Fighting Parkinson’s, and remembering my mother

Today would have been my mother’s 80th birthday. I am very good at visualization, but this is one that completely escapes me. My mother was 72 years old when she died with Parkinson’s, and with the Alzheimer’s and Dementia that had been brought on by 24 years of medications. Three years ago today, I posted a blog entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and lessons learned from my mother.” In remembering my mother today, re-posting that post feels like the right thing to do.

From “Fighting Parkinson’s, and lessons learned from my mother,” originally posted October 6, 2011:

“I received an inquiry about my Recipe for Recovery, where I derived my theory of recovery, and how my mother’s 24-year battle with Parkinson’s played into all of it. I responded in an email. After I sent the email response a couple of days ago, I forwarded my response to Sally and asked if she felt I had adequately covered the issues. She said she thought what I wrote would be beneficial for all of you, so here it is.

“As you know, I am not a doctor, so what I provide here is my opinion based upon my personal experience, my research, and what I am learning from other Parkinson’s sufferers.

I was predisposed to getting Parkinson’s, but I did not know it. My mother got Parkinson’s, but they say it is not hereditary. I grew up in an era where only years later did they expose the harmfulness of the cookware from which I ate and the laundry detergent that washed my clothes and the pesticides and chemicals that permeated my water, my food and the air I breathed. I grew up in an era where they did not say there was a mercury harm in the tuna fish sandwiches I ate every day for school for 12 years (current standards say I ate 700% of the daily allowable mercury every day for 12 years). So, as you can see, I had all of the genetic and environmental things going on inside of me that made me predisposed to Parkinson’s. However, Parkinson’s lurked around for 48 years in me, just like in my mother, before the harsh symptoms appeared.

When my mother was misdiagnosed with other possible ailments for 4 years, her Parkinson’s kept getting worse because she was being treated with medications for things she did not have. When they said, “try these Parkinson’s medications and see if you get some relief,” she tried them and felt better than she had felt in 4 years. For the following 20 years, she continued on the meds, participated in a study regarding meds, and ultimately, the meds took her mind away before the Parkinson’s took her body away. It was very sad and very difficult to watch. She died at age 72, much too young.

So, when I realized I had Parkinson’s, I knew meds were not an option for me; my mother’s life, and her death, taught me this. After seeing how my mother ended up, the med choice was no choice for me at all. I began doing my research, and I learned very much from Traditional Chinese Medicine, culminating in my seeing Parkinson’s like this: First, we have the things in life we cannot control, such as heredity and the environment in which we grow up (these create the predisposition for the disease); Second, we have the manner in which we live our lives, physically, mentally and spiritually (these determine if the disease ever will manifest itself into the diagnosable disease).

With Parkinson’s, here is how I see the three main causes that bring out the manifestation of the disease to the physically diagnosable level:

1. Qi and Blood Deficiency, which is caused by emotional stress, anger, frustration, and resentment.
2. Phlegm-Fire Agitating Wind, which is caused by dietary considerations such as consumption of too much greasy, fried or sweet foods.
3. Kidney and Liver Wind Deficiency, which is caused by overwork and insufficient rest which unbalances the body’s natural rhythm.

When I carefully reviewed these, my first thought was that the liver is negatively impacted; therefore, most certainly, medications are not an option because they will pollute even more an already-not-properly-functioning liver. And then, when I reviewed these three causes, I knew I would recover. Why? Because I could control each of these three causes and heal my soul and my mind and my body…and recovery would be mine.

I did not know when, but I did not care. I did not know I would face Hell, but I did not care. I did not know that other than my family that nobody believed I would recover, but I did not care. Why? Because I knew I would recover as each of the causes was something I could change in my life. I could learn to change and control my emotions. I could learn to change and control my dietary habits. I could learn to change and control my over-thinking mind and live in the moment rather than in anger of the past and fear of the future. I knew I could do Qigong and heal my badly damaged body and organs. I never asked my Higher Power to deliver me from Parkinson’s because it would not be right; I needed to have the experience and fight the disease and learn my lessons. I asked my Higher Power to help control my fears and to help me have the strength to persevere the seemingly unbearable pain I experienced.

