John Baumann’s Blog

Results, Results, Results….Making it happen from the In Side-Out.



Muhammad Ali, Pope John Paul II, John Baumann, Michael J. Fox . . ……. Wait a minute, back up a name. What does I have in common with this group of famous people? You may have guessed it. The answer is that all these people have been diagnosed with Parkinsons. Not many people outside the Parkinson’s community know much about this condition. I prefer to call it a “condition”, but it actually is a disease, an incurable, progressive, neurological disease, which means that I am getting worse every single day I am alive.
Now that that horrible statement is out in the open, let me tell you what it actually is. A chemical called dopamine is produced in the brain, which assists with coordination. When, for whatever reason, the brain slows or stops producing this chemical and the amount of it left is reduced to less than about 40 percent of what is normal, symptoms start to appear. For me, the first symptom was that my right arm did not swing when I walked. In fact, my friends (rightfully so) made fun of my gait not knowing that it was related to Parkinsons. By the way, it is very common for Parkinsons to be undiagnosed or even misdiagnosed by doctors, sometimes for years. Over the next couple of years, other common symptoms of Parkinsons (referred to as PD in the community) appeared: less blinking, poker face (noone in my Texas Hold’em group could ever tell when I got that fourth Queen) , micro handwriting, and, finally, more and more, my right hand started to shake.
I had injured my thumb playing goalie for the company soccer team and thought that the shaking was nerve damage associated with the surgerical repairs. When I went to the hand doctor, he referred me to a neurologist. The funny thing about PD is that there is no test to determine if you have it other then doing an autopsy. Being that I am still alive, and that I intend to stay that way for a long, long time, I opted against the autopsy (not a tough decision). What you can do is start the medication and see if the symptoms temporary cease. If the medication works, you’ve got it (hope you’re learning something, pre-PD, I had no idea about any of this). Unfortunately, the medication worked. I am now a Person with Parkinsons, which is a label that I think is dumb. Being from Louisville, I am a Louisvillian. Using the same logic, I intend to be known as a Parkinsonian. Thus, I am a Louisvillian Parkinsonian. Almost sounds like a scientist!
Where was I: at first, I was in shock, I had to function day–to–day, do my job, support my family, tell my relatives, deal with their reactions, deal with my own emotions, mostly, I was tired all the time. Thank God, it was not affecting my ability to do my job at the high level I strive for – that was my biggest fear. I identify so much with being an attorney and adjunct professor at the University of Louisville that I was very concerned. Next was telling the people whom I directly work with (kudos to them for being as supportive as they are). The main reason that I told them is that PD symptoms are somewhat similar to DT (Delirium Tremors), and I did not want them to think that I had been on an all night drinking binge.
Once the shock started to ware off, I got proactive. I learned as much as I could about PD. I was asked to be on the board of the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana. I went to the World Parkinsons Congress in Washington D.C. (talk about supportive, my seventy something year-old parents drove from their home on Hilton Head Island and sat through a bunch of hypertechnical lectures just so that I wouldn’t have to be alone- talk about love). What I learned was that there are some brilliant people working on a cure (More than five years ago they said that a cure would be discovered within five years, I guess scientists have some trouble with basic math, but, come on team, get going with it, my quality of life depends upon it). Next, I learned there is something that I can do. Although you can’t stop the progression, you may be able to slow it. Wow, that was what I was hoping to hear, talk about motivation. Every Parkinsonian progresses at his or her own rate. Since I am not a medical researcher (too late to go back to school, too old to put in 12 more years), I am not going to find a cure (once again: go team!). However, I may be able to affect my quality of life. This list may not surprise you: Exercise (variety and often); eat right; take supplements; reduce stress; be optimistic; laugh a lot; stretch; and lots of affection (not really but can’t hurt). Get in tune with your body and involve your movement disorder specialist to regulate your medications. By the way, eating right includes blueberries, strawberries, and (no kidding) red wine and dark chocolate. Say no more, I am signed up. Supplements include multi-vitamins, coenzyme Q-10, vitamin C, Omega 3-6-9 and Creatine.
My next decision was to do something that I felt would be more worthwhile with my life than being a General Counsel for a publicly-traded corporation. Despite much apprehension, I recently embarked on starting up my own legal/management consultant/speaker business, JK Success Enterprises ( Just as there is much that can we done to proactively prevent, or at least slow, the progression of PD, I dedicate my energy and passion to eliminating workplace harassment, supervisor leadership skill training (including to avoid unionization), reducing workplace injuries, and teaching success and negotiation skills. I also speak, when asked, on Parkinsons. I also decided to have a house built in the woods to live in and be a part of the experience so bought a chainsaw, got some lessons, and cut down over 40 trees myself on weekends (the cutting down was scary but not as physically draining as cutting up the trees after cutting them down). Being a former athlete, it was a very rewarding nine months.

