Friday, May 23, 2014


Almond Joy

Some times you don't

Surely anyone who has lived in the U.S. for any length of time (and possibly other parts of the world as well) recognizes this famous ad slogan for these wonderful candy bars.  They are the kind of candy that we used to hope to get when we went "trick or treating" at Halloween (as opposed to suckers or jolly ranchers).  For those who aren't familiar with these, both have two chocolate covered coconut bars in a package (obviously less expensive than one full size candy bar from a manufacturing standpoint).  Almond Joy has almonds on top and is coated with milk chocolate and Mounds is nutless, coated with dark chocolate.

Given the (difficult) choice, I would usually opt for the Almond Joy, though I love both (I am a big fan of coconut).  I'm not sure that this is due to a proclivity for nuts, though I have always liked them (especially cashews).

I did choose to attend THE Ohio State University (before it was fashionable to call it THE) and, as most everyone knows, the sports teams (and any OSU sports fans) are the "Buckeyes".  It is not common knowledge that the buckeye is a nut grown on a buckeye tree.

Ohio Buckeye Tree Fruit

I would be remiss if I did not mention "that team up north" (as Woody used to call them), the Michigan Wolverines.  I would have to admit that for anyone not from Ohio or a fan of Ohio State, being called the "buckeyes" is an invitation for derision.  But for us, it is a source of pride (after all, there is a candy named for the buckeye that is fabulous).

Buckeyes I Recipe

I think it is obvious that this is far and away more desirable than to be called the "wolverines".  They are not the most attractive animal (reminiscent of hyenas in my opinion) and, though they are powerful and efficient killers of both small and large animals, they rely heavily on scavenging.

All of which may be at least a little interesting, but probably leaves you wondering if I have a point I want to make that has anything remotely to do with Parkinson's.  I did when I started..........Oh yes!

I thought it would be of interest to note that the cognition problems I experience are quite variable.  Thus, the connection to the fact that "some days I feel like a nut, some days I don't".  I know this would be "politically incorrect" if I was talking about someone else rather than myself.  In any case, it is OK to have a little fun with it.

Some days I feel quite "normal".  At least, what I recall normal to be.  It is a floating target these days.  I finished some fairly extensive gardening work that seemed overwhelming before I did it and am rather proud (though I did get a cortisone shot in my right knee due to "overdoing it" in the heat of the enthusiasm I was eventually able to muster).  I will be able to resume my exercise activities now and will be walking in the 10k Bolder Boulder event next Monday (with some of our grandchildren and their parents).  We are attending a community barbeque this evening.  Linda and I participated in a research study at Colorado Neurological Institutes yesterday.  We will attend our local PD support group meeting next Tuesday.  We have planned a trip to Kauai for November.

Other days, I feel quite certain that I have progressed beyond mild cognitive impairment to the dreaded "D" word- dementia (they should call this something else, but I'm not sure what).  These feelings are triggered by excessive memory incidents (forgetting names, appointments, what day it is, what month it is, forgetting to do something I said I would do or take something with me when leaving the house), difficulty with complex tasks, and/or a general sense of "fogginess".

I would emphasize that, even on these "more troubling" days, life is still very good.  As time goes by, I am increasingly aware of how fortunate I am compared to others who die suddenly or prematurely without having the time to appreciate the company of those they care about most.  I remain engaged in the "PD world" in various ways that are very meaningful to me.  Linda, the most important person in my life (and my care partner) is just as involved as I am at this point, which I truly appreciate.  We have the opportunity to interact with people that we admire and care about.  My family and my faith remain the top priorities that keep me moving forward.

Enough about that.  I think I need to go out and buy an Almond Joy or Mounds.  Or maybe both!


  1. Almond Joy - every time Kirk because I guess I always feel like a nut! You might want to check into a clinical trial for a drug that acts on the adeno system called "Istradefylline" to see if you'd qualify to participate. I was part of a clinical trial for this same drug before I had DBS and found it to clear away the fuzziness in my brain that I hadn't even realized existed at that point! I was part of a CNI trial called KW-6002. I believe that CNI is one of the research locations for the new trial. Donna

  2. Thanks Donna! I'll check it out. Was just at CNI last week participating in a trial designed to help understand any cognitive impact of DBS using an EEG that recorded brain activity during various mental exercises.