Fighting Parkinson’s, and your attitude

Many times, I have pointed out this formula: Faith. Attitude. Action. Progress. Cure. In my previous post, Fighting Parkinson’s, and a faith over fear refresher, I provided a number of posts on how faith drives this recovery and how fear derails it. Today, I want to take another look at attitude, and how your attitude sits right next to your faith in driving your recovery.

On May 10, 2010, when I still had Parkinson’s, I entered a blog post as follows:

“I have received very nice off-line feedback regarding keeping a positive attitude and how big a part this plays in fighting Parkinson’s or any other disease. It reminded me of an article I read months ago where the author said he noticed that if he spoke to somebody with cancer, they would refer to their condition as “I’m fighting cancer.” The author said that people with Parkinson’s would respond, “I have Parkinson’s Disease.” It struck a nerve with me when he concluded that cancer sufferers are fighters and expect to prevail over their disease, and that Parkinson’s sufferers accept the fact that they have an incurable disease and do not expect to prevail, so why fight it. This should help you understand the importance to me of the title of my blog.

On this point, I am going to explain the Parkinson’s symptom of rigidity and how it impacts me. First, here is a good definition:

•Rigidity. Rigidity, or a resistance to movement, affects most parkinsonian patients. A major principle of body movement is that all muscles have an opposing muscle. Movement is possible not just because one muscle becomes more active, but because the opposing muscle relaxes. In Parkinson’s disease, rigidity comes about when, in response to signals from the brain, the delicate balance of opposing muscles is disturbed. The muscles remain constantly tensed and contracted so that the person aches or feels stiff or weak. The rigidity becomes obvious when another person tries to move the patient’s arm, which will move only in ratchet-like or short, jerky movements known as “cogwheel” rigidity. http://seniorhealth.about.com/od/parkinsnonsdisease/a/park_symp.htm

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.”

There are some very important things to note when reading that post. First, as you can see, I was physically in very bad shape. Movement was extremely difficult. Second, at the time I wrote that post, I had been doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery&#0174 for 7 and 1/2 months.

Third, my faith and my attitude made me not afraid that my symptoms were the worst they had been the entire time I had the disease: “My mind and body have accepted the pain, so I am not consumed by it every waking moment.” I knew I would be cured one day and I accepted that whatever was happening to me physically was a necessary part of my recovery.

Fourth, one month later, I was fully recovered. Side note: Since the only time I have done the Recipe in the last 4 years subsequent to my recovery has been to prepare for a workshop, and since not one single sign or symptom of Parkinson’s has returned as has been medically documented twice by neurologist, I am cured of Parkinson’s.

When you look at the first part of the quoted post above, I am certain you are thinking that there was no way this guy could be fully recovered in one month. That is the power of faith and attitude…and acceptance, as a part of the formula: Faith. Attitude. Action. Progress. Cure..

When you are doing the Recipe:
Your faith says, “I know I will be cured.”
Your attitude says, “Even during the roughest of times, I will keep my faith and keep a positive attitude.”
Your acceptance says, “Whatever is happening to me physically, whether I like it or not, or whether I understand it or not, I accept that it is necessary for my recovery.”
Your fear says, “_____.” NOTHING! When you combine your unwavering faith, your positive attitude, and your acceptance of what is happening in our life, you come to realize exactly what I told you in the previous post:

YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR WITH THIS RECOVERY!

You are alive, and fear is dead!!! Simple as that. It is your mind that gives fear life. Lose your mind and come to your senses. Let go of the fear and live your life to its fullest. Do not be afraid of life, do not be afraid of Parkinson’s, and do not be afraid of symptoms.

Okay? OKAY!!!

