Alaska Awareness

The natural beauty of Alaska was so inspiring and uplifting!

The natural beauty of Alaska was so inspiring and uplifting!

Alaska Moon

Alaska Moonlight

I am fresh back from Alaska where I was treated to a bounty of natural wonders. Mountain vistas of snow-capped peaks, flowing waterfalls, soaring eagles, sun-soaking seals, and feasting humpbacks were just a few of the jaw-dropping trip highlights.

Nature has a way of putting us back into our place. It reminds us that we are but a tiny cog in a huge winding interwoven web of life which connects us all. Nature rejuvenates body, mind, and spirit. It reminds us what peace is meant to be.

As we seek answers and search for solutions to bettering ourselves, take the time to appreciate the beauty that is all around us. Find the calming energy that we all seek in the wonder of nature’s creatures and their surroundings. Everyone needs time with nature!  Sometimes it takes some reminding.

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

Alaska Waterfall

Alaska Waterfall

Thought of the Day 2

Build a strong network around yourself of people who understand.

Build a strong network around yourself of people who understand.

Parkinson’s disease can force us to make major life alterations and re-prioritize what it is we hope to achieve with our lives. As sobering and dramatic as this roadblock can be, realize that there is assistance and a network of support available to you.

Staying Social and Involved Is Empowering

Parkinson’s never asked me if it come and play,

It’s the kind of houseguest you wish would go away.

This disease is a strange one for no two are alike,

It can steal your balance, your speech, or ability to bike.

Parkinson’s has a wider impact farther than we know,

Without a better understanding, it is sure to grow.

Read and learn and find everything you can,

Join a support group and get involved with PAN.

Be an advocate for Parkinson's disease issues.

Be an advocate for Parkinson’s disease issues.

Missing

Missing

Missing

The support group that my wife and I have run for over 10 years has come to an end. I have witnessed the fluctuations in attendance and noticed the absentees. Sure, some weren’t ready for the group, some didn’t like the format of the group, while others found the location or time to be inconvenient, transportation could have been a problem, Parkinson’s symptoms may have gotten in the way, or they weren’t wild about the group leaders. I wonder and worry about all those I meet, befriend, and then go missing. Sadly, this happens in Parkinson’s disease.

I recently found out an old friend I had met in 2004 is now bound to a wheelchair and in a nursing home. If you read my blog, I am a positive person but I see far too many friends disappearing from our community. As these voices go silent, it becomes easier for them to go missing.

There is no shame in having Parkinson’s. This illness alienates and devastates friendships and relationships, if not closely monitored and preserved. Often, depression and/or apathy play a part. Whatever the case may be, Parkinson’s patients tend to slowly fade from the crowd and it just shouldn’t be that way.

Being Mindful plus Adding Knowledge (a partial reprise with new information)

 

Keeping focus and staying mindful is a daily challenge for most of us but add chronic illness to the equation and the challenge gets that much harder. With all the emails, voicemails and other electronic messages, signs, advertisements, phone calls, and various shout outs from the world, distraction of thought is so easy.

Finding a peace within ourselves comes much easier when we are able to separate ourselves from the frenzy and din of modern technology.  Taking a few moments a day of quiet time for yourself can ease tension, quiet the mind, and clear your thoughts.  A few minutes of peace is like a reboot for the brain.

We must never let ourselves stop learning and adding new abilities. The overwhelming multitude of information from how to juggle, how to whistle, how to tie a bow tie, how to draw, to almost any talent that you desire can be found on youtube.com. If you want to learn a language, take a course, or just find a video to make you smile or laugh out loud, there is a good chance that you’ll find it.

If you want to learn math, business, science, and a wide range of classes that you either missed the first go around or want to try again, checkout khanacademy.com.

I have discovered that the tactile feel of a pen on paper and on a tablet has led to improving my ability to write and draw. What once was illegible is now discernable, and I think I owe it to being mindful and focused while in the moment. I have found that by trying to teach myself to draw that I have better control of the pen or pencil.

