Seven years ago today, I began doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®. Of course, back then it did not have a name…it was just what I was doing. At the same time, I began keeping a hand-written Parkinson’s Daily Journal. It is time to share my journal with all of you.
Today, I will post my September 28, 2009 Parkinson’s Daily Journal entry. I kept the daily journal until mid-November, when my handwriting became too painful and too difficult to read, and that ended my daily journal. My intention is to type up and post excerpts from my Parkinson’s Daily Journal every day from now through mid-November, which is about seven weeks.
For those of you who subscribe to my blog, this means a daily email notification from me. If you would prefer to not get a daily email from me over the next seven weeks, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will suspend your subscription until I stop doing the daily blog posts.
Sally and I discussed this over the past weekend. We feel that it will help you to see what I was going through on a daily basis for the first seven weeks of my recovery, so you will know that if I could it, you can do it. Please know that there is a lot of mention of symptoms. The reason I was talking about symptoms so much is because I was scientifically documenting what I was going through and how I was endeavoring to solve the disease.
Okay, here we go.
“09/28/09. Last Tuesday, I sat down with Sally [my wife] to explain that I have Parkinson’s. I have tried denying this for a little while, but the internal tremors were very strong that day and no telling when they might appear as external tremors.
Sally and I have been through everything, and she is the strong one and I needed a plan.
We talked things through and agreed to explore every option and jointly make a decision.
After much research and much discussion, the plan is to move forward with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach. There are three main causes of Parkinson’s from a TCM viewpoint:
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.
The healing approach will change as the disease changes. However, the starting point is to keep a strict diet in place, perform QiGong (Chi Kung) for elevating the Qi and Blood Deficiency, elevating the Kidney and Liver Yin Deficiency, and acupressure for stimulating the brain and spinal column.
1. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine by Maoshing Ni, Ph.D.
2. Chinese Health Care Secrets by Henry B Lin
3. QiGong Empowerment by Master Shou-Yu Liang
4. Soul Mind Body Medicine by Dr./Master Zhi Gang Sha
5. Integrative Acupressure by Sam McClellan
6. “Degenerative Diseases, Interpretation and Treatment with Chinese Medicine” by Subhuti Dharmananda (http://www.itmonline.org/arts/degenerative.htm)
7. What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Parkinson’s Disease by Jill Marjama-Lyons, M.D.
8. Teach Yourself Chi Kung by Robert Parry
What I am experiencing
1. Internal tremors when my body is at rest. When I move, they seem to go away, although it just may be that my attention is elsewhere because I am moving rather than being stationary.
2. Rigidity. My left arm is very tight in the muscles, particularly my forearm. I am in constant pain in my left arm and although it is my stronger arm as I played all sports left-handed, I have no strength. I have a hard time lifting the water pitcher and cannot squeeze the pump at the gas station.
3. Bradykinesia. My movements are slow and my balance is horrible, particularly when I first get out of bed. Example: I cannot hold my shorts and lift one foot to step into them. I have to hold onto something, hold my shorts in one hand at floor level, step into them and finally pull them up. My walking is very slow and if I am not consciously paying careful attention, I walked hunched over while shuffling my feet. I need to use the chair arms or the table to stand from my sitting position. I need to focus before walking up the stairs holding the railing. It is painful, but I can walk up the steps. I must hold on and focus on my balance because I go backwards when I lift either leg. Sometimes I have to go one step at a time where the second leg moves up only to the step where the first leg is located and I progress a step at a time in this manner. When I turn around to go back in the other direction (regular walking, not stairs) I go in a semi-circle almost like walking around a marker.
1. Dietary — fruits, vegetables, whole wheat (bread, rice, barley), oatmeal. No preservatives, no alcohol, no fried foods. Focus is to dispel the Phlegm-Fire Agitating Wind. (reference: Chinese Health Care Secrets).
2. QiGong — Medical QiGong focused on elevating the Kidney and Liver Deficiencies. Buddhist QiGong for elevating the Qi and Blood Deficiency. (reference: QiGong Empowerment).
3. Acupressure focused on the Governing Vessel, GV, and Conception Vessel, CV. (reference: Integrative Acupressure).
4. Sound, Vibration, Energy elevation, near hand-far hand healing techniques (reference: Soul Mind Body Medicine).
5. Exercise for Qi circulation in the same channels as #3 above. (reference: Teach Yourself Chi Kung).
6. Smile more, be more patient with my situation, think before moving. Try to be a nicer person. Take each moment as it occurs and deal with it in the best possible manner. No fear allowed. Let my family know every day how much I love them.
I learned today that if I want to try to walk normally, I need to focus on standing up straight, extending my leg and getting my foot off the ground, and, swinging my arms. Apparently, as I have been hunched and shuffling my feet, my arms have stopped swinging. Consciously swinging my arms helps a lot with balance. I learned another very important thing: when I am walking, I need to be really focused. I got the mail and on the way back up the driveway, I started looking through a magazine; the next thing I knew is that I was completely off balance and I fell down. I read an article last week where the author, a Parkinson’s sufferer, said that the days of walking and chewing gum were over. I laughed. Today, I learned it wasn’t funny.”
You are worth it!!!
All my best,