Fighting Parkinson’s, and Happy Early Birthday Mom

Tomorrow would be my Mom’s 84th birthday if she was still here. She passed away 11 and 1/2 years ago. As you know, having seen her struggles and the sad ending to the life of a beautiful, kind, loving being, I was highly motivated to take a different path than the one being offered; I decided I would solve Parkinson’s Disease. To my Mom, Lorraine, Happy Early Birthday! You have helped us all.

Here is what I wrote on the blog on my Mom’s birthday in 2010, just a few months after my full recovery:

“My Mom had Parkinson’s for 24 years before she passed away 3 and 1/2 years ago. Today would have been her 76th birthday. Mom, you were a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, and a kind-hearted soul. You are missed by all.”

Here is an excerpt from my Parkinson’s daily journal {October 6, 2009}:

“Up at 4. After breakfast, talked with Sally and then 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 finished talking. Mom would have turned 75 today.”

Parkinson’s is a terrible disease for those who have it, and it is equally a terrible disease for those who love and care for those who have it. It is very difficult to stay on the path to recovery when you are riding the physical and emotional roller coaster of day-to-day living. However, you are living, and how you live is up to you. Sally helped me a lot with this understanding.

Many people believe conceptually that they got the disease when they were diagnosed. I would imagine that you were feeling something was wrong for quite some time before ending up at the Parkinson’s specialist and/or neurologist to finally get diagnosed. As I have mentioned previously, after I recovered and the calluses disappeared from my fingertips, my fingerprint log-in to my computer no longer worked. I had set the fingerprint log in 18 months prior to being diagnosed, and I have no idea how much prior in time to that I had developed the calluses.

The point I am trying to make is this: you did not get Parkinson’s the day you got diagnosed, and it is not going to go away the day after the diagnosis or the day after you first read the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®. The captain of the Titanic only saw the tip of the iceberg, if that, but an ice mountain had been growing for a long time beneath the surface. When Parkinson’s finally breaks through the surface, there are mountains of layers below that need to be dealt with to beat the disease.

You have to decide that you want to win this battle, and you have to chip away at it a piece at a time. To succeed, you need to get on the path to recovery and have faith in yourself. Remember, you have the power to heal yourself. Your Parkinson’s knows it and tries to convince you otherwise.

You need to let your Parkinson’s know it cannot break your resolve. How?

  1. Do the soul, mind, and body recovery in the Recipe.
  2. Take 5 minutes each morning and repeat, “I have the power to heal myself.” “I have the power to heal myself.” “I have the power to heal myself.” “I have the power to heal myself.” Don’t stop now, you have 4.75 minutes remaining. Chant it again for 5 minutes in the afternoon or evening, “I have the power to heal myself.” At bedtime, silently chant to yourself, “I have the power to heal myself” and drift off to sleep.

Each time you chant, you are chipping away at the Parkinson’s mountain beneath the surface and coming closer to getting in touch with your Inner Divine; that is where you connect to the “power” in “I have the power to heal myself.” You are on the path to recovery.

On my Mom’s birthday, take a moment and draw some inspiration from her. My Mom was a special lady. She was the kind of Mom who would have traded places with any of her children when we were ill just to relieve us of our suffering. For 24 years with Parkinson’s, she simply tried to pretend that she was not suffering even though her suffering was apparent to anybody who saw her. She did not want to feel like a burden or have anybody worrying about her. Mom, you never were a burden, and all of us loved you and had compassion for you and for your situation.

To all of you, I share the same sentiment: You are not a burden, and all of the rest of us here love you and have compassion for you and your situation. We are a world-wide, multi-cultural family filled with love and compassion for each other and for ourselves.

You are fighting a difficult fight, so please draw some inspiration from each other and from yourselves. Be inspired by yourself for the courage you are showing on this journey to recovery. You are taking the path least traveled, and having been there myself, I am inspired by each and every one of you.