And, in the end, I let go of everything and made a spiritual connection with my Higher Power and Parkinson’s was finished. I am blessed, and every day I do my best to show my gratitude by helping others who suffer as I once suffered. That is my recovery story in the shortened form. The longer form is my 100+ blog posts on this site.

I have been clear about my feelings about the medications. Yes, I am firm and resolute that one can recover even if one has taken medications in the past. However, I feel one cannot recover while on the medications. There are many reasons for this feeling, but here are the main ones: the medications overwork and pollute the liver, which is the main organ damaged in the manifestation of Parkinson’s (they make the disease worse, not better); the medications mask symptoms, for a while, that is, so the person does not really understand exactly what is the Parkinson’s they are trying to fight; the medications have side effects that many sufferers mistake for symptoms of the disease, and then more medications are given for these “symptoms” which are actually side effects of the medications; people rely on the medications to “get them better” even though the doctors will tell you the medications do not “get you better;” while people are relying on the medications, they are not relying on themselves, and they have accepted that they cannot recover — the idea being, “if I cannot get better, I might as well try to feel better.”

If somebody wishes to recover and is currently on medications, I feel they should get off of the medications first. This is no easy task and the medications withdrawal comes with nasty withdrawal symptoms. However, so far 6 people I am coaching have worked with me and have slowly gotten off of their medications and they are on their paths to recovery. Many others are reducing their medications as well. I have never posted on my blog my theory of how to slowly get off of the medications because I do not want somebody to fail to talk to their doctor or fail to follow the protocol 100% and then have something bad happen to them. So, I share my protocol with those I am coaching because sometimes we have to talk or Skype every day for a while because of what they face as they reduce their medications. Even though when they hire me, it is 4 one-hour calls or Skypes and unlimited email per month, in reality, that is the minimum, and for those who need me every day for a call or Skype, they get what they need until they can better rely on themselves (I do not charge extra, it is just what I do because I am trying my best to help people).

Nobody can heal you except you. From the things you are doing, you are looking for somebody or something outside of you to heal you. I am sorry to say that I feel these are wasted efforts. If you have viewed Sadhguru’s video I recently posted on my blog about the quality of life, you know that he clearly points out that to have somebody outside of you control what is inside of you is the worst kind of slavery. The only thing over which we have complete control is what is within us, each and every one of us. You have to be able to trust yourself on your path in life. We all have obstacles, but it is what we do about the obstacles that matters.

Recently, a man I am coaching said, “When I periodically get this terrible leg pain, I worry and have fear that something bad is happening. I then picture myself not being able to walk and spending my life in a wheelchair, and then this makes me angry and resentful.” I asked him if the worry and fear and anger and resentment make the pain go away. He said no they did not, and most of the time, they made the pain worse. So, I pointed out to him that leg pain was an issue he would have to accept. Non-acceptance did not make the pain go away, so acceptance that he would sometimes have pain was part of getting beyond the pain — once he accepted that he would have some pain, it did not consume him with negative emotions and the pain became tolerable instead of unbearable.

The Recipe for Recovery has all of the parts of what I did to heal my body and my mind and my soul. It is why it worked for me and why others are improving through its use. I am hopeful that I have been able to impart some lessons to you that you will find helpful in your recovery.

Please spend some quiet time with yourself and your Higher Power. Everything you need to know to recover is within you. Believe in yourself and connect with your Higher Power. In each moment in time the old you goes away and a new you is there, and then it happens again and again and again…in each moment, let go of your attachment to the Parkinson’s-ill you and step into a new Parkinson’s-healing you. It takes time until you shed all of the old and eventually walk into the new Parkinson’s-free you, but it is attainable if you go after it with your soul, mind, and body.”

I hope that this has helped you better understand why we all can recover. If you read this post and take away something useful, please thank my mother, Lorraine. Today is her birthday. She would have been 77. Happy Birthday, Mom. I am grateful for you.”

