Maria De Leon and Laurie Rogers

Recorded May 4, 2021 Archived May 3, 2021 53:58 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv000723


Dr. Laurie Rogers (55) interviews her friend Dr. Maria De Leon (52) about her experience as a neurologist specializing in Parkinson's Disease and later being diagnosed with the disease herself.

Subject Log / Time Code

Maria (M) and Laurie (L) talk about the first day they met.
M shares one of the happiest moments of her life: spending time with her grandfather. M says the one of the saddest moments was losing him.
M says both her grandparents had a great influence on her life. M would like to dedicate the interview to her grandmother who dealt with Parkinson’s Disease.
M says her grandmother taught her how to gracefully deal with a disease. M also recalls how her grandmother loved to cook.
M shares how her life has been different than she expected. She said the Parkinson's has been a blessing in disguise because it has allowed her to do the things she wants to do in her life that she didn’t have time for as a doctor.
M shares how she would like to be remembered: she has always been a little rebel and a little unique. M says she hopes her friends remember her as someone who is fun to be around. She says she would like to be remembered as a Parkinson’s Diva. M explains that she owes some of her personality to her grandfather because he spoiled her a bit. Laurie (L) says it sounds like M’s grandfather was preparing her for this phase of her life. L says that M’s way of life is encouraging and beautiful to witness. M says she likes to encourage people to be genuine to themselves and that in order to be happy you have to know yourself and love yourself. M says as a doctor she has found that a lot of times when patients came into her office, it is not always health problems but personal problems that can lead to the root of the problem.
M talks about of the day she learned of her diagnosis: she had been practicing neurology for fifteen years, she had just lost her grandparents, and she noticed that she was having problems with her vision and going to the bathroom constantly. M explains that she was using the bars that she had installed in her office for her patients and she could not do the things she was asking her patients to do so she knew she had Parkinson’s. M adds that those around her assumed she was grieving or that she was sympathizing too much with her patients. She says it took two years of seeing specialists to get the diagnosis. M says she was initially relieved when she got the diagnosis because knew she wasn’t crazy and that she knew her neurology. She adds she then felt sad for a bit because she had seen all the stages of Parkinson’s with her patients.
M describes the experience of telling her family of her diagnosis. She says it took several years for it to sink in to her family that she had Parkinson’s.
M says that as a neurologist she always felt the Parkinson’s community was the best community and now she gets to be a part of that community even more personally. M says it’s difficult when people look at her and comment that she looks fine or question why she’s stopped working or how sick she is. M says Parkinson’s presents differently in everybody. M laughs and says we all do stupid things, sometimes with Parkinson’s, we do more stupid things, it’s just a part of being human.
M shares advice she would give to someone newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s: the disease is there but you still have a whole life.
M says people are learning that Parkinson’s can affect young people, that it can look different in both men and women, and that there is more to the disease than the eye can see.
M shares that due to her illness she has lost several friends because they didn’t understand how her illness affected her life.
M says God had a sense of humor. M says being a neurologist and working with Parkinson’s patients felt like a calling, and later her grandmother developed the disease and then she herself did.
M shares about her work with women with Parkinson’s. M says she has always been interested in working with the hispanic population and learning how Parkinson’s affects young women.
M shares some final kind works to her friend L. L does the same. M says Parkinson’s has in some way given her confidence and allowed her to really enjoy being a mom.
M explains that the tulip is the flower of the Parkinson’s community. She shares a piece of an essay she wrote for the Parkinson's community in both English and Spanish.


  • Maria De Leon
  • Laurie Rogers

Recording Location

Virtual Recording

Partnership Type

Fee for Service


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00:00 Hello, my name is dr. Lori still in Rogers. I am 55 years old. Today's date is Tuesday, May 4th, 2021. I am recording from Nacogdoches, Texas with Dr. Maria de Leon, who is my very best friend? And I'm Maria. De Leon doctor, de Leon and I am 52 years old and I'm recording from Nacogdoches today. With my dear friend. Lori is the 4th of May and

00:38 Are we ready to get started?

