Slow is the New Fast - a Column by Jean Mellano

Slow is the New Fast

When New Yorker Jean Mellano’s life partner, Steve, passed away in March 2015, she took solace in writing about him and found purpose in bringing more awareness to mental health by telling Steve’s story. At age 62, seven months after Steve died, Jean was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Several neurologists have told her the emotional trauma she suffered before and after Steve passed might have triggered the onset of her Parkinson’s. Jean hopes to be a voice for people afflicted with this disease. She also wants to help others understand the daily struggles of people with Parkinson’s.

I Am Strong, but I Am Tired

“I think for me, any great art is art which communicates human emotion.” – Greg Lake Good art evokes emotion. This sculpture, by Simone Wojciechowski, titled “Tired Soul,” represents exactly how I feel: “Tired Soul” by Simone Wojciechowski. (Courtesy of Simone Wojciechowski Sculptures) Why am I tired? Lately, I…

Exercise Rx: What About Apathy and Fatigue?

Recently, the Parkinson’s Foundation partnered with the American College of Sports Medicine to provide new exercise recommendations for people with Parkinson’s and certified exercise professionals. The goals of this collaboration are admirable and long overdue. They seek to: Ensure standards of care for exercise professionals working with people…

Have No Fear, Gordon Has Arrived With a ‘Cheesy Cheer’

“The camaraderie between the athletes is a joy to behold sometimes, because they all help each other along.” – William Regal Exercise is an effective way to slow Parkinson’s disease progression and provide symptom relief. In 2017, I began participating in the Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) program…

When I Decline Your Invitation, Remember, It’s Not You, It’s Me

“It must be borne in mind that most Parkinsonian patients remain mentally alert even as their physical condition becomes severely impaired. At the same time, they are normally extraordinarily self-conscious about their infirmities. … Tremors, speech impediment, walking difficulties, all make one not only impatient with oneself, but also often…

When I’m Discouraged, I Seek Inspiration in Music

Some days I just want to throw my arms up in the air and give up. We all have our crosses to bear, and I am no different. Lately, I have been challenged with some additional life stuff in addition to dealing with a progressive, incurable disease called Parkinson’s.

Managing Parkinson’s Disease Is a Full-time Job

“Dealing with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is not easy and there is no one, single technique that will ease the pain and no magic pill that will miraculously enable you to cope with it.” — John Baxter Parkinson’s treatment is a lifelong commitment that involves much more than just taking…

Observations From a Suicide Loss Survivor With Parkinson’s

Editor’s note: This column discusses suicide. Please find resources for help at the end of the column. November 21 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Unlike when loved ones are left behind after a death caused by an illness, old age, or tragedy, those left behind after the…

Adopting a New Mantra to Stay Positive

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015, and luckily, thus far the symptoms are more of an annoying inconvenience. In the past few months, I have been struggling with disease progression and worsening symptoms. I believe this is because I haven’t been able to exercise like I have in…

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