So, Mom, even though I cannot picture you being 80, I send you lots of love. Happy Birthday!

All my best,



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18 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and remembering my mother

  1. Pam in Savannah says:

    Lorraine and Howard,

    I am sorry you both had to suffer so much to help so many of us.

    Thank you

  2. Lloyd Krlley Ford says:

    Howard, you are one fantastic human. Your Mother would be so proud of you. You have courage and you think outside the box. And what a writer. It is incredible to me that I receive your brilliant newsletters in my mailbox. It is full of wisdom, spirituality, KINDNESS TOWARD OURSELVES-How fortunate are we all to read these fabulous notes from you? YOU ARE A BLESSING!!!! I don’t know how long this must take you but I want you to know what a wonderful difference you have made in my life. You are very appreciated. Thank you for the endless hours you spend helping others. Yes, your beloved Mother would be so proud of you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOWARD’S MOTHER.

  3. Lloyd Kelley Ford says:

    ha! It’s too early and I’m typing on my iPhone I misspelled my own name:LLOYD KELLEY FORD

  4. Karen In Ireland says:

    Happy happy 80th birthday Lorraine. You gave the world an amazing gift with your Life, and with your son, Howard. If you had not suffered with Parkinson’s and medicated with the consequences of that, Howard would maybe have not chosen the alternative path. Lorraine, thank you, your legacy goes on in the strength and guidance that Howard gives to this community, he is your Gift to do many.
    Howard, I’m Irish, we know so much about Spirit. Death is merely a veil. Love DOES NOT KNOW DEATH. Your mothers love, support and guidance is with you always. You will hear her voice in something says to you, or a song on the radio, or in the words on a page you “happen” to read. The Love of those we simply can not ” see” anymore, is always a mere breath away. I think Lorraine would want you to not visualise her as 80, but rather at a time when you last smiled together when she was at her best before her symptoms.
    Thank you for todays post. Powerful.
    With Love and gratitude.
    Karen xx

  5. Very powerful…..very supportive….totally giving…..Thank you, Howard….holding your Mom…and you…. in my heart on this very special day.

  6. Jane says:

    Dear Howard, Happy Birthday to your mother! And great blessings and thanks, Jane

  7. judy says:

    Thank-you, Howard, for your transparency, bravery, love and patience. Where would we all be without your loving guidance and support?

  8. Rita says:

    dear Howard
    Thank you always so much for trying to help and inspire us in our journey to Recovery , either the one with PD or their caregivers.
    The best present for your Mother today is what you are doing for us.
    Best regards,

  9. Helen says:

    Hear hear! To everyone’s comments. Thank you Howard for your continued inspiration and love. Yes your mum would feel her life was of purpose in that it enabled you to change direction and help so many others

  10. Debbie says:

    Thank you Howard. You are much appreciated. I will continue on this healing journey and be very grateful that I have the opportunity and can continue learning, growing and doing until I becomes the new me . Thank you for your weekly boost as it is sometimes hard not to let old habits get in the way of growth. Thank you to your dear mother. I will think of her as I continue this journey medication free. I believe in myself and in the Recipe for Recovery. I will be patient with myself and enjoy all the wonderful Blessings that God has given me each day. I will calm my mind.
    My dear mother passed away a few years ago. She was always my biggest cheerleader no matter what I was trying to achieve. I can often feel her close to me cheering me on now. I like to think of her in heaven talking to your mom and thanking her for her great efforts. Maybe she is telling her Happy Birthday and giving her a big Birthday hug.

  11. Marie says:

    Dear Howard,

    I add my voice to the many who are so grateful to Lorraine for the wonderful gift she has given us in you. Happy Birthday, Lorraine! and Thank you!

    Love, Marie

  12. Timothy Chaloner says:

    Thank you Howard,
    A blessing to you & your mother,
    For the good work & the difference
    you have made.

