May 2010

Monday, 10 May 2010

The feature in the Mail on Sunday of voluptuous Vicki was absolutely brilliant. It was both inspirational and heart wrenching in equal doses. I think it takes tremendous courage for someone to put themselves forward for a feature in a Sunday supplement, to put themselves in a very public spotlight and to say it how it is. It is even more remarkable when you consider it is Vicki. She is an extremely proud young lady who would rather not be in the public eye. Her journey from being known only to the people who frequent the Parkinson’s forums to being one of the most public faces of Parkinson’s in the UK has been difficult for her, but a journey she knew she had to take. I am proud to be able to call her friend.

She adopted me when I took my first steps into the online world of Parkinson’s, a few weeks after I was diagnosed. She provided friendship and support through some very dark days. She had only been diagnosed herself seven months previously and showed me that you can laugh with this disease and at this disease.

The feature in the Mail on Sunday of voluptuous Vicki was absolutely brilliant. It was both inspirational and heart wrenching in equal doses. I think it takes tremendous courage for someone to put themselves forward for a feature in a Sunday supplement, to put themselves in a very public spotlight and to say it how it is. It is even more remarkable when you consider it is Vicki. She is an extremely proud young lady who would rather not be in the public eye. Her journey from being known only to the people who frequent the Parkinson’s forums to being one of the most public faces of Parkinson’s in the UK has been difficult for her, but a journey she knew she had to take. I am proud to be able to call her friend.

She adopted me when I took my first steps into the online world of Parkinson’s, a few weeks after I was diagnosed. She provided friendship and support through some very dark days. She had only been diagnosed herself seven months previously and showed me that you can laugh with this disease, and at this disease. I honestly do not think there would be a WobblyWilliams.com if it hadn’t been for Miss Victoria Dillon. The Russian novelist and poet, Mikhail Lermontov, wrote:

“Of two close friends, one is always the slave of the other”

This struck a cord with me because my Parkinson’s is like a close friend. It shares everything with me, it is always there and it is utterly dependable. Vicki is an example of a person who is not a slave to her Parkinson’s. She recognises it, she deals with it and she is using it to make life better. Who is the slave in that relationship?

The week after the marathon was brilliant. I was full of beans. We followed it up with the weekend in Ireland which was the usual merry-go-round of visits and overeating. I have managed to put half a stone on since the marathon. This last week, however, has been hard work. I have suffered from the blues (one of my favourite Gary Larson cartoons is a frog singing in a jazz club “I got the Greens real bad”). There is too much going on and I am not dealing with it very well. Sometimes when faced with a mountain of things to do I just do nothing. However, I cut the grass yesterday and we can now see out of the windows, this has motivated me to tackle the rest of mountain this week.

I have compounded matters by not running enough. Prior to Sunday morning I had only run once, for 4 miles, when I was in Ireland. I got angry with myself yesterday and ran 10k (6.1 miles). The route I took was from my house up to the Milngavie reservoirs and back again. 3 miles uphill followed by 3 miles downhill. I was in determined mood and completed it in 59 minutes and 8 seconds. This delighted me no end, I thought my sub 60 minute 10k days were behind me. For as long as possible I’m not going to be a slave to my Parkinson’s either.

Sunday 16 May 2010

A love that I share with my chum Tony is the love of Engrish. Tony introduced me to Engrish last year with an email which read:

“Blyn! http://www.engrish.com”

Simple mis-translations and mis-interpreatations of our beautiful language from the Far East. Like this:

Furthermore, with the simple substitution of “l” for “r”, “r” for “l” and “b” for “v”, where appropriate, you can speak like a native.

For example, this scene from UHF or “Nick Cregg has had a sprendid erection, he will be preased with his post as Deputy Plime Minister.

Much Engrish was spoken when Tony and I went out for a post-erection night out on Fliday. We discussed the erection and the possibility of a lainbow coarition of Labour, the Riberal Democlats and associated unsavoury characters like the SNP and even the Gleen MP. Northern Irish people are generally more intelested in poritics than the average Blit, the nature of the country we glew up in. We discussed Wobbry matters like the plogless of the Wobbry Banquet and staging another Wobbry Wirriams Wark, possibly along the Island of Allan Coastal Path.

