Michael Miller from Bellflower, CA
Nominated by his wife Justine Miller
"NPF.........the Nominations, please" should include my very resilient husband, Michael Miller. He was diagnosed with Essential Tremor when he was about 50. Occupied as a manager for a large daily newspaper, the condition did not interfere with his job.
His hobby, since high school, was a problem; he collected and restored Model A Fords. Holding tools became harder and harder. He adapted, sold most of his cars and moved on to building things in his shop. Shortly after the millennium life took a different turn. Mr. Parkinson came to live in his body. More pills, new needs, time to rethink the hobby. He had owned a teardrop trailer to pull with our 48 Ford, and he decided he could make a safer one. A couple of power tool accidents resulted. But he would not let Mr. Parkinson steal his love, his shop time. He turned out nine small trailers, for friends, family and a few custom ones on request. Axle up, no plans, from the seat of his pants.
DBS surgery was being talked about, and he seemed a good candidate. He was still working, but by 2009 it looked like he should end a 50 year affair with the Long Beach Press Telegram. The stress of turning over his keys bothered him so much the night before his retirement he had a seizure. After an ambulance ride, night in the hospital and 2nd seizure while hooked up to EEG equipment, he started taking dilantin with all his PD drugs.
Kaiser Permanente of Southern California performed a battery of medical and psychological tests and guess what they found? A BRAIN. But they only did one surgery a week. 50 a year. So Mike went on a list. While waiting he still built trailers, and we would hitch them up and go to the beach for the day, or to visit places. We were dragging our bed and kitchen so he always had a place to lie down, and I sure loved to cook whatever he wanted. A seemed miracle, Kaiser hired a second neurosurgeon to do DBS surgery and we agreed to be his 1st patient.
January 17, 2009 he had the long, long surgery. Awake for half, he said he counted 17 people in the operating room. 17 angels. His incisions healed, the turned the simulator on and the shaking ceased. "Power tools come to Papa." March, 2010 he had a 2nd lead planted on the other side of his brain. An amazing man, his programmer, Dan Whitfield, RNP, tunes him up on a regular basis.
In all this journey, he has not lost his sense of humor. Yesterday he joined the boys he went to elementary, junior and senior high school with for "Superbowl Saturday" to play touch foot ball (he now holds the line marker) and retire to Joe Josts to drink beer (Root for him) and tell lies. Mike has the attitude everyone should emulated. "It's not Over until it's Over" so "don't give up the ship", "keep on truckin'" and build little trailers to pull with that truck.