Dec 10, 2007

Chapter 8


Parkinson’s and pickled herring


Research? The research into Parkinson’s has already been completed. The connection between Parkinson’s and pickled herring has been researched, documented and published. And Parkinson’s and cheese. And Parkinson’s and chocolate. When the scientists have reached that level of detail, there is nothing left to research. It has all been done. This is one of the instruction sheets for patients:

Warning: Selegiline might cause a rapid rise in blood pressure and severe throbbing headaches.

Avoid eating foods that contain tyramine, such as cheese (especially aged); sour cream; yogurt; meat, fish, and poultry; especially bologna, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage, pickled herring, liver; avoid certain fruits and vegetables, including avocados, figs, raisins, bananas, and eggplant; fava beans; some soups; and chocolate, bean pods; Marmite concentrated yeast extract; sauerkraut; soy sauce and soy bean condiments, beer, red wine…

Selegiline may cause dizziness or lightheadedness or fainting, confusion, blurred vision, problems with speech or balance, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, seizure (convulsions), hallucinations, twitching muscle movements; pain;

Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous. Using Selegiline may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.

Sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.

So what can I eat? What should I do other than lie down and hope to die soon?

If the research has already shown that pickled herring is a major cause of hallucinations among PWP, then all the research has been done, right? Or is the dizziness and fainting caused by starvation? Do we dare to dance when we are warned not to stand up? What do you say to that, Spasticman? You love the billionaire drug companies so much. –JimmyBear (internet discussion group)


Why do you hate America? Our intention was to find a cure for Parkinson’s before you come out of hibernation and start growling at us again. Go back to your den; it is not spring yet.

I do not love the drug companies. I love the drugs. They do not prolong my life, but they help coping with having a hole in the head. Which is more than you can say for a lot of products. What did Tang ever do for me?

Sweet Sister Seligilene, put your cool, cool hand on my head. Mysterious Magical Mirapex, take me gambling in Vegas instead. Loving Levadopa, replace the dope-mine in my head.

I get all the best parking spots and all the coolest drugs. I am grateful to the pharmaceutical industry, and I do not resent their profit margins. They are not as profitable as the video game industry, and compared to playing video games, it is much more fun driving a real car at high speed on a twisting and turning back-country road at three o’clock in the morning, with Darcey’s blues blasting, while under the influence of Mirapex and artificial dopamine. Parkinson’s tries to disconnect your brain from your muscles; the drugs try to re-establish the connection. On an S-curve on a gravel road, it’s interesting.

JimmyBear, you do not have the constitutional right to eat chicken. Thomas Jefferson never promised you the pursuit of chocolate, red wine and pickled herring. There are many things you can eat. Insects. You can eat insects. The bark of trees. You can drink water. Hay. If it’s good enough for cows, it should be good enough for you.

Do not do anything dangerous, such as living. Life is Unsafe at Any Speed, as Ralph Nader found out. So be safe by doing nothing. Sit in a chair, swallow the pills, stare at the wall. Give in to Parkinson’s Apathy.

It is a recipe for suicide. And sadly, the instructions are often given to the spouse, the care-giver, the loved one, who will lovingly try to enforce what the authorities say is required. Instead of being united, the couple end up at war over the medical instructions.

Do not eat, drink or be merry, you sinner! Whatever has caused you pleasure in life must be the cause of your illness. Repent! Drive out the demons through suffering and self-deprivation. Exorcism will be the next wave of recommended therapy. No pickled herring for you, you wretched sinner.

But, JimmyBear, there’s another side to this story. What you have in your hands is a letter from the lawyers of the pharmaceutical company. They do not want to be sued by Parkinson’s patients who had no idea that illness might make them feel ill. No one warned them. So now you are being warned.

Predator lawyers have launched massive lawsuits, encouraging people to claim that Parkinson’s drugs forced them into a life of wickedness and depravity. If you take Mirapex, the next thing you know, you stop going to church, stop taking your children to the cottage, declare that there is no God, embezzle money from your employer, sell the house, abandon the family, fly to Las Vegas, rent a car, move into a penthouse, buy cases of champagne, and blow all of your family’s life savings in the gambling casinos, with a hooker under each arm.

And none of that is your decision or your responsibility. It is all non-voluntary muscle spams caused by Mirapex. You had no idea what you were doing when you bought the airline ticket, reserved the hotel room, called for room service. Your brain was not in control of your muscles when you dialed the escort service. You dialed the numbers by co-incidence, like a million monkeys with a million telephones – eventually they dial an escort service without knowing what they are doing. If you can convince the judge and jury, you will be wealthy for life.

The lawyers are promising truckloads of cash to Parkinson’s patients willing to fill out forms claiming that Mirapex forced them to buy big cigars and play poker. (You can fill out the forms on the internet – no postage required!) The lawyers offer the usual deal: they are going to sue for hundreds of millions of dollars, and if you help them win the case by perjury or by saying that the drugs took away your free will, the lawyers will pay you off if they win their case. The lawyers will keep 50% to 75% of the money for themselves; the remainder goes to Parkinson’s patients willing to say that if it weren’t for Mirapex, they would still be teaching Sunday School at the local church, instead of snorting cocaine in the washroom of a casino. If you help the lawyers win the case, you can become an instant millionaire with your share of the shake-down money. If you lose, they do not even charge legal fees. So you cannot lose. Money, that is. Your soul, well...

Sue the pharmaceutical companies, sue the hospital, sue your doctor, sue your neurologist, sue anybody and everybody who devoted their lives to helping you.

And so doctors spend a fortune on liability insurance, and drug companies don’t even bother creating new drugs that are innovative or risky because every drug has side effects, especially drugs aimed at the brain. Mirapex, which is so beneficial to me and to thousands of other people, may be withdrawn from the market; the drug company can be bankrupted by the lawsuits. The doctors who prescribed the drug can be driven to give up their practice.

