Author Archives: Mary Beth Skylis

Weight Loss and Parkinson’s Disease

Dad used to tell us that he has two sets of clothes: a normal set and a set of “skinny clothes” that emerge when he gets sick. Dad was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in his 30s, and the illness caused him to lose a startling amount of weight. He was…

Managing the Cost of Chronic Illness

Chronic illness is expensive. It costs money, time, and peace of mind. Whether you’re sifting through your worries or counting the pennies in your pocket, illnesses affect all avenues of life. Before the symptoms of a disease appear, one may go about daily life unencumbered…

Writing About Parkinson’s Disease Is Hard

Writing about Parkinson’s disease is a cumbersome game. I’m a journalist in my regular life, so I’m no stranger to telling complicated and emotional stories. But my lens is usually focused on others. I tell stories about accomplished athletes and faraway places that don’t affect me directly. But Parkinson’s disease…

Muhammad Ali’s Life and Parkinson’s Legacy

Dad has always loved films about fighters. There’s an allure to watching an underdog rise to fame. Maybe he’s mesmerized by the strength of characters like Rambo and Muhammad Ali because he hopes there’s a fighter in him as well. He won’t define himself by his circumstances or sink into…

Simple Solutions That Make Living with Parkinson’s a Little Easier

Parkinson’s disease introduces challenges into your daily life. Tasks that were once second nature become more complicated when you’re managing symptoms like tremors and dyskinesia. Fortunately, product designers are coming up with simple, adaptive solutions that can make living with Parkinson’s a little easier. Introducing some adaptive products into…

What Changed After DBS Surgery No. 1

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) can affect both cognitive and motor symptoms in Parkinson’s patients who undergo the surgery. The procedure gives hope to those who are substantially inhibited by tremors and dyskinesia — people like my dad. After doctors determined he’d make a good candidate for the…

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