Fighting Parkinson’s, and neurologist confirms “symptom free”

On August 5, 2010, one year ago today, I went for my follow up visit with my Parkinson’s specialist. At the time, I was about 8 weeks with no symptoms. My neurologist put me through all of his tests, which were the same tests that had resulted in my diagnosis of Parkinson’s nearly a year prior to this visit. After successfully passing all of the tests, I asked him if it was okay to put on my blog that he agreed I was symptom free; he said I should let all of you know that my neurologist gave me the Parkinson’s tests, and much to his surprise, he was unable to detect a single Parkinson’s symptom.

So, here we are, one year later, and I am still symptom free. I learn more each day from many of you and for that I am grateful. One of the things that I acquired during my recovery that has been abundantly useful in living my life post-recovery is the concept of doing. I feel that when we think too much, it leads to not doing anything, and when we are actually doing something we are actually living.

Here’s how I see it. Most of us are adrenaline-driven perfectionists. We are thinkers, or should I say “over-thinkers!” I feel this is one of the behaviors that assisted Parkinson’s in living in our bodies and ultimately breaking through to the surface. We want to recover, but we are stuck in the “let-me-keep-researching-and-researching-and-researching-because-I-know-I-will-find-the-magic-formula-that-will-get-me-better” mode.

So we think about what to do, and we think some more, and we think even more, and when we run out of things to think about, we go do more research to gather even more data, so we can think about what to do, and think some more. and think even more.

And, why do we do this? Because of fear! We are afraid to make a mistake. We are afraid to stop thinking and just “do!” Fear of making a mistake, of going down the incorrect path, of Parkinson’s getting worse…fear, fear, fear, fear, fear!!! Fear leads to paralysis — literally and figuratively — we are so afraid, we do nothing, and if we sit around with Parkinson’s long enough while doing nothing, we will achieve our greatest fear…paralysis.

How do we defeat this fear? Doing! Doing is living in the moment. Doing requires trust and faith and confidence in yourself. Over-thinking and over-analyzing, and ultimately getting what I have heard termed “paralysis by analysis,” reflects lack of trust and lack of faith and lack of confidence in ourselves. And what you fear is what you get. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

To assist you in building your trust and faith and confidence in yourself, I am re-posting here one of the most inspirational videos I have seen. I recommend watching it when you can have 9 and 1/2 minutes of uninterrupted time:

I am looking forward to the next person who can tell us all they went for their follow up visit and their neurologist confirmed they were symptom free. You don’t get there by thinking. You get there by doing! Aren’t you worth it?

All my best,



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2 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and neurologist confirms “symptom free”

  1. john says:

    When I do the qigong exercises it does “feel like hell” when my tremors want me to stop the ‘doing’ of the qigong. I remember 30 yrs ago in a kung fu class being told to hold the horse stance letting the vibrations release as heat– freeing held tensions. I have the belief that because the tremor is different, a lack of dopamine, that the two situations can’t be compared. From your awareness is there a similar situation in healing by staying through the extreme and painful flapping/tremoring that occurs for me during qigong? In other words, “no pain, no gain”? Or am I tring to squeeze blood out of a turnip? I have tried avoiding pain in my life, and maybe this is a call to reach deeper and as the army slogan goes, ‘to be all that one can be ‘by pushing beyond the held limits. Thank you.

  2. Howard says:

    Hi John,

    Thank you for your thoughtful analysis and question. Here is how I see it: I feel that the dopamine faucet is mostly closed so we do not receive the dopamine we should. When we do the Qigong exercises, we are healing our organs and we are getting our brain to send electricity throughout our bodies. The problem that occurs is that with limited dopamine flowing and other energy blockages, the electricity hits the blockages repeatedly causing the tremors to shake more and causing pain. My feeling was to persevere and press forward. Mostly we run from pain, and running from this kind of pain means Parkinson’s wins the battle, and ultimately the war.

    I felt that by pressing through the pain, either it would get so unbearable I would pass out, or, I would press all the way through it and achieve “no pain.” It takes great faith in yourself and your connection to your Higher Power to press through this type of pain, but it is well worth the fight. By the way, I never passed out…I got to the other side of pain, and ultimately, I won the war.

    Thank you for your strength and spirit as you press forward.

    Warm regards,


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