Dave Grosby has his good days and bad days, he says — cheerfully, I might add. Such is life with Parkinson’s disease, even for the man whose fun-loving outlook shaped what, by acclamation, is the preeminent career in Seattle sports-talk-radio history.
“I still have issues, but knock on wood, today’s a good one,” he told me.
Grosby was out walking with his wife Bonnie one day last year when she noticed his arm wasn’t moving. He knew from his mother’s bout with Parkinson’s that was “a dead giveaway” symptom of the nervous-system disorder that remains shrouded in mystery and dread — no test, no cure, no full understanding of what causes it.
Doctors indeed confirmed Grosby had Parkinson’s. It was the topper in a whopping series of health issues with which Grosby, now 59, had been saddled, including sextuple heart bypass surgery in 2005 that forced a dramatic change in lifestyle. Grosby also has had ulcerative colitis since he was 29. He has ongoing coronary issues.
And in 2018, Grosby underwent arterial-bypass surgery in his leg, followed by chronic insomnia that he calls “the worst thing I’ve faced so far. … The insomnia nearly drove me insane.”
Grosby estimates he went three or four months without getting more than an hour of sleep a night.
“I’ll tell you, I felt suicidal,” he says now. “You really had a desperate feeling of not being able to go on.”
Shortly thereafter his Parkinson’s was identified, and around that time Grosby fell into depression. Characteristically for someone who vowed to “live his life out loud,” Grosby has been open in sharing his tribulations, hopeful of helping people in similar straits.
And yet this story is not one of pity, not by a long shot. Grosby’s mindset is to accentuate the positive, hard as it might be to find at times. Among other things, it’s a story of how treating people well over a 30-year career in Seattle paid off in a time of need.
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