Difficulty swallowing can be one of the most challenging [if not terrifying] aspects of this condition we call Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it was the increasing difficulty I was having swallowing that contributed to the panic attacks I experienced in 2014. I was under the mistaken assumption I would eventually require feeding tubes. The neurologist I was seeing at the time assured me that this was not the case.
I am reading, Focusing, written by Eugene Gendlin. It’s about understanding a health condition by understanding how the body is feeling. When I asked my body how it is feeling, I got an immediate response … weary!
A few years ago [I don’t recall exactly when], I noticed that driving intensified my symptoms. Not long after that, I noticed that my symptoms got worse even when I was a passenger in the car.
Last week, I took a rather long driving trip to visit family and friends, including my mentally handicapped brother who is in declining health. Every day involved a significant amount of time in the car, including nine hours on day one and six hours on the last day.
This past November, Mari urged me to get more dedicated to my daily recovery protocol. It’s a regimine I created three years ago before I retired from teaching martial arts and moved to Manitoulin Island. At the time, it consisted of 15 physical activities that were intended to support my recovery protocol; activities such as walking, doing push-ups and practising Qigong. I created an Excel spreadsheet to track my progress each day, putting a check mark beside each activity I completed.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you will probably know that last summer, we had a sauna installed down at our lakefront! Our intention was to use it year-round and yesterday afternoon, we had the pleasure of an invigorating midwinter sauna! While the temperature outside was a frosty -12°C, inside we enjoyed a sweat-generating 45°C [120°F]! It was hot and it was awesome! We would sit inside for 10 to 12 minutes, then dash outside, wash ourselves with snow, and scramble back inside to enjoy more heat. It was rejuvenating! It was refreshing! I suspect it was healing! And it was joyous! A fantastic way to spend a frigid February afternoon!
It has been a busy winter! Between shoveling snow [an average of three out of every four days so far], tending to the firewood and wood stove, republishing my first book and completing my daily recovery program activities, my days have been full! Unfortunately, this has left me little time for blogging. And I love blogging and sharing my recovery experience!
It’s a dilemma!
Yesterday, when I was leaving the butcher shop, I spotted a partridge in a field next door trying to get through a wire fence. The butcher shop is out in the country so it wasn’t exactly an unusual situation! The hapless grouse was patiently walking up and down the fence, periodically walking into it, looking for an opening! This would’ve been a beautiful opportunity for animal voiceovers! Unfortunately, there wasn’t a big enough gap in the fencing for him to fit through. I was going to walk over and suggest that he fly over it but I didn’t want to insult his intelligence. So I sat there for a few moments amused at his predicament. Then, convinced he would eventually figure it out, I smiled and drove off! Nature, the natural healer!
One of the keys to health and happiness is self-love! I truly believe this! I also believe that the opposite … self-loathing [lack of self love] and its partner, fear … is at the root of all chronic health conditions.
Usually when I’m filling the birdfeeder, the chickadees keep their distance. This morning I was treated to a different experience! A lone chickadee flew down out of the cedars and landed a foot from my head! I looked at him and told him to help himself! He perched there for a moment, then gave me a familiar chickadee-dee-dee call, before flying back up into the cedars! It felt like he simply wanted to say thank you! I was thrilled! A short but sweet interaction with nature; a gift from universal-energetic-intelligence! It truly was a delightful moment!
I recently watched a Super Soul Conversation Oprah Winfrey conducted with Gary Zukov, author of Seat of the Soul. During their delightful chat, I was reminded of how important it is for me to acknowledge and be grateful for the wonderful gifts of this Parkinson’s experience!