Monthly Archives: June 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20 Historical Medical Myths
Sick people should not go outside at night due to “bad airs” or miasmata.
Turkey makes you drowsy.
Dim light ruins your eyesight.
You must drink 8 glasses of water a day to be hydrated.
We use only 10 percent of our brains.
Drinking a glass of milk every day is good for you.
Shaving hair causes it to grow faster, darker, and coarser.
Babies don’t feel pain.
In the early 1900’s it was thought that radioactivity was good for you.
Shark cartilage is effective treatment for cancer.
Heroin laced cough syrup as a cough suppressant.
The human heart could never be touched.
Mercury used to treat Syphilis.
Tobacco was known as the “holy herb” and “God’s remedy”.
LSD could cure alcoholism, criminal behavior, and schizophrenia.
In the 1950’s people infected themselves with tapeworms to lose weight.
Cocaine was used to promote digestion and fight depression.
Cigarettes were once physician approved!
Stress and spicy foods cause ulcers.
Germs, bacteria, and viruses don’t exist.