For dinner we had baby back ribs, they were delicious or as Tony said, “Blyn, the libs are rubbery”.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

I was invited to a lecture on Monday by a contact at Strathclyde University. The lecture was given by a researcher from the University of Nevarra in Spain. They have been doing some work on a delivery method for GDNF.

The delivery method is injecting GDNF inside microspheres into the brain. The microspheres dissolve releasing the GDNF at a slow rate so you only need an injection every month or so.

The lecture started by describing Parkinson’s disease and how it affects people etc. The talk was aimed at post-doctorate students and as such, was very factual and fairly blunt. She painted a pretty bleak picture of Parkinson’s disease, presumably bleaker than was necessary to make her results stand out a bit sharper. She used a term I hadn’t heard before “pharmacological honeymoon”, the period I am going through where the disease is largely masked by the medication. Just like a real honeymoon, once the honeymoon is over, the reality of being married to your disease kicks in and things get a bit tougher. Presumably you look like you’re scratching your seven year itch continually from day one. No point in worrying about it, what will be, will be.

The other thing that made me snigger was videos they showed of the test animals. One of the videos was a monkey before they induced Parkinson’s in him. He was just behaving like a monkey, throwing poo at tourists, that sort of thing (I thought poo image was such a good one I decided to use it twice in about four weeks). The second video was after Parkinson’s was brought on. The audience (except me) all went “Aaaaawwww”. He looked a bit rough to be fair, but the audience reaction was a bit over the top. Nobody goes Aaaaawwww when I walk into a room.

This is further evidence of how we like animals more than people. When I lived in Southampton we would often go into the New Forest to worry sheep etc. There is a 30 mile an hour speed limit around the New Forest because of the donkeys. You wouldn’t want to knock one down, would you? So people would religiously observe the 30 mile an hour speed limit, yet as soon as they cross the cattle grid, and get back to civilisation they will speed happily around towns and villages which have 30 mile an hour speed limit to help, for example, reduce the number of children that are knocked down.

Anyway, back to the plot. Startling results from the microspheres. Monkeys returned to normal, throwing poo with deadly accuracy, and generally having a very nice time. Very uplifting indeed.

Currently in Munich preparing for a hearing at the European patent office tomorrow. It is a fabulous city. I do love a pretzel.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

I ran my first half marathon in September 2008. It was an emotional experience, a way of standing up to my Parkinson’s. The occasion was tinged with disappointment however as I failed to hit my goal of completeing the run in less than 2 hrs 11 mins, below this time means you ran at less than 10 mins/mile. Why did I pick this target? Who knows. The speed more or less equates to a sub-one hour 10k which I knew I could run.

My time in September 2008 was 2:23:47. I improved my personal best in Glasgow in September 09 to 2:21:00 and again in Blackpool in March this year to 2:17:36. A long way from 2:10:59.

Last Sunday was the Edinburgh half marathon. The first of four half marathons Karen and I will run over consecutive weekends. Edinburgh is a fast course, there is a healthy drop from the start to Leith and the final 9 miles is undulating Coastal road.

I knew this was my chance. Karen was up for it. George Kelly was over from Donegal and was up for anything. The only problem was the weather. It was roasting all weekend.

We started well and passed through 6 miles in 59 mins. On target but the downhill was behind us. I started to struggle at 9 miles but kept at it. The London Marathon cemented a determination in me which has been absent for most of my life. A way of harnessing sheer bloody mindedness to tackle this disease.

When we got to 12 miles I checked the watch and we were bang on two hours. The last mile flew in. We crossed the line in 2 hours 10 minutes and 41 seconds. A whole 18 seconds sooner than we had to.

It was a wonderful feeling. Shortly followed by a very unpleasant feeling. I have achieved my goal and now I can return to plodding. Life is too short not to smell the locals as you run passed. And believe me Edinburgh locals have a very peculiar odour.

In the evening we went for a curry. Good solid nutrition. Vicky drove through from Glasgow and took me home.

The medal is a cracker it weighs a ton and is advertisement free. And it is circular.

This weekend 18 of us are off to Campbeltown for a long weekend. There is a half marathon on Sunday which, if we completed, will mark halfway in our 10+2 running challenge. The challenge which felt like a pipe dream when it was conceived will now be halfway through. Rumour has it the Campbeltown a medal is pottery. I am looking forward to smelling these people too.

The details of Wobbly Williams Walk III will hopefully be announced in the next week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s