One of the more perplexing aspects of this health condition we call Parkinson’s, is the challenge I have with multitasking and repetitive motion. I have written about it in previous posts on kayaking, skipping, walking and playing golf.
This summer, at the behest of Mari, I took up skipping and kayaking! She thought it would be good for my fitness regimen! She was right of course, but I can’t get over how challenging it has been!
To quote a well-used cliche, “I’m not gonna lie to you,” yesterday was a challenging day! I’m not quite sure how to describe it except to say, I was a mess … and I’m not much better today! My voice was very raspy [almost inaudible at times] making it very difficult for me to use speech recognition. My entire body was very tense. There was considerably more trembling in my hands and much more loss of balance and freezing. I was also feeling very irritable and my patience was really put to the test!
Let me begin by saying, even though I’m writing a post about anxiety, I thankfully, do not experience a lot of it. The situations that cause me to experience anxiety include speaking in front of a crowd, packing for a trip or being late for something. These situations are infrequent.
Last summer, after retiring from teaching karate, I decided to take up golf again. It has been challenging! Not only am I that much older, I have some physical challenges to manage… loss of balance, trembling, freezing and loss of dexterity [particularly on the left side]. I have also lost a lot of strength, so I don’t hit the ball nearly as far as I used to. On the flipside, I tend to hit the ball much straighter!
I have told you in previous posts about David Thompson, Bianca Molle, Howard Shifke and John Coleman, all of whom have completely recovered from Parkinson’s Disease. I have also written about John Pepper, the South African who has used a conscious walking program to completely neutralize his symptoms. Thanks to blog reader, Jimmy, I would like to share with you another success story, Colin Potter, who has used a combination of a ketogenic [high fat] diet, supplementation, detoxification and exercise to get off medication and completely neutralize the symptoms he was experiencing. He claims that he hasn’t fully recovered, but he no longer experiences any symptoms. His interview is well worth watching.
A few years ago I discovered that I could overcome shuffle-walking by counting my steps. I had to count continuously, but as long as I did, my walking improved. I also figured out that when I found myself shuffle-walking, if I stopped, reset my stride, relaxed my hands and told myself to take a big step, I could walk normally; even if only for a few strides. I still do this!
I have long held that view that I’m not suffering from parkinson’s disease. Rather, I am experiencing a health condition characterized by certain symptoms. What is more, I don’t believe that I have to cure the condition. Instead, in order to recover my health I need to return my body to homeostasis.
I took up martial arts in 1989 after being inspired by a motivational speaker at a company conference. In 1996, after receiving my black belt, I opened my own karate club along with two partners. In 2007, I started teaching on my own. Martial arts has been a big part of my life for the past 28 years. and now that I am retired, I still practice every day.
As I sit here watching snow falling on this tranquil Sunday afternoon [we’ve received over seven feet so far this winter] I am reminded of the trepidation I was feeling last fall about spending my first winter on Manitoulin Island. The source of my uneasiness… among other things, tending to a 150 yard long driveway, mostly by myself [Mari is away two weeks every month] on an island known for lots of snow! Turns out my concerns were mostly unfounded.