Parkinson Pete On Living and Dying with Parkinson’s Disease, by Peter G. Beidler
Parkinson Pete on Living and Dying with Parkinson’s Disease is a direct, honest, and sometimes funny assessment of what it can be like to face a life and a death with a neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s. Most of the writers of the books Pete reviewed in Parkinson Pete’s Bookshelves dealt exclusively with the easy early stages of the disease. Then they mumbled something about the need to keep hoping that a cure is just around the corner. Pete shares that hope, of course, while advising readers how to take charge of their own futures, cure or no cure.During his forty years as a university professor, Peter G. Beidler won all sorts of local and national teaching awards. Yet in all his years of teaching, he never confronted a task as challenging as this one: to convey the wisdom gained from fifteen years living with an incurable, progressive, debilitating disease.
In a touching letter to his wife and children about his wishes regarding end-of-life choices, Pete writes: “I do not fear too soon a death so much as I fear too long a life.” Then he explains why.
“One of the most powerful books I’ve read. Every chapter, every word has stuck with me. Pete’s honesty and openness captivated me.” —Jean Allenbach, Executive Director, Northwest Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association
“I want everyone I know with Parkinson’s disease, along with those who are living with other terminal illnesses, to read this book.” —Trudy James, chaplain and film producer of Speaking of Dying
“Pete demonstrates how the fear of death is greatly diminished when we plan, as best we can, with honesty and love.” — Phyllis Shacter, author of Choosing to Die, A Personal Story: Elective Death by Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) in the Face of Degenerative Disease
Peter G. Beidler had just retired after forty years as an award-winning professor when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. A vigorous do-it-yourselfer who had witnessed his sister’s decline from the same disease, he was devastated. Not for long. Fifteen years later, he shares the coping strategies he devised to make the most of the rest of his life.