Whatever part of the PD team you’re in, you’re not playing in this lifelong game alone. Get into a support group, find a ‘coach’, a ‘captain’, someone who’s been there and can encourage you in your game. Remember… You are not alone.
So, since this is ‘the day’ for official information (per my say so) and since Parkinson’s Awareness Day is now officially on this ‘day of information’, here are 11 things you may not know about Parkinson’s disease and most likely should.
2. A person with PD doesn’t necessarily have tremors.
3. The progress for new medication has been crazy slow for the length of the disease’s known history. The main drug used to treat PD today is the same drug used 200 years ago. That is great if it is the best we can do. That is not great if that is really the best we can do. We must, however, continue to work alongside researchers and physicians, journeying on in order to find a cure. As it now stands, PD is one of the most treatable diseases of all neurological disorders.
4. Dystonia can be a major in the life of a patient and not one