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Health Matters!

It is April and that means it is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month!

Everyday ought to be Parkinson’s Awareness Day! For each and everyone of us who lives with this illness, we know that our awareness is real and constant. Now, bring that awareness to those who you encounter or who are less familiar with this illness. Too often, much to my amazement, I meet people completely unaware of what Parkinson’s is and what it can do. We have got to do a better job of telling the world about this illness, and what it is all about.

I refuse to mix politics and ethics. I try to keep my nose out of politics on this site and provide my readers with a perspective that informs and allows you to make your own decision.

I have seen the life-changing impact that Meals On Wheels has made and continues to make on lives. Just the thought of erasing a program as important as  this one, is heartless, cruel, and the sign of a system that is out of touch and totally unfamiliar with real human needs.

To reduce  funding for the FDA and the NIH reduces our hopes for a speedy breakthrough or drug development. Our health matters and many of the best minds in research and future developments come from these organizations.

The elimination of the EPA could cause numerous devastating changes and have even more repercussions on climate change and various environmental factors that impact genetically sensitive people. The future of the animal kingdom on this planet is in even greater jeopardy, than it is right now.

Speak up! Let your voice be heard!

It is so important to share your story and how governmental decisions impact you and those you love.

Photo Creation — Orb 3D

I was experimenting with my phone camera and created this–I hope that you enjoy it! I call it Orb 3D.

If you think it’s cool, please share it. I am trying to keep active and creative and believe it is vital to staying well. Explore your creativity!

Taken by Karl Robb

Taken by Karl Robb

It’s not all in your head–is it?

It might all be connected.In the near 200 years, since the discovery of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), the theories of how, where, when, and why the illness develops varies over time. Science is proving and re-enforcing the belief that everything is connected. When I was officially diagnosed in 1991 with PD, there were only a few doctors who pondered the connection between the gut and the brain. Now, there seems to be a much larger contingent who agree that our gut plays a major factor in our brain function.

The body has a mysterious way of masking itself or maybe it is just due to the complexity of the brain. For several years, my right shoulder rotator cuff hurt and I was unable to find long-lasting relief or an answer to where the pain was coming from. I had seen doctors, taken X-rays, seen massage therapists, and done physical therapy, and all proved to do little, over time. I was sure the pain resided in the shoulder. I was wrong.

I had to go all the way across the United States to find relief. A knowledgeable and very intuitive massage therapist who really paid attention to my arm discovered a very sore spot close to the mid point of my upper arm. Once she released the extreme pain that had been stored in that one spot, the pain in my shoulder dispersed. I would call the results near miraculous. She found the cause of my pain where no one had even thought of looking.

I think that this is sound evidence that there is just so much about the systems of the human body that we just can’t understand, just yet. Over time, new discoveries and breakthroughs may very well reveal astounding relationships between our systems or even unveil how our bodies process certain chemicals and alter our central nervous system. Until the day comes that modern science is capable of unveiling an all encompassing cure, it is our responsibility for exploring our own systemic connections, the roles that stress and anxiety play in our lives, our diets, our sleep patterns, and even how we think, feel, and react.

Our mind, body, and spirit depend upon one another. Maintaining that delicate balance is the key to our health. Finding the missing pieces that might lead us to fulfill the balance may require exploration and investigation outside our comfort zone and even that of our complete understanding. What I thought originated in my shoulder was actually being manipulated by a sore spot in my upper arm, a spot about a half a foot away. Looking closely at ourselves, with a fresh lens can reveal a great deal.

Remembering 2016!

2017! The Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Community lost 2 of its best known iconic figures in 2016. The most recognizable figure on the planet, the boxing legend and humanitarian, Mohamed Ali and Janet Reno, the first  US female Attorney General. Thanks to both of them for their awareness and advocacy in spreading the word on PD and the importance of educating the public, our government, and the medical world. They were very public faces who helped to express the needs of this community.

This year I have been to far too many funerals of dear friends who have succumbed to the symptoms of PD. It is a tragic reality– one, that I dread sharing with you.

It is my hope for 2017, that we see more cooperation from all parties involved in drug manufacturing, drug regulation, and drug research to lead to some understanding of just how our brains work. Someone, somewhere, sometime in the not so distant future is going to recognize a common element or link that may very well break open the mystery of Parkinson’s disease. Until that very special day, when the brain reveals itself, it is our duty to ourselves and our loved ones, to do all that we can for ourselves and our conditions.

I wish all of you, my friends and readers, a very healthy and happy New Year!

Happy Holidaze!

 This time of year it’s hard to be right, some sing carols or Silent Night.

There is but one phrase to cover your back, whether you’re Jewish or Christian, it’ll cover the slack.

Politically safe and correct is this phrase, wishing you well by saying Happy Holidays!

Thanks to all of you for reading my writing. I’d love to hear from you, if you have comments or suggestions for future posts.

Back soon,

                                            Karl

Motivation

What gets you out of bed every day?
What makes you happy?
What inspires you?

Every day may be about small victories.

They count.

Be proud of your achievements.

Don’t discount yourself or what you accomplish.

Winter Can Be Cruel

Cold WinterAs a child, I used to love winter. I would sled and ski and didn’t give the bitter cold a second thought. Now, I am less oblivious and less tolerant of the cold. My body functions and just moves more freely in warmer climates. Cold seems to cause greater constriction of the joints and even the muscles.

Winter doesn’t just bring on change of the physical body but with light changes and shorter days, the changes may impact your mood. Keep a close eye on your daily attitude and if you experience thoughts or feelings that you need to express (sadness, possible depression, or anger) consider getting help and stay on top of it, before it manifests into something you can’t control.

11 Wishes for Doctors’ Offices!

Dream

Welcome to my wishlist of what could be, in a future world. Come dream with me:

11. I wish doctors had the same epiphany as Jerry Maguire: Fewer clients/patients and more personalized care.

10. I wish that every doctor in the practice sat in the lobby for a minimum of 2 hours to experience the uncomfortable furniture, the noise of the waiting room, and the need for a more soothing environment.

9. I wish that doctors would call their own switchboards to hear how difficult it is to try and navigate the bevy of options to choose from, wait in the cue for 25 minutes, and then get dropped, forcing you to either give up or start all over again.

8. I wish doctors evaluated the whole experience from phone call to waiting room to appointment from the patients’ viewpoint and took that into consideration.

7. I wish it weren’t so impossible to reach a doctor, when needed.

6. I wish doctors and staff listened better than they do.

5. I wish doctors’’ offices were more warm, inviting, bright, and welcoming.

4. I wish there were a separate waiting room for anyone with a contagion.

3. I wish doctors at least provided coffee or water to patients.

2. I wish doctors actually called their patients to check on them.

1. I wish telemedicine becomes an option for everyone, so that we can save time, money, stress, gas, gridlock, and frustration!

Making A History

The Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial 

I believe that our history is but a stepping stone. It is what we do with it that propels us forward.

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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