Author: Robert Lyman Baittie
This book is for everyone— the newly diagnosed patient with Parkinson’s, the family of the person with Parkinson’s, the person wondering about Parkinson’s, the person suffering from any chronic illness, the person looking for inspiration, and even the random Joe looking for a good book to read.
When I approach a book written about a sensitive subject, I venture to stay open-minded. Many times, these books can take on a voice of pity or remorse, but not so for Tremors in the Universe. Author Robert Lyman Baittie immerses his reader in the world of chronic illness in a wonderfully objective and witty tone. I venture to say that at this point, Baittie doesn’t suffer at all, but instead he thrives in the face of his diagnosis. Baittie gives the reader a clear, well-dictated viewpoint of the “island’ that is chronic illness. His metaphor so completely describes how one with chronic illness feels, especially when the diagnosis comes later in life. His journey into Parkinson’s, from his feeling like a lab rat in a doctor’s office to his relief once a diagnosis was finally provided, rings true. His experiences with the American healthcare system will most certainly touch the lives of other readers who have dealt with the same frustrations.
I think, to some degree, everyone who receives a PD diagnosis (or any chronic disease for that matter), receives an island of his or her own as well. The differences from one island to the next tend to be how the individual chooses to use it. For some, their island is a place to turn away from everyone, to maroon themselves in anger and bitterness, while others use it as an oasis for growth. -Robert Lyman Baittie, Tremors in the Universe
Most striking about Tremors in the Universe isn’t necissarily the author’s diagnosis and how his life is affected by the chronic illness itself, but rather how he uses his diagnosis to bring his life back to a place of balance and strengthen his spiritual connection. Every adult, at some point, can relate to being thrown off track and out of balance by the pressures of daily life and the perceptions of what he or she “should be”. Through illness, Baittie finds his way back to his center— a trial all humans can in some way relate to, which makes this book a great read for any person, not just those affected by chronic illness. So many stories of chronic illness speak to the one affected finding his or her way– his or her essence. What’s so striking about Baittie’s story is that he finds his way back to a center he already knew, but with a stronger sense of understanding and reliance on that center.
Baittie chose to make his island work for him in the best possible way, and in doing so, his story has the ability to inspire many who live their lives affected by Parkinson’s or any chronic illness. I highly recommend this read for anyone, but especially for those who are maybe a little lost, a little out of balance.