As you know, I presented my workshop, “I Recovered From Parkinson’s and You Can Too!” at the Parkinson’s Recovery Summit in Cincinnati this past Saturday. It is a bit difficult to put into words what it was like being at the Summit. When everybody has Parkinson’s, or is a spouse or significant other or son or daughter or parent of somebody who has Parkinson’s, there is a feeling of comradery I never have seen before with a group of people with Parkinson’s. I had hoped to inspire others with my story; they inspired me with their stories.
One of the things I realized prior to leaving for Cincinnati was that I was going to have 90 minutes to talk to this group and show them the Recipe for Recovery. That is not enough time to discuss everything, or even to do the entire Recipe with explanations along the way. Plus, I realized that no matter what occurred at the workshop, mostly everybody there was going to return home excited about the possibilities of recovery only to have their hopes dashed by somebody, or many people, who simply do not believe this is possible.
So, I brought my medical records. As we were gathering medical records to support our application for a clinical study of the Recipe for Recovery, I had to order mine as well; I saw them for the first time a couple of months ago. I began my workshop doing something I never have felt the need to do before: proving my diagnosis and proving my full recovery. However, I wanted to arm the people who were there with the strongest amount of information they could have to defeat the naysayers at home.
Since I did it for the people at the Summit, for those of you who need a little extra boost of faith, here is a synopsis from my medical records:
November 5, 2009 — diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The patient has the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s.
February 4, 2010 — diagnosis confirmed. The patient has at least stage I Parkinson’s disease.
August 5, 2010 — symptom free, but diagnosis confirmed again. My assessment was that his symptoms have resolved. I suspect that his clinical features fluctuate and when he is in a good state of mind he has no symptoms, as in today I could detect no signs or symptoms.
December 22, 2011 — full recovery, no more Parkinson’s Disease. Here is what my exam results were prior to my neurologist determining I did not have Parkinson’s Disease anymore: On his exam today he is completely normal. Cranial nerves II through XII are normal. He has excellent facial expression. Normal voice volume. Face is symmetrical. Motor exam reveals supple tone throughout, even with reinforcement I can detect no rigidity. There is no rest tremor or postural tremor. Deep tendon reflexes are normal and symmetrical. Sensory exam is intact to all modalities. Gait and balance are normal. He walks with a normal stride and arm swing.
It is sad that we live in a world where people have to be negative about the positive things we are doing in our lives. For those of you experiencing this struggle as much as many people in Cincinnati expressed to me, I hope the sharing of my medical records will assist you in maintaining your resolve to recover. I learned a long time ago to stop trying to convince the non-believers, and instead to spend my efforts doing something positive for those who believe and those who want to believe but are struggling.
I would like to say thank to Robert Rodgers for inviting me to the Summit to provide a workshop. I learned so many things from so many people, at times it was overwhelming. For those of you feeling alone, I can attest to the fact that for at least one weekend in June of 2012 in Cincinnati a whole lot of people with Parkinson’s were holding their heads high and grabbing onto the 7 little words we so often use: “I have the power to heal myself.”
I am inspired. I hope you are, too!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,