Fighting Parkinson’s, and heading toward recovery, part 2

When I posted my last post, I did not anticipate there being a part 2. However, based upon feedback I have received and the comments that were posted, I feel it necessary to write a little more on this point. When things are going well, it is easier for us to say, “I am recovering.” When things appear to not be going so well, it is more difficult to for us to say, “I am recovering.” Bottom line is this, if you are doing the Recipe for Recovery, you are recovering. I know it, but you need to know it.

Here are the two comments posted in response to Fighting Parkinson’s, and heading toward recovery:

“Christine says:
August 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm
Thank you. More than one monkey has been running my show for the last week as my tremor and gait have become worse. I am ignoring them and keeping on thanks to you!”

“Anne says:
August 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm
The Recipe is not an easy one, that’s for sure. Delayed gratification is never easy. But we who are recovering have the wonderful example of Howard and the others who have gone before us on the path. We know it works; we have them as proof! I am so amazed and awestruck that you stuck with it as long as you did, Howard…and so grateful.

When I am having a difficult day following the Recipe I think of my mom, who suffered with PD for 23 years. Her last years were extremely difficult; a day of doing the Recipe is like a walk in the park in comparison. The choice for me comes down to this: do I want to follow the Recipe (which is not always easy for me,) now and eventually be symptom-free, or not do the Recipe now and be completely debilitated later? How wonderful to even have this choice! My mom sure didn’t.

Thanks for the pep talk, Howard! You rock!”

Both of these people realize a very important thing, and it is why they are able to persevere in their recoveries even when things get a little difficult. This is what they know when doing the positive things in their lives with the Recipe for Recovery: If you can calm your mind and give up control of having to know the reason why you are having every symptom reaction you are having, then you can say “okay” and fully accept that whatever it is that you are experiencing, it is nothing more than something you will have to experience in your recovery. No more, no less. Nothing to worry about. Nothing in the future to fear. Just a non-emotional, dispassionate, “Okay, I accept that I will feel worse before I fully recover, but I know I am recovering, so I accept whatever I will face with no fear.”

One month prior to my full recovery, I was having a very rough month, and of course, there was no way I could have known I was going to be fully recovered one month later. Here is an excerpt from my May 10, 2010 post, which was written 8 months into doing the Recipe for Recovery:

“I have rigidity in my arms, legs, and upper back into my shoulders. Last week, a friend asked me to explain my rigidity so he could get a better sense of what I am experiencing.

1. My arms — the next time you sit down to eat, pick up some food with your utensil, and while holding your utensil just above the plate or bowl, flex and tighten every muscle in your arm from your shoulder to the grip on the utensil. While maintaining this, try to get the utensil with the food to your mouth. My arms are tight like this all the time.

2. My legs — stand as straight as you can and then put a little bend in your knees. Next, flex your calves and thighs. Now, try to walk. Or do this in front of the stairs and see if you can walk up the stairs without holding on. When you add the symptom of very poor balance to the formula, you can see why leaning forward when walking and holding on when going up the stairs are commonplace among those fighting Parkinson’s. My legs are tight like this all the time.

3. My upper back — it is tight and hurts all the time. I really do not have a good example for you to emulate.

Having a positive attitude is the key to everything. My mind and body have accepted the pain, so I am not consumed by it every waking moment. Deciding every day that Fighting Parkinson’s drug free is a fight worth fighting is what keeps me going. Quite frankly, getting to spend time with Sally and the children to celebrate Mother’s Day yesterday is really what keeps me going.”

So, like Christine and Anne, and many of you who I have spoken with or received emails from, acceptance of the changes in symptoms helps quiet our minds and tame the monkeys. If their chattering does not make us waver in our resolve, they stop chattering.

And when they stop chattering, we feel liberated…liberated from the fears in our minds, liberated from worrying about the constantly changing symptoms, and liberated to fully open our hearts to let our dopamine flow so we can fully recover.

We become liberated in life and free to finish our recovery.

You are worth it!

All my best,



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2 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and heading toward recovery, part 2

  1. nancy thomas says:

    Thank you, Howard. You just don’t know how many times I’ve read that entry in the past on “those days”

  2. Bill Bush says:

    Thanks for the description of rigidity-right on.
    But I still feel joyful – life is wonderful!

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