00:42 Okay. So the first question that I want to ask you is, how did we first meet? If you remember first meeting? But I remember when we ran into each other outside of the laundry, when we were walking out and then you said, hey, we should get together for lunch and, you know our daughters, you know about the same age as the years. That was great. I remember that, but I think we met before that at the Academy of a woman's word for something, that is the first memory that I have of us actually medium or standing in the middle of the parking lot. So interesting to me that always has been all of these years is

01:34 I don't know why I thought you were. I knew you well enough to invite you to lunch, but I didn't think it was the best thing we can do, you spell? That's great. So I guess that is your first. Okay. So now we jump into a little bit more, the serious conversation, but this question is, what was the happiest moment of your life. And what was the said, you know, it's funny because there's so many memories. I was thinking about yesterday and one was coming through to me, always being with my grandfather. You know, my grandfather was so special to me and any time either we did anything together and last night or yesterday brother. I was going to feeling tired and I took a nap and and for some reason laying there, my bed yesterday, kind of reminded me of his bed and I always like to go lay down with him.

02:34 You know, when I would go visit him in Mexico, and for some reason, I don't know if it was like the weather or something, but I was like, I could almost feel him there with me, and it was so special and so easily, I think the status Tom probably has either losing him. Although although you. Kind of them, prepare myself, and let him go. But a year before he actually to die, so it's not really unexpected. When when he passed away. I was more relieved that he know because he was not himself anymore, but it was really sad because I did not know this in Mexico. They don't really have the the funeral homes like here. So they automatically put him in a casket and close them. So that was the hardest thing for me not being able to hold them or touch him. I said, goodbye and that's it. You know, so that was you know, one of the saddest thing will you mentioning?

03:34 I believe there was someone, you wanted to dedicate this interview. Thank you for reminding me because, you know, both my grandparents had such a special with my grandfather. But, but my grandmother who has my namesake, she develop Parkinson's in her late years and so she was a trooper and a warrior and I really do. I dedicate this to her this interview to her, you know, and to all the other Parkinson's women out there. But into my grandfather, of course, but, you know, my grandmother Minnie and she's kind of the one that got me in this, in this path of, you know, advocacy in a way if you could mention one.

04:21 Less than that. She taught you. What would it be? Will shoot you? Don't, no matter how sick she was. She was a trooper. No Warrior. She never complain. She always was happy and smiling and jolly to the end. And I when she was always trying to you know, teach us things. And so I think that she really show me race. We have to live with the disease, you know, if she was able to was the one that took care of my grandfather when he had the stroke. And even though she was pretty ill with a boy kisses and she had a brain tumor as well. As you know, you never would have known it until he passed away. She was the one that took care of him and some degrees for Sheena was both of you and paste because they were both feel. But yeah, she's the one that started me. And it's funny because I started this Advocacy. She was always a great cook. And as something, I've never really been a great cook.

05:21 But, you know, taking care of her, really maybe I'll learn how to to cook better, because she was always hallucinating, but she was cooking. And so she always wanted to eat whatever she can still have it. And she was like, oh, I just made by where is the pine? I'm glad I found my God. Where is the bus there? I am trying to figure out how to make this guy, either. Whatever it is. So sometimes it would be really good. So, I started learning and being promised. You like all this came out really good. I did a good job, or are they green or something? So that was good, but she was also very, she was very talented, had a lot of skills and making things are some things that are saying and feeling things she was making beautiful Rihanna's and she would do all the squirrels and she makes up for me when she passed away the first project.

06:21 The world Parkinson's, which is a very first with Parkinson's. So they asked if I wanted to be part of this quilt and still for the first time in ever, I had to learn how to make a loan,. So there I am trying to make it Smoky Rose and dedicated to her until I find a friend that is a really grateful to hear in town and she's one of his blue ribbon. And so I need your help and patience of abilities, you know, I was so proud, I wait until I come up. This is what I've done and she's like, well, she redid everything to pull it all off and she said, you need to start over.

07:20 Beautiful and made it as part of the World Congress. It is somewhere in this world. Where is horrible with my grandmother's picture on it. That was not only time and you're also Maria.

