These symptoms include:
- loss of balance
- Dystonia … hand clenching and loss of strength, coordination & dexterity (usually on one side)
- constriction in the throat
- shuffle walk
- weight loss
- low blood pressure and dizzy spells
- pain in one or both shoulders
- back pain and tension
- stiffness in the neck
- irritability and anxiety
- slow/urgent urination
- softening of the voice
- difficulty hand writing
Have I missed anything … phew!
All of this mainly because of one neurotransmitter (Dopamine … grrrr!) in one tiny part of the brain. It’s kinda hard to grasp it!
I am experiencing most of these symptoms and I have to admit it’s both challenging and disconcerting, especially considering the progression of them in the last two years. (That’s why it’s so important to live in the present moment and not get caught up thinking about the future!)
For me, one of the biggest challenges has to do with balance. I first noticed it about five years ago when I was out on my daily walk and suddenly found myself veering to the right. It’s now gotten to the point where I’m sure for people observing me (and not even closely), I must look like a drunken sailor on a frigate in the middle of a rough ocean. I find it almost impossible to stand in one place without swaying and staggering around. I have to constantly remind myself to keep my back straight, head up and shoulders square.
So thank God for martial arts, yoga and balancing exercises. I don’t know where I’d be without them!
If you’re having difficulty with balance, here are some things you can practice every day:
- Tree pose
- Stand in a horse stance (feet spread 3-4′ apart, knees bent & pushed out … looks like you’re riding a horse … back straight), then lift your heals up and down 20 – 30 times, with hands on your thighs. This strengthens both the thighs and calves.
- Stand with your heels together, feet pointed out 45 degrees and calves touching. Lift your heels up and down 20-30 times, while keeping calves in conact.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, eyes closed, arms straight out to the side. Visualize roots growing from your legs down into the earth. Try to hold it for 2-3 minutes.
- Sun salutation
- Smile. Some Hollywood director might see you and hire you to play a drunk in a movie … acting without acting!
These exercises may take time but I figure they’re a better alternative than medication and even if you do take medication, I’m sure you will find the helpful.
Have an awesomely balanced day!