Past posts:

Previous blog posts from last year can be found.... HERE.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why is navigating a boat a lot like dealing with Parkinson's?

     Here is a photo of our chart plotter from a week ago, it is suppose to show the correct course for safe water.  The white areas are suppose to have enough water for safe passage, the light blue is marginal water depth at best and the darker blue is water too shallow to float the boat. The light magenta colored line running down the middle of the white to the left of the boat is supposedly the NOAA charted safe route and what we are suppose to follow; and the dark red line is the computer telling me I am driving into danger and to turn left quick. Last, the black dotted line is our actual course. As you can see it appears we are way off course heading towards the marsh and/or running aground on lighter green island.  What the plotter did NOT show was a very thin 30-40' wide sliver of just-deep-enough water between the far red marker and the marsh directly above it - right where there is suppose to be no water at all. So we SLOWLY eased past that last red marker to the edge of the marsh and did a hard left turn.  Had we navigated solely by this supposedly state-of-the-art system and NOAA guidance we would have been high and dry and damaged by running aground.  Oh, and the white area that is suppose to have plenty of water, it had sea gulls standing in the middle of it.   Most important and for the record, The Admiral navigated this one while I drove during heavy rain, she earned her pay that day.  

What's my point in all this and what the heck does this have to do with Parkinson's?  This navigation hazard has been a boon for local tow boat and salvage companies but to me this poorly marked shoal is like fighting Parkinsons. You must ADAPT!
  •  Keep your wits about you and take control of the issue, not visa-versa; I guarantee you the tail does not wag this dog.
  • Look for every opportunity to keep moving forward. We certainly could not stay where we were on that river.  Push on!  Kinda like doing physical therapy or yoga if you have PD.
  • Don't believe everything you read on a chart plotter or the doom and gloom you read on the web about Parkinson's.  Surround yourself with positive energy and think optimistically.  
  • Opportunities to overcome a challenge may exist but they are often well hidden, you have to work hard and look hard.  Just like volunteering for drug studies for Parkie's, exercise, physical therapy.  
  • Don't be afraid to push yourself and take that calculated risk.  I did not know if the water was deep enough at the last turn, but my confidence in Becky with her watching the plotter, color and speed of the water, shape of the waves, etc. all lead to a good decision. It worked.  

Oh, while we navigated this little challenge did I think about Parkinson's?  NOPE.
I encourage all Parkinson patients out there to take a swing at the disease today, if only today and maybe, just maybe, you will surprise yourself and bloody Parkinson's nose.  Trust me, it feels good. REAL GOOD.  

To close.  It has been a very hectic 2 weeks home for the holidays.  I return to the boat on 12/31 as friends and brother Bill join me for some segments.  I promise more updates.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


My name is Ed Dias. I am 51 years old and have had PD since 1996. By July, 2003, my symptoms were now a real problem and I became a ‘victim/patient’. Around Christmas 2009, I changed my mind – I decided to live again. I learned how to live in the now and make the most out of each moment of time. If you give it a chance, you will find that life can still be quite satisfying.

This is a state of mind I developed long ago. I remember sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office. He was running late and I was just sitting, looking around the room. I noticed this huge clock on the wall. It was your basic white with black numbers and dials. The second hand was red. I’m watching it and suddenly the clearest thought enters my head. “Time is always moving whether you like it or not. Regardless of your health, state of mind, or mood, it’s moving. So figure out a way to enjoy it”.

See, we are presented with decisions every day. Daily choices are the building blocks of our future. The positions we find ourselves in are a direct result of the choices we made in the past. Some choices are made based on prior experiences, motivation for a future goal, our mood of the moment, or that ‘funny’ feeling.

For me, I choose to enjoy the ride. I have learned that along with good faith and good intentions all disappointments are opportunities in disguise. Have you ever been late for an appointment and met someone fascinating who arrived early for their appointment?

Everyone with PD has their own customized version. So what, who cares? Hearing about someone else’s agony doesn’t make any one of us any better. So why give the disease any attention? It’s like feeding oxygen to a fire. Eliminate the oxygen and the fire cannot exist. Hmm, maybe I’m on to something.

I still pretty much do whatever I want, despite my new limitations. I play roller hockey every week with longtime friends and burn out after 60 to 90 minutes. Sure, I used to be able to play longer but now on hockey nights, I get home early enough to say goodnight to my kids and have a late dinner with my wife. By the way, the so called “friends” I play with, give me zero slack. I am treated like everybody else and for 90 minutes I feel like everybody else – just want to put more pucks in their net than they put in ours.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe I’ll write again soon.


Edward Dias
Investment Adviser Representative