Let’s chant this together one more time:

I have the power to heal myself.
Parkinson’s is curable.
I have the power to cure myself.
Parkinson’s is a symptom of my life out of balance.
The tortoise is my cure.
I am the tortoise.
I am curing myself with each small advance I make in the moment.
Just like the tortoise, I move slowly and steadily, and I realize that I cannot worry too much about the bumps in the road. Instead, I know that every step I take toward the finish line is recovery, in and of itself, and I settle in and enjoy the journey.
In each step, I see love and joy and laughter and gratitude and fulfillment and compassion and contentment.
Oh, yes, and then the tortoise wins the race.
Oh, yes, and then I win the race and achieve my cure.
Fear is not real. It is a creation of the mind that exists in the past and the future; it does not exist in the moment.
Faith is absolutely what exists in the moment.
A positive attitude is absolutely what exists in the moment.
Acceptance of what is happening right now is absolutely what exists in the moment.
I choose faith.
I choose a positive attitude.
I choose acceptance.
I am recovery.
I am worth it.

YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

All my best,

Howard

 

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8 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and your attitude

  1. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the post Howard. It was very uplifting. I found what you said about cancer very interesting. When I first started doing the Recipe for Recovery for Parkinson’s I often envisioned myself telling people how well I was doing and how I was so much better because of it. One day I realized that although that was a very positive attitude, it was different from the attitude I had when I had cancer 35 yrs ago. When I had cancer, it was a do or die situation. You are right about the fight mode I went into. There was no living with cancer. I envisioned myself 100% cured. I saw, thought, felt, and acted upon that belief. So….one day as I was doing my Recovery Exercises, I changed what I was thinking, feeling, etc. I changed my attitude. I now am going for FULL recovery ! Parkinson’s is curable and I am worth it. So are each of you ! (Thanks for listening, and have a wonderful day.)

  2. Rick Deno says:

    Thanks Howard!
    After all this time I didn’t think it was possible, but your posts seem to get more relevant each week.
    You are our biggest cheer leader. You have dedicated yourself to us and our fight with PD.

    Thank you!

    Rick

  3. Jane says:

    Ah Howard, You are such a profound inspiration. The chant is a marvellous chant: it’s uplifting and clarifying and anchoring. Your posts are at the heart of my recovery: I have no doubt I will recover completely sooner or later. In the meantime, I am enjoying discovering all the emotional, unconscious, irrational conditioning – unexamined assumptions – that underlie these symptoms. Layer after layer is revealed. At the moment my challenge is to say “No”. (And I never even guessed I was a pleaser…) Another current challenge is to be the unique person I am, with all my quirks. Labelled “difficult” by my mother: I now realise I had tried to make myself “like everybody else”. Impossible. Yet too filled with shame to be me. Now I see that the only thing I can be is me – spontaneous, authentic and vulnerable.

    I am so grateful to you, Howard, for having reframed PD as “out of balance”. It has led me onto this extraordinary journey, given me the confidence and the determination not to waver from whatever “the truth” is for me at any given moment.

    One thousand thanks for extraordinary insight and generosity. I feel so blessed to be touched by your wisdom and held by your kindness.

    Boundless blessings, Jane

  4. Barbara says:

    This is just what I needed to hear!

    Thank you for helping us all with these needed tools
    on our road to recovery.

    Barbara

  5. Pat in FL says:

    I, too, appreciate the wonderful message in this post, Howard. And while my fingers, hands, arms and toes feel too tight and rigid at this moment to compose much of a comment, I am grateful for the insights and thoughts offered by Debbie, Rick and Jane. As well as others who will be sharing. All gifts of encouragement, helping my attitude in the present moment.

  6. catherina says:

    You are always there when we need you most. thank you, thank you.
    I have been reading “you are the placebo” by Joe Dispenza . It so reiterates what you say about acceptance faith and belief WOW. THANK YOU

  7. MARILYN MURRAY says:

    I also say “ditto” to the replies which are so eloquent. Your support got me through the 2 weeks I was away, 10 day cruise, etc. Yes, I was stretched to the max but whenever I felt out of balance I would just meditate and do whatever parts of the recipe that I could —- AND IT WORKED. Fear still lurks in the background but it doesn’t last too long any more. Thank you seems so inadequate, Marilyn

  8. Thank you once again, Howard….taking a deep breath….oh…the absolulte relief and freeedom that flows through me as I rest in the beauty of total acceptance…

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