Parkinson’s disease is complicated. It’s a brain disease, a movement disorder, a lifetime affliction. There is no cure, but plenty of curiosity since Robin Williams’ wife revealed he was in the early stage of Parkinson’s. While creating this artwork, I wanted to highlight some key words that describe how I feel and what I deal with since my diagnosis. I also wanted to spark conversations and awareness in doctor offices and waiting rooms, movement disorder clinics and anywhere this print is displayed. Parkinson’s Scrabble is a game I play — as do approximately 6.3 million other people in the world.
This limited edition fine art print is available in 2 sizes:
medium print on 13″ X 19″ paper $115.00/each (unframed)
large print on 24″ X 36″ paper $225.00/each (unframed)
To inquire about ordering this print, email robynmlevy (at) gmail.com
The latest news about Robin Williams is that he had early stage Parkinson’s. His wife, Susan Schneider said “her husband had been sober but “not yet ready to share publicly” his struggles with Parkinson’s…he had also been suffering from anxiety and depression.” This BBC article, like so many other news sources describe Parkinson’s Disease as a degenerative neurological disorder/disease and list the following symptoms: tremors and other uncontrollable movements, impaired balance and co-ordination, stiffness, slowness of movement, loss of smell, a decline in intellectual functioning, and speech and swallowing problems. But that isn’t the whole picture. Approximately 50% of PD patients suffer mental health symptoms which include depression and anxiety (I’m one of those 50%). We experience depression and anxiety not because we are bummed out from having this disease. Our depression and anxiety are symptoms of the neurological changes and chemical imbalances in our brain. Considering Robin Williams was dealing with addiction and PD depression and anxiety — there’s no doubt in my mind that he was engulfed in suffering.
As the world mourns the loss of Robin Williams, I have been struggling to write something relevant, something profound. And then I found this quote:
“Killing oneself is, anyway, a misnomer. We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, “He fought so hard.” And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.”
― Sally Brampton, Shoot The Damn Dog: A Memoir Of Depression
These bold, sexy and intriguing swimsuits are perfect for Ms. Mastectomy and me! A group of Finnish fashion designers created this swimwear collection for Monokini 2.0 project. According to their manifesto: we want to incite a positive self-image of breast-operated women by showing that you can be whole, beautiful and sexy even with just one breast or with no breasts at all. For more information about this social project, drop by their website. Attend their runway shows and exhibitions in Sweden and Norway. And remember their motto: WHO SAYS YOU NEED TWO?
I wouldn’t. But apparently one woman did! She is 42 years old, has early onset Parkinson’s disease and deliberately went to hospital. Upon examination, doctors blamed Rasagiline — the only Parkinson’s drug she was taking — for her hyperarousal, increased libido and spontaneous orgasms (which she suffered three to five times daily).
It’s been 7 years since I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s. I consider myself fortunate that, most of the time, I still have good balance and mobility. However, I do experience fatigue, dyskinesia and on-off symptoms — and when this happens my body becomes rigid and robotic. Not the ideal physical state to climb stairs (our house has a spiral staircase) or to do heavy housework (our empty nest is now too big to take care of). Given that Bergen has fully recovered from open heart surgery, we decided to simplify our lives while preparing for our future needs. So we sold our house and bought a one-level condo. And if we survive this intense packing-culling-Craiglisting-donating downsizing stage, we hope to enjoy our new home when we move in at the end of August.