I recently read Howard Shifke’s, Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery. Shifke, as you may know, is an American lawyer who fully recovered from Parkinson’s in 2010 after being diagnosed in 2009.
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.
A couple of afternoons ago I was out on the lawn, enjoying the sunshine and practising Qigong. In the middle of my practice, a tiny hummingbird zipped by on its way to check out the flowers by our deck! I am so awed by these brave little creatures! It was a moment of admiration and I felt awesome!
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!
It occurred to me a few years ago that my goal isn’t to cure myself of Parkinson’s Disease. This is too daunting an endeavor; one better left to the medical folks. Rather, my goal is to recover my health by returning my body to homeostasis!
Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical! These are the immortal words of legendary New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra! While Yogi’s math was a little off, his sentiment was right on! And the same holds true for those of us recovering from a chronic health condition. Our mental attitude is paramount! More to the point, what we believe is the key our recovery!
Okay, I’m going to do my best to explain this loss of balance phenomenon and how to correct it. It is the most challenging aspect of the neurological condition I’m experiencing and I’m certain I now understand it.
My favorite form of exercise these days is walking! I walk for an hour almost every morning! It is an integral part of my healing protocol!
Yesterday, my neighbor Saul took me for a ride around the island. I had met him a month previous and had run into him earlier that morning while out walking. During our conversation, I mentioned that I had never been to Providence Bay, so he dropped by to take me there.
When I arrived on Manitoulin a few weeks ago to begin my retirement I had a healthy list of things I wanted to accomplish. My to do list, as it were! Among the items on my list were several projects to complete around the house. So last week, while Mari was home on her two week break, we got to work.