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Bernard Shakey

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About Bernard Shakey

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    New York City

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  1. Bernard Shakey

    Early PD and vigorous exercise

    I can't emphasize enough how important I believe exercise is. I exercise for an hour, four or five days a week. One day I take a Parkinson's boxing class based on Rock Steady Boxing, one day I do Pilates with a trainer, one day I do floor Pilates and lift dumbbell weights on my own, one day I do a combination of simple yoga poses, stretches, and cardio exercise. I also walk as much as I can. I was diagnosed three years ago at age 52, and aside from a low dose of Zoloft for anxiety/depression, my MDS agrees I don't need any other Parkinson's medication at this time. Of course everyone is different but exercise can only help your strength, flexibility, mood, and overall health. Find things you like and stick with them.
  2. Bernard Shakey

    Numbness in foot

    I was diagnosed with PD a little over two years ago. At times I've had some tingling in my hands and legs. But for the past 24 hours I've had an intermittent tingling sensation in the front bottom of my left foot. It cycles on and off--I feel the tingling for a couple of seconds and then it stops for a couple of seconds. Do you think this is related to my PD or is it something else--maybe peripheral neuropathy? Thanks.
  3. Bernard Shakey

    Golden Boy fundraiser for PD

    I hope no one minds if I plug a Parkinson's fundraising event. If anyone lives in the New York City area, you may be interested in buying tickets to special performances of Clifford Odets' play "Golden Boy" on Oct. 22, 23, 29, 30 at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn. The play is being put on by stoPD (Support and Training to Overcome Parkinson's Disease) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. stoPD is a nonprofit organization that gives boxing-based fitness classes designed for people with Parkinson's (similar to Rock Steady Boxing). I've been taking the classes since March and they've been great. The lead role is being played by Alex Montaldo, who is a professional actor, co-founder of stoPD, and one of our trainers. Thanks.
  4. Bernard Shakey

    Foot cramps

    Thanks for the reply. I will be seeing my MDS in a couple of weeks and will discuss it with him.
  5. Bernard Shakey

    Foot cramps

    I'm a 54-year-old man and was diagnosed with Parkinson's 20 months ago. I'm not on any medication for it yet. My symptoms began on my right side (hand tremors, rigidity in arm, shoulder, and ankle). Recently I've begun to have painful cramps in my right foot, mostly the right toe, sometimes during exercise and sometimes, to a lesser extent, while laying in bed. Is this the beginning of dystonia? Thanks.
  6. Bernard Shakey

    Alaska Vacation w/ PD

    Musicman, Glad you had a great trip. My wife and I did a week-long hiking trip in Spain last fall. (You hike from town to town with a light daypack and the tour company transports your luggage from one hotel to the next.) Were you drinking plenty of water? In my experience if you get a little dehydrated while doing a lot of walking, muscles (especially large ones like in the legs) can cramp up.
  7. Bernard Shakey

    Coming Out of the PD Closet...and Locking the Door

    I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm glad you consulted an attorney. Good luck.
  8. Bernard Shakey

    Coming Out of the PD Closet...and Locking the Door

    Unprincess, I don't mean to pry, but did they give you a reason why you were laid off? How long did your employers know about your PD before they eliminated your position? If it was a sizable organization, I can assure you they were quite aware of the rules about short and long term disability. Is it possible they fired you before you could file for disability claims to avoid a payout?
  9. Bernard Shakey


    I have a good friend who worked for social security for many years. She said virtually all disability claims are denied the first time you file. When you appeal, you get an appointment before an administrative law judge. It's best to have an attorney represent you. If you have a solid medical record documenting your disability you will almost always get approved. There are a number of large firms that do a good job. You pay nothing unless your claim is approved. The attorney takes his fee from your first check (normally includes retroactive payout). For the reputable firms this is a flat fee amount, not a percentage.
  10. Bernard Shakey

    James Levine and Parkinson's

    Dr.Okun, This is kind of an unusual post. The NY Times just ran an article about James Levine, the musical director of the Metropolitan Opera and his Parkinson's diagnosis. In it, the writer claims his neurologist said he has a "benign" form of the disease. As I understand it, there is no such thing--you either have it or you don't. It also claims that the neurologist gave Levine "startling" news--that changing his L-dopa dose could decrease the side effects (in an earlier article these were identified as dyskinesia-type tremors). As we all know, this is not "startling" news, but commonly-held knowledge by anyone with a basic understanding of the disease. Although I hate the phrase, I think this is one of those "teachable moments" where the Times could educate a lot of people about Parkinson's and instead is spreading misleading information. Would you consider writing a letter to the editor to point out the incorrect information in the article?
  11. Bernard Shakey

    Movement Disorder Specialist-Appt wait time

    I was just thinking about posting a similar question. I just made a follow-up appointment with my MDS and the first available appointment is in two months.
  12. Bernard Shakey

    How do you tell people that you have PD?

    I told close friends and family. Wearwear, I just kept it short and simple. Tell them what PD is, explain that it's not the end of the world, that it will probably progress slowly, that you have treatment options for the symptoms, and refer them to this or similar websites if they want to know more. Why tell people? Well, for one thing to help my wife. If I kept it a secret, it meant she couldn't talk about my illness with her closest friends and that seemed an unfair burden to place on her on top of everything else she has to deal with.
  13. Bernard Shakey

    What do you plan on doing with your Brain?

    AB: I thought Igor was getting your brain. (Hope link works.)
  14. Bernard Shakey

    Cold weather

    So here's a new, fun thing about Parkinson's I just discovered. I live in NYC and we've been having extremely warm, unseasonable weather the last couple of months. But yesterday it dropped down into the 20s with a brisk wind. I was out walking around for about twenty minutes and my right leg (especially the calf) stiffened up and my shoulders and knees felt achy. When I got inside I noticed groups of muscles starting to twitch that never have before. I've lived around here all my life and never had the cold affect me like that. Anyone else have problems with cold weather? Anything help? Thanks.
  15. Bernard Shakey

    Medication for tremors

    Thanks for the advice. I'm leery of the agonists because so many posters on these forums had negative experiences with them. I will be seeing my MDS early next year and will discuss it with him.