07:59 How has your life been different from what you meant?

08:03 Oh my God, it is.

08:06 It is completely different, but at the same time, not let you know, because I still love do what I love and love what I do and I'm still, do you know, a doctor at heart and I'm actually I think that in some ways, you know, having this disease was a blessing in disguise because God has allowed me to do so much that I wanted to do it with my life, but didn't really have time being a doctor 24/7 and and running a private Clinic like in a spending time with a patient's at her catering and I am traveling as much as I had and I am speaking into another project like this, which is really exciting which I don't think I've ever would have had the opportunity have not and I'm not been sick, so very different and there was a time where, you know, I thought my life was over when I had to, you know, stop doing my my the kind of work that I was doing.

09:06 At the time. But, you know, now, in hindsight, is probably the best thing that, you know, this happened to me.

09:15 The generous thing to say, but I see you as one of the most generous and kind person that I know my best friend. So when I was, I was supporting my friends, like you, we can do anything. Tell me what you want to be remembered by. Oh my god. Well,

09:42 I don't know what they're going to remember me by. I know my husband served in my epipens going to say, you know, he likes pain in the you-know-what but you know why? But I don't know, I guess I've always been the little Rebel in a literal unique in my own little Rena. I don't really watch for anybody if you know, God drum, so I think I like to remember that I made a difference in changing the world of them at least neurology and Parkinson's a little bit, you know, trying to to make things, you know, better for everybody and and understand the science better. And you know, maybe my friend can remember somebody that was fun to be around with it. And I don't know, I mean

10:55 I think I know that's the first year. So she treated me like an adult from the little inner from the beginning. And always wanted to make sure that I was dressed to the TV. When we went out to dinner with a friend and properly and so, always speak my mind. And so, I told him that because he was preparing you.

11:45 Or this time in your life because the reason I wanted to do this with you when you asked me is because I wanted to be able to just tell you how your

12:01 Pursuit of life. Even in the face of all of these obstacles is just, it's so encouraging and it gives other people, hope it gives me hope. And the fact that you wear red lipsticks and dangly earrings, that are always showing me what new shoes you bought and, you know, you're even if I can't walk straight. So you just, you know, you take care of yourself, obviously, all the different reaching out to other isn't sharing. Not only your medical knowledge, but your experience.

12:43 And the knowledge you've gained and having Parkinson's.

12:47 I don't know that there are a lot of people that would have the courage, just you just lay it all out there and you're like, this is me. This is who I am. This is how I woke up feeling today. And that's refreshing. That really don't. Care anymore. I'll tell my husband that, you know, I think this Parkinson's gave me a little bit of all this information. I just my mom says I become successful time for all the little you know, that. So I just need to know if I'm not feeling well or something bothering, you know, I'll let people know sometimes. But you know, I think that I like to encourage people to should be genuine with themselves and to really in order to

13:47 To be happy and live on me, with whatever you have to really know yourself and love yourself. I mean, if you don't know who you are, and if you don't love yourself, it's very hard for others to take care of your orthodontist to manage the disease. If you know what you want, or they can start saying, this is what I need so that I can continue on being happy personally. And as you know, I don't tell my doctor everything, it is hard, but you make a great point in that, if I'm not honest with my doctor then I don't get the help that I think I like that. So I need to face it for myself. So that others can help sometimes, you know, we're embarrassed or we really don't know how to bring a bottle and we feel uncomfortable. But then this issue has just become greater because that's the

14:47 People that try to help us, don't know how to help us because they don't really know what's bothering us. So I think sometimes, you know, and I've seen it, went with patients, you know, where they're coming in with whatever a problem. And I've learned this, you know, to, really listen, listen not just hear what they're saying and when they keep saying, are you sure? Are you sure? So I would say like, okay, what's going on really in your life and most of the time you do a lot of time and patience come into the office. There really don't want to deal with her medical problem. They're having personal life problem is, they're trying to find some help and and sorting out or feeling. Is that something that should be feeling or not feeling. And so I've discovered that but you know, when they are you sure it was like, okay, what is going on? What change in your life, you know, what unit was bothering you and then you really get to the root of it. And I think that's why

15:47 But you're really get to know themselves. The kitchen fit, it can estate. You don't know who you are, then how can anybody else to help you? And I always find that healing comes from within, you can't heal from the outside, and you have to heal from the inside out and love and God got us the one that starts the healing. So that's the way I always think that if you don't have God you have hope that it's really hard to really keep throwing my. You you definitely share your hope with everybody around here and you conferences in pain. So thank you. So let's ask some of them about it.

