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Here Are All 17 Episodes of “No Doorway Wide Enough”

Posted Aug 03 2010 5:16am

Here are all 17 episodes of "No Doorway Wide Enough" on Podiobooks .

Was it karma that caused my Parkinson's disease? Well, I was less than kind to an old farmer I worked for in high school (behind his back, of course) who suffered from the disease. So who knows. This first section of "No Doorway Wide Enough" tells the story of my challenge to get a diagnosis in 1999 and 2000 (I kept hearing, "You're Too Young!"), through 2007 when a neurologist told me I not only seemed to HAVE Parkinson's, but a fairly classic case of it. The segment ends on a question. "What's next?"

A big part of my job as Production Manager at the Radio News Service was to write and produce podcasts informing the public about the importance of clinical trials in the search for new and better treatments for diseases. So here I was, with a perfectly good case of Parkinson's disease. What was I going to do with it? I learned of a clinical trial into the safety and tolerability of "deep brain stimulation" in the early stages of Parkinson's. The theory the scientist are trying to prove: doing DBS earlier rather than later in the course of this progressive neurological condition might slow down, and maybe even stop the progression. Of course, it involved volunteering to have two wires inserted deep (and I mean DEEP) into my brain and having neurotransmitters implanted into my chest. Who volunteers for something like that? Well, in this episode you'll hear about the screening process and how it was I became one of the 30 people to take part in this very important clinical trial.

Once I was accepted into Vanderbilt's clinical trial, I had to undergo an 8-day stay at their General Clinical Research Center during which my Parkinson's medications would be withdrawn and I would be monitored and studied. At the end of the 8th day, my symptoms would be compared with the symptoms I had on the first day. And then they would reach into the hat and tell me whether or not I would be "randomized" to the surgery group, or the "control" group -- one of the 15 who would continue on the same treatment they had been on before. That way, those who had the surgery could be compared to those who did not. I called this 8-day period the "Droolfest." In this episode, I relive it with you.

At Vanderbilt, they do DBS surgery in three stages. In this episode, I have the first stage done... the placement of four bone markers that are screwed into my skull. I walk around with these things in my head for about a week before the main surgery.

In this episode, I take you with me into the operating room for a seven-hour surgery to place electrodes deep into my brain. But first, I have to deal with some jagoff at a bar, try to get a good night's sleep while staring at the grim spectre of death and have a catheter put in. Then, after the surgery, I have to wait many more hours for a hospital room and try to sleep as my brain absorbs the air that got into my skull during the surgery -- snap, crackle, pop! Then I get to go home.

The first two surgeries are done and over with. There's one left, the one they said was "piece of cake, in and out, two hours, no problem." So why did my neck hurt so bad when it was all over with? Enjoy Episode #6 of "No Doorway Wide Enough." And remember... any donations I receive will go to the National Parkinson Foundation and the DBS Research Fund at Vanderbilt University Medical Center!

All the deep brain stimulation hardware is in place. Now it's time for the programming. Unfortunately, I live near Baltimore and the guy doing the programming is in Nashville. This makes for some interesting day trips. Let the programming begin as you listen to Episode 7 of "No Doorway Wide Enough." (BTW: In this episode -- I SING!!!)

In Episode 8 of "No Doorway Wide Enough", pull up a chair and join me for a delicious "Lump o' Egg" as we sweat our way through Droolfest II -- that 8-day period at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's General Clinical Research Center when they turn off the Deep Brain Stimulation devices, take away the Parkinson's disease medications... and watch the deterioration! It's FUN! (BTW: If you'd like to see some Droolfest video, go to and search the word "Droolfest").

Episode 9 begins with me falling in the shower. I get to yell at God a little bit when I learn that my sister has terminal . I'm slowing down, dragging out, falling down and bleeding all over a hotel bathroom. And one of my dogs won't stop peeing on the floor! Such is the drama in my Parkinsonian life. Welcome to another episode of "No Doorway Wide Enough" on Podiobooks!

In this episode of No Doorway Wide Enough, we see how Parkinson's disease begins to affect my driving skills and my ability to get to and from my job in mid-2009. And we start delving into the world of and the wacky dreams it causes

In Episode #11, the dreams get MORE bizarre, I break them down by category, and we'll wrap up the episode with a poem I wrote called, "Ode to a Frozen Foot."

In this episode, I'll talk about some of the practical applications of freezing, what happens when you step on a dog, a note from Vanderbilt that made me reconsider the wisdom of taking part in the clinical trial, and leg cramps, leg cramps, leg cramps!

In this episode, we'll discuss life immediately after my sister's untimely passing, more falling, more vivid dreaming, some of the more disgusting and gross aspects of Parkinson's disease, and why it sucks to be slow when it's cold outside. Don't let the description fool you. This is a fun episode and a "must listen" for anyone who has ever pooped in the shower.

In THIS episode, more bizarre dreams in which Evil Nurses call me a FAKER! In addition to all my other difficulties, I start having trouble... talking! It's time for another visit with the neurologist, and I wonder, who should I listen to... the doctor, or the ice cream. Why is it that young people are in such a hurry when it's the OLD folks who are running out of time? And everything you ever wanted to know about Parkinson's masking. All on Episode #14 of No Doorway Wide Enough!

In Episode 15, I talk with blessed assurance about what is going to happen to me after I die... and it has NOTHING to do with religion. I cause a little kid to be terrified of old men and their walkers. I have my first really vivid and well-formed hallucination. I discuss the curse of nightly throat crud. And I answer a Facebook posting from a very nice lady who said I sounded angry and suffering from hopelessness

In this, the pentultimate episode, I start with the speech therapy. I share my toughts on whether or not drowning in iced tea is a good way for a man to die. Then I share some of the untold benefits of working at home, and I wondered aloud about the lack of Parkinson's Disease Awareness during Parkinson's Disease Awareness month and the reasons for it.

In this FINAL EPISODE of "No Doorway Wide Enough, I'll explain how this book came by its name. I'll serve up, perhaps, the WEIRDEST dream I've had so far, I'll share a poem I call, "Ode to an Adult Diaper," we'll wrap up the first round of physical therapy, I'll run down a list of things I wanted to discuss with my neurologist at the next visit, and we'll wrap up this book, on the three year anniversary of the day I had my deep brain stimulation surgery. Thanks to the cats at Cheap Radio Thrills and Kevin McLeod at for the music, and thanks to the gang at Podiobooks for putting this on their site. Now that we have a complete book, I'm asking one final time for you to dig into your pocket and donate to PD research. You can get a hard copy of this book at practically every major online bookseller and through my website. And you can donate right here on the Podiobooks website. With this episode, the book is complete. If you've enjoyed this story, if you found it inspirational in any way, I hope you will donate to help find a cure for this devastating disease Don't forget, 100 percent of all author proceeds go to the National Parkinson Foundation and the Charles DBS Research Fund at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Vanderbilt is seeking to expand their clinical trial nationwide... going from the current 30 patients to hundreds, perhaps thousands. But they need donations. If this book moved you in any way, if it inspired you, if it made you think about your own mortality and how YOU would handle the diagnosis of this beast of a disease at an early age, then I beeseech you once again to dig into your pockets -- buy a hardcopy, or donate through Podiobooks. Be watching for my next podiobook, a raucous and horribly politically-incorrect bit of fiction called, "Undercover Trucker, How I Saved America by Truckin' Towels for the Taliban." Should be up on Podiobooks before too much longer. Thank you for your time!

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