Bill Schmalfeldt

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Bill Schmalfeldt is a writer who has made his collection of stories and essays - several of which deal with his coping with Parkinson's disease - available as free audiobooks.

It was just about three weeks after his 45th birthday in 2000 when Bill Schmalfeldt was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In 2007 while working at a federal agency as a writer and podcaster, telling other people about the importance of clinical trials, Bill heard about and volunteered for an experimental brain surgery to determine whether or not “deep brain stimulation” could be done on patients in the earlier stages of the disease. This is the story of Bill's “Parkinson's Decade” from being diagnosed in 2000, to having the surgery in 2007, through today. The story is told in a humorous, satirical, almost jovial style considering the fact that Bill's motor skills and cognition continue to degenerate.

His follow-up to the non-fiction No Doorway Wide Enough is this fanciful, hilarious narrative, voiced by disgraced, former alcoholic truck driver Billy Big Rig (who can never reveal his real name because everyone wants to kill him) who – if he is to be believed – infiltrated a terror cell, went to Afghanistan, and single-handedly saved America from another terror attack in the days after 9/11. Along the way, he shares his philosophy about life, love, truckstop meals and waitresses, men's room protocol, how he killed the REAL Saddam Hussein, and his many, many marriages.

In a series of hilarious essays, Bill Schmalfeldt (author of “No Doorway Wide Enough”, also on Podiobooks) lashes out at Parkinson's Disease “and the other things that annoy me.” Recorded at his kitchen table, you can hear life going on in the background as Bill talks about stupid studies that prove things that anyone with common sense should know (“Parkies who drool are embarrassed by it! It's SCIENCE!”), his own declining cognitive status (“Pills don't work… unless you TAKE them!”), the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's (“I think the thing to do is take some daily Metamucil to make a poop that doesn't have to fight its way out every morning like the Incredible Hulk busting out of a police station.”), why he had to quit drinking (“One of the pills I take said alcohol could cause the adverse side effect of death.”), and a lot about the weird dreams that are caused by the disease and the medication he takes for the disease. Oh, and he's not much of a “Tea Party” fan, either.