16:36 Tell me about the day you learned of your diagnosis. Yeah, well, you know.

16:45 I've been practicing neurology for, he'll know. I've been a doctor for 15 years and

16:52 And my practice here was just taking off. You know, I do love you and my daughter was a little and dumb that I just lost my grandmother had been her caregiver. I lost my grandfather the same year. So it's a tough year. And and I started noticing that, you know, I was having some some problems with my vision. Oh, and running into walls, run into park between two cars can park in my garage and I still having a lot of pain and of course has Parkinson's specialist does for nothing. So you typically thought of Parkinson's or something else. So different opinions, but everybody kept telling me that well, you know, your eyesight is normal. Yet. I'm running into the walls, you know, and I start having bladder issues and I was going to the back.

17:52 I cannot hear a woman, every 5 minutes and and no infection do anything, but yet you're feeling and again, I went to the casino. Doctors are like, your father is far. We don't know where your phone is. So I couldn't go more than 10 minutes without going to the bathroom and it's so you think I kind of slowly begin their way, but but beating me know, doing what I did as Parkinson's specialist, of course, I had a lot of patience and and doing the routine, you know, exam of all with him asking them to walk in tandem, you know, like the drug test. I was falling all over the place and I was like, okay what is going on? How is the one using the bars? I had installed for my patience for her and her and I knew he was getting you a horrible. And I got to the point that my nurse was having to, to write my script because nobody can read them. And so that was like the butter that you know, the joke it. But at the hospital, that's my job.

18:52 I just got to work and then I couldn't I was putting in the keys in the doors and you do don't fine motor movements and ask him if patients to do the the usual, you know, tapping and turning all night and I could not do it. And so is there and seeing the patients do it? I was kind of looking at my some fun. Like, okay, what the heck is going on with me? So I knew I had Parkinson's but the problem was that he has pain in his vision problem and show. It took two years of going from every specialist and having every test imaginable short of a brain. Biopsy always say if I was so exhausted my mood and usually, you know, me, I'm friendly and happy and my patience. Love coming to see me cuz I would hug you.

19:52 And now, I just can't stand seeing anybody. I just wanted everybody to be out of the office. I like to come home. I like to be left alone cuz I was in so much pain, and I was just irritable and couldn't sleep and I and so. Really, really put cheese. And so, of course, everybody assume that, you know, I just lost my grandfather lost my grandmother that I was grieving and part of it. Maybe, you know, that's surely that was, you know, that, but there was something going on and, and so then, you know, every once in a while, you just sympathizing with your patients, as you do, you know, this is the kind of work you're doing that. And so I went to a lot of doctors in the lot of people to see me at that young, you know, thirty-six-year-old woman has Spanish fibromyalgia.

20:52 And so, I finally called my good friend. Dr. Sheehy Subaru, with one of my mentors and we're really close and I just need to see you. I don't know what's going on with me. Super smart as you hurt your ass. If you tell me, I need a psychiatrist and I'll go see a psychiatrist now, but I need your. I mean, I can't be like this until after 2 years of going to every doctor including several other neurologist in St. Louis at me and she said, oh, it's funny. I was so relieved. I'm not crazy and thank God. I know my neurology. I know I had fun, but then I was like

21:52 Now, what about this? And neither one of us really good, you know? And so she said, Wellness, let's start doing some treatment for the Parkinson's and then you do and what is this medicine? I quit running into walls and I can't stop having the pain and related and I feel like I was getting back to myself. You know, I was not crazy. I can go on with my life somewhat back to, you know, what, you know, and then, you know, after that initial relation of yes, I'm not crazy. And yes, I knew I had Parkinson's and yes, I knew that I had something going on with the oh my God.

