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Shaky's Kids Interview with Joe

Posted Mar 02 2011 12:04am
 Q:  What is your age?
Joe:  14

Q:  What is your relationship to Shaky?
Joe:  He is my step dad.

Q:  Do you remember when Shaky was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease?
Joe:  No, I don't remember at all.  I guess I was around nine or ten.

Q:  Do you remember Shaky and I discussing the possibility that he could have PD? 
Joe:  I don't remember you discussing it.   Not until I was eleven or twelve.  I don't remember discussing it much.

Q:  What is your first recollection of Shaky having PD, or of any discussion of PD?
Joe:  Two years ago I started noticing the shaking and started asking him about it.

Q:  Did you notice any other symptoms, besides the shaking?
Joe:  Stooping, he was stooping over.  And he shuffles his feet.

Q:  Which one of those symptoms stood out the most to you, and why?
Joe:  Shaking, because it was the most noticeable.

Q:  How have your parents (Shaky and I) handled explaining PD to you?
Joe:  I think you did pretty good.  You helped me understand it. You sat down with me and answered my questions. 

Q:  What questions did you have regarding Shaky and/or PD?
Joe:  What is it? How is it caused?  Is it deadly, does it cause death?  I also asked if it runs in the family.

Q:  Do you have any fears or worries about Shaky having PD?
Joe: That it will cause death. I mean, he could choke and die.  That happens.  That he won't be happy. 

Q:  Have your parents done a good job of explaining the disease and helping you ease your fears and worries?
Joe:  Yeah, they have.

Q:  You are fourteen years old.  Do you know of anyone in your peer group who has a loved one with PD?
Joe:  My best friend's grandpa has PD.  He's nice.  He plays guitar.  He has a bit of a problem now.  He was only able to play a few cords, but he showed us a video from like twenty years ago of him playing. He was pretty good!

Q:  Did you happen to notice any difference between Shaky's symptoms and the symptoms of your friends grandpa?
Joe:  He shook a little worse than Keith, not by a lot though.  He didn't look as stooped over.  He shuffled a lot though.

Q:  Be completely honest here - do you think your life is different in any way because as a family, we are dealing with PD? Explain.
Joe:  Yeah.  Well, I mean I'm being home schooled.  And I have to help out more. I mean, I don't mind, I'm not complaining. 

Q:  What advice to you have for others who may be in the same situation as you?
Joe:  Just talk about it to your parents.  You're not the only one. There are other people to talk to. It helps to talk.  Your life's going to change because it's Parkinson's, but it'll be okay.


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