On September 21, 2009, while sitting at my computer much like I am today, I noticed something that changed my life — tremors…internal tremors. I sat very still with my arms resting on the arms of the chair and stared at my arms. Nothing. No visible external tremors. However, inside, I was shaking. I popped open Google, did my “internal tremor” search, and everything said Parkinson’s Disease. Of course, knowing that was not my problem, I decided to wait until the following day to see if they would go away. Silly me.
The following day was worse, and after much research that day, denial was no longer an option. That night, I broke the news to Sally, and our journey to fight Parkinson’s without medications began. Six months later, I started this blog. Here is an excerpt of what was on my mind on March 25, 2010:
“I am doing my best to fight this drug free. Admittedly, my movements are slow, my balance is not good, I have regular nagging pain, and I tire much more easily than before. However, I have decided to listen to these messages my body is sending me and work toward a long-term solution from a holistic perspective. I am interested in sharing my experiences to help others and I am interested in hearing others’ experiences to help me and anybody else who reads this blog.”
So, here we are 18 months later, and my purpose has not changed: “I am interested in sharing my experiences to help others and I am interested in hearing others’ experiences to help me and anybody else who reads this blog.” I am 15 months symptom free, but every day I learn something new about Parkinson’s from your blog comments, emails, phone call, and Skype’s.
My healing journey began with faith in recovery and a simple, but powerful, phrase from Dr. Sha: “I have the power to heal myself.” What has kept me inspired is you, all of you, the true heroes in your own Parkinson’s journeys, the “you” in: “You have the power to heal yourself.” And, as more of you continue commenting on this blog with how you are doing on your recovery journey, all of us become the “we” in: “Together we have the power to heal the world.”
“I have the power to heal myself.” And I did. “You have the power to heal yourself.” And you are. “Together we have the power to heal the world.” This blog regularly is being read in 60 countries, so have no doubt that together we have the power to heal the world.
I am blessed to be walking the path with all of you.
All my best,
Gosh, Howard….I am so glad that you recognized that “spot of grace”, that clear inner knowing and faith in you that you trusted when you began your journey to recovery in 2009. That faith, that inner knowing, that “spot of grace” is now inspiring similar recognition in all of us…. the “I” becoming the “we”… the “we that has the power to heal the world”. I think this work, and the inner and collective trust that is involved, asks only that we be committed to the recovery program and be willing to be deeply authentic in our journey (own our fears – hand them off to a higher power, live life, allow ourselves to truly feel gratitude). It requires an odd kind of courage, I think. I am so very grateful for your leadership and your selflessness in this.
By the way, the words “spot of grace” come from the writings of one of my favorite writers, Mark Nepo – he is a poet and visionary extraordinaire I think. His book, “The Exquisite Risk – Daring to Live an Authentic Life” speaks to our journey.
Buna ,howard, Penny,Helen,Gino,Meredith,azi sunt suparata am fost la medicul meudupa reteta si mi=a spus ca de la Ministerul sanatatii a primit o adresa ca sa ma operez pe creier DBS,ca se face gratuit de o echipa de medici romani.Eu nu fac aceasta fiindca e o procedura criminala cu rezultat:medicii iau o gramada de bani de la asigurari iar pacientii se aleg cu doua gauri in cap cu un stimulator in creier cu fire sub pielesi un aparat pe abdomen pe care nu-l pot regla,cu un bine de 3 luni iar apoi reiau calvarul cu medicamente ,efecte secundare operatie si au ajuns in iad.Aceasta e opinia mea,Sunt suparata ca multi vor face operatia daca e gratuita,fara sa banuiasca efectele.Voi ce spuneti de DBS?Bine a zis Penny sa ne izolam de lucrurile rele si sa vedem cei frumos.Sa fie bine pentru toti. Leo
Here is Leo’s translation:
Hi, Howard, Penny, Helen, Gino, Meredith, I was upset today when my doctor filled my prescription and told me the Ministry of Health has received an approval that DBS brain surgery as a team is free for Romanian doctors. I do not do this because it is a criminal procedure with the result: doctors take a lot of money from insurance and patients are given two holes in the head with a brain stimulator with wires under the abdomen and a device that they cannot adjust, with a good 3 months and then repeat the ordeal with drugs, surgery and side effects have come to hell. This is my opinion, and I am upset that many will do the surgery if it is free, as they do not suspect bad effects. What do you say about the DBS? Well said, Penny, to isolate ourselves from bad things and see the beautiful. Be good for everyone. Leo
Hi Leo. I have no real knowledge of DBS, but when I had Parkinson’s and some people were suggesting it to me, I researched it and found this article from somebody who had the surgery performed, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.03/brainsurgery.html. I will not comment on the article as it speaks for itself, and because everybody is entitled to draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions about how to treat their own Parkinson’s. Be well. Howard