On September 21, 2009, six years ago, I got my final wake up call, my body’s final notification to make me sit up and take notice that there was something dreadfully wrong with me…tremors. As I have explained in the past, for the previous 7 or 8 months, I had received polite, and not-so-polite, notifications that my physical body was falling into disrepair. I chose to ignore those notifications. Tremors got my attention.
I have discussed that the Parkinson’s symptoms are not the problem, but instead, they are the messages that there is a problem, so you have to look behind them as to why you have them. I see Parkinson’s as a symptom…a message that says, “your life is out of balance.”
Parkinson’s…the symptom reflecting a life out of balance. Physically, you are off balance. You move slowly and cautiously, often looking down instead of forward. What does that do? It puts your body in a posture that makes it virtually impossible to walk balanced. Your neck is bent, your spine is bent, the fluid in your semicircular canals is moved, and your visual frame of reference (important for balance) is your legs or the floor, and you acquire what is often referred to as a Parkinson’s gait. Mentally, you then become off balance because you are afraid of falling or freezing, and you are afraid of the future with Parkinson’s. This is right where Parkinson’s wants you…not living in the moment, but instead living in the past (getting Parkinson’s) and being fearful of the future (life with long-term Parkinson’s). Spiritually, you give up hope that you ever will get better. At that point Parkinson’s is winning.
Essentially, when you stare at your legs and feel unbalanced, you are looking at the past. When you feel unbalanced, you fear the future. How can you move forward in life in a balanced manner if you are staring backwards and it makes you fearful of where you are going? Faith.
Faith in yourself that you are your cure to Parkinson’s, and that you can see your recovery through to the end. Yes, that carries a lot of responsibility, but you have help. You have the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®. The Recipe is your road map to bring your soul, mind, and body back into balance.
Over time in my recovery, I came to see Parkinson’s as a grand opportunity to fix the things in my life that had gone out of balance. The Recipe provided me with the physical tools to re-balance my body, the mental tools to calm my mind and re-balance my emotions, and the spiritual tools to re-balance my soul and find again the essence of who I am.
Am I grateful for having had Parkinson’s? Yes. Through that bump in the road in a life already out of balance, Parkinson’s stood as a bump at a fork in the road leaving me two choices: 1. Fix the imbalances in my life and it would go away; and 2. Do not fix the imbalances in my life and it would stay with me forever. I chose the road less traveled, I had no plan B, and every day I did the Recipe to find balance in my life. And every day that I awoke with Parkinson’s still there, it was a reminder I still had more work to do.
However, in the end, when I awoke on June 12, 2010 with no Parkinson’s, I knew it was not coming back — I had re-balanced my soul, mind, and body, and I no longer needed the message or symptoms known as Parkinson’s as a reminder that I had more work to do.
I was finished with that part of my life, and I am grateful for that as well.
You can do this, too. I know you can.
You are worth it!
All my best,
Thank you Howard for your truth and sharing. I am still chipping away slower and steadier tortoise. ?helen Australia xx to everyone
Thanks Howard. It’s so incredibly hard to remain positive when the pain and the tremors are out of control. I was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago when I only had one finger twitch and have deteriorated to such an extend, that if it continues I don’t know how I could cope. Drugs are not helping and having only recently resorted to taking them also makes me disillusioned, as I was adamant that I could do this without pharmaceutical intervention. There are so many symptoms. Exercise does help and your program certainly is well thought out. I like your thoughts and appreciate your encouragement. Living in country Australia does not help. Doctors are negative as Parkinsons’ is progressive!!!! According to them. Thanks Howard
Thank you for your post today. I can relate to some of what you said. I do not take drugs and am coping with the same symptoms of tremors and pain. I too have wondered if the symptoms get worse what I will do to cope. On days when the symptoms are at their worst, I think how nice it would be to just have them gone…….even for a short time. It would be easy for me to look at the symptoms and become fearful of the end results ” if ” I was following anyone who believe it was only going to get worse. However, I am doing the “Recipe for Recovery.” I am doing great, and I am my own Parkinson’s cure 🙂
To me it makes sense that if I am going to rid myself of Parkinson’s, I need to follow someone who has done it and not someone who says that it can’t be done. I then remind myself that I am not my symptoms. As Howard says…I am so much more than my symptoms. I choose to have Faith in myself and in my ability to do this. I choose to have Faith in the Recipe for Recovery . I also choose to have Faith in God.
I am so grateful to Howard for being an example, for curing himself, and then for turning around and putting his efforts into helping people around the world cure themselves. I am so grateful for my life and for people like you who are willing to share of themselves me. Thank you. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to express myself to each of you. For me it helps to know that I am not in this alone. I am grateful that……..
I am my own Parkinson’s cure.
I can do this .
I am recovery !!
I am worth it !!!
Sending Love and Blessing out to all of you
Hoping you can find some joy and happiness in today
I hope you realize and are able to see what an amazing, beautiful person you are. Please don’t be down on yourself or judge yourself for choices you have had to make (with drugs). I hope this message comes across as I intended it to……….As someone who may know a little bit of how you are feeling…. sending empathy, love and encouragement your way.
