Approaching 50!

Old technology!

Old technology!

Just as the Super Bowl turns 50 this year, so will I. I remember eight track tapes, Betamax versus VHS, Bobby Riggs, and Bozo the Clown. I grew up with Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Green Jeans, The Electric Company, Schoolhouse Rock, and After School Specials.

Video games were bouncing pixels also called Pong and then Space Invaders. Adventure and other word based role player games lacked graphics but were abundant in imagination. My first computer was an Atari 800. Floppy disks amazed me when I no longer had to search for my data on inefficient cassettes I remember when water and air were both cleaner and free. Times really do change.

I never thought 50 to be “old”, and still don’t.

Keeping Our Emotions In Check.

A pretty spot!

A pretty spot!

If you are dealing with Parkinson’s disease, then I suggest to cast away as much bitterness, anger, rage, denial, or torment that you might have towards it. Those emotions only point your energy in the wrong direction and conflict with your ability to focus on finding a solution to improving your condition.

Karl

Wellness Way at World Parkinson Congress (WPC) 2016

Take time for yourself  while at The World Parkinson Congress 2016!

Take time for yourself while at The World Parkinson Congress 2016!

Wellness Way is your opportunity at the World Parkinson Congress 2016 in Portland, OR, to take time for yourself and experience therapies like massage, yoga, reiki, meditation and more. This is your place to relax, reflect, and recharge after traveling or just if you are in need of a few moments of silence. Wellness Way is a designated area of 4 dedicated rooms intended to calm your body and mind. Learn about techniques and therapies that  you may have not considered. This is an exciting new extension to #WPC2016 programs.

The Snow Arrived!

What a blizzard!

Snow is magic for Labs!

Snow is magic for Labs!

dogsinsnow2016enhance2 snowdogsno3enhanced

Waiting on a Blizzard!

Snow is coming!

Snowy Bushes

Snowy Bushes

The 2016 WPC’s New “Book Nook” Will Bring Readers And Authors Together!

Check out WPC's Book Nook

Check out WPC’s Book Nook

I have been fortunate to have attended 2 World Parkinson Congresses, Washington and Montreal. Both events were outstanding in information and learning about what is new in the world of Parkinson’s disease.

Join us at the 4th World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Oregon this September 20-23, 2016 —Register Now!

If you didn’t already know, registration for the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) is NOW Open! This September an international contingent of scientists, activists, experts, vendors, writers, researchers, medical experts, body workers, and so many others who focus on Parkinson’s disease will convene in Portland, Oregon for this huge event. For my fellow Americans, I encourage you to take advantage of the fact that the #WPC2016 is in the US, once again and in the great city of Portland. The WPC only happens every 3 years! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn what is happening around the globe and meet many of the world’s leaders in their field. Click here to learn more or to register today!

WPC Book Nook
2016’s WPC will be providing something new this year with their Book Nook! Meet some of the authors behind many of the Parkinson’s books that you have read or plan to read. Some authors may do a reading as well. If you are an author writing about Parkinson’s disease read about the requirements for submitting your application for approval. This is a great opportunity to bring authors and readers together! For more information, click here.

Some Do’s and Don’ts For A Better You

Pay close attention to changes.

Pay close attention to changes.

Once you find a routine that works well it becomes comfortable and automatic. The routine would be wonderful but adjustments must be made, because when one is dealing with Parkinson’s disease, the rules as we knew them change on us. The alteration in what was once normal can be both perplexing and sheer upheaval. The uncomfortable trick to working with this illness, and not fighting it, is analyzing what the body has changed and how do I counter-move to the newest change.  The process is difficult and a tremendous challenge. I can speak from my own experience that as I continue to make slight adjustments in my daily life, I can tweak what isn’t working and slowly implement something new that might help. Part of the process is keeping an open-mind and a willingness to try what may be considered “unconventional”.

Here are 5 items to consider:

  1. Do- Keep a close eye on your medicine regimen. You don’t want to spike your dopamine level nor do you want it to plummet. Keeping the same schedule daily is your best bet for maintaining an even flow of medicine.
  2. Don’t–Avoid or at least reduce your consumption of  high protein foods, high sodium foods, fatty foods, and unhealthy processed foods that may be interfering with your medications.
  3. Do-Something as simple as a banana before bedtime may reduce muscle cramping and improve your sleep. I’ve seen it work!
  4. Do–Breathing is an action many of us take for granted. The problem that I have found for many parkinsonians is that we don’t breath as deeply as we are able. Focusing on our breath and making sure that we are processing as much oxygen as we can is of vital importance. Through awareness, practice, and maybe some help through your local yoga teacher or an online video, you may expand your breath capacity.
  5. Do–Speak up –if you aren’t getting what you need from your support group, tell them what you need or start your own group.

Making slight and subtle changes everyday may be very beneficial!

It Doesn’t Hover!

Be Careful!

Be Careful!

Sure it looks like fun, but watch the videos and you might be playing with a potential fire hazard, a product that is sending many to the emergency room, and a powder keg of possible problems. I totally believe that taking a calculated risk now and then keeps life exciting. If you are going to take any kind of risk, make sure that you have looked at all the angles! If the choice is to ride the incorrectly named “hoverboard”, at least put on a helmet, padding, ride on a semi-soft surface, and try to be prepared to fall, rather than expect to immediately master it.