22:52 And I'm thinking of all my patients, like oh my God, I have Parkinson's. And what am I going to do in my life? And in a part of me was, I've been doing this for, you know, for all these years. And I know there's so many new advances in the treatment. So that kind of give me hope. But the same time, there was a little bit for for maybe a couple of weeks. At least I was sad. I was sad about, you know, am I going to be there for my daughter and my going to be there, you know? Yeah, we still fairly young, you know, still going to be there for my husband and I saw all those things you were sitting around and just cry with my my life is going to be like

23:52 I mean is a traumatic thing to hear that you got some chronic disease that their progress and especially when you're young and you starting up practice these plans when you like always, send your derailleur.

24:38 Oh, it was the funniest thing, not funny, but kind of ironic thing. Of course, my husband took a while to really thinking because she was convinced that, you know, that I just been associated with my patient way too long and then, especially having lost my grandmother that had the disease and have to take care of her and he's like, you don't look like the Parkinson stations. I know, you know, if I didn't have much some reason I still don't know. It was her first year that the now you don't want your spouse but really, it was about

25:25 I did seven, eight years of me having a disease before they sunk in that. Oh, you have the disease because you know, I've always talked about parking since I've always been a part of this was always doing things here and there was see me when I was well, like you send me an email, so they never saw that. And you know, and so it really should at least at least five years. And finally, one day. I don't remember, I had something else going on. Side to go to Houston and and my dad so I mean I was not feeling well and he's like, what's going on with you?

26:25 What time is it up and about? And so are there ways your diagnosis makes you feel more separate from or closer to other?

27:11 You know, it's funny. I always, you know, it's a neurologist. I always thought that the Parkinson's Community with the best community and that's why I'd work with Parkinson's, which is like the nicest people, all my patients. They were like the nicest people always and never really complain, that was happy-go-lucky and you know, it's like oh, you know, and now I get to be part of that cuz I don't have any more personally. And so every person that I met a man has been just such a treasure and drama that, you know, and my neck was so many people even though it seems like

28:11 I have friends really all over the world by your daughter left for me, you know, people everywhere, you know, I feel like we really connected, you know, somehow I just by having this disease and Parkinson's, doctors are are very small Niche. So you can ignore everybody and being part of that kind of feel like you look. And make sure. I mean, I feel like you do people look at me and always, you know, and it was hard to get used to and I'm not sure I'm still in for used to people, look at me like, what's wrong with you? Why can't you work want to do it? You know, you look fine and it is hard to explain to people that don't, you know, see me all the time unless you live it it's hard sometimes, you know, you feel things that you know, you've been there.

29:11 Feel bad, but if y'all can come to Tatum for one, meaning of nothing that you can put your hand. I mean, there's not want the little measuring tape, you know, sometimes that I used to get a little upset about that, like defend myself. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, will everybody's different. I'm in the parking lot of presents different than everybody and happens in my Parkinson's, is not a lot of motor, but a lot of 9 motor. And so, you know, people don't see, it doesn't mean that. I don't struggle with a lot of things. And so I tell people, you know,

30:11 Are some people get the stigma of like even I have the beginning of all I don't want to go to the gym or to the cardiac rehab therapy because all my God somebody may just be me and you know it. I wanted to think something's wrong with me. But you know, you got to take care of yourself and we all have them stupid moments. I mean, I love that commercial of that insurance. You seen where, you know, that the guy gets out of the car and the car run and you know, I got something for you and feel sometimes, you know, we divorced is now you can't like shut yourself in the room forever. Not go out just because, you know, you want money or markings on their cancer, diabetes, or whatever. I feel We're All in This Together.

31:11 I've always been a unique Bird. That's so like I said, you know, I do things my way and the bestest me. I can't really blame that on the Parkinson's. Well, that's goes right into my next question. What advice would you give to someone you lie diagnosed with?

31:33 Well, I would say first guy, you know, accepted a deal and then and then move on.

