Monthly Archives: December 2015

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.

The Photo Bug

It’s official–I have a confession! Maybe, it is an obsession, a compulsion, or just a passion!

I love to take photographs! Whether I am photographing my food or a sunset, I truly find pleasure and a sense of joy in it!

Ever since I had my first snap camera, I have loved photography. Now, after a vacation or weekend jaunt, I can come away with hundreds to thousands of shots. Thanks to digital photography, I save on film processing but now am overwhelmed with shots. There are trade-offs.

Enjoy some of my shots:

I love taking pictures!

I love taking pictures!

mushenhno1 wilmenhbwno1

Call To Action on this Planet–Racing Extinction Tonight at 9 PM EST

Saving our Planet begins and ends with us!

Saving our Planet begins and ends with us!

mlviewenhanced1 viewchangedskyland2015 DSCN9767If you follow me and read this blog, you know that I have a passion for the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. Yesterday, on a dreary, dismal, dank, and overall gloomy day, my wife and my father visited the National Geographic Museum in DC to see the amazing work of Joel Sartore. His Photo Ark of extinct or near extinct species on this planet is moving, inspiring, tearful, shameful, eyeopening, jaw-dropping, and purely beautiful. His images capture a one-on-one connection with every being that he encounters. This is a collection and an exhibition that every human on this planet needs to see and inhale. If it doesn’t move you or cause you to question your actions as a human being, then something is terribly wrong.

I implore you that you try to support the Photo Ark project, learn more about it, and watch or set your DVR tonight on the Discovery Channel at 9 PM EST. It looks to be well worth the time!

I have included a few of my wildlife photos–I hope you enjoy!

Karl

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