Parkinson Disease Free Fall

West Orange, 1942

I was 18-months-old when my parents moved into their suburban cape cod nestled in the Watchung mountains. Bragging her heroism—OR assuaging her guilt—my mother frequently told the story of having averted a near tragedy.
One sunny afternoon she had bundled me into my stroller for a daily afternoon’s walk. Then, descending a steep hill, she lost her footing and fell. As I hurled down the incline toward a busy intersection, she knew only that she had to cling to the stroller’s handle. Battered and bruised, knees bleeding, she saved me from certain disaster.
I have no recollection of that incident, but as age descends, I am aware of another free fall. Heretofore, insults to my body seemed easily fixable…

  • Difficulty seeing? Simply get contacts.
  • Injure one’s knee? Have arthroscopic knee repair.
  • Trouble sleeping? Reduce your level of stress.
  • Forget where you put your keys? You’ll remember momentarily.

The fixes are no longer simple…

  • Difficulty seeing? I now need periodic injections to forestall the loss of my sight.
  • Injure one’s knee? There’s no longer enough meniscus for a simple repair and likely requires complete replacement.
  • Trouble sleeping? I invariably wake up at 2am, 3am, or 4am longing for the impossible respite of sleep.
  • Forget where I put my keys? As my Parkinson disease worsens, I remember less and less.

And, where is that pretty young lady whose clutch kept me from careening into the dangerous intersection that lies below?

4 thoughts on “Parkinson Disease Free Fall

  1. vincent gattullo

    Dr, Lazzarini, I too suffer from a debilitating disease; Neuropathy. Can’t walk, balance is terrible, no pain (thank God for Ultram) but can drive a car and for the past 45 years
    an Asst. Prof. of Biology at the College of Staten Island. I raised about $64million above the base budget during my 7 year term as President of APDA. Dr. Maral Moridian at Robert Wood Johnson is familiar with my interest in research for obvious reasons. Besides my own problem my brother passed from Parkinson’s complications.
    I my youth I was a Champion Hammer Thrower. Went from being one of the strongest men in America to just being able to get out of bed.
    Please keep up the good fight and great work!
    Vincent Gattullo
    Former President APDA

    1. park1place Post author

      Vincent, please call me Alice. I’m honored to make your acquaintance—you’ve certainly done great work in your own right!
      Thanks for taking the time to reach out:)

      1. Vincent N. Gattullo

        Alice, I’ll call at mid day Thurs. at 2:00pm. My affiliation with
        Parkinson was my role as President for 7 years and I built
        their National Headquarters building on Staten Island.
        Vin Gattullo

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