Fighting Parkinson’s, and continuing to cultivate our gardens

Today is December 1, 2011, and my 30-day November to Remember, No Excuses November challenge has ended. What do we do now?

Continue to cultivate our gardens. In October, I wrote about cultivating our gardens and needing to have faith that what was going on under the soil was progress even though we could not see it. On October 16, 2011, Sally and I worked on getting our Fall vegetable garden started (this year, tomatoes only). I just went outside and took this picture:

As you can see, whatever we had faith was working under the soil must have been working because we have 5 plants of different tomatoes growing. They currently range in height from 15 inches to 36 inches, and there are a few flowers and a couple of tomatoes growing, which are impossible to see in the picture because they are so small.

So, now that my 30-day challenge is over, what do we do now? Do we say, “Oh, well, there are no tomatoes we can eat on those plants…what a waste of time.” Do we say, “Oh, well, there are no tomatoes we can eat on those plants…no point in continuing to water them.” Do we say, “Oh, well, there are no tomatoes we can eat on those plants…might as well pull them up and plant something else.” Do we say, “Oh, well, there are no tomatoes we can eat on those plants…there has been such little progress, there is no way this ever will lead to tomatoes we can eat.”

Sally and I are rejecting all of these thoughts, and we are continuing to cultivate our garden. How about you?

You have spent the last 30 days with my challenge and done the modified version of the Recipe for Recovery. Good for you! And, you did not achieve full symptom-free recovery in those 30 days…nobody expected you to. However, you made progress toward recovery.

Those of you who just started the Recipe in November have to look a little harder to find your progress than those who already had started prior to November, but it is progress nonetheless.

So, here we are in December, and I am asking you to continue cultivating your garden. Now that you have started the modified Recipe for Recovery, expand your recovery and embrace the entire Recipe for Recovery. It brought me to full recovery. It brought Marie to full recovery. People have been posting comments of how it is moving them forward toward recovery. It just takes time and the will to want to recover…oh yes, and faith and action to see it through to full recovery.

If you are thinking about stopping, I have one more thing to share with you. Years ago we planted a small ruby red grapefruit tree. We cared for it, nurtured it, cultivated it, but, seemingly, to no avail. After 4 years it had grown to a medium-sized tree, but we never saw the first grapefruit blossom. Prior to pulling the tree out of the ground, we did a little research and learned that this type of tree in our climate could take 5 or 6 years to produce blossoms, and then another 1 or 2 years to produce fruit.

So we continued cultivating our tree. This year as we are enjoying our 4th or 5th year of magnificent, abundant grapefruit from our tree, we are so happy that we did not give up or change course or yank out the tree, but instead, we stayed on the path toward grapefruit and we did not get off until we achieved grapefruit.

So as you are cultivating your garden (your Parkinson’s recovery), please do not give up or change course. Instead, how about continuing to cultivate your garden by staying on your path toward recovery and not getting off until you recover. Aren’t you worth it?

All my best,



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9 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and continuing to cultivate our gardens

  1. Teri Rye says:

    Excellent analogy, Howard! I’m definitely not ready to pull out the plants in my garden! It doesn’t look too pretty right now, but I will continue to cultivate until my garden bears beautiful fruit! Thank you, as always, for your encouragement!


    • Howard says:

      You are welcome, Teri. I am happy to see you are pushing forward and continuing to cultivate your garden until it bears beautiful fruit!

  2. Leontina says:

    Teri draga spune=mi te rog tu in ce an ai fost diagnosticata si cate pastile ai luat.Eu in 2000 si am luat cam 2 pastile pe zi cu levodopa si 1 mirapexin si o data pe luna [cam 3 zile] nu luam nimic.Tu esti o femeie puternica .eu fac blocaje tot mai des ,nu ma mai descurc fara pastile.acum plangsi nu mai vad sa scriu.te sarut leo

    Leo’s translation:
    My dear, Teri. Please let me know in what year were you diagnosed and how many pills did you take. I was diagnosed in 2000 and took about 2 pills per day with levodopa and a Mirapexin and once a month [about 3 days] do not take anything. You’re a strong woman. I create blockages more often; I do not handle it well without pills. I am crying now and no longer can see to write. Kisses to you, Leo

    • Teri Rye says:

      Dear, dear Leo! I could never be mad at you! I’m sorry that I didn’t respond sooner! I was diagnosed in 2009 and took Azilect and Mirapex 1.5 mg per day. My neurologist wanted me to take Levodopa, but I refused. Then I found Howard’s blog. I began getting off the drugs in July 2011 and became drug free October 18. I do not have tremors, only slowness and rigidity. So you are much stronger than me to go without pills and tolerate tremors. You inspire me to stick with the recipe even when the pain seems intolerable and I see very little positive results. We must keep trying! Sending love and smiles your way!


