Fighting Parkinson’s, and 21 months symptom free

Yes, it feels good to say, “I am 21 months symptom free from Parkinson’s.” And it feels good to be 21 months symptom free from Parkinson’s. I am grateful!

I am grateful to my Higher Power that I wake up in the morning with my soul in a human body.
I am grateful for the Parkinson’s I had because I was given the opportunity to heal my soul, mind and body and receive the blessing of no longer having Parkinson’s.
I am grateful to have three wonderful children who are nice people.
I am grateful for all of you for believing in yourselves and the Recipe for Recovery as you navigate your path toward recovery.
I am grateful for the two doctors who believe in us enough to support our efforts in having the Recipe for Recovery studied in a clinical trial.
I am grateful for the people who do not believe in what we are doing. They provide me an opportunity to practice patience and tolerance instead of anger and frustration. And, they help keep my already-firm resolve securely intact.

As you can see, this is starting to become a long list. What I would like to share with you is that this list started well before my Parkinson’s recovery and this list is one of the things that helped me recover.

Ultimately, I learned to look beyond my Parkinson’s and realize how absolutely grateful I was to be alive. That realization brought me to a greater realization: “What is the point of being alive if I am not living?” And that brought me to an even greater realization:

“I accept that I will have to live with Parkinson’s until it goes away, but I am not going to stop living. I am not Parkinson’s Disease. I am Howard Shifke, and I am alive! Parkinson’s Disease is just a reminder I have some things in life that need fixing, and unless I stop living my Parkinson’s and start living my life, I will not solve the things and I will not solve the disease.”

And life went on. However, by not obsessing over Parkinson’s, I was able to heal my soul, mind and body, and I was not fearful about how my symptoms changed day by day. In fact, I learned to view it like this: “I am doing the Recipe every day. That means I am doing Qigong, chanting, eating better, meditating, being grateful, and praying every day. I am living and I am healing my life, and I have the unwavering faith that as I heal my life, my Parkinson’s will be healed as well.” With that realization, it really did not matter to me what my Parkinson’s symptoms were doing at any given moment. It was more important to be living.

So here I am, 21 months symptom free from Parkinson’s. So here you are, fighting this fight every day. You are so much more than Parkinson’s symptoms. You are alive, so be grateful for the fact that you are alive, and live your life, not your Parkinson’s!

Aren’t you worth it?

One more thing before I go today. When I began living my life instead of living my Parkinson’s, it was initially difficult. I was confused because I had lost who I was along the way and I was not very fond of my Parkinson’s self. Sally helped save me. She loved me enough for both of us until I was ready to love myself again. There was no quit in Sally. Even on the toughest days, she refused to allow me to give up on myself. And, over time, I learned from her love that I was worthy and deserving of this Parkinson’s recovery, and that it was okay to love myself again and be healed. Being grateful for Sally does not come close to covering my feelings.

All my best,



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10 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and 21 months symptom free

  1. leontina says:

    buna Howard,buna dragi colegi de recuperare.Vreau sa va spun ca ma lupt din greu cu renuntarea la pastille Cei ce ma vad cum arat atunci cand iau pastile[ parca as fi sanatoasa] ma implora sa nu renunt la ele,,sa nu=mi mai chinui corpul,dar ei nu stiu ce minte in ceata am si ce dureri la terminarea efectului.Fara pastile am mintea clara,simt viata in corpul meu [chiar daca tremura si este rigid ] acum iau o jumatate de pastila la 3 zile .Sufletul meu este vindecat,multumesc Howard si voua celor ce aveti curajul sa va deschideti ca o carte frumoasa viata voastra pentru a invata cei ce au nevoie,cu dragoste Leo

    Good Howard, good recovery. Dear colleagues. I want to say I struggle with giving up pills Those who see me as I look when I take pills [like I’m healthy] begged me not to give up, say they do not bother my body, but they have no idea in their mind of the pain as the end effect. Without pills I have a clear mind, my body feels life [even if trembles and is rigid]. Now take half a pill every 3 days. My soul is healed, thanks to Howard and those who have the courage to open your life like a beautiful book for those who need to learn. Love, Leo

  2. Marie says:

    Oh, Leo,
    It is wonderful to hear this news from you. Though you struggle with giving up themmedication, It sounds like you are winning. It is inspiring to read your words that your soul is healed and without the pills your mind is clear. Your friends cannot see the changes happening inside you, but you know how important they are. Feeling life in your body….that is something to celebrate!
    Soul, mind, body….you are healing on every level.
    Thank you for letting us all know how you are doing.
    My love and best wishes to you, Leo, as you continue healing.


  3. Jayne R says:

    This blog has given me some hope. Like you, I know that I have early onset Parkinson’s, even though I haven’t yet started the process of being diagnosed. I have lots of symptoms, and I know what they mean as my mother has the disease and so did my grandma, for a few years before she died.

    I am trying not to get too worried about it as I know that will make it all worse for my body. And as I have had some of the symptoms for many many years, (without realising why), I feel that it’s not a sudden thing, even though it will seem that way for some of my family; it’s kind of been part of me for a long time, so no big change.