Make a list of 5 to 10 goals that you might want to complete like: 1) Learn a really good card trick, learn the secret to telling a joke, learn how to make a better cookie, tie a bow tie, how to juggle, learn to meditate, or sharpen a knife. These are just a few of the opportunities to take advantage of on the web. You will be surprised by the diversity and quality of the material that is available at no cost.

Just learning one new talent or honing an old talent is a good way to keep the mind and body active and connected. Stay open-minded and flexible! Try your best and stay focused on the task at hand.

There is still a great deal that you can do and enjoy. Try something new today.

Things Change

20 Historical Medical Myths

Medical Myths
Medical Myths
  1. Sick people should not go outside at night due to “bad airs” or miasmata.

  2. Turkey makes you drowsy.

  3. Dim light ruins your eyesight.

  4. You must drink 8 glasses of water a day to be hydrated.

  5. We use only 10 percent of our brains.

  6. Drinking a glass of milk every day is good for you.

  7. Shaving hair causes it to grow faster, darker, and coarser.

  8. Babies don’t feel pain.

  9. In the early 1900’s it was thought that radioactivity was good for you.

  10. Shark cartilage is effective treatment for cancer.

  11. Heroin laced cough syrup as a cough suppressant.

  12. The human heart could never be touched.

  13. Mercury used to treat Syphilis.

  14. Tobacco was known as the “holy herb” and “God’s remedy”.

  15. LSD could cure alcoholism, criminal behavior, and schizophrenia.

  16. In the 1950’s people infected themselves with tapeworms to lose weight.

  17. Cocaine was used to promote digestion and fight depression.

  18. Cigarettes were once physician approved!

  19. Stress and spicy foods cause ulcers.

  20. Germs, bacteria, and viruses don’t exist.

Modern medicine is remarkable and the leaps that we have made show great promise for our future. Sadly, what we don’t know now can hurt us in the future.

Thought of the Day 1

Something to ponder.

Something to ponder.

Whether you have Parkinson’s disease or not in your life, I have discovered one important constant that makes a difference. One needs a daily structure and a purpose, beyond monetary necessity, to get out of bed every morning. Designing your day even on a loose and flexible schedule provides a framework to work within. Productivity and daily accomplishments are crucial to our being but don’t be discouraged by what is left unfulfilled. No matter what you do, schedule and make time for something that truly makes you happy.

Monday Poem

Look beyond what you may not know. Keep an open mind and answers start to show.

A little poem.

A little poem.

Portland Countdown Podcast Starts Today and Every First Tuesday Through September 2016!

Portland Countdown Podcasts WPC 2016
Portland Countdown Podcasts WPC 2016 #WPCPodcast

As you probably know by now, the World Parkinson Coalition’s big event, the 4th World Parkinson Congress, is coming to Portland, Oregon in September 2016. Starting today and the first Tuesday of each month until September 2016 you can enjoy Portland Countdown, a podcast dedicated to important Parkinson’s topics and timely information. Hosted by Dave Iverson and Jon Palfreman, in this premiere #WPCPodcast, they interview Dr. Andrew Lees and discuss some history of Parkinson’s disease.

I found the podcast to be informative and refreshing in that Dr. Lees described Parkinson’s from a perspective unlike most doctors that I have encountered. I hope you enjoy it!

Who Are The Parkinson’s “Experts”?

Who are the experts?It has occurred to me that there are so many “experts” about Parkinson’s disease who don’t live with Parkinson’s on a daily basis. Why is there a deficit in recognizing that those living with Parkinson’s can be just as knowledgeable as those who study it? It’s a question that might sting a little, but who are the experts on living with Parkinson’s?

It’s wonderful to hear from psychologists, neurologists, and researchers, but overall, when the dust settles and the conferences end, who would you rather hear from? Who knows more about how to express their work of art, the artist or the critic? I think most of us would agree that the artist knows what they want to express while the critic is merely the interpreter who conveys their own perspective.

The newly diagnosed person with Parkinson’s and the one in denial are not yet experts, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t once be one. I don’t claim to be an expert but longevity with illness provides lessons whether you ask for them or not.

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