Keep On Keeping On

Keep On Keeping On

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First it was this, then it was that

and we finally knew it was PD

when the doctor gave me his final diagnosis

I was at the young age of just 43.

 

Twitching and tremors, loss of smell

and no more a sense of taste

comes to those who carry whatever it is

that ultimately decides our fate.

 

Everyone might think they understand

what's going on inside of me

but how could they begin to actually know

when they've never had this dreaded disease?

 

The symptoms are treated with different therapies

Sinemet, Azilect – more pills galore

they treat the symptoms you already have

while granting you at least a few more.

 

Shaking and twitching, while stumbling and falling

are just a few things that might b

but you can't know what's really going on

inside of the me you can't see.

 

The frustration and heartache of things

that I don't completely understand

things like – why I can no longer taste, nor anything smell

or hold anything with my hand.

 

The muscles are weak, though the spirit is strong-

that's a part of what makes this so sad –

If I didn't care about what monster is doing to me

Would that make it seem not so bad?

 

Still – I wonder if, in five more years

if I'll be able to dress myself and get out the door

there are so many things left for me to do in this life

smell the roses, hold my grandchildren and so much more.

 

There are times all I want to do is plop down and rest

the pain in my body is telling me to stop

but the fight inside tells me to “Continue! Go on!”

so it's “Keep on keeping on!” 'til I drop

 

I suppose I could rest more for another day

but for another day of what?

To sit and watch life pass me by?

Thank you, no – I'm deliberately avoiding that rut.

 

And so, even though each days brings the unknown to light

of what this disease has to offer to me,

I'll keep on keeping on, of that be assured

and I'll do it with great intensity.

 

When Parkinson’s Is Getting the Best of Me

When Parkinson’s Is Getting the Best of Me

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when i am older

and parkinson's wants the best of me,

remember that i loved German chocolate cake

make one and feed it to me.

 

when i am older

and parkinson's begins to try and take the best of me,

remember that i loved the music of steven curtis chapman

and play it loud for me.

 

when i am older,

and parkinson's seems to be getting the best of me,

remember how i loved flowers

and pick a bunch for me.

 

when i am older,

and parkinson's continues to fight to get the best of me,

remember how i loved the songs that the birds would sing

and sit me on the porch, so i may hear them sing a song to me.

 

when i am weaker

and parkinson's seems to be getting the 'all that's left of me',

remember how i used to love to take walks,

and shove me in a wheelchair and take a walk with me.

 

when i am older

and parkinson's seems to be winning the battle against me

don't stop fighting the hard fight for a cure

for all – not just for me.

 

when i am weaker

and parkinson's has taken my words from me

remember how much i loved you

and i'll be in a much better place soon

so be happy – for me.

Brain Food

I was researching food that is good for your brain for some reason (most likely PD related) at some time and tonight found my notes (and I wasn't even looking for them!)


So, here's what I found (and this may be old hat for you wise ones out there):

  • Cranberries are antioxidants and promote healthy cognitive functioning.
  • Oats are good brain energy and are rich in selenium which is an antioxidant. They help to improve learning.
  • Almonds are a good source of Vit E, which has been known to slow the progression of Alheimers.
  • Asparagus is rich in Vit A, promoting adullt brain plasticity (helps to keep brain learning and growing as you age.)
  • Walnuts (1/4 cup) and berries contain nearly all of your needed daily dose of Omega3. The polyphenols in berries slow down age-related mental decline.
  • The folic acid contained in peas and other legumes have shown to improve verbal and memory performance and may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Choline, which is found in eggs, has been linked to long-term memory development.
  • Garlic and onions not only keep Dracula at bay, but can protect against stroke and may improve impaired memory.
  • Shrimp contains Vit B12, which is good for cognitive health.
  • Spinach is antioxidant rich.
  • Chicken contains choline (go figure – so do their babies) and B vitamins.
  • Vit B6 and Vit C promote brain health and bananas ooze these vitamins. Adding chocolate adds an extra boost (I would think this would be true of any food item).
  • Dark chocolate contains flavonols, not only a brain healthy food that promotes memory upkeep, but it's been shown to be good for the heart. Of course, it would depend how much you ate at one sitting…


So, nibble your berries and drink your water,

crunch your nuts and swallow your oats,

get in the legumes, swallow the eggs

eat up your garlic and onions –

don't just take them out of the bags.


Make sure you eat your spinach

so you grow big and grow strong

add some chicken and some fish in your diet too,

And top it off with good ol' dark chocolate,

for only the darkest of the darkest will do.


 

Overcoming Little Monster

I don't feel very good.

 

My stomach feels nauseous

because my head hurts,

and my head hurts because

I can't stop gritting my teeth,

which only adds to the stiffness

in my neck,

which makes my back hurt more,

which makes me want to yell,

“ENOUGH ALREADY!”

 

but

 

I am not going to yell

for who would I yell to, anyhow?

 

It's all part of Little Monster's plan:

 

Pick an innocent bystander.

Get inside their head.

Turn the knob on the basal ganglia a quarter of a turn.

It won't take much –

it's a small, little, tiny thing.

 

Yet

in that oh-so-small, little, tiny thing

lies the key to Little Monster's plan.

The plan to take over your life.

To put a stop to

the production of dopamine cells.

No one knows

how Little Monster enters,

no one knows

which knob he turns

in his quest to rule your body.

 

But it works.

 

Production has stopped -

or at least slowed -

and you begin to feel different.

Strange.

Off-balance.

You stumble.

You shake.

Your movements no longer belong to you.

 

You begin to take a pill for this.

And then you take a pill for that.

And before you know

you have a handful.

 

You wonder why you're sad

and then all of a sudden you're not.

And when you're not

you wonder why you ever were.

 

And it goes around

and around

and around.

 

Your toes curl in

your legs cramp up

and your hands and arms

take part in the plan

and you are left

feeling pain

and disfigurement

and despair

and loss.

 

And you grieve

for what was

for what could have been

for what is now.

 

But –

 

then you have

a good day.

A day with sunshine

although hidden

behind the clouds.

You see the rays break through

and you turn your face toward them,

just to soak in the healing warmth.

 

And they do warm you.

They warm the muscles

from your head

to your toes

and

you feel like

you just might

make it through another day,

because Little Monster

has gone to sleep.

 

He cannot overcome

the one

who decides

to overcome him.

 

And –

 

we can all overcome

if we put one shaky foot

in front of the other

take another step,

and smile.

Because that's one

thing Little Monster didn't count on…

to see a beautiful smile

on a face he turned to stone.

 

I Will Fear No More

the dark of the night

in the valley of the shadows

of this disease

i will fear

 

nothing

 

though it surrounds me

invisible

relentless

from every side

 

still

 

i will fear nothng

 

in the dark of the night

though my body trembles

and my heart shakes

still

 

i will fear nothing

 

in the dark of night

when my mind dances

as a winter storm

loosed from its chains

and playing the game of what-ifs

 

still

 

i will fear nothing

 

when the dark of the night

threatens to consume my soul

to lay me outstretched

emotionally naked before the world

 

still

 

i will fear nothing

 

for the dark of the night

will turn its ugly face

to the Light of the morning

and there

 

there

 

i will feel no more

i will see no more

i will fear no more

 

for there will be

no more

shadows

 

there will be no more disease

 

in the Light of that morning

 

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