    After seeing what all the tablets do to my mum I have decided to try not to get on the whole tablet bandwagon. So far I have found that spraying trans-dermal magnesium on my skin makes nearly all of the symptoms go away temporarily, and actually makes me feel better than I have done for many years! (As well as helping the tremors and rigidity, it’s like I come alive again, and can feel things more, and express my feelings and think straight. It’s hard to explain properly). So this tells me that there has been a magnesium shortage in my body that I need to redress. What else am I missing I wonder..,

    And after starting to read your blog, I realise there are other things that I can do. I certainly don’t get enough sleep, through stress and bad habit. And I also don’t eat so well. I used to do tai chi and chi qong, but stopped a while ago, so that’s something I can start again.

    I will continue to read your blog with interest. Thank you for sharing all of this, it’s difficult to find this kind of information on the web, most sites about Parkinson’s just talk about drugs, like that’s the only alternative. Blessings.

    • Howard says:

      Hi Jayne,

      Welcome to the blog, and thank you for sharing. I am happy that this information has given you some hope.

      Please spend some time looking at the Recipe for Recovery, There are quite a few things in the Recipe that you may find useful, such as when you get back to doing Qigong, the Qigong in the Recipe was selected specifically to help with Parkinson’s.

      Also, please know that sometimes the things people do to help them feel better or temporarily relieve their symptoms are merely masking the symptoms and the disease gets worse even though they may feel better temporarily.

      Finally, please know you are not alone on this journey. Others are going down this path with you and having good results,

      Wishing you well in your fight against Parkinson’s.


  4. Congratulations, Howard…. wow almost 2 years without symptoms…certainly worth celebrating!!!….And, Leo, congratulations, too, for persisting to rid your body of drugs and to celebrate that your mind and soul are now clear – how wonderful! And welcome, Jayne…. I hope the recipe to recovery supports your choice to remain drug free…. that was my choice too – I remain drug free even though my diagnosis goes back 6 or 7 years (the symptoms first appearing in 2000). Howard’s recipe has been a godsend…. I’ve been following it daily for 7 months…. energy much improved and with it my optimism…Marie has already recovered and that’s exciting for me to contemplate too. I’m so very grateful for our all who make up our vibrant PD recovery community… I think we’re great support for each other. Howard’s coaching has been my rudder…. steering this seasoned boat into ever calmer waters. I especially liked your previous blog post, Howard…. about healing our adrenaline driven minds…. very apt reminder, in my case.

    With gratitude and tenderness,

    • Howard says:

      Hi Penny,

      Thank you for your kind words and your willingness to share your experiences with the rest of us. Your perseverance is inspiring, and your insight is invaluable. We are grateful to learn from you.

      With gratitude and blessings,


  5. nancy thomas says:

    Leo, glad to hear from you I’d wondered how you were. I know this phase of withdrawal is hard. I remember crying at that point when I had to take Rx.
    The people around you are responding through their fears, not knowing yet it is just FEAR. Just think of them with tenderness, and then ignore them. You know your right path, they will have to seek their own alsoy

    • Howard says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you for your passionate encouragement for Leo (and others who are reducing medications). I did not take medications, so it is with much gratitude that I thank you for sharing your experience because only someone who has gone down that part of the path can truly express to others what occurred…and you prevailed in your drug free quest and are continuing further along on your path toward recovery. You are an inspiration.

      Blessings to you, Nancy,


  6. leontina says:

    Buna Nancy,va multumesc la toti ca ma incurajati in lupta grea cu pastilele.Eu nu am luat niciodata zi de zi pastile ci numai atunci cand nu mai puteam sta in picioare.In medie am luat cam trei pastile pe saptamana,dar totusi am dependenta fiindca a treia zi mi se blocheaza muschii si nu ma mai pot misca.Problema e ca fac greu si exercitiile din cauza ca sunt rigida.In zilele fara pastile am mintea clara .imi simt corpul cu viata si am momente cand nu mai am simptome,cateva minute,cum a spus Maria de cele 15 secunde care sunt foarte pretioase pentru mine.Sa va mai spun ceva ,cand ma pun in pat si simt ca incep sa tremur sau imi vin ganduri negre incep sa numar si uneori chiar pana la 100 sau mai mult si fara sa=mi dau seama dispar si gandurile rele si tremorul.Cred ca zambiti la faza imbratisez Leo


    Hi Nancy, thank you to everyone that encouraged me to fight hard against the pills. I have never taken pills every day but only when I could not stand it. On average I have been taking about three pills per week, but still have dependence on the third day because my muscles are blocked and I cannot move. The problem is that the exercises are difficult and because they are rigid. But my mind is clear on the days without pills. I feel my body with life and I have moments when I do not have symptoms, a few minutes, as Marie said, the 15 seconds are very precious to me. Let me say something, when I get in bed and feel like I start to shiver or black thoughts come, sometimes I even begin to count to 100 or more and I know that the bad thoughts will disappear as well as the tremor. I think at this stage I smile. Hugs, Leo

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