  13. LEONTINA says:

    buna tuturor. Ma gandesc cu recunostinta cate sfaturi utile am primit de la Howard si ce bucurie ar fi fost sa-si fi putut salva mama.dar bunatatea lui a fost sacrificata pentru noi,cei multi si disperati.multumin HOWARD SI LORENA


    Good day to all. I give gratitude for the many helpful tips I received from Howard and what a joy it was to have read about his mother. And his kindness is shared with us, the people who are desperate. Thank you HOWARD AND LORRAINE

  14. Melanie says:

    Howard, I did not get notification of this new blog post. I just ran across it by accident when looking at your site searching for some strength to carry on. I have been struggling a lot lately with worsening anxiety, tremors and balance/walking issues causing increased fears to surface. Your weekly posts(words of wisdom) do wonders to ground me. Thankyou Lorraine for raising such a compassionate, caring, selfless son who has devoted his life to helping other people in need. Much. Love and gratitude! Melanie

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Melanie
      I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and sending prayers and good vibes your way. I am envisioning you finding the strength within to carry on, finding peace, and happiness. I feel as if I know you from reading your posts. I will carry you around in my heart over the next little while . I know that we can do this. Parkinsons is curable and we are our own Parkinson’s cure. I will be thinking of us both getting better and better as I do the Recipe for Recovery today. Lots of love Debbie

  15. Christine says:

    Thank you Lorraine and Howard and thank you to all you lovely co-travellers.You keep me going and I keep you all in my prayers

  16. Cathy White says:

    Happy birthday Howards Mother. Thank you for sharing, Howard.
    I’d like to share with you my experience.
    Having Parkinsons diagnosis for 5 yrs., the meds. Im taking are azilect and artane.

    When I went to my last visit to my neurologist. My blood pressure and heartrate was up. She put me on wellbutrin. She told me there are no side effects when I asked her. I was very disturbed at the thought of adding more meds.

    The Pharmacist said I should not take wellbutrin with azilect. In fact, I should be off the azilect 2 weeks before I take wellbutriin. I chose, the next day to follow Drs. Orders. 3 weeks later I had a wierd vibration in the back of my head. Followed by headache and lightheadedness.
    OK That was a warning sign. Stopped the wellbutrin. Called the Dr. the next morning. Its been @ 2 weeks and she never called me back.
    As it turns out, with azilect, you have to stay away from certain foods. I was eating those foods
    I get hot flashes , headaches, irritability, and dizziness. I read that they are studying a link to hormones, estrogen and progesterone, and Parkinsons. Due to the fact my Parkinsons started developing when I started perimenopause. I started researching . This estrogen link to parkinsons is something in which they are finding can delay onset of parkinsons. They are still studying it.
    ALSO, this has been nagging me, I am a religious person. I go to Church everyday. I am blessed to be able to even do this. One day, while the Priest was consecrating Eucharist. I was focusing on Him. The word HYPOTHALMUS came into my mind then ENDOCHRINE.

    I dont even know these words. Im sure I probably heard them before, but, for them to come to mind at that moment is interesting to me. I told my husband, who didnt make much of it, and my friend, who thinks its significant. My Dr. doesnt know it. I think people would think Im a kook.
    Now, Im telling you.
    Having researched this concept. There is alot of info about hormones. Hence the estrogen progesterone, adrenaline (like you wrote, Walter ) .
    Anyway, I am interested in looking into curing UNDERLYING CAUSES. Not. TREATING SYMPTOMS.

    Perhaps many of us can work on this ?
    Have a good day,
    Hope to hear from any of you , soon. I welcome any feedback.

  17. Howard says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Thank you for your comment. Parkinson’s is curable! Each person is responsible for being his or her own cure. How does one do this? By doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®. The Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® is the road map to your cure. It is offered free to everybody on this web site. Please click this link to find the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, Please click this link to read more about how Parkinson’s is curable and how the Recipe is the road map to your cure,


    Also, I would like to thank all of you who have posted comments and spoken with me and sent me emails and text messages about this post regarding my mom. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am grateful for all of you and the sentiments you have shared.
    Love and blessings,

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