  3. kumar says:

    This is what happened to me day before yesterday. I became so sensitive to the symptoms of Parkinson’s, I had to take the medicines just after 3 hrs instead of the customary 4 hrs after doing the qigong for liver, chanting the Chinese mantra for 10 min., wind cleaning for 5-10 min. and juxta positioning of the fingers. This needs an explanation. However, the things have returned to normalcy again after 24hrs.

    • Howard says:

      Hi Kumar,

      This is an excellent question. Here is what occurred. You did such an excellent job at the Qigong, chanting and Jin Shin Jyutsu that you stirred up so many toxins that it made you feel like your symptoms were more pronounced, but actually, this was a misunderstanding. I have written many times that, unfortunately, we have to break the toxins loose and have them enter our bodies before we can flush them out. That is what you did, and this was progress.

      However, your misunderstanding caused you to become fearful and you took your medications earlier than normal in response. As you saw 24 hours later (after your body flushed the additional toxins from your system), you went back to normal. This is a difficult situation because many people who do the Recipe have a similar experience as you did, and it causes them to want to stop because they think the Recipe has made their symptoms worse. As we have discussed, and what occurred with you, is that when you continue doing the Recipe, it helps your body flush out the toxins, and a day later you were back to your normal schedule. And, as your body flushes more toxins each day, the reoccurrence of these situations disappears.

      Ultimately, what we are talking about here is a misunderstanding of what has occurred, and then the fear that sets in from the misunderstanding. I am hopeful that now that you and everybody reading this has a better understanding of what is occurring, that in the future, all of you will see that what has occurred is progress, and if you can hold out until the normal time for taking your next medication, you will be assisting your body flush toxins, your mind fight fear and your spirit gain in its faith that what you are doing is the correct thing and it is leading toward recovery.

      Thank you for sharing your situation as it provided a learning opportunity for everybody. Also, re-reading may assist as well.

      With gratitude and blessings,


  4. Leontina says:

    Buna Howard,buna Kumar,multumesc mult pentru explicatii,acum sunt bine si continui cu reteta si o pastila pe zi .Mare adevar este cu toxinele la mine se manifesta prin sete excesiva ,beau multa apa de cand fac exercitiile,Kumar noi cred ca trebuie sa predam egoul cel vechi inca suntem ancorati in trecut si frica de viitor si sa nu cedam ,pana la urma vom reduce tot mai mult medicatia si vom reveni la viata normala. Scuze Teri pentru intrebare poate e prea personala ,nu te supara pe mine.Inbratisari LEO

    Leo’s Translation:

    Hi Howard, Good Kumar, thanks for explanation. I am now well and continue with recipe and one pill per day. Great indeed are the toxins in me and they are manifested by excessive thirst, so I drink plenty of water when I exercise. Kumar I believe surrendered to the old ego still anchored in the past and fear of the future, but we must try to not give in. After we reduce more and more medication, we will return to normal life. Teri, sorry for too personal a question, do not get mad at me. Hugs, LEO

  5. Lindsey Pullan says:

    Hi Howard, I have been reading everyones comments with great interest. I have been religiously doing my qigong and seem to feel worse every day at the moment – let’s hope it’s my toxins leaving my body. I am fortunate that I do get relief from symptoms when I meditate and when I “get into” my qigong. I have quite an issue when starting my qigong as I shake furiously and it makes standing still extremely hard. I cry too Leo – sometimes it’s good to cry.

    • Howard says:

      Hi Lindsey,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. In my earlier blog posts, I explained feeling exactly how you are feeling. In fact, less than 2 months after I started my personal Parkinson’s Daily Journal, I had to stop because my hand became too cramped to write and I couldn’t read my writing anymore. Yes, symptoms do relax a bit when meditating and “getting into” Qigong — our mind is more at ease and it is not sending as many neural impulses, so the blockages in our system that bring out our symptoms, particularly tremors, are a bit more relaxed. It is the same reason why our symptoms are eased or seemingly disappear when we are sleeping — our mind and body simultaneously are relaxed. The body is not asking the mind to do anything; when we are sleeping, we are not trying to move, so there is no “push back” from our Parkinson’s symptoms. When you start the Qigong, you shake furiously because you are sending large amounts of energy to blocked areas and the shaking is caused by the body trying to open these blockages…it is proof that you are making progress, even though it may not seem like it at the time. Regarding crying, I cried too, sometimes from the pain, and sometimes from my heart opening and feeling joy. And, sometimes I cry when I read all of your struggles because it brings back memories and I know how hard this struggle is. Keep up the good work, Lindsey.

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