I have just returned from a working vacation in the mountains of North Carolina. The experience proved to be nothing short of amazing, as I saw an improvement in almost all my symptoms! Strength, stamina, balance, gait, sleep, cognition, and productivity were all improved and recognizably noticeable.
Nature has a healing property. Just to be surrounded by the abundance of flowering, fluttering, and stirring plants and creatures can reunite you with your connection with the planet. In this modern world, we begin to lose that connection with earth and sky, only to focus on flat screens, texts, and our on-screen accounts.
Once leaving the bucolic beauty of the lush green forest and coming back to city life, I find myself wondering if this is my healthiest decision. Returning to the sights and sounds of nature re-invigorated me–I found it to be a struggle to return to civilization, albeit, at this time, a necessity. Don’t forget to garden it, walk in it, swim in it, or just be in it–don’t lose your connection to Nature.
What keeps you motivated?
What gets you out of bed every day?
What makes you happy?
What inspires you?
Every day may be about small victories.
Be proud of your achievements.
Don’t discount yourself or what you accomplish.
Eat your veggies!
Now is the time to eat all the healthy greens and fresh produce that you can. Canned and frozen vegetables may be okay when fresh isn’t available but, fresh peas, squash, corn, and beans are simply the best! Support your local farmer’s markets, local growers, and co-ops. Encourage organic and no-pesticide growers! Fresh is best!
Be aware of the sun’s intensity and extreme heat!
Protect everything! If you are taking Sinemet, exposure to the sun may cause you to burn more easily! Wear a hat and sunscreen everything that you don’t want to burn.
Stay hydrated! Staying hydrated is not just good for the body, but your pills may function better as well.
Hot or cold Many PD patients, me included, can easily overheat on very hot days. For some reason, we don’t always self regulate our body temperature at peak performance. Pay close attention to your sweating and thirst.
Watch your salt–Too little salt may cause orthostatic hypotension (dizziness when getting up or lying down) and too much can cause high blood pressure, find a balance and ask your doctor.
Most of us are low on vitamin D! Have your vitamin D level checked. Sun helps with D, but sun ages and burns. Dairy has D but be careful with protein and your meds.
Moderation and body awareness will help keep you sun safe. Be sun smart and careful out there! Talk to your doctor about these issues. I am not a doctor and these are suggestions, not medical advice. Be well!
A comfortable routine is not always a bad habit.
Cats love it! The only real problem with routines is when you sacrifice an opportunity to maintain the routine. If the cycle that you are in is working for you, then by all means keep it, and don’t let go, but if the routine has gone stale or you see a need for correction, it might be time for a new tack.
I am so honored, humbled, and proud to announce that for the 3rd year in a row, Healthline has recognized my blog, http://www.Asoftvoice.com, as one of the best Parkinson’s disease blogs! I enjoy blogging and sharing my experiences and thoughts with my readers. It means a great deal to me to know that my site may help in some small way! Thank you for reading my posts and coming to my site! I hope that I can continue to offer the content that you enjoy and find to be of assistance.
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to a wonderful audience with Parkinson’s and their care partners, in eastern Virginia. It was a marvelous exchange of information and emotions. Parkinson’s disease comes with so many unwritten rules. Trying to find all that you need to know about this illness, all in one place, may be frustrating to collect. There is so much to remember and so much that you might forget. Staying on top of Parkinson’s disease, symptoms, medications, and health maintenance, is a full-time job!
The following are 5 pieces of knowledge that you will want to remember:
Is your neurologist a movement disorder specialist? If you have Parkinson’s disease and your neurologist isn’t a movement disorder specialist, you may want to see if there is one in your area. Movement Disorder Specialists complete extended training to focus on neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
If you are taking antibiotics, your medication’s effectiveness may be hindered dramatically. I can speak from experience that after taking antibiotics for my tooth infection, I saw a huge decline in the efficacy of my daily regimen of Parkinson’s medications.
Don’t forget that if you are on Sinemet and you are protein-sensitive (protein in your diet may interact with your Levodopa), protein may decrease the full benefit of your dose. You may want try taking your protein later in the day or evening. Timing your medications for optimal benefit is part science, part art, and part luck.
When I am able to lower my stress level, I have found that medications work better, I feel calmer and more peaceful, and see less of my symptoms.
Eat smart and healthy! Talk to your doctor about how to improve your gut health.
Hyperbole on television, the evening news, politics, the Internet, and especially late night shows, is more common than ever. Our exposure to the dramatic and the end all be all is becoming a standard occurrence. Every day we wake to a new dilemma that involves “the greatest”. “the best”, “the most tremendous”. It is a contagion that gets ratings, sells newspapers, and is the marketer’s tool of choice. Watch any infomercial pitch and you are sure to hear hyperbole.
Hyperbole is ingrained in today’s messages. Usually, the message is louder and more shocking. Drama ensues.
A few years ago, I tried an experiment to catalog the many messages that I received from viewing 2 hours of one of the cable news channels. What follows are most of the crises discussed by the news team. I’m sure that I must have missed a couple. You’ll notice that most of these topics are not of the positive nature. I think that this proves that the daily messages that we are exposed to may very well have a direct connection to our thoughts and our feelings.
Here they are:
Train bombing, Missing Dolphins that were raised in captivity, Heavy rain, City Workers Steal Donated Items for Hurricane victims, Earthquakes, Sexual Abuse of a sports star, NASCAR Fight, New Orleans Health Care Crisis, Rising Oil Prices, Missing college student, Metro fire, Hurricane evacuation, Drought, Murder, Kidnapping, Corruption in government, Sex offenders, Train derailment, oil prices, poverty, inflation, drowning, mold and spore death, robbery, plane crash, home destroyed, stock loss, computer hacking, balcony collapse, contaminated water, abandoned animals, Cancer, lack of potable water, terrorism, taxes, forest fire, thunderstorms, Space shuttle disaster, and nuclear weapons.
If this is what you hear and see in 2 hours of reporting, imagine all the exposure your brain and entire emotional system are forced to process. If your system is compromised the negativity of these stories could have even more impact.
It might be an experiment worth attempting. Try shielding yourself from the barrage of news that is unavoidable and mostly unchangeable, to see if all aspects of your illness shows improvement. Consider a respite of time for yourself and those close to you. Maybe by doing something to counteract just one of these issues, a positive change might come.
Nothing is better than hyperbole-bad joke alert.
As Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month comes to a close, as one well too familiar with this illness, I am compelled to bring awareness to those who have left us in the struggle. I am so very grateful to have known them and to have shared their stories and their lives. Losing friends, whether it is from PD or not, is a pain that I dread. Yet, death is a fact of life that none of us likes to talk about or truly accept. I am so grateful for the friendship and acceptance that our PD community continues to share. I truly hope that all 12 months become months of Parkinson’s Disease Awareness–not just one!
Never lose the curiosity and desire to learn more about everything! Science, art, music, history, and the world around us can feed our quest for knowledge and understanding as we continue to learn.
Try picking up a new talent or improving upon an old one. If you enjoyed playing an instrument, performing magic, shuffling and dealing cards, juggling, whistling, telling a joke, then think hard on what would bring you the greatest joy to add to your abilities, and explore it.
As we age, keeping focus becomes more of a challenge. Work on maintaining focus with brain games, puzzles, reading, and even video games.
Singing and keeping conversation are good for voice and concentration.
Challenging yourself and enjoying yourself at the same time, is very satisfying.
Music keeps me inspired, active, and makes my day so much more enjoyable.
I love to-do lists and marking off my completions–it just feels good!
Fear happens to all of us–when we can reduce our fear and anxiety, everything seems to get better.
Giving back and focusing less on ourselves can result in helping everyone involved.
Being bad can be fun–sometimes eating something that makes you smile, turning off the phone for a few hours, or having a late-night ice cream party can reignite the kid in us that we forget sometimes.