My Parkinson’s and the Corona Virus

As I write this note, Covid-19 has just become the leading cause of death in the United States. My first emotion when I realized that the corona virus would envelop the entire United States, as well as the World, was fear…fear for my family’s health, fear for my country and fear of running out of medication. Lacking L-DOPA, I had frightening visions of being trapped in my body and unable to move. These fears were dissipated when I contacted my insurance company and was able to get an extra 90-day supply of my Parkinson’s meds. 

The internet has been a lifesaver during the crisis, from learning about the structure of viruses (it’s only a piece of messenger RNA encased in a membrane!) to the minute by minute epidemiological data tracking infections and deaths from the NY Times and Johns Hopkins University. It’s like watching an accident in slow motion: fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
The quarantine measures that our country adopted have clearly changed the spread of the disease. This has been very reassuring to me. America has a long history of facing and beating challenges: WE can do this. It’s important that we don’t lose faith and panic. As a scientist, I trust the infectious disease experts in guiding us through this crisis (Three cheers for Dr. Fauci!). I might add that my own experience with Parkinson’s disease in the past decade and the many cures that have come down the pike leads me to conclude: Don’t expect a miracle cure for Corona virus…Ain’t gonna happen!

I really miss the PWR Gym: the trainers, staff and my fellow Parkinson’s buddies. I miss the big smiles of Jenn, Emily, Nancy and Calli as they walk in the front door each day ready to wallop unsuspecting dilettantes. I miss playing ball with my friends to warm up prior to class. I confess that I have been unable to exercise as much as I need to in order to prevent loss of function. I attribute this reduction in discipline to the disruption of my life from the quarantine. The 3X per week workout sessions helps us to maintain the discipline we need to fight PD which includes taking meds on time, avoiding food intake with medications as well as daily exercising, walking and stretching. I have come to realize that the group
effort of physical exercise is a fundamental component of the PWR Gym and its success as therapy.

I’d like to thank the PWR gym staff for the huge efforts of creating ZOOM sessions to help keep us in shape during the quarantine. They have been a lifesaver. I have hope that widespread testing in conjunction with anti-viral medication will soon allow Americans to safely leave quarantine and get back to our routines including the PWR Gym. Stay safe everyone.

Shared with permission by PWR!Gym Member, Nate McMullen