Thursday, March 31, 2011

Interview Day

Post 59
Martha and I are up and out by 6:15 am. We are on our way to Philadelphia for the 8am taping of Dr. A’s interview  about genetic research and Parkinson’s. We arrive with plenty of time for a coffee and pastry, then make the phone call that leads us to our super secret, special parking spot.
With the campus police aware that our car really does belong next to the dumpster, we are escorted into the building by Kim, a cheerful woman with the job title of Senior Medical Communications Officer. Martha and I are starting to feel very special.
We wind our way through the hallways, past impressive rooms full of “science” –y looking things, tables and drawers and big tanks of nitrogen gas. I am remarkably calm.
Dr. A greets us. “How are you, Mr. Spokane?” she asks.   
"I am remarkably calm” I reply.
“Judging your head twisting, I’d say you’re a little nervous.” She said.
Dr. A was right, of course. Anxiety makes my head twist stronger.  I would be absolutely no good at poker .
“Relax, this will be fun” she said as she walked down the hall to begin her part of the interview. Twenty minutes later, I was asked to join the interview.  Dr. A and I did our now familiar hand quacking, toe tapping exam for the camera. Then it was my turn in the interview chair alone.
The producer Cyndy McGrath, and I spoke briefly. She immediately put me at ease.  We were just two people having a conversation.
As the camera and lights went on, we continued to talk. Truth is, I don’t remember the questions I answered, but I know I was in the moment. The people with us said that we did fine.
Even Martha  got into the action. We were filmed walking down the hall, patient and caregiver together.
It was a milestone day. I have journeyed the path from denial of my Parkinson’s symptoms to a point were I speak openly about the disease. This blog, which was started as a lark, is steadily attracting readers in the United States and many other countries. I am pleased that I have a chance to connect  with interested readers.
The door opened and I shuffled through. There are unknown opportunities ahead because I took that simple action.

Interview Day
                         Michael with Dr. Alice Chen-Plotkin MD

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