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 are my November 11 and 12, 2009 journal entries, seven years ago yesterday and today.
The reason you are getting two entries today is that yesterday was the 5-year anniversary of Marie’s full recovery. For those of you who missed it, you may CLICK HERE to read the post.
“11/11/09. Up at 4. Slow, slow, slow. Got to the kitchen at 4:10. Legs are very wobbly, but this might just be the effects of yesterday; we will see as the day progresses. The girls are out of school today for Veteran’s Day and Sally slept in an extra 1/2 hour — good for her — she really needs the rest.
I was doing fair today, but at 1:00 I hit the wall and needed to go to sleep for an hour. I need to find more energy, so I am going to focus on my Medical Qigong exercises. They are exhausting and exhilarating, go figure.
11/12/09. Up at 4. Seems cooler this morning, no real difference in how I feel. We had an apple salad for breakfast. Interestingly, I spent the morning trying to think of something different for breakfast and all I could come up with was an apple salad. When I woke Sally and asked her what she wanted for breakfast, she said, “How about an apple salad?” Great minds think alike, haha.
The day has gotten cooler and at 9:30am I switched from shorts to jeans. I noticed that my legs do not like this cooler, damper weather. They are fighting me. Regular walking (if you can call it that) has been difficult today. Balance is off and knees are wobbly, calves and thighs are tight and not working in conjunction. Long day; really wore me out.”
Life. That is what I think about when I look at these entries. Life was moving forward, and I was doing my best to navigate life while dealing with whatever new “adventure” the Parkinson’s was going to throw at me. As you know, each day is new and different. However, many people have the tendency to think that each day is the same. It is not.
That often is the problem…as life is moving forward (each day being different), people can get locked in a time freeze (“I have Parkinson’s, every day is the same…or worse”). That Parkinson’s time freeze comes from two places: 1. Living Parkinson’s symptoms instead of living life; and 2. Accepting the general medical viewpoint that each day you will get worse.
My attitude was different. Many of your attitudes are different. Living life to the fullest and dealing with Parkinson’s as part of life leads to healthier living and recovery. Each day is different.
Here is the example I gave somebody recently:
The goal: Walk 20 miles.
If you can walk 1 mile per day, it will take you 20 days.
If you can walk 1/4 of a mile a day, it will take you 80 days.
If you can walk 1/10 of a mile a day, it will take you 200 days.
If you walk 1 step a day, it will take more than 200 days.
Achieving the goal: As long as you are taking 1 step forward each day, eventually, you will reach your goal.
The Recipe is a soul, mind, and body recovery. Using the above example, here is how that works:
The goal: Full recovery.
Each day, if you are doing any part of the physical part of the Recipe, you are moving forward, physically in healing your organs, toward your recovery.
Each day, if you are doing any part of the physical part of the Recipe, but you are not doing all of the physical parts of the Recipe that you wish to do, and instead of getting angry at yourself or fearful that it means you never will reach your recovery, you say, “It is okay, my best is good enough,” then you are doing part of the mind part of the recovery. The other part of the mind part is sitting zazen or other meditation, improving your attitude, transforming negative emotions, and finding acceptance in life.
AND, each day, if you are doing any part of the physical part of the Recipe, but you are not doing all of the physical parts of the Recipe that you wish to do, and instead of getting angry at yourself or fearful that it means you never will reach your recovery, you say, “It is okay, my best is good enough,” and you add in, “I have faith in my full recovery, I have learned to love myself, and I know that I am worthy and deserving of my full recovery,” then you are doing part of the soul part of the recovery. The other part of the soul part of the recovery is finding your spirituality deep inside you and connecting to your Higher Power to open your heart and release your dopamine with love, compassion, forgiveness, joy, happiness, gratitude, and contentment.
Achieving the goal: You will do it! One patient step at a time with calmness in your mind and love in your heart.
Yes, you will do it!
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.
Don says: Thanks for keeping fear out of the equation for recovery! I don’t have full mastery of all the ingredients in the recipe and on some, I am not yet up to the full amount required. This blog takes the pressure off since I still need more time to fully master items in the recipe.
Karen says: This blog is spot-on for Don. I don’t always have the right words when he would like to be farther ahead. Don has 4 more physical therapy sessions bringing Don to 27 sessions. He has done a great job juggling the home life, his much-needed physical therapy, and mastery of the recipe. Mastery of the body, mind, and spirit requires effort from both of us.
Love to all,
Karen and Don
What a beautiful post! Thank you so much Howard.
A beautiful message. Thank you Howard!
Your posts just get better and better Howard! Thank-you so much!