Thank you Debbie, your kind and caring words are very much appreciated. I was wondering whether anyone else finds, that the extreme pain which I experience when I sit or lay, is hardly noticeable when I exercise, whether it’s walking or on gym equipment. This of course makes relaxation just about impossible and as my body is always on the move, my weight is so low and it’s difficult to gain any weight. But I think my regular walking is paying off, as my balance has improved, as has the dizziness. Thanks to all who share, you are incredible and wonderful and a source of hope and encouragement. It is often very lonely and scary, especially when one is single. Thanks for your ongoing regular coaching, Howard, you are a gem. Thanks also for replying to my comments. Bless you.
I, too, am grateful that I have PD…I view it as an invitation to be in integrity with my soul…in integrity with what I know from my experience in life to be true. Each time I get caught up in reacting to the symptoms and feeling sorry for myself, I perpetuate the idea of victimhood and move further away from my soul. Each time I respond to my symptoms with love, compassion, humour and gratitude, I move closer to my soul and my mission and purpose in life. I am so very blessed to experience you as a mentor and coach, Howard…thank you!
🙂 🙂 Thanks Penny
Parkinson’s is a teacher, no doubt. My 21 year old son has taken care of me all summer, cooking meals, tidying house etc. He went back to college two weeks ago. I am open to finding help but the first few days I seemed to be managing. It was really tough but I was thrilled to be managing alone. Then last Friday, I became completely frozen in my kitchen. I had noticed each day getting worse. Hours later, I was still there, hungry and alone. I managed to drag myself to my iPhone and skyped my mum in England. I was crying and said ” mum I need you to come” she came the next day but in the meantime my sister drove two hours from her house to get to me, to step in until mum arrived. The point of me sharing this, is that my body had been doing so well but because I pushed it even further it was too much. I haven’t even been able to do the Recipe in a week. Like Howard says when the body is repairing, clearing toxins etc, it does not have the energy for movement. Karen of course thinks she is doing great running her house herself etc and brought herself to a literal standstill. Like Mayarita said last week, when I froze for hours I was scared, frightened and angry. Angry, because I felt I’m doing my best doing The Recipe every day etc. What I have learned through this last week, if you push your body more than it is ready for, it will tell you, in a very dramatic way if it has too. So let’s take it easy guys. We’re doing our absolute best. I’ve been far more patient with myself this week, more appreciate for the little I can do. Equally, we can’t rush this healing. There is an intelligence within guiding us gently. I hope this helps anyone out there whose pushing themselves too hard. We will get there, when the body, mind and spirit knows that the balance has returned within. Big love to all my fellow warriors and our great coach. 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to share. I am sorry that you had to go through that experience. I am grateful that you were able to be loving and forgiving of yourself, and was able to learn from it. That is a lesson that I work on all the time. Hope you week will be filled with healing.
Bless you Debbie, thankyou. I love your post to Margrit. You’re a sweet heart.
Thanks for this blog Howard! Your timing for sending it out was perfect because I have been dealing with this issue heavily for the past few days. Your comment, “…the Parkinson’s symptoms are not the problem, but instead, they are the messages that there is a problem, so you have to look behind them as to why you have them. I see Parkinson’s as a symptom…a message that says, “your life is out of balance.” really hit home for me today. I know that I need to look behind the symptoms, and I think that looking behind them will help me a great deal.
Thank you Helen, Margit, Debbie, Penny, and Karen for your comments. It is very helpful to hear what and how others are doing with Parkinson’s. I too was diagnosed about 3 1/2 years ago. I have been doing the recipe for about three years. I feel that I am very close to recovery.
Thanks for sharing Joe,
I like to think of it the same as if your oil light came on in your car. You can unhook the oil light and it will go off, but it doesn’t fix the problem or why it came in the first place. The problem will just keep getting worse and worse until you fix it, or your car just stop working all together. Thank goodness we know how to fix the problem and then the symptoms, just like the oil light will go away.
Have a great day.
Joe there seems to be quite a few of us diagnosed in 2012! I am ever hopeful that one of the Warriors will cross the finish line in 2015. 🙂 🙂 🙂
It has been awhile since i sent a comment in but had to respond to this one. I too just overdid it and have been paying the price, wondering if I had been stupid to risk my recovery!!! It was a 55th reunion of my nursing class – 55 women attended out of 70 which was fantastic. We had such a marvellous time, many with health challenges; cancer, hearing, heart, spouse with dementia – one husband brought his wife and stayed with her Sat night as she has dementia – she did really well. the love and caring was palatable in the group and I was so glad I went ( 3 days and a plane ride). the blog was so supportive , just what I needed. Also think that people who get Parkinsons are high achievers who naturally push themselves. I will continue to recover, know that i can, do the recipe every day and stay in touch, love to everyone, Marilyn
Wonderful and inspiring to read everyone’s posts. I have just come back from 12days away at a peace conference held out doors. It was a huge effort to make it everyday but I accepted my condition and every time I was offered help I accepted it for a change. On the last day I got the flu. But it was worth it I am home now and exhausted. Mehta I experienced was instead of being embarrassed by my condition I embraced it and tried to relax into it more. I have Parkinson’s I am doing my best to recover learning to pace myself is a daily experience I have faith and encouragement from you all. Love helen Australia xx?