That is where I am- enjoying life, enjoying work. Oh yeah, did I mention that I am a Parkinsonian and I guess proud of it.

POSTSCRIPT – Although I have chosen to be as optimistic as possible, I recognize that I am in the so called “honeymoon phase” because my meds are effective and the only impairment I experience is inability to write well, throw with my right hand (unfortunately I was a big-time softball player) and mild hand tremors. I, as well as many others with PD experience, or will experience, difficulty or inability to walk, drive, talk, and even swallow, among other things. Please consider donating to the National Parkinson Foundation so that we can increase public awareness, provide support, and hopefully find a cure.
Speaker/Consultant John M. Baumann, Jr., Attorney-at-Law Adjunct Professor at University of Louisville
Experienced Trial Attorney & General Counsel
Cornell Law School, Class of 1986

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to My Blog!!!

JK Success Enterprises, a legal/management speaker/consulting firm

Supervisor Anti-Harassment Training/Consulting
Good touch, Bad touch, NO touch:
A proven-to-be-successful, seven phase proactive prevention approach for companies to not just reduce, but to actually eliminate, sexual and other forms of harassment in the workplace. A virtual ten-year case study of a growing light-to-heavy Industrial company has proven that harassment can be eliminated
(1,500 employees with 1,200 on the floor of 12 facilities in such places as Detroit, Cleveland and northern Indiana and complete diversity of gender, race, national origin, religion and age having NO employment-related lawsuits filed in over 10 years).

Union Avoidance & Irrelevancy Training/Consulting
Making the Employee Free Choice Act Irrelevant:

A proven-to-be-successful, six phase leadership and management skills training approach to maintain non-union status and/or neutralize existing unions whether the Act is enacted or not.
A virtual ten-year case study of a growing light-to-heavy industrial company has proven that maintaining non-union status (10 non-union facilities having NO union card campaigns in 10 years) and successful management with a union in place (Detroit) is within a company’s power and control.

Workplace Injury Reduction Training/Consulting: Proactive Prevention
Limbo, how low can you go: reducing injuries in the workplace by obtaining ownership in the deepest level of the organization.
A proven-to-be-successful proactive prevention approach. A virtual ten-year case study of a growing light-to-heavy industrial company has proven that reducing workplace injuries (300 in 1999 with 900 employees to 62 in 2009 with 1,500 employees) is within a company’s power and control.

Leadership & Management Skills Training Workshops: Representation, Responsibility, Inclusion, Treatment,
Attitude, and Atmosphere

Keynote/Lunch/Kick-off Presentations

Learn Success Today:
Nine Memorable Success Principles for
Difficult and Challenging Times
Understandable, proven success principles presented
in an easy-to-listen-to storytelling format.

Learn Negotiation Today:
A Fifteen-Step Approach to More Effective Negotiation
A user-friendly, proven-to-be-successful, step-by-step approach to every day bargaining as well as high stakes negotiations.

Keynote/Lunch/Kick-off Presentation & Consulting:

True Success as an In-House Law Department: A law department that actually contributes to company profitability, does such an animal exist:
A proven-to-be-successful approach which not only significantly and in non-traditional ways reduces expenses, but also generates income.
Speaker/Consultant John M. Baumann, Jr., Attorney-at-Law Adjunct Professor at University of Louisville
Experienced Trial Attorney & General Counsel
Cornell Law School, Class of 1986

April 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment