Fighting Parkinson’s, and seeing quantifiable results

In the past, I have commented that whether good or bad changes take place in my Parkinson’s fight, nothing lasts more than a day or two. As a result of that, I decided to wait a week to tell you the results I am experiencing from my recovery program. My recovery program results have been getting better every day, so I am ready to talk about my results.

Here are the most notable results: My balance is very good. For the first time in nine months, I can walk up and down my stairs without holding on. I can get out of a chair without using my arms. I can bring my utensil to my mouth without the cogwheel effect. I can stand up pretty straight and take a stride that I would estimate to be 60-70% of a “normal” stride, and my arms swing naturally. I am eating three meals per day instead of five, and I stopped taking Fiber One cereal four days ago as my constipation problem has gone away. I am typing accurately with both hands again, which is a skill I lost in November of 2009. Much of my rigidity pain has subsided (I mostly feel the rigidity in my upper back, particularly when I focus on standing straight; the pain is probably about 50% of what it was). I still have tremors all the time. However, the tremors are only about 50% of the intensity I used to experience.

Recently, I have been reading some books on Zen Buddhism written by Shunryu Suzuki, and they have given me a very good perspective on viewing these results. Here is my interpretation. Parkinson’s cannot exist without there being “not-Parkinson’s.” Essentially, everything needs a reference point. If you never had a sore throat, is it possible to conceive of, or experience, a throat that is not sore? Having had a sore throat, not only does it create a reference point for a “not-sore throat,” but it creates a much greater appreciation as well.

I am not out of the woods with fighting Parkinson’s. It will be a life-long battle, but I am making progress. On a sliding scale, I am on the plus side, beyond the 50% mark, between Parkinson’s and not-Parkinson’s. I thank all of you for your well-wishes and prayers as I firmly believe they help. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me feel to be able to report some good news for a change. I will keep updating as usual.

All my best,

Howard

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