PS I am so very grateful for this life and the love inside my heart and outside. Life is such an experience of learning and acceptance and love
I was doing pretty well with my symptoms and then I had a bout with sciatica that hit me pretty hard! The pain was so intense that it exasdebated my tremor and walking difficulty. My positive attitude left me in a hurry and I had a real struggle for a time! I then realized that it is imperative to be positive no matter what if I expect to achieve full recovery! I am back on track now, living in my heart and feeling the dopamine begin to flow again. Everything gets better with positive thinking ! A good lesson learned!
You are quite right Melanie. It can just be so hard at times when symptoms overwhelm and that’s all you can see. Thank you Howard for encouraging us when the road gets particularly rocky x
I parkinson from 29 years. Now I have 41. I am spanish . Sorry for my English. I know this site not long ago and is teaching me a lot. I always thought that the fight against Parkinson’s disease was facing, but because accepting medication we took was difficult. I wanted to take my symptoms with force, imposing my reason to my heart and thanks to Howard, I’m learning to listen to my body and that’s wonderful. I imagine my body like a baby who needs my mind to be better and now I listen to it and not try to impose anything. When I’m off, I listen to my body and I want it. I say: do not worry, everything will be fine … these words help me to be better and my body relaxes. It is hard but is very beautiful and so alive every day. Thank you.
Hi Gema, welcome to the family of Warriors. I like what you say about your mind being kind to your body like a baby. 🙂
Lovely to have new people writing here. 🙂
Dear Gema — This entire thread of blog responses is just great, and when I got to yours, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the simple wisdom you offered. I found it more than simple wisdom, more nearly: a completely transformational thought. OMG – how perfect. Just what the doctor ordered. Just what I needed to hear. Thank you so much Gema!
Howard as usual it is always a boost one’s mor
Sorry I hit the post comment midway of writing the comment.
Howard as usual it is a morale Booster to read your post. Welcome new warriors to the Parkinson’s community. We have Howard, our godfather and as long as we follow his recipe deligently we all are only getting better.yes there are days when we doubt everything but that is the time we stand the test of faith.
Thank you, all of you sharing for your experiences.
I’m so thankful for all of you fellow warriors! I tend to get frustrated when I get frozen or am moving sooo slow or the shaking and off-balance gets really bad. Then I read your stories and realize I’m not alone in this. (and I have a wonderful husband who totally supports me) I’m reminded that I need to slow down and stop pushing myself. Be patient with and love myself. That impatience and pushing myself is how I got to where I am: life out of balance!!! Thanks again, all of you, for sharing your downs as well as your good days. Welcome Gema!
I’m so grateful for all of your sharing. I identify with each and every one of you.
Howard, I think you are a Bodhisattva (master of compassion). The community of support that is emerging is profound. I send blessings to all.
I’m sitting up in bed with my cup of tea and my iPad, with a big window and door to outside which looks onto a bit of garden then Australian bush. I am so grateful for what I can see, I thought I’d share it. I just witnessed a fierce attack by a magpie on several huge black cockatoos because the cockatoos were passing through maggies territory- a bit of a shame as I love the cockatoos. I also see a little kangaroo grazing on the sweet grass, she’ll realise soon that the mob have gone back to their scrub hideaway for the day as they’re quite nocturnal.so she will madly jump the fence and hop to safety. A tiny fairy wren is hopping about eating ants and gathering bits of this and that for his nest and there is a red and blue parrot dangling on a branch- they come to drink at the bird bath and one always stays on watch while the others drink, then takes its turn. It’s sunny and a little windy, and I can see cows grazing in a far paddock, sheep walking and grazing in a near paddock, a green paddock which has been ploughed and sown; the rest is hilly scrub/bush land and across the valley a disused quarry and glimpses of village. I’m about to get going and bath our little dog in preparation for the trip he needs to make to the vet, two of his LEAST favourite things!!!
So, hello from springtime in the snowy mountains of Australia, thankyou for sharing,I’m very grateful to you all and my loving thoughts are with you all, today lets laugh, dance, sing and share loving kindness with ourselves and others and just for today not beat up on ourselves!!?Julie
Oh Julie, what a ray of sunshine you have shed on me! Thanks for sharing your perspective in such beautiful detail. You have helped fill in the empty space I have been creating by rejecting despair and darkness, with positive thoughts and the beauty of this world we are blessed to live in. I too spent some time today drinking in the fresh morning air and enjoying the natural beauty which surrounds me. Wishing a glorious day to all who read this! ?
I just got up in America and was looking out my big window enjoying all the beauty as I did my Recovery Exercises. I too am grateful for this day. Thanks for sharing. Have an amazingly wonderful day.
Love and Blessings
Thankyou Debbie and Pat, it was good to write something instead of thoughts flying uncontrolled around the head!! It made my day go very well. Cheers, keep smiling and I am too!