31:45 Get yourself.

31:48 Knowledge and understanding are like get yourself surround yourself with people that going to help you and good morning to you. My good, you know friends or counselors or pastures or whatever, you know, so they're there for you, is this disease, how many chronic disease specialist Progressive it really requires the village? I mean something I've never quite understood as a doctor, you know, I was hurting and I talked about it, but I'm treating women and you're possibly having fluctuations and changes. You need to Avail yourself of that because there are times when you just don't feel well and you need to have somebody to lift you up, and that's why I have you and, you know, it on. Hey, let's go have some green beer and let's talk about, you know, some nice movie and dinner and shopping list.

32:48 I still have a whole lot. I mean you still have to be a mother or a wife, a daughter, you know, you still have to raise kids. Yeah, I cannot do it differently and reinvent yourself and how to find the the, the care that you need to find a ride doctor. Somebody would listen to you always stay mentally and physically active. It's important for some of the worst person to talk about physical activity. That's why a lot of times people become more depressed or suicidal or either withdrawn because they don't have that support. Somebody is the hey what's going on or two unique, you know, you need to find that passion in life. Whatever that passion is for me. And you know, it's our friendship and my friends is that

33:48 Fashion art, you know, that's my passion is Pieology women and Parkinson's have to have something to look forward to a daughter. That gets me going. You don't having something to do. It's important to have schedules something that you look forward to it because I found in this pandemic. I mean, even though I felt it when everyday is the same is very hard to get motivated. If you find that. I mean, you know, you have to kind of look forward to something cuz I don't feel like exactly why do something even if you just kind of you to assume or something.

34:44 What?

34:50 So what seems to be misunderstood most about Parkinson? Well, I think, one of the biggest issues that we're, we're learning about us that it can affect everybody, you know, all nationalities, all religions all Races and young people to, and that young women and young people can have different

35:17 Look to the clinical diagnosis of the beginning. Like I did have a lot of pain. Had a lot of 40 have a lot of vision problem and is not necessarily what you think about. When you think about Parkinson's of tremor the walking Shuffle, you know, and things like that, which initially may look different. So it's important to know the young people can have it and they can be different and that is not all what we see. There's a lot more to the disease. It really affects from head to toe every Oregon and so something we really hadn't grasped until recently. So, you know, I think that's something we're slowly making a chip. You know, what was you needing clinically is kind of like that, the tip of the iceberg and we have this whole place break, you know underneath the ocean.

36:09 What is motivating you to be open the back door diagnosis? I know you've always been so open and I think that is part of your beautiful story and that you've never hidden it. And if I text you or call you and say, hey, let's go have lunch or whatever. If you don't feel like it, you're open and you tell me, I didn't sleep well, or I'm hurting and I love that transparency about you. And so now you're sharing it your story with even others. Hello.

36:46 And I appreciate that. You your appreciate that because honestly, it's been a hard thing. I've lost several friends that I've been friends for like over 30 years because of my illness because they don't understand that. I'm not always able to just go when I like to go and see them and they need me and and they're not like, sometimes I find it really difficult not to have conversations on the phone a lot of time. And of course, my daughter and my nieces and nephews got me into texting her now. Thank God for that because that's how I communicate with most people because I can still communicate and that way and keep in touch with my voice is really soft or, you know, I'm really short of breath and it's so hard to let you know to communicate or to go out and get dressed and things.

37:46 Some friends and it's been sad because they were friends for a long time and and it kind of hurt that you know, they didn't really understand but I don't blame you. They have to have their own life. Everybody has different boundaries and I appreciate the friends that like you, but don't mind that if I said, hey, you know, I'm sick today. You're like, okay. That's okay. Will do it later. I supposed to like all she has to do that. That's been really nice. And I think that that's why our friendship is someone strong. And I can sit here, you know today is just a like a dick or what you said. Hey if you can I come get you. I'll come over to your house and we still you know, that's nice that you have that ability to have those people.

38:42 I'm sure, especially with diseases like Parkinson's where sometimes it is hidden. So like you said just because you especially with your personality. You don't just shout it to the rooftop rooftop. I don't feel well today.

