I’ve never been much of one to become overly concerned with what the names of things are. As a science teacher, I am constantly presented with little glimpses and pieces of nature and asked: “what IS this?” And by asking, they expect something ecosystematically genus-specific like “Cytellus tridecemlineatus,” “Northern hairy nutscratcher,” or “Lilly Grady’s upland liverwort”. When something is given a name, it is given substance, validity and verification. It is set down upon its own piece of the enormous puzzle that nature study has been working on since inquiry began.
And that’s really the way it should be.
But I tend to disappoint my students by often replying: “why, that’s a little green frog”, or “it’s one of nature’s most efficient recyclers,” or “I don’t know, let’s google it.” If truth be told, I’m really more interested in how things work, who they compete with and how they are adapted. The names are simply a necessary evil that helps to keep us from becoming confused.
But with Parkinson’s disease, or “parkinsonism” it’s different. Parkinsonism is what is known as a “spectrum” disease, and like autism, dementia and mixing paint - it is broken into an infinite, incremental series of subsets that grade together – one into the other – like yellow into green. When you have Parkinson’s, or autism, or dementia, you exist somewhere along that spectrum. You are like the color greenish-purple: are you more green than purple?… and to what degree is purple blue and red? And what if you’re so far off the visible scale that you’re completely IN-visible? Where does that get you?
(To read the rest of this blog, as well as the rest of the "Live-Blogging Parkinsons" series, please go to jeff-howe.net link below... look for the "Parkinsons" link under "More".)© 2012, Jeff L. Howe, all rights
You can find the entire Live-Blogging Parkinson's series, along with stories, blogs and wicked harmonica at