assumptions and the School of Cancer

Assumptions and the School of Cancer By: MsInterpretation October 11, 2011

As with many living with a chronic, terminal or unresolved health issue, I’ve become a student of my condition. I’ve found, in the course of my schooling, that Assumptions abound.

Diagnosis and the assumption: I felt in pre-school when my doctor said, in gentle tones: “You have DCIS: Ductal carcinoma in situ.” She handed me the lab report, and wrote down a website, instructing: “Only look at this particular information, The rest will just freak you out.” Providing specifics of a website seems responsible, recognizes the power of the internet, and is in keeping with the principles of Participatory Medicine.

I remember none of this. I know it happened, because I have the paper to prove it. What I do remember is that I understood DCIS to be exactly the opposite of what it meant. What I understood from DCIS was, “Cancer’s in my ducts. That’s the same as lymph nodes. That’s bad. In situ. That must mean it’s inoperable. I have to prepare myself for death. And I also need to prepare my family.” I left the office a dead woman.

It was a friend (diagnosed with DCIS more than a decade before) who described [...] continue the story

There Is Beauty In Darkness

By redcurls November 28, 2011

When I was diagnosed with MS I had lost most of the vision in one eye with Optic Neuritis and the dizziness was frightening having to drive on a busy highway each day to work. There were times I couldn’t tell if my car had stopped or not and working with abused mothers and their children I was always afraid of running over a child coming or going from my office. I got my sight back but started a long relapsing and remitting, in and out of the hospital experience. I had been very active in writing and illustrating my stories for the children that I worked with. I taught art classes to encourage their creativity. I had begun getting ready for my own art showing but felt like I would never be able to paint or sketch again. I went to sleep with tears, I had closed the door to my art studio with paintings half finished. I couldn’t handle the small details of my painting anymore. I dreamed that I saw myself painting and I was painting to music …it was SO REAL. I awoke and went into my studio at midnight and took out [...] continue the story

Dancing With Parkinson’s

Dancing with Parkinson’s open house for friends and family December 2010.


Hearing Hope

AMS – Mimi Divinsky Awards. 2011 award winner Dr Charlie Guiang reads his story.

These awards honour the late Mimi Divinsky, a family doctor with a special interest in narrative in family medicine.

November 7, 2011

More from the College of Family Physicians of Canada