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.
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 have been following my blog posts, you may recall that I have written about two techniques I discovered that help me minimize freezing. The first is to stagger my feet. I have found that I am more prone to freezing when my feet are side-by-side. The second technique is to tell myself to take a big step, then bend my knees quickly, and take a big step.
I recently discovered a third helpful technique! It simply involves swinging one or both arms in the direction I wish to step … I initiate the swinging motion just before stepping. I have been doing it now for over a week and it helps enormously. Quite frankly, I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me sooner, given that I used to teach my martial arts students to swing their arms and upper body first in order to throw more effective spinning kicks. Such are the peculiarities of the human mind!
If you haven’t already figured this one out, give it a try and let me know if it helps!
In the meantime, have an awesome day!
As you probably are aware, I believe that bodywork is an important part of the recovery process. On Sunday I got to experience it firsthand! My right hand was trembling, so the chiropractor, using her activator, released tension in a specific spot near my elbow and the trembling stopped immediately! It was the first time I had experienced such a direct response! It was an amazing moment and I felt awesome!
I have had a number of inquiries lately on how to minimize trembling. Let me begin by saying, trembling is not the most challenging symptom for me. Loss of balance, freezing, loss of dexterity in my hands, shuffle walking and constipation are far more challenging.
Since being interviewed by Robert Rodgers last week I have spoken to several people who are really struggling at the moment. And even though we’ve all been diagnosed with the same condition, our challenges are quite varied. Severe trembling, anxiety, panic, headaches, paralysis and immobility, disorientation and the like.
Recently I was walking from the house down to the lake to enjoy the view and the serenity. About halfway down the steps, it suddenly occurred to me that in that moment, I felt normal! My balance was fine [it usually is when I’m walking], there was no freezing, no trembling and no clenching in my hands. My gait was normal as well!
Perhaps the most unpleasant aspect of my neurological experience has been constipation. Three years ago, it wasn’t an issue, but then it suddenly crept up on me. Until I got it under control, I had some difficult days… or should I say, difficult movements!
Thanks to a recent conversation with a friend, I had an epiphany about my experience with this neurological condition. I realized that I have been spending far too much time thinking about the symptoms I experience; wanting not to experience them.