39:01 That doesn't mean that you're feeling fabulous, and being able to just lay it out like that. It's important. And I pretty, like I said, I really appreciate, you know, people that can understand that and they're not recommend someone by no. He didn't show up to the meeting and insurance. That helps me. Okay, so we only have a few more minutes and I know we want to get to those last year personal questions. So some of all of these Medical, Professional question. Tell me how you got into the line of work and how is your line of work, merging with you or disease. And for you? This is a special question because your line of work

39:52 Is the expertise of the disease that you now have a sense of humor in a forever? My my family wanted me to be a doctor and I was like, no way. I don't want to be, you know, that's not what you know, I don't like the feeling of that and I always wanted to be a neuroscientist. And so in my biology studies, neurobehavioral on it and pain. One of the one of the professors was really interested in and Parkinson's, and I think there's a lot. So she got me like, oh my God, it was the happiest day for her shift.

40:52 Work with Parkinson's patients, initially. I thought maybe I would do inner surgery, but I too much of a social butterfly. So I'm at the dealing with the patient here today. And so that was my calling. I feel like it was a calling in it and and it was very strange that my grandmother later developed the disease and then I developed. So it's kind of like they knew what he was doing getting me into that. And if you know, what am I going to do with all this, you know, knowledge. I have, you know, take care of patient but there's so much more than I've been able to do because of that background. And so I'm very, you know, God knows what he's doing. And so, I don't have any regrets about that was Mike. And I've often thought to myself

41:46 It may be that extensive knowledge that you have about Parkinson's.

41:53 Is what has enabled you.

41:56 To take good care of yourself and others and have such a good different inside than the than the average person about parking. But have you ever felt like At the beginning? Your expertise was scary. I know my neurology. I know. And other part was just because you know, something doesn't mean that your body, you know, like always a good because I read the book and went to medical school, doesn't mean that my life all is well and just because I knew would medicine to take that does not mean that I tolerated of my hands and I gave you all my patients. So that was an interesting fact.

42:56 Yeah, so just knowing that your body feels differently. I mean, I have the knowledge. I know we're supposed to happen. I knew how to measure supposed to work, but they don't know. We're having the satisfaction in having the tasks. So so having sometimes having a knowledge is a little bit dangerous and scary, like you said, because it's kind of like sometimes knowing too much as I like, you know, Larry's better. I can, I can counsel patients better as to what to do or how to do it and maybe they can understand. They can learn something for my journey because that's how I taking care of my patients in until my grandmother would work, what didn't work and you know, what has helped him. And also kind of, let me see things from a different perspective than the

43:56 I was taught well and how maybe we need to redirect our or teachings and are looking at things, you know, because of the way I've experienced it from all different angles.

44:11 Tell me about your work with women and heart.

44:21 Parkinson's, you, as I said, I've been doing this for a long time. And, and I knew that after I, I couldn't work anymore, in my practice, I needed to do something with my life and, and use my knowledge. So, I joined the, the Parkinson's fundatia advocacy board, they're bored. And, and so that's kind of open a whole lot of the venues, and I'm thankful for them. But I knew from the beginning that there were two areas that I always was interested, in one was dealing with minorities in Spanish because I always struggle to find information for Hispanics, to get them to the right. Doctors, to get them to understand what the disease were not confused with Alzheimer's. And then, when again, when I was diagnosed, when I started having symptoms, at 36, realize that the issues that a young woman goes through a completely different than a 70 year old man, or 70-year old woman.

45:21 You know, so bad began. My, my searching for answers. And I realized the really wasn't any answers in the lot of people not looking at this. And that women like, me were suffering all over the place because they were being affected differently. They were having you do hormonal issues that are affecting the park and zoom recycles where, you know, where I'm normally not thinking about babies. And what about this medicine, something so Hackle. And I never expected that I would really open up a whole movement that it had. I knew there had to be something had to change. I knew that attention had to be brought to that and I knew I wanted to be the one to bring it to for people to start thinking about it, but I never realized how expensive it was going to be. And I'm really, really humble and projects to be part of that movement that now fifteen years.

