Post written by Dr. Bradley Hiner
This is the second part of my two-part post on people who have turned to writting following a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Let’s take a leap of three decades in age and talk about Erv Penkalski.
Erv is 88 and was diagnosed with PD in 1999 although he’s sure he had it for at least 5 years before that. Again, myriad symptoms existed before they were analyzed and pulled together into a diagnosis of PD. Erv is also writing a book. He’s written throughout his career as an engineer with a PhD in education. His book begins, “I am 88 years old, and in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease. ... I am writing this book from my room in a nursing home – supposedly my final refuge from the ordinary cares of the world. With each day I have a fierce struggle with routines that a decade ago I wouldn’t have given a second thought. This morning it took me 45 minutes to get out of bed and into the wheelchair that was parked beside the bed.”
Dr. Penkalski’s motivation to write this book is similar to Rick Secklin’s motivation: to help others with Parkinson’s and to educate the public. Erv’s emphasis is on the health care system that doesn’t always understand the nuances of Parkinson’s. He wants to help professional caregivers learn better ways of helping him and other people with PD. He is an inspiration.
Erv’s wife, Mary, “the girl of [his]dreams,” submitted his story to Nursingmatters
magazine and it was published in the January 2011 issue. It can be accessed at:http://www.epaperflip.com/aglaia/viewer.aspx?docid=d16402e4b9904bb991cd1fd59b10339f&page=1