It is no small matter really enjoying life for the first time after the kids have gone and all the hustle and bustle is behind you to discover that you have Parkinson’s Disease. It came like a deft thief in the night, no warning, no symptoms except for a slight tremor in the right arm. After dealing with the news and reading everything on the internet regarding Parkinson’s, I thanked God for sending me a reminder, virtually a wake up call to tell me I had another chance.
The next day I booked a ticket to go to
to visit my daughter for six weeks. I didn’t know what to expect from this disease and how long I would wait or explore or experiment with natural remedies, but I was going to try and was going to pack it in during the time I had. Parkinson’s doesn’t kill you the doctor said. Alzheimers does. Not Parkinson’s. That’s easy for you to say, I said. It’s not you we’re talking about. You’re the one with the calculator in your hand. Funny or not, I took the reminder seriously. I would have to make a note of all my transgressions and repent. I would spend every day doing just what I wanted. I would stay in my pyjama bottoms and t-shirt the whole day. I would eat ice cream before lunch. Who would be nasty now? America
All joking aside, however, Parkinson’s is a serious and debilitating disease. You can’t let it control you. Now more than anything you have to do stretching exercises and go for a walk. Many people do yoga or meditation, but you have to get your body moving.
· Crunch and curl your toes when you sit.
· Keep your back straight and stand upright.
· If you have a nice long passage in the hall – 30 steps or so one way and 30 steps the other way – you can have three or more walks a day, for a total or thirty or forty minutes.
· Take small bites and eat slowly when eating and swallowing food.
· Eat foods high in seratonin and dopamine such as yams, bananas, nuts and so on.
· Do crossword puzzles and play word games to keep your brain active.
· Potter in the garden and tend to your plants
· Don’t sit in the same position for long. Get up frequently to move around
· Read whatever you can about Parkinson’s and let that inspire you
· Thank God that your meds are working and you don’t have a fatal disease.