Apathy
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
2M ago
I was just going to leave the title and post the blog "as is." But I wonder how many people would have caught onto the humor. So, before we get into what is a more serious topic, let's talk about the good. Moving my disorder That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, moving my disorder... Because I moved to the coast and my movement disorder came with me, I had to move my movement disorder specialist, which really moved my cheese. But that's OK, because I'm used to change. And in fact, I embrace it with two wide open arms. 50% tremor-free. I was eager to embrace my new movement disor ..read more
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Hawks and rocks: the Colorado Springs adventure
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
5M ago
My daughter's birthday is early January. My son-in-law is currently overseas on a deployment, so I decided to fly to Colorado Springs so that Lizzie didn't have to celebrate her birthday alone. The closest airport to me is in Eugene, Oregon, a short 90-minute drive through mountain passes that is usually pleasant but can get dicey in heavy rain and winter conditions. I headed out mid-morning. The weather transitioned from light rain to mist and finally ended with sunshine. I arrived at Colorado Springs in the evening. The Medication Dilemma I thought I was being incredibly proactive by pre-pac ..read more
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Deep Brain Stimulation
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
5M ago
What a year! Astrophotography, whales, waves, new homes, work opportunities, a conference, travel, and so much more. As I celebrate 2023 and contemplate 2024, one thing that is top of mind (pun intended) is Deep Brain Stimulation. In the past, patients who suffered from Parkinson's Disease could sometimes find relief by undergoing ablative brain surgery. Also known as brain lesioning, the procedure destroys the cells in the area of the brain believed to control the muscles that cause the unwanted tremor or muscle spasms. Even when the irreversible procedure produces results like improving trem ..read more
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Ain't Nothin' but a Coast Thang
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
8M ago
In the late 70s my parents moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. You can't live anywhere in St. Pete without being more than a short drive to the beach. To me, it was sticky sand, greasy sun lotion and nasty sunburns. I hated the beach. Twenty years later I met my wife, and Doreen showed me the beach in a different light. It didn't hurt that sun block was now something I could spray on, didn't smell like coconut oil and actually protected me from sunburns. I was hooked! We began looking for a home on the coast almost as soon as we were married over 25 years ago. Our search brought us from Florida ..read more
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Getting comfortable with my voice
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
10M ago
I like to say, "Life is like going up the down escalator. When you stand still, you fall behind." I assure you that I have not been standing still. Let's start with my uninvited life partner, Parkinson's Disease. Tweaking PD Parkinson's Disease is a roller coaster ride and requires the ability to adapt. My first few years I spent learning about the disease and looking into measures like diet and exercises to slow the progression of my symptoms. I feel like this year has been about adaptation. My symptoms are on my left side for now, which also happens to be my dominant hand. Aside from consta ..read more
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The Long Climb Ahead
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
1y ago
Have you ever looked into the mirror only to be surprised because you saw what felt like a stranger looking back? Every day I live my Parkinson's Disease experience without knowing what it's like for those around me. I was recently invited to host a short show at Microsoft that highlights open source projects by interviewing the maintainers. I had a lot of fun producing the episode and my level of excitement was high to see how it turned out after the editing completed. It was a complete shock when I watched the video because the person on the screen didn't look at all how I feel. The face I s ..read more
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17,541 Days
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
1y ago
The island is tucked away off the northwest coast of Washington state, close enough to the Canadian border to swim there. A small bookstore and coffee shop that has delighted locals and tourists alike for 35 years is nestled along a surprisingly busy main street for such a quiet, relaxed town. It was in Darvil's bookstore that a random fantasy novel I hadn't heard of before caught my eye. An hour later, I was sitting in a chair, sipping dark coffee and reading the book when it struck me. I felt normal. It's not just the Parkinson's To be clear, feeling normal for me isn't about how I think peo ..read more
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No time to tame time
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
1y ago
Where does the time go? It's been months since my last post. Time moves so quickly. If you have any extra time, are you willing to lend it? Actually, if you can just spare some it, I have a story to share. In 1982, my life was changed forever when I decided that I wasn't going to be an astronaut after all. Instead, I put my astronomy books back on the shelf and replaced them with worn, three-ring binders filled with smudged and dotted text from dot matrix printers. The TI-99/4A came with 32 kilobytes of total memory. The Commodore 64 was an upgrade that doubled memory, improved graphics and of ..read more
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Assistive Technology at and by Microsoft
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
2y ago
I recently learned that Microsoft has an Inclusive Technology Lab. The website explains, "Our facility is for people with disabilities, not about people with disabilities." I was invited to participate in a design sprint that took place in the lab. This involved sitting down with a room full of colleagues who were all interested in the story of my interactions with technology. I shared the challenges I face, such as stiff fingers making it difficult to type and tremors causing phantom mouse clicks that mistakenly send messages to trash. They listened and asked great questions. It was therapeut ..read more
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PD is not welcome here
Strength In Weakness
by Jeremy Likness
2y ago
It's easy to be optimistic about a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease (PD) when you aren't experiencing major symptoms. Everyone's PD journey is different. For the past two years my main symptom is a constant tremor. That's evolved to a very stiff hand that now interferes with my typing. In fact, I started typing this paragraph on the keyboard and quickly switched to voice assistance. I was more stubborn about accommodations in the beginning. Perhaps it's because they expose and amplify the condition, but that's the wrong way to think about it. Instead, I realized these accommodations help me be ..read more
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