- Eddie Guardado, Minnesota Twins on the 2002 MLB All Star Game
- Michael J. Fox, Actor in his 2002 Autobiography, "Lucky Man".
- Brian T. Bolten, writer, on his life since his DBS surgery.
On today's date, July 9 in 2002 the National League and the American League squared off in Major League Baseball's Annual All Star Game. And in an unprecedented result the game was called off after 11 innings in a tie at 7 to 7. I remember this very well because I sat up watching the game until this tied ending. And the reason I was able to sit up to the end of this game is that I had just undergone DBS Surgery at St. David's Hospital in Austin, Texas, and for the first time in over two or more year's, my hands were both completely still. And I was so happy to have my hands still, that I didn't want to sleep. The National and American leagues may have concluded the night in a tie, but I had won!! My hands would not remain completely still, but I felt that I had won, and I still feel that way. Like Michael J. Fox, I was then, and remain today a lucky man.
MJF and BTB Notice Parkinson's For the First Time
This was how Michael J. Fox described a moment early on a November morning in 1990 when he first noticed the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, a disorder of the nervous system resulting from the death of cells in the brain which generate the chemical dopamine. The result is a chronic tremor, sometimes severe, in the arms and legs of the sufferer. The disease bears the name of the English doctor James Parkinson , who published the first detailed description of it's symptoms in An Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817. The cause of the death of these cells remains unknown.
DBS Surgery, St. Davids Hospital.....
And the All Star Game!!
The N.L. & the A.L. Tied, But I Had WON!!
But what I remember best of all was the fact that for the very first time in two or more years, my hands were folded on a pillow in front of me and were completely and totally still!! I knew that this would only last for a couple of days, and that the tremor would return until they activated the Stimulator. But I didn't care!! I just adored the blessed stillness of my body for this little time. AND the All Star Game was on T.V. And I was so pleased that I loved it!! I didn't care that there was only one Cincinnati Red player on the team that year: Adam Dunn in the outfield. It was as Eddie Guardado (pictured above as a Red, which he was from 2006 - 07) said, a fun and hard-played contest. I didn't care when Bud Selig and the rest of the officials got together and decided after 11 innings when all 30 of the players on both teams had been used, to call it off as a tie (above). It was OK with me!! After two years of constant, and unremitting shakes brought on by PD, my hands were gloriously and miraculously STILL! I had won!! Life since then hasn't exactly been a smooth skate. But when they activated the Deep Brain Stimulator it worked very well. My tremor is not totally gone. But it is greatly reduced. In fact, most of the time, you wouldn't even notice it. And my sense of balance is a bit off, so I use a cane. And I do now live with the continuous threat of falling. So while I can still write and get around OK, it's no longer quite safe for me to live on my own. Nevertheless, if you're expecting to see an old man shuffling around with his head bowed, forget it!! Look for a MAN striding confidently, and smiling!! The operation was FIFTEEN YEARS ago today, and I can still say that I am one VERY lucky man!!
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By Michael J. Fox, Hyperion, New York, 2002.