My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinsonâs (Graphic Medicine)
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Peter Dunlap-Shohl
- Publish Date: 2015-10-30
How does one deal with a diagnosis of Parkinsonâs disease at the age of forty-three? My Degeneration, by former Anchorage Daily News staff cartoonist Peter Dunlap-Shohl, answers the question with humor and passion, recounting the authorâs attempt to come to grips with the âmalicious whimsyâ of this chronic, progressive, and disabling disease. This graphic novel tracks Dunlap-Shohlâs journey through depression, the worsening symptoms of the disease, the juggling of medications and their side effects, the impact on relations with family and community, and the raft of mental and physical changes wrought by the malady.
My Degeneration examines the current state of Parkinsonâs care, including doctor/patient relations and the repercussions of a disease that, among other things, impairs movement, can rob patients of their ability to speak or write, degrades sufferersâ ability to deal with complexity, and interferes with the sense of balance. Readers learn what itâs like to undergo a dramatic, demanding, and audacious bit of high-tech brain surgery that can mysteriously restore much of a patientâs control over symptoms. But My Degeneration is more than a Parkinsonâs memoir. Dunlap-Shohl gives the person newly diagnosed with Parkinsonâs disease the information necessary to cope with it on a day-to-day basis. He chronicles the changes that life with the disease can bring to the way one sees the world and the way one is seen by the wider community. Dunlap-Shohl imparts a realistic basis for hopeâhope not only to carry on, but to enjoy a decent quality of life.