“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napoleon Hill
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Ronald Reagan
The Journey With Parkinson’s returns: The past 2 months have just consumed every waking moment of my time/life, and then some. I have a back-log of >20 blog posts in some finished-form-or-another. Starting this weekend, I will be able to spend more time researching, thinking, and writing on the blog (and the past 2 month gap between blog posts will be explained in a story entitled “Work in the Presence of Parkinson’s”).
Core movement disorder aspects of Parkinson’s: Most people-with-Parkinson’s have some or most of these manifestations: tremor, bradykinesia, postural instability and rigidity. They are considered the “Cardinal Signs” of Parkinson’s; here is a brief overview.
Resting Tremor: A vast majority of people-with-Parkinson’s will have this ‘type’ of tremor (for a tremor tutorial click here). The tremor consists of a shaking motion, which happens at rest. The affected body part will be in motion when it is not performing an action. The tremor will stop when a person moves this body part. Not all people with Parkinson’s will develop a tremor; or like me, they have another kind of tremor.
Bradykinesia (“slow movement”): A general loss of spontaneous body movement. Bradykinesia causes problems with repetitive motion. Bradykinesia can alter the speed of performance of many everyday events like buttoning shirt-buttons, fastening car seatbelt, or chopping food.
Postural Instability: Postural instability is a tendency to be unstable when standing upright. A person with postural instability has lost some of the reflexes needed for maintaining an upright position.
Rigidity: Rigidity causes stiffness and inflexibility of the limbs, neck and trunk. Muscles normally stretch when they move, and then relax when they are at rest. By contrast, in Parkinson’s that body part remains taut when it moves and does not relax.
Smart-spoon: The “Google Spoon” came first (click here), and it oscillates to counter the negative oscillation of your hand (click here). You can check on-line to determine whether or not your tremor can be helped by this spoon.
And now a helping hand: “The invention that helped me write again” (Click here to see video). My colleague, good friend and golf buddy Nigel saw the story on BBC News. Technology is evolving; all it takes is an understanding of the problem, a design strategy, and significant effort to create such a device. It also takes intelligence, talent and diligence to be able to make a device that allowed someone with Parkinson’s and a significant tremor to be able to write and draw again. Great story, and simply an amazing device!
“The trouble with much of the advice business gets today about the need to be more vigorously creative is that its advocates often fail to distinguish between creativity and innovation. Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things… The shortage is of innovators…” Tom Peters