You, the Parkinson’s patient: part of your brain died. Do you think that a drug aiming at that problem will have no side effects? If the drugs take away your free will to such an extent that you cannot control yourself, then maybe it is time to return to the era of Charles Dickens, when people like you were locked up in institutions. If you buy airline tickets to Vegas against your own free will, then you are a danger to society and yourself and should be declared to be a ward of the state. Brain-dead zombies on drugs cannot be allowed to wander the streets if they are unable to control their own actions. And that is what these Parkies are being offered cash to say. That they cannot control their own actions. That they cannot be trusted. That they cannot be allowed to be free.

Doctors and researchers and pharmacists who try to help are taking a huge personal risk, because reptilian predator lawyers will drag them through years of court, ruin their reputation, push them towards bankruptcy, by trotting out a few Parkinson’s patients who suffered THOSE side-effects, not the other side effects, not the 50% failure rate of some types of Parkinson's brain surgery. Should 50% of them sue the surgeons? And would there then be any more surgeons willing to implant an electronic device in your brain? Did anyone really think that it is not a dangerous thing to try to do?

Researchers are not going to devote their lives to seeking a cure for Parkinson’s when the most cohesive, international and united action the People With Parkinson’s are capable of organizing is to launch a massive lawsuit against the medical industry. Search Google for Parkinson’s Mirapex gambling lawsuit, and you will see. It’s more extensive than any campaign to get rid of the disease. It is more action-oriented than any Parkinson’s Association. It will collect more money than the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

It is a shake-down that relies on Parkinson’s patients claiming that their condition is not just about losing control of their muscles. They also have lost control of their morals, their free well, and the responsibility for their own actions. They cannot control themselves.

So prejudice against them, firing them from their jobs, or as they used to do, locking them up in institutions, (or, in the Dark Ages, burning them at the stake) is all entirely justified. Even today, many people with Parkinson’s, including Michael J. Fox, hide their condition for as long as possible, to avoid the prejudice, the fear, the intolerance, the superstition. Such as the Op-Ed Editor of the L.A. Times, who was publicly accused of failing to publish certain commentators because Parkinson’s had ruined his sense of judgment. Medieval superstition against people who twitch and fall down, as if possessed by demons. And now PWP’s are saying “You were right about the demons. We are possessed and obsessed and out of control."

The lawsuits set the public acceptance of Parkinson’s patients back by several centuries. The public will not remember the word “Mirapex”. They will remember that Parkinson’s patients put their hand on the Bible and testified in court that they are unable to control their own actions.

Parkinson's could be cured if the same amount of energy was put in to helping the researchers instead of bankrupting them.

It reminds me of one of Bergman’s best movies, which was titled very simply: “Shame”.

I wish that at least one Parkinson’s “victim” would say, “Yes, I emptied my bank account, sold the house, flew to Vegas, banged every hooker in sight and spent all my money and now I sleep under a bridge. You got a problem with that? I had a helluva good time. It was my choice. Could you spare a dollar?" No, they sue because they are hungry for sex. Or gambling. Or saying bad words or eating too much chocolate. The lawsuits detail all of those, and more.

JimmyBear, you and I do not share that fate. We make our own choices. So let’s decide to have a glass of red wine and get up and dance. Do the things that make you come alive. The negative instructions about avoiding pickled herring and everything that tastes good are just a legal precaution meaning “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.” They warned us.

But you and I will not heed their warnings. The music was too loud, so we did not hear a damn thing they said. We could sue the Blues musicians. Warning: this music may cause you to dance your ass off, wake up the neighbors, laugh until your ribs hurt, take a taxi to Chicago or the Mississippi delta, play air guitar like a lunatic….. (fill in your own symptoms here).

I am personally going to sue the estate of John Lee Hooker for telling me that Blues is a healer. There was no warning label on the CD. “This music may cause prolonged body movement and states of euphoria. You may even start to think you are black.”

That should be worth a few hundred million dollars in damages.

I fell into this life of wickedness and depravity (song and dance) by taking two cures: one was Mirapex, and the other was the Blues. Like a fool I mixed them, and it strangled up my mind, and now dancers are more beautiful, and I have no sense of time. (Jeremiah)

Hey JimmyBear, wanna join the class action suit against John Lee Hooker? Nobody cross-examines a Grizzly. Not even the Blues Police.

Post-Script. It has come to my attention that some highly respected law firms do not agree with my description of them as "reptilian predators", and some People With Parkinson's who want to sue the drug companies are not pleased either, especially at my lack of comprehension about the suffering of those who take drugs and plunge into compulsive or obsessive behaviour, and the difficulty of avoiding addictions, especially when taking powerful brain-altering drugs. I'm just a country boy, and I would not know about such things.
This website is an advocacy website. It is not a free discussion site. It is a marketing newsletter. But this sub-topic about the creators of Mirapex being sued by the consumers of Mirapex is such an appalling example of the dysfunctionality of the war against Parkinson's, that there will be a chapter called "You've got mail. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and over time various complaints about this chapter will be commented on, unless the whole topic is so loathesome that I won't want to have it around. America spends $200 million a year on Parkinson's research, there has not been a new treatment since L-dopa started half a century ago, the number of people in the U.S.A. with Parkinson's will be eight million soon enough, and the only hot and heavy action going on is that Parkinson's patients are suing the makers of one of the two or three types of drugs that go into your brain to the section where 80% of your brain cells are dead, and try to stimulate it to keep you going. Yeah, let's destroy those guys.
JimmyBear, when there are lawyers around, always say "Notwithstanding any previous statements" every time you talk. And "without prejudice to my other rights and recourses." It will make you sound like a very sophisticated bear.

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