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Robert Cochrane

 
The Concept of Other People
February 15th, 2024
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In the movie “Dumb & Dumber”, Comedian Fred Stoller stands outside a phone booth. Stay with me – this was the 90’s. He’s pacing because he has a phone call to make, but the goon (Mike Starr as “Joe Mentalino”) is handling serious business on the inside. Tired of waiting, Fred pounds on the glass and asks if Joe has ever heard of the concept of other people. In case you want to see it, please click and laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1OTHPiJPxw Not being heard or seen hurts – maybe even worse than,, the punch Fred takes later in the scene. It is dehumanizing... Continue Reading

A special request for our mom’s 80th birthday
February 7th, 2024
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We have a direct ask: please go to ,,this site and leave a message of love and happy 80th birthday for our mom, Paulette Cochrane. Her birthday is February 15th. It is free and easy and your message can be as simple as “Happy Birthday. I love you.” Why it’s extraordinarily time sensitive: our mom is committing slow suicide. These are extraordinarily painful words to put on the page. We do not come to them lightly. Paulette has been battling bipolar depression for at least thirty years. It is a strange and confounding disease, in her case, transforming her from the social butterfly on steroids... Continue Reading

The fallacy of the perfect diagnosis
February 2nd, 2024
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I want to try to take some of the pressure off those given the difficult task of delivering the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Doctors are under an inordinate amount of stress to do the work they do. They are often falsely led toward God complexes by those they try to heal. This imbalance must be rectified to empower the person who has been diagnosed and relieve the doctor delivering the diagnosis. The day of diagnosis is traumatic for many people. A research article from ,,Baylor University found that 91% of surveyed clinicians thought delivering bad news was very important, but... Continue Reading

A special man on a hero’s journey
January 23rd, 2024
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Editor’s note: this is a letter written by Ryan Holland, a participant in the Day One: Parkinson’s Prison and the Hero’s Journey to Escape class that began on Jan 16, 2024. Dear Friends and Family,  I have leaned on many of you in the past few years as I have learned to accept my Parkinson’s diagnosis, cope with symptoms, and even look forward to living a life with meaning and purpose. Two activities have helped me make sense of my fate and to find a community of brothers and sisters who share the same condition. You may know that, given the litany of motor and non-motor symptoms,... Continue Reading

Ariana Grande’s new song asks “Yes, And?”
January 22nd, 2024
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Improv has a funny role in society. It is both revered and feared. It is loved and, at times, loathed. It’s almost inconceivably brilliant when it’s played well and it’s nails on a chalkboard when it’s done poorly. In its highest form, on shows like Saturday Night Live, which is scripted but often uses improvisation to develop sketches and punch up classic moments live on air, or Whose Line is it Anyway? improvisation often looks like a magical trick. The feeling is awe. How did they come up with that on the spot? The answer is “Yes, And”.    The foundation of improvisation are those... Continue Reading

Our Disneyland HalfMarathon (part five)
January 21st, 2024
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MONDAY – JAN. 15 The next morning was a fun recall of the night before. We shared our favorite memories. My dad had a difficult time remembering – a lot seemed to be mashing together for him. I asked him about his favorite ride and he seemed to describe a ride that I didn’t recall. He called it “serene” – which I don’t remember from any of our rides…save for maybe some of the calm parts of Pirates of the Caribbean. This was yet another reminder of the importance of taking this time to do this while we had it.  We had to double and triple check everything to make sure... Continue Reading

Our Disneyland HalfMarathon (part four)
January 20th, 2024
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SUNDAY – Jan. 14 (POST RACE) We felt great and, as the park was opening at 9a, decided to roll right into Disneyland. We did take a quick stop at a full bathroom in the parking lot for dad. I needed to help him and we had our first fall. Dad was hanging on to a rail and I took my eyes off of him to set the wheelchair. He lost his balance and stumbled to the floor. Thankfully, he caught himself cleanly and I was able to help him up. There’s always the quick checklist after a fall – nothing broken, nothing bleeding, nothing torn. Check, check and check. Deep breaths, say our thanks,... Continue Reading

Our Disneyland HalfMarathon (part three)
January 19th, 2024
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SUNDAY – JAN. 14 (RACE DAY) We got up and got out the door in reasonable time – you decide if 3:15a is reasonable to you. All the check lists were checked. We knew approximately where we needed to be, but there would be some discovery as we got closer. The general rule of race day is follow the crowd. My sister dropped us off and we began to roll toward the start line. It was a solid mile to get there. We found our starting corral – all the way in the back of the 14000 runners. I didn’t like the idea of having to manage that crowd while pushing the running chair. It was 4:30a.... Continue Reading

Our Disneyland HalfMarathon (part two)
January 18th, 2024
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SATURDAY – JAN. 13 In the middle of the night, my dad came out of their room. Staying in the same place as two parents with needs means sleeping with one eye open. I asked him what he was doing. He said there were spiders everywhere. I asked him to show me. He pointed at several places next to his bed. There were no spiders. Hallucinations are a very real part of PD for some people. My dad had told me the frequency of his hallucinations were increasing. Now I was seeing that. I was able to calm him and he went back to bed. My mom, on the other hand, didn’t move.  The next morning I immediately... Continue Reading

Our Disney HalfMarathon Story (part one)
January 17th, 2024
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PROLOGUE My dad, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and I completed our second Run Disney event on Jan. 14th – the half marathon at Disneyland. We did the full last year in DisneyWorld and the takeaways, as you see in the pictures or can read about in this blog, broken into a day by day account, were phenomenal. Even though you’ll see a lot of smiles in the pictures from race day, getting there is not all big leg kicks and fist pumps. There are a lot of difficulties – things that happen behind the scenes, beyond the glance of a camera – to get to this stage.... Continue Reading