If you have Parkinson’s disease and treasure the faculties that you have, this device, in the current state, may not be the right choice for you. If you desire the ER or an unexpected doctor visit, then spin the wheel, but I’ll wait for another more reliable iteration of these products. I prefer a less risky, less self-com-busting, more stable device that admits that it does not hover (it rolls). Here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year and I will see you right here in 2016!

 

Karl

10 Holiday Suggestions For Those Dealing With Parkinson’s Disease

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

The Holiday Season means parties, presents, parents, and packing on pounds. It is a special time when family comes together to share the joy and celebration. This time of year can also be difficult and trying for many people due to finances, loss of family members, or just trying to coordinate the added responsibility that comes with this time of year.

The added pressure of trying to produce “the right gift” and to cook “the right meal” on top of dealing with your Parkinson’s disease probably isn’t of benefit to your condition. I know from experience, that when I am overloaded with a laundry list of to-do items and I am facing deadlines, stress and tension builds higher and higher – only to make my PD worsen.

Here are a few suggestions to remind you how to maintain your meds, your mind, and your overall well-being over the holidays:

  1. Travel can interject a scramble in timing your medications on an irregular schedule and for people with Parkinson’s, timing can be everything. Do your best to sustain as close to your usual schedule as you can to maintain an even stream of your medications. If you need a reminder, use your cell phone or your spouse’s phone to make sure that you don’t miss a dose.
  2. The Holidays bring on huge changes in our eating habits as we eat and drink more, often of foods that we may not eat at other times of the year. Sweets, pastries, and other rich foods can play a part in reducing your maximum absorption of your medications, so pay attention to what you are eating and how much of it you intake. I find alcohol fiddles with my pills, so I try to not drink at all, but if you do, just pay attention to the impact it may have on what you are taking.
  3. It can become overwhelming when we have multiple family members from multiple families, kids, animals, music, technology, and food and drink, and loud conversation, all in one room. The energy and space can become overwhelming and feel a little enclosing. We all have different stress triggers that evoke our symptoms to come out more. Be aware what induces certain thoughts and feelings, before the trigger takes hold, if you can. The key is being aware of the situation that you are in at the time.
  4. Be sure and take time for yourself, when you need it! Everyone at the party and celebration wants you to be at your best and if it means you need to take a little extra time to get ready, ask for a change in food or drink, take a rest, or need to lower the music to be heard better in conversation, I would think that those slight concessions would gladly be made for you.
  5. Remember to breathe, breathe, breathe! Deep breathing is something very few of us do enough. It feels so good to breath deeply.
  6. Go into each event expecting to have a good time and to really enjoy yourself. Keep your expectations in check and just be present.
  7. Stay as active as you normally would on any other day. Keep on your normal health regimen of exercise, sleep, and diet (as best you can) to keep up daily maintenance.
  8. Address your needs to speak of those you have lost or miss if you can, without interfering with those who may not want to deal with past issues. I like to just light a candle in remembrance of those who are unable t be with us, as this is a way of honoring their memory.
  9. If stress creeps in and you need something, check out my last blog post on the program, HeadSpace and see if this App does’t help clear some tension and anxiety.
  10. Lastly, this time of year should be about whatever you want it to be. Placing expectations and conditions on what you hope or think it should be, only weighs you down. If you build up expectations, it can lead to less successful outcomes. Just being as good as you can be at the time of the event, and being yourself, without expectation, may just allow you to find that you enjoy all your events, even more!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Headspace – The App that nudged me back on track.

Technology for the Mind

Technology for the Mind

There are stories with morals and themes of those searching the world for vast fortunes of gold, diamonds, and silver. Explorers canvas the world for glory, fame, and fortune. There are those of us who seek more in our daily life who just want to be productive, healthy, and functional. True discovery is that we have the capability to achieve, attain, and succeed with what we have without searching all over the world for knowledge that is in our own backyard. We have the tools to draw from in our kit if we take the time realize that the tool is there.

Dorothy had the power all of the time but didn’t knowingly realize it until she was leaving Oz. Realizing that you are more capable and able takes some reminding.

I have a good idea of what I am supposed to do and be able to do.  When I deviate from the direction that I know that I need to go, I can falter. It took the assistance of a simple App on my iPhone called, Headspace: Meditation techniques for mindfulness, stress relief & peace of mind, to bring me back to balance, focus, and my path. For someone who preached the benefits of meditation, I had taken the tool out of the kit, only to leave a huge void in taking care of myself. Thanks to the App, I have regained focus and have re-constructed my daily practice.

Who would have that thought a piece of technology, like Headspace, could be so instrumental in reviving my peace and calm. I didn’t see it coming, but the App reminded me that I had the power all along and that I needed a nudge to return to my path. If you are interested in exploring Headspace, click on the link or look in your App store for more information.

You can try it for 10 10-minute sessions, before you decide if you want to pay the monthly fee. I plan to stay with the product and see the benefits that it offers. This is a daily practice that I think that I can follow. You might look into it.

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