Dr. Thomas Graboys was a member of the cardiologist "dream team" that advised the late Celtics star Reggie Lewis. Four years ago, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and, later, an Alzheimer's-like dementia. Now 62 and living in Chestnut Hill, he shares what it's like to be trapped in your own body and betrayed by your own mind.
"The daily struggle with Parkinson's disease is relentless. There is no reprieve, and the future is uncertain. Even on the good days, Parkinson's lurks like an unwanted shadow. In my case, Parkinson's is a 24-hour-a-day affair, because the associated Lewy body disease brings forth vivid nightmares and violent sleep on a weekly basis, nightmares so realistic that I am likely to act them out. I have dreamed of being attacked and, in an effort to fight back, have inadvertently struck my wife, Vicki."