In my last post, I discussed how to be at peace with the past. An equally important issue to resolve for those intent on recovering their health is minimizing fear, which is to say, minimizing worry and stress.
I was initially planning to post this blog for the benefit of those of us experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s, but in this time of worry and concern in relation to the coronavirus, it seems appropriate for a wider audience.
Sleep deprivation is a common aspect of living with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, whether you take medication, or not. The good news is that the body’s natural tendency is to shut down the fight-flight response prior to sleep in order to ensure a restful sleep. So we just need to do what we can to support this.
It was a year ago that I found myself hospitalized, scared, deep in a prolonged state of panic and unable to move my legs. Seven days after being admitted, I walked out of the hospital, went home and shoveled snow! What led to this dramatic change, was quite simply, medication! There was also a change in outlook, but it came later!
After several consultations with a doctor at the hospital, I agreed to give levodopa and sertraline a try [this after seventeen years of being medication free]! It worked!
Whenever I find myself dwelling on the symptoms I am experiencing and wanting them to go away … which happens more often than I care to admit … I remind myself to take a different approach. I remind myself … compassionately … to place my mind in the state I want to be in … joyful, excited, enthusiastic, contented!
Loss of balance continues to be one of the three biggest challenges I face [along with anxiety and freezing]. In the past few months I have placed much more emphasis on balance exercises and it is paying off.
Loss of balance occurs when the mind and body are in a chronic state of stress and fear for an extended period of time. This ongoing fight or flight state results in the continual overproduction of stress hormones and neurotransmitters, particularly adrenaline and cortisol, and the corresponding underproduction [or non-production] of the tranquility-inducing, feel-good, muscle-control neurotransmitters, especially dopamine and serotonin.
I thought this might be a good time to summarize my recent experience and strategy in overcoming anxiety. I’m still in the process, but I have made progress, particularly in my learning and understanding of anxiety and how to overcome it without taking pills [which is always an option].
If you are experiencing anxiety, please know that I understand what you are going through because I am there as well! Anxiety has become my biggest challenge, affecting me both physically and mentally! When I’m in a state of anxiety, the physical symptoms I experience significantly worsen!
This past February, largely at Mari’s urging. I decided to get more active and aggressive with CBD oil as part of my recovery protocol. I had tried it a couple of times previous but had some difficulty identifying the right formula for me and quantifying its effect, so I didn’t stay with it. Also, I hadn’t been able find any research or anyone who had experienced any quantifiable benefits from using CBD oil.
Lately, my attention has been very much focused on overcoming anxiety, for two important reasons. First, it is very challenging, mentally, particularly as it relates to experiencing panicky feelings. Second, it affects all the other symptoms I experience, significantly. When I am in a state of anxiety, my gait is stiffer, my balance is worse, I’m very unsteady on my feet, my movements are slower, my voice is rhaspy and my driving is less steady.
The reason for this renewed focus is because I recently started feeling anxiety again.
As part of my Recovery Protocol and daily regimen, which are intended to return my body too homeostasis, I am learning to count to 10 in various languages. I am also learning a new language … Estonian [Mari is Estonian, so I have ample motivation].
My primary objective in undertaking this endeavor is to neutralize and dissolve anxiety, which is my biggest challenge these days!