Happy Early Birthday Mom! I love you!

Happy life to all of you.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,


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16 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and Happy Early Birthday Mom

  1. Jan - UK says:

    Thank you for this wonderful blog – today I am struggling to keep going and struggling with finding and believing in faith not fear. I keep crashing out and just want to lay down with my foot dystonia and tremors raging – I have managed a 1 km bike spin but could’t complete my recipe this morning – I felt like I was failing and PD was winning. Your blog has chivied me up and helped me to keep going, thank you, you are such an inspiration. Peace and love to you and my fellow travellers, Jan x

  2. Jan - UK says:

    Forgot to say a big and grateful thank you and Happy Birthday to your mum x

  3. Johnny Woodruff says:

    Thank you, Howard. Happy Birthday to your dear Mom.

    It goes without saying some days are harder than others. Be not afraid – God is with us. Do not relent . . . Press On, my brave comrades.

    Courage, Faith, Peace and Harmony to us all as we continue the battle up the Road to Recovery.

  4. Maureen Fisk says:

    Thank you Howard for these lovely memories. I love doing the I will heal myself chant…will now do it at am, noon, and bedtime…very empowering. Happy Birthday to your courageous Mom and peace to you and your family.

  5. Gina says:

    Happy Birthday to your dear Mom! Sounds like she was a lovely woman.

  6. Lisa says:

    Thank you for your continued love, support and insight, Howard. And happy birthday and blessings to your mom.

  7. Kathy from Minnesota says:

    Thank you, Howard. I am caring for my dear mother. She has dementia, but sometimes just puts her hand on my tremoring arm as if to wish it better. She motivates me to stay the course, as I am sure the memory of your mom does. Thank you for the wisdom you share.

  8. Lohren Christie says:

    Happy Birthday to your mom, Howard. I know she watches over you.

    I like to envision myself as healed, running, skipping, and dancing! It feels good to me and my heart sings. I have stopped watching the news. If we pay attention, it is all about the negative. We are meant to be positive. A child normally laughs a lot and mostly in social interaction. Here are two examples of laughter yoga. Love and blessings. Lohren

  9. Chris Meyer says:


    Thanks for making available such great information on how to contend with PD. I remember sitting with my own father who also had PD on his back porch. He knew I was interested in spirituality and asked me what the Mystics think about life and illnesses like PD.

    I felt bad because I knew I wasn’t far enough along to provide any practical help or advice.

    Your work may indeed do much to reduce the occurrence of such awkward and painful moments.

    Thank you very much. You are most appreciated!

    Best regards,

    Chris Meyer in Wisconsin

  10. Chuck says:

    Hi Howard, happy birthday to your mom and thanks for your help

    Wishing you a wonderful blessed weekend

  11. Don and Karen in Texas says:

    Thanks, Howard! You are a deeply appreciated inspiration.

  12. Tery and Werni Brun says:

    Dear Howard

    Happy Birthday to your dear Mom!!!

    Thank you too dear Howard for your steady support we all appreciate so much!!

  13. Christiane from Germany says:

    Dear Howard,
    it’s always an inspiration to read your wonderful blog. Keep on doing your great work and keep on reminding us: if you can do it, I can do it!

    Happy Birthday to your lovely mom.

  14. Vincent Alessi says:

    Happy birthday to you, Mrs. Shifke. Your suffering was not in vain, it inspired your son to chart a new path for himself and others. Here’s to you and may we have the strength to see it through to completion.

  15. Sue at sfbayarea says:

    Happy Belated Birthday to your mom and how she has inspired you to help so many of us. Diagnosed in Jan 2013. I’ve been doing the Recipe for 4 years mostly on but sometimes not. I had a brief setback this summer which forced a move where I got some in home physical therapy and I reluctantly started meds. My good news is the physical therapist is specializing in PD and was so impressed when I told her about your book she has had 9 of her patients order it. Yeah Howard!!! Thank you so much.

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