Fighting Parkinson’s, and living your life to its fullest

You are alive. That is a good thing. But are you living your life or are you living your Parkinson’s? That is a critical question, but more important is the answer.

If you are living your Parkinson’s, then you are staring at your symptoms, you are fearful that each time something appears worse on the outside that you are getting worse with the disease, and the staring at symptoms and fear of what they mean causes your faith and hope begin to dwindle. This is a recipe for disaster and does not lead to recovery. The Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® is a recipe for success…success with your journey toward Parkinson’s recovery, and success with living your life to its fullest.

To assist me with this point, I want to share with you a post that I wrote ten years ago, entitled “Fighting Parkinson’s, having a positive attitude.” At the time I wrote this post, May 10, 2010, I still had Parkinson’s and I had been doing the Recipe every day for 7 and 1/2 months:

“I have received very nice off-line feedback regarding keeping a positive attitude and how big a part this plays in fighting Parkinson’s or any other disease. It reminded me of an article I read months ago where the author said he noticed that if he spoke to somebody with cancer, they would refer to their condition as “I’m fighting cancer.” The author said that people with Parkinson’s would respond, “I have Parkinson’s Disease.” It struck a nerve with me when he concluded that cancer sufferers are fighters and expect to prevail over their disease, and that Parkinson’s sufferers accept the fact that they have an incurable disease and do not expect to prevail, so why fight it. This should help you understand the importance to me of the title of my blog.

On this point, I am going to explain the Parkinson’s symptom of rigidity and how it impacts me. First, here is a good definition:

•Rigidity. Rigidity, or a resistance to movement, affects most parkinsonian patients. A major principle of body movement is that all muscles have an opposing muscle. Movement is possible not just because one muscle becomes more active, but because the opposing muscle relaxes. In Parkinson’s disease, rigidity comes about when, in response to signals from the brain, the delicate balance of opposing muscles is disturbed. The muscles remain constantly tensed and contracted so that the person aches or feels stiff or weak. The rigidity becomes obvious when another person tries to move the patient’s arm, which will move only in ratchet-like or short, jerky movements known as “cogwheel” rigidity.

I have rigidity in my arms, legs, and upper back into my shoulders. Last week, a friend asked me to explain my rigidity so he could get a better sense of what I am experiencing.

1. My arms — the next time you sit down to eat, pick up some food with your utensil, and while holding your utensil just above the plate or bowl, flex and tighten every muscle in your arm from your shoulder to the grip on the utensil. While maintaining this, try to get the utensil with the food to your mouth. My arms are tight like this all the time.

2. My legs — stand as straight as you can and then put a little bend in your knees. Next, flex your calves and thighs. Now, try to walk. Or do this in front of the stairs and see if you can walk up the stairs without holding on. When you add the symptom of very poor balance to the formula, you can see why leaning forward when walking and holding on when going up the stairs are commonplace among those fighting Parkinson’s. My legs are tight like this all the time.

3. My upper back — it is tight and hurts all the time. I really do not have a good example for you to emulate.

Having a positive attitude is the key to everything. My mind and body have accepted the pain, so I am not consumed by it every waking moment. Deciding every day that Fighting Parkinson’s drug free is a fight worth fighting is what keeps me going. Quite frankly, getting to spend time with Sally and the children to celebrate Mother’s Day yesterday is really what keeps me going.”

On May 10, 2010, when I wrote that post, I had no idea I would be fully recovered on June 12, 2010. How is it that the person who explained how poorly he was feeling that day could be fully recovered one month later?

I had learned to live my life to its fullest instead of living my Parkinson’s symptoms…that’s how.

Take a look at the last paragraph:

“Having a positive attitude is the key to everything. My mind and body have accepted the pain, so I am not consumed by it every waking moment. Deciding every day that Fighting Parkinson’s drug free is a fight worth fighting is what keeps me going. Quite frankly, getting to spend time with Sally and the children to celebrate Mother’s Day yesterday is really what keeps me going.”

Acceptance that you will have some symptoms until you fully recover helps you keep a positive attitude. Then, the symptoms can serve as nothing more than a reminder that there is more work to be accomplished on the path toward recovery. You need not give them any more importance than that.

Acceptance helped me calm my mind and open my heart. I looked beyond the symptoms and the pain (physical), accepted what was occurring with the symptoms and in my life (mental), and opened my heart and soul to the people, and myself (spiritual). I was restoring balance by living my life to its fullest.

Doing the Recipe and deciding every day that fighting Parkinson’s is a fight worth fighting is what leads to success…success with your journey toward Parkinson’s recovery, and success with living your life to its fullest.

You are so much more than Parkinson’s symptoms. Don’t you agree?

Why not put a smile on your face, do the Recipe, and live your life to its fullest!

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

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16 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and living your life to its fullest

  1. Chris Meyer says:

    Howard –

    Thanks for the great blog post. After reading this, I’m inspired to relax with confidence and focus on enjoying my life.

    Thanks a lot!

    With great appreciation for you and everyone on the blog,

    Chris

  2. Roz Rayner-Rix says:

    Wonderful Howard… Truly an inspiration. Keep up the positive vibes they are working for those of us with eyes to see…

    Roz Rayner-Rix

  3. Paul says:

    Ty Howard
    I have been looking into the mirror for 5-10 minutes daily, and have recognized that I have not been living my life for a very very long time, also my self love was very low.

    But when I look into the mirror and my eyes, my heart opens and my love for myself reconnects and I recognize that it was always there but just covered over,

    Ty Howard for lightning the road less travelled

  4. Sylvia says:

    Dear Howard,
    Yes, that’s it. I can be so busy with:
    Recipe,
    Eating at the right time, so timing is important
    Reducing medication and figuring it out
    Meditate etc.
    So it is hard to NOT live Parkinson’s.
    But I do know now that it’s the attitude that makes the difference: enjoying practice, making it part of life in a positive way, be in a flow and having faith.
    Wishing you all the positive healing vibe,
    Sylvia

  5. Jan - UK says:

    As always a massive inspiration – guidance and giver of hope – thank you Howard.
    Jan UK

  6. Dustin Anderson says:

    Yet another perfect read. Well done.

    I have been recovering not only myself, but my relationship with my mother who was an abusive alcoholic when I was a child.

    Last night, I balled my eyes out in her frail and decaying arms as another layer of shame and fear was stripped off me. And my body didn’t matter. Acceptance of her has been a huge multifaceted Challenge and last night felt like a great step in recovery.

    Dustin
    Nanaimo BC

  7. Jeff A says:

    Thank you Howard I needed that pick me up, perfectly said!!

  8. Thank you, Howard. This was most helpful to realize more fully how you were symptomatic until you weren’t. Rock on!

  9. Sharon says:

    Howard, thank you so much, especially this:
    “Acceptance that you will have some symptoms until you fully recover helps you keep a positive attitude.”
    Thank you for all your guidance and help.
    Love to all, Sharon in North Carolina

  10. Jeffrey Callen says:

    I’ve been fighting Parkinson’s for ten years. Still, I find that I need To remind myself that I am not Parkinson’s and, when I don’t, my symptoms spike. Howard, thank you for the reminders that I am not Parkinson’s and for shining a light to the path leading to a life without Parkinson’s—it’s not welcome any longer and I deserve to heal.

    With love and appreciation,

    Jeffrey

  11. Rita Detweiler says:

    To Dustin,

    Thank you for being so vulnerable as to reveal such a deep, hidden, hurting part of your essence in the Comments. I felt a special connection with you as we have some dear friends in Nanaimo which as I recall is a very small place. You have my permission to request our e-mail address from Howard if you like.

    Blessings and positive support to your healing journey as well as to the healing journeys of all of Howard’s followers, including my husband, Russ. And as always, our deep gratitude to Howard for continuing to lead others on this amazing journey of daring to believe that Parkinson’s can be and has been healed.

  12. Petra says:

    Oh it’s inspiring, in the meantime negative thoughts passes my way as I am used to do. When it happens, a shock comes over my body (adrenaline shock) and it feels like shutting down the open mind, so shutting down the dopamine. What is it that it happens: self-judging, it shuts me literally down. But….how to open it by my own. I can say “stay positive,” but it looks like it has to burn out or someone says something like a bucket full of water to put the fire out. And I felt relieved, when the body is reacting on negative thoughts, how to eliminate. I wrote Howard one hardcore thing about myself: “I’m going to be disappointed about myself, (what I usually know about myself),” but when I turn this around “I’m not going to be disappointed,” then a whole field of possibilities can occur to me,,,,that could be surprising and I feel that my body lifts up, so this is one way to look at it. So, let’s turn the world upside dow and you’ll be surprised maybe. Thank you Howard, for keeping us on the road. Still after ten years, you inspire a lot of people . 🌺🌺🌺

  13. Tery and Werni says:

    What helpful comments to see that everybody has their problems and to find here this wonderful community! The reason is our dear Howard with his thinking for us, how we should live to find the way to full recovery! This time again very clear and helpful!! Thanks to Howard and to all readers here🙏

  14. Rosa says:

    Dear Dustin,

    What a marvelous life changing milestone in your life! They say forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself. It’s a beautiful gift not only for you but for your mother.

    Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

  15. Chris Meyer says:

    The universe is an infinite number of miracles all strung together like pearls to make a beautiful necklace. And each of us is one of those beautiful pearls.

    All things are possible, my friends. If this weren’t the case, nothing would exist.

    Finding strength through the the beauty and infinite possibilities of the universe,

    Chris

  16. Akhil says:

    Hi Howard,

    It’s been wonderful 6 and a half months since I started doing the recipe and have never skipped it except 1 day when I had to travel. I am feeling pretty better than how you described your symptoms 1 month before your final recovery. When I feel bit impatient with my recovery, I always remind me of something similar which you mentioned:

    “Acceptance that you will have some symptoms until you fully recover helps you keep a positive attitude.”

    I have strong feeling that my recovery is around the corner and I have to continuously keep doing the recipe. I believe that I will wake up one morning and I will be fully recovered.

    Also I remind myself of your following lines:
    Recovery is tortoise
    I am tortoise

    I am full of gratitude to God and you!

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