Mike Maus was diagnosed in January 2014 with PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, an atypical form of Parkinson’s Disease. Mike’s first symptoms were loss of balance, including falls on his bike, and inability to find words for what he wanted to say, thus becoming quieter in conversations.
This latter symptom is very distressing for Mike who was an NBC News Correspondent for radio. Subsequently, he worked as Director of Communications for both the National Council of Churches and the American Bible Society. He had a wonderfully identifiable voice. He was “the” voice for several documentary films.
Mike says none of the medications he has tried have helped. He is currently in a clinical trial program. So far, it has not helped with his balance, but seems to be helping with cognition and with his participation in conversations.
Mike says glumly that the disease “affects everything I want to do.”
Fortunately, Mike has a loving wife, Jeri Lou, who cares for him at their home in Colorado. They have been able to remodel the house to be a bit easier to live in with PSP.
Mike encourages others to reach out to people, both to help themselves and also to help others. It has been hard for Jeri Lou and Mike to ask for and receive help. In fact, it has been particularly tough for Mike to learn to accept help. Those skills don’t come naturally; their support group really helps with that. It’s OK to ask for help; in fact, it helps others know how they can help you. “Don’t think about yourself; think about others you can help.” This stands out for Mike as good advice for everyone.
Unexpectedly, Mike said, among the negatives and positives of living with PSP are that he and Jeri Lou have experienced their marriage being enhanced. They have become more sensitive to small intimacies that have become significant expressions of their enduring love.