Gift of the Hit - selected excerpts
The following is a draft excerpt from the OrIginal GIFT OF THE HIT book written by Peter. Click the "Let Me Know" button to the right and you'll be the first to be informed of the book's birth.
In the late spring of 2005 I finished my run around the Citadel Hill in Halifax and noticed that my leg would quiver in the shower. This only lasted for a couple of weeks but over time I noticed that I had difficulty writing my name on credit card slips or brushing my teeth. My dominant hand, my right hand, just didn't seem to want to reach the molars. I thought to myself, "That's odd.”
I mentioned this to my family doctor at my annual checkup in July. I shared that for the last couple months I was having a hard time writing and difficulty brush my teeth. After listened to me he commented, “That’s Odd.” He referred me to a specialist.
The first time I met a neurologist was that October. i shared with him that my right hand was having hard time writing and difficulty brushing my teeth. He looked at me and said, “That's odd.” After a couple of quick tests pointing at my nose and flipping my hand in my palm he continued, "But I know what it might be, or at least what your choices are. You either have a brain tumor Parkinson's disease." What a choice.
That was hit day. I was aware both conditions intimately. A good friend of mine had died on the operating table while doctors were trying to biopsy his brain tumor and my Mothers brother had a wife that was well into her life with Parkinson's plus syndrome. I sat in my car after my appointment numbly. I had a jumble of thoughts and as well as no thoughts at all. I question why I would get this because because of my night it made no sense. I was a vegetarian with a healthy lifestyle physical activity running marathons, kayaking, trekking up mountains on three continents. What the hell was I doing with this condition? After all it was an old person’s disease, or so I thought.
I kept my diagnosis to myself for a year and learned first-hand personal that "denial" is not just a River in Egypt. This was particularly difficult visiting the aunt Polly and she was excited to show me an instructional video on a new treatment process for “her” condition called deep brain stimulation. The process involves drilling a hole the top of the head and inserting electrodes whose vibrations are controlled by a unit like a pacemaker. It is designed to neutralize the tremors. Scientifically awesome technology but in my gut I had a sinking feeling wondering if that might be my future when in store.
I was a serial monogamist, after a while getting to close I would sabotage and emotionally withdraw. Looking back I never really felt worthy of love and I pretty much given up on having a relationship feeling unworthy for love and now even more so with a chronic condition. I even went so far as to write a letter to the Oprah Show with a suggestion she do story on guys with chronic disease that no one would want to love. That mindset was to window up to my pity party and I didn't feel confident enough to mail it.
I remet Andrea at the Stan Rogers Folk festival in July of 2006. We had dated 18 years ago. As we fell for each other again, I resisted, as usual but this time was different. Over the next six months I surrendered to love. We got married and I moved out of my bachelor apartment with the stench of cat pee in the hall way into a sweet 3 bedroom home with a fenced in back yard. The perfect house for raising a family. In due course we got the surprise announcement that we were approved to adopt baby girl. That blessing doubled when we found out we were pregnant a year and a half later and Andrea gave birth to our son at age 45.
My life dreams were complete. I surrendered to love and life unimagined unfolded. I now have a very rich future to look forward to. Watching my children grow and become beautiful. Parkinson's will always be in my life but I chose to place it in the background of my life. My family is in the foreground!
If I could do it again, would I trade a disease free bachelor life for what I have manifested today because of having Parkinson's? The answer is no because I got the gift, emotionally, literally, spiritually? If it took a major disease to humble me to be open to receive it all then let it be so.