I was going through my files of paperwork and came across years of documents that I considered to be motivational, inspirational, and truly worth being read and reread. You might even remember it.
Although this following post is not specifically Parkinson’s disease related, I find it to be sound and practical advice for everyone. I hope that you enjoy it, find at least 1 of the 10 pieces of advice to be a morsel to take away, and may even share once again with others:
Palo Alto High School Speech by Guy Kawasaki 6/11/95
10. Live off of your parents as long as possible.
9. Pursue joy—not happiness.
8. Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
7. Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play no contact sports.
6. Continue to learn.
5. Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
4. Don’t get married too young.
3. Play to win and win to play.
2. Obey the absolutes.
1. Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.
If I were to add to this thoughtful list, I might add – Tell the people in your life and those you care about, just how much they mean to you, while you still can!
Yesterday, I had the honor and privilege of testifying in front of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about symptoms of Parkinson’s and how they impact daily living. The event brought out at least 20 or more of the FDA’s neurological specialists and decision makers. I watched as they listened to my fellow panelists testify about their struggles with Parkinson’s disease and many took copious notes about what was said.
I am confident that they were listening to the plights of those of us facing a variety of issues related to our illness. It is my sincere hope and plea that something positive, like an ongoing dialogue between FDA and patient, or even a rapid push for speedier development of therapies is implemented. It is encouraging and wonderful to see interest from the FDA and the Parkinson’s community. This can be nothing but positive and hopeful!
This is a gentle reminder to all the selfless caregivers, care-partners, doctors, nurses, orderlies, therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, and anyone who comes in contact with people touched by a neurological illness. Remember these 5 important points before you react, speak, take offense, lose your temper, or give up:
- Everyone has a history and a story. The person who you are dealing with now has had and may still have a very full life that you only see a portion. Give them the credit and respect that they are due.
- The current state of the patient that you are seeing doesn’t need more stress, tension or conflict in their lives, working together you both can make life better for the patient and not worse.
- Give your loved one or patient flexibility and deal with them creatively and an open mind. If they aren’t responding to medications offer music therapy, touch, or seek a personal solution which motivates the patient. There is a need for gentleness and understanding.
- The person with whom you are interacting may have done some important things in their life, raised a family, changed many lives, and been far more active than they are now. Their current condition is not by choice. Show compassion, patience, caring, and generosity.
- Someday, in the not so distant future, you or someone who you care deeply for could be facing these very same challenges.
When my medications turned off immediately for no apparent reason, I was befuddled and beyond worried. Not long ago a good friend experienced the same perplexing event with no medical forewarning. I saw an increase in balance issues, a reduction in drug benefit, and it took a longer time for to receive any benefit from my Parkinson’s disease medications.
It is a topic that I have seen no discussion on and yet to hear any doctor or patient bring to light. That most elusive of topics is the inclusion of antibiotics and the whirlwind of turmoil that can come with it.
Antibiotics disrupt the balance of our stomachs and the important enzymes for healthy digestion. They wipe out both the good and bad stuff in your gut, thus causing problems with the stability of your medications. As we all know, without absorption through the blood-brain barrier Levodopa and other medications lose their potency and overall efficacy.
So, the next time your physician wants to talk about putting you on an antibiotic for a toothache, infection, or anything that crops up, discuss with your doctor what the potential side-effects might do to your Parkinson’s disease drugs and know what you may be facing. The antibiotics may be needed, just be prepared and consider a good probiotic to replace those digestive juices.
I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This is personal opinion and my events. Discuss this with your doctor before you make any changes. Share your stories with me and my readers, if you like. I will share your stories.
Animals have healing properties all of their own. Look deep into these amazing and loving eyes and you can sense the intense power. She makes me laugh and smile and can frustrate me to no end. That’s my dog!
I have strategies to counteract Parkinson’s disease, but like most of us, I falter and forget to use them. I am exploring a 10 minute a day mind and body exercise program to see if just adding this short time can improve my day. This test is in addition to my normal daily routine to see what kind of added benefit these 10 one -minute a piece exercises might show:
Minute 1: Take A Body Assessment–Sit quietly with your eyes gently shut in a quiet place and just listen to your body. Survey how each and every joint and muscle feels from head to toe. Telling your body to release any pain, stress, tension, or anxiety. Focus completely on letting go of what does not belong in your body.
Minute 2: Breath–Starting with 3 deep cleansing breaths, slowly breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, focus on your breath only. For the entire minute breath deeply and smoothly just paying attention to keeping your inhales and exhales close in length.
Minute 3: Stretch–Take this minute to elongate your legs and arms while lying on your back. Feel the muscles in your shoulders and back let go and ease into the floor.
Minute 4 and 5: Foot Flex–Our feet take a beating with little reward. Offer your feet a treat with a quick massage of your pressure points and toes. Using your thumbs slide up and down the foot as you search for pockets of sensitive or aching places needing attention. You may find a minute per foot just isn’t enough.
Minute 6 and 7: Toe Tug- Take a minute per foot to massage, stretch, and pull your toes to feel the release. Bend and rub your toes to get the blood going and sense the difference from the start of the minute.
Minute 8 and 9–Finger Press—Take a minute per hand and rub and massage the joints all along your fingers. Gently stretch and elongate your fingers. Do several flex and bends with your fingers to get the blood flowing. Using your opposite hand, seek out any pressure points that might be sore and gently rub them out.
Minute 10: Meditate- Take this 1 minute for yourself and think of nothing but decompressing. Once again, lie on your back in relaxation with your eyes gently closed and sense what you have created for your whole being.
All this, in just 10 minutes!
There is no question that Parkinson’s disease can be a tremendous struggle, filled with changes and developments. My theory is that when we ‘wage war, go to battle, or fight’, we highlight stress, violence, and turmoil. I don’t often quote film, but as Patrick Swayze says in the classic, Roadhouse, (okay it isn’t really a classic but it makes a point), ‘No one ever wins a fight.’ Avoiding and reducing stress are key to keeping your Parkinson’s symptoms at bay. By avoiding and reducing known stress-related triggers, finding coping methods, like exercise, meditation, and yoga will assist in retaining your energy and flexibility.
Try considering your illness, be it Parkinson’s disease or any other disease, as a roadblock or obstacle to work around or to work with. Maybe if we visualize our illnesses in a less threatening state and see them more as “something that we can work with and not against”, our bodies may not have to exert so much towards the fight and can devote more energy to getting better. Just something to chew on.
Back To School
A phrase or term in the English language that makes young people shudder and hide when heard. To parents it means a return to normalcy and yet it means more carpooling, drop-offs, early mornings, and late nights.
We are all constantly back to school. Once we stop educating ourselves, we limit our potential. Always be back to school!