46:21 And it's really, there's the members just taking off and really looking at just gender differences and I just have acquaintances that other neurological diseases thinking about the person, you know, and I'll just a disease but the person of culture in the bully from there, you know, the age and yeah, well Parkinson's, diva. Is there anything that you've never told me but want to tell me now? I am just so grateful that you're my friend that I met you. They got put you in my path that you know, our daughters are best friends and you know that we support each other that we help each other and you always there to cheer me up even when I feel kinda down you always find a kind word and you know how to make me feel like maybe, you know, I have something to contribute in.

47:19 So, I hope that I do something like that for your means, there. Something you like to tell me, you tell me right now.

47:31 I mean, you're smart your hard work or your great wife and mom.

47:40 All of those good things, but what impresses me the most is just how

47:49 Confident in yourself. You are that you're going to, you're going to make this work. This is going to happen and you pushed forward and you have vision and you think outside of the box. It's not about you. Even though you know with Parkinson's I'm sure. You're like I said before today, there are times when you just don't want to really move don't want to pick up the phone or or do anything outside of just existing and yet you'll call and say or text you and your smile and your constant belief in yourself and others is just over at that really means a lot. And you know, it is not

48:48 Is not an easy thing. And you know, like the other day I called you. I told you I was feeling really run down and I was feeling really like, I was sliding into this kind of depression and banana too much. And I seen your, I need a friend to my head. I need to know what I need to do because otherwise, you know, you can get into the slippery slope of feeling bad, and then withdrawn, and then it just becomes a vicious cycle. And so I know that they can do something. It is the attitude that, you know, we are what we think and it's funny. I've never been this confident night. I give it two presences. I mean, yes, being a doctor helps with a confident. But thank you do was forced to be able to see for. Do you know you have to be charged in people's lives and heroin?

49:48 Teenager in college to. I was so shocked. I never wanted to speak. Never wear it really, you know, people know what I was thinking and so it's amazing that I can stop talking now, you know, I never thought I'd be like, you know, giving lectures all the time and and and I never really thought that I would other things like having this disease has allowed me to really enjoy being a mom. Because before that, you know, I was always working and so I got to be with my daughter and doctor see her grow up and got to be part of her activities. And I'm really proud to say that I never missed a single event except to, and the whole time she wanted to, she didn't tell me. She told me you didn't show up and I was like, I don't feel so bad and I'm the one that had had back surgery.

50:48 Which Honda has always portrayed the little. What if I knew I had to be there for her. I was sleep, rest. Take a bunch of medicine, whatever. I need to do so that I could be there for her. And so I have enjoyed being a mother. More than I ever thought that I would have to have a chance because I was always busy. And, of course, she would tell you there's a lot of stories that were laughing about another day because having this disease, sometimes makes me a little loopy in my head, especially when I first got diagnose. There was a lot of changes in medicines than and I was really, really out of it. And so, one day I was driving her to school late because

51:48 Can you get myself out of bed? And I'm not staying out of my pajamas, cuz I was so unsteady and uncoordinated. So we were driving. And she asked me who are the, the Musketeers, The Three Musketeers, and I said, Donatello Leonardo, this is Bernard.

52:18 Of the Three Musketeers were the Ninja Turtles. She say, you sure, we need to look it up. So let me just say something that I think that will encourage patients to let the Retro lamp is the is the flower. The Parkinson's Community for Parkinson's awareness month last month. I'm going to read it in Spanish prayers. So I said someone soreness inocencia on, especially parties running in a compromise, our toes and Western railroad. Mucho. Menos de Este, Mundo.

53:18 You ain't that your escapades is best for mudding window into the culture of. It's so basically what I was saying that we should not, we are precious delicate. I said, we should not compare ourselves to others much less underestimate our contribution to the beauty of the world because even when our existence is delicate and brief are brightness is capable of transforming the world with its inner beauty as just a Truelove displayed in the center of any room. That's beautiful. Thank you for thank you for doing this with me.