I dodged a bullet, so it would seem. After testing today, we learned that my swallowing difficulties were due entirely to my Parkinson’s disease. It’s not cancer.
The food and liquid getting stuck? It makes perfect sense. The esophagus has two strictures… one in the middle, one at the bottom that lets food into the stomach. PD affects the muscles. The esophagus is a tube of muscle. The strictures are slower than they should be, like my other muscles. That explains the food getting stuck. No lumps, no tumors, just Parkinson’s disease.
I began to think in terminal terms when I thought I might have the same disease that killed my older sister. But now that I know it is just the same old Parkinson’s I’ve had for 17 years showing up in a new manifestation, I would still like to raise $15,000 to fund a 35-day trip to videotape all of the state capitols in the lower 48. Your donation would be used to get video of these historic buildings, cities, and — if I can wrangle it — interviews with state officials.
Here’s the itinerary, depending on your generosity.
1. Clinton to Des Moines to Lincoln
2. Lincoln to OKC
3. OKC to Austin
4. Austin to El Paso
5. El Paso to Phoenix
6. Phoenix to Santa Fe
7. Santa Fe to Denver to Cheyenne
8. Cheyenne to Salt Lake
9. Salt Lake to Boise
10. Boise to Carson City to Sacramento
11. Sacramento to Portland
12. Portland to Olympia (Rest Day)
13. Olympia to Helena
14. Helena to Bismarck
15, Bismarck to Pierre
16. Pierre to St. Paul
17. St. Paul to Madison
18. Madison to Springfield
19. Springfield to Lansing
20. Lansing to Indianapolis
21. Indianapolis to Nashville
22. Nashville to Frankfort to Columbus
23. Columbus to Charleston to Harrisburg
24. Harrisburg to Trenton to Albany
25. Albany to Montpelier to Portland
26. Portland to Boston to Concord
27. Concord to Providence to Hartford (Rest Day)
28. Hartford to Dover to Annapolis
29. Annapolis to DC to Richmond
30. Richmond to Raleigh to Columbia
31. Columbia to Atlanta to Montgomery
32. Montgomery to Tallahassee (Rest Day)
33. Tallahassee to Baton Rouge
34. Baton Rouge to Jackson to Little Rock
35. Little Rock to Jefferson City to Clinton
ANTICIPATED EXPENSES —
CAR RENTAL – 35 days — Midsize SUV $2,200
LODGING AND FOOD ($200 per day) $7,000
Estimate for Fuel, based on 30 mpg for 14,000 miles. $1,050
MAC Book Pro $1,500
Professional Video Camera/Kit $1,500
I want to take this trip with the hope of showing everyone that even in this day and age, we are all Americans with more to unite us than to divide us.
I would post daily YouTube updates of that day’s adventures. Folks who donate $100 or more will be named (if they wish) in the credits. Then, at the end of the trip, I will produce a feature length documentary of the entire trip.
I hope you see the merit in this request. If you’ve never traveled, you will be amazed by the beauty of our nation. We will meet and talk to regular folks, state leaders, and everyone in between.
Can you help make this dream come true?