Categories
Long Term Care Parkinson's

Getting Around

My Race Track

Mobility is a big issue for people with Parkinson’s (pwd). I have been wheelchair-bound for some time. However the Physio has been encouraging me to use a walker more often, and I have been doing rehabilitation exercises with that in mind.

The race track is 150m. That helps one to keep track how much you have walked. I use the walker for general training but I use the wheelchair to go to meals (training for my upper body strength), that alone is 6 trips or 900m!

As one grows older, and it is even worse with Parkinson’s, your muscles begin to atrophy, hence the saying, if you don’t use it, you lose it!

Smartphone Muscles

As the smartphone plays such a big part in my life I better keep those muscles fit. In order to give my sister a sense of the facility, I took a lot of photos of the hallways from my wheelchair and sent them to her.

Then I thought of turning them into a video using PowerDirector, the smartphone video editor that I use.

Categories
Christianity Parkinson's

The Seedling Project

Basic Biology

As I wrote in my biography: When the human fetus is formed, it starts off as a single fertilized cell, which is called the zygote. This cell would then divide into two more identical cells, and then they in turn each divide into two more identical cells, and so on.

This hollow bundle of cells is called a blastocyte, and it is the blastocyte goes on to attach itself to the uterus wall.

There once was such a bundle of cells destined to be called Heidi.

While the bundle of cells, collectively still called a blastocyte at this stage, was getting ready to attach to the uterus (that is actually called implantation), the cells that would eventually become me, were still continuing to divide – there is no room for slackers here, we will eventually need many billions of cells.


The cells still look essentially identical, but inside the DNA of each cell is a microscopic clock it is in fact part of a much more involved computer system, but in order to understand it we can consider it to be a countdown clock.

The Experts

There are some brilliant researchers in the field of cellular biology, my personal interest was the biology of neurogenesis, as I still understood Parkinson’s to be caused by the aggregation of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein in the neurons, leading to apoptosis.

So, if we could regrow them somehow.

Apoptosis
Programmed cell death. Once a neuron is considered irreparably damaged, it is marked for destruction as were the homes of many Jews who were falsely accused of having caused the Great Plague

When I saw Jennifer, and a gur

So clearly I was not one of the brilliant ones, in fact I was at the conference for an unrelated matter. As a clinical engineer I was investigating the possibility of the Medical Research Council participating in a research project looking at the environmental and genetic factors in Parkinson’s. I was to find out if I could use the Internet (still brand new at the time) to connect the two computer systems and what they were doing to ensure data privacy which had become politically very important since the release of Mandela. Ironically it is still the most commonly accepted theory today, even by out own Centre of Excellence for Movement disorders, on which millions of dollars are wasted to research an outdated incorrect theory (the designer used such exquisite sub-molecular that it makes the recently announced 3nm technology for the new iPhone 16 look absolutely ginormous!

These clocks were counting down to trigger the next phase of the blastocyte’s development – turning it into an embryo!

Tension practically palpable was everywhere
Imagine a scene, while the blastocyte, Heidi in the making, was getting ready to attach itself to the uterus wall, one could compare it to the docking of a brand new shuttle system docking with the space station – at stake were the transport of vital life giving food.

Inside the control room

With several dozen technical experts were huddled expectantly over computer screens, scarcely daring to breathe. Then there is a shout, the docking had been successful, and otherwise very serious designers, jump up, dancing around, hugging almost anybody, anything to relieve the built-up tension.

They are blissfully unaware of the infinitely more complicated docking process as Heidi-to-be got ready for her implantation while the designer looked on. There was no jumping or silliness, just a satisfied smile as Father watched as the “docking” the implantation took place as designed, recalling a surprised Jeremiah when he told him: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.” Father is certainly a hands-on Creator.

Differentiation
At some point in time, as the clocks reach the predetermined trigger points, complex programs are triggered and the bundle of identical cells, the blastocyte Heidi-to-be starts to differentiate, i.e., divide into different types of cells, i.e. no longer identical but rather cells that will become different organs like neurons that will be part of the brain. Others that will form bone for the skull and yet others blood vessels. The timing of when the differentiations start, must be perfect, we can’t have the skull being formed before the neurons are in place, for example – isn’t God amazing?

A Google search for fetal development will give you more details, images and even videos.

The building blocks

In the beginning God created the basic building blocks, the atoms. First there were only the small atoms like hydrogen and helium, then as they got energy from the many stars they gave rise to the larger atoms. They were made so they could combine to form larger groups called molecules such as proteins that are essential for life.

Starting a New Life

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14

From these basic building blocks, God created the sperm and the ovum and when they come together, a new human life is started. At some point the fetal brain is complete enough and this new person is given self-awareness, and the ability to appreciate creation.

The Inspiration

I made this little video to illustrate the process. I am a great fan of Kindle eBooks. I have several thousand books downloaded on my phone – I am ready to read anywhere anytime. Kindle has helped me in countless ways, reading is one of the big pleasures in my life.

So as the sun rises on my Kindle picture, so as a fetus at some point I became self-aware, a person. Then I developed the skill to read and to imagine the things I was reading. I read mystery novels, scientific books, foreign travels, and even in different languages. It helped to make the lonely times less so – even enjoyable.

The video is dark at first, symbolizing no self-awareness yet – the fetus still has some development to do, so be patient.

Then the video eventually plateaus in full sunshine representing mature adulthood. I am now a self-aware, sentient human being that can think and reason.

Then the video starts to fade out, representing Parkinson’s beginning and the neurons start dying off – their atoms returning to back to the pool in nature ready to be recycled – and one becomes progressively less self-aware, less capable.

But always grateful for the opportunity of participating in God’s creation as a sentient being!