Over the past six years of researching Parkinson’s disease, I have concluded that there are many, many routes down the road to recovery. I do get many questions from people asking what is the most important step they should explore to recover. The good news is that there are many options that are helping people reverse their symptoms. The bad news is that there are so many choices, is can be a daunting task to choose ones to pursue.
I thought when I began my research I would discover a simple solution. That anticipation has been transformed into something much more exciting – the preview of many options that are making a difference.
This insight inspired me to sponsor Parkinsons Recovery Summits which preview some of the options that are making a huge difference in the lives of persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The 2011 Summit was in Vancouver, the 2012 Summit in Cincinnati and the 2013 Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Because many people cannot travel long distances to the Summit, we video taped the Santa Fe presentations which can now be ordered through April for a 25% discount (coupon code is 2013options). Information about the videos and the presentations is available on the Summit Website: http://www.summit.parkinsonsrecovery.com.
I received an inspiring email from Anne who has given me permission to include her correspondence here. She will be a guest on the radio show when her second book has been officially released. Her story beautifully captures the observation that everyone’s journey down the road to recovery is unique
Hello Robert and how are you?
My second book is out by the end of next month. It’s title is ‘Still Laughing.’ It is slightly longer that the first one and deals with what it has been like now that I am no longer considered to be newly diagnosed. In fact, it will be 8 years in August plus another 5 on top where I was misdiagnosed.
I volunteered for the Australian Parkinson’s registry 4 years ago and was given a very thorough physical and cognitive overhaul. Last month (March). I was recalled for another overhaul and my results were even better. My postural balance is now considered to be normal. My cognitive scores had improved – one test is where you look at a list of 10 words and then say them. Four years ago I scored 6 and then 30 mins later, the score was still 6. This time I scored 9 and 30 mins later it was 10!
I still take medication but it has not been increased for 3 years. The non-motor symptoms are the ones that are not all that responsive – sleep disorder, gastric reflux, excessive sweating, bowel and bladder problems are still there but I can live with them. Being able to walk and move well and actually remember myself doing that is just the best feeling.
I can stand on one foot and put a sock on the other without over-balancing. My score overall was 98/100. Last time it was below 85. I am even getting muscle tone back.
I do not attend a gymnasium. I use my everyday life as exercise i.e. the housework and gardening are part of my exercise program. I still have my beautiful bed of roses where I take time to bury myself in the perfume.
I am a very positive person and I do it automatically. Same with all my movements. I was told that using the frontal cortex was effective but movements would never become spontaneous and that you would have to plan each part of a movement. Not true. I can do 2 things at once and most times I don’t even think about what I am going to do. Many times I have stopped and realised that I have been on automatic pilot and wasn’t aware of doing so.
I don’t put myself down. I never say that I am stupid or dumb. If I make a mistake I just think of it as a learning experience and will do it better next time. I made the decision to present to the world a smiling face. And when I am asked how I am, I always answer ‘I feel fine’ and you know what? I am!