Seven years ago, 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. Here is my October 6, 2009 journal entry, seven years ago today.
“10/06/09. Up at 4. Peas and carrots for breakfast. After breakfast, I talked with Sally and completely lost it and cried and cried. Some days, she must feel really miserable being with me. She held me and I felt better after we talked.
My system is more regular today. Mom would have turned 75 today. I called Dad and I think he was happy for the call.
No real change in my physical condition today – at least it is not worse today than it was yesterday.”
As you know, some days are just overwhelming and you “lose” it. And then, you get up and say, “okay,” let’s move forward. When I called my dad, I had not told him yet that I had Parkinson’s, so it was not too difficult of a call for him.
Since my mom would have been 82 years old today, here is an excerpt from a post I wrote called “Fighting Parkinson’s, and lessons learned from my mother.”
“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 in the 500+ blog posts on this website.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
I am grateful for all of you on this journey. Every step, or shuffle, forward is moving that much closer to your full recovery.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Please note: I will be posting one post per day through the middle of November. If you subscribe to receive email notifications when I post new blog posts and you would prefer to not receive those daily email notifications, simply send me an email at email@example.com, and let me know that you do not wish to receive a daily email with a link to each post. I will remove you from the list through the middle of November and add you back on the list after the middle of November. However, I still would recommend you checking the blog on a regular basis as it will contain very useful information for understanding my journey and helping with your journey.
Happy Birthday to your mom in heaven. I am sure she is looking down upon you today with love as my mom is doing the same for me. The love in all of our hearts are stronger than this disease and we can all recover with that love, for the greatest love of all is inside of us.
So much love in this blogpost, Howard! It really is so moving. I admire your humble attitude and faith at the time.
I read your blog every day and it’s such a continuous inspiration to me. Thank you so much!! Got the “recipe” a few days ago and started to practice vigorously. I’ve been practicing Qi Gong for quite a while, but this is something special.
Sometimes I have to laugh at myself for doing all those crazy sounds and movements. But I’m committed to stick to it until I’m completely healed.
You wrote in the recipe that you stopped doing medical Qi Gong the minute the symptoms were gone. Are you doing any Qi Gong at all after recovery?
With all my love!
Faith. Hope. Love.
I look forward to your blog every morning as I start my day with the Recipe – it inspires me to move forward towards the goal of recovery. Thank you and happy birthday to your Mom! Blessings to you and all!
I am grateful for you, Howard. For every blog post and especially this one, written many years ago. For the reminders of all I do have control of. Thank you for your courage and commitment and for the example you are of what being totally honest with yourself looks like. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for all you continue to give.
Love and blessings,
Happy Birthday to your mom! She is proud of you that you found recovery for you and everyone, that you are helping people to recovery.
Thanks for the blog. It gives me even more confidence that I will recover.
Howard, I admire your bravery through your journey to recovery without medication. It can’t have been easy. It is challenging enough to try and reduce the meds let alone to travel alone with all its difficulties. I tip my hat off to you. Your journey is nothing short of miraculous and inspires me no end. Thank you and God bless you.
Thank you again for such uplifting and heartfelt sharing. Your mom is proud of you, I am sure.
Thank you all for your comments and kind words. My mom is proud of all of us. She was that kind of mom — if you were my friend, you were family. And, I consider all of you my friends…my family.
In answer to Christiane, currently, I do the same morning brocade of Qigong exercises that I had done for 10 years prior to getting Parkinson’s. You are correct, the Qigong in the Recipe is different, and as you say “this is something special.” The Medical Qigong in the Recipe heals your organs, which is the main purpose of the physical part of the Recipe.
With gratitude, love, and blessings,
Eso que dices de aprender la leccion es muy importante. El Parkinson nos llegó por algo. EStá denunciando algo erróneo en nuestra vida, algo que debe ser cambiado.
That you say to learn the lesson is very important. Parkinson came to us for something. It is denouncing something wrong in our lives, something that should be changed.
So beautiful thank-you Howard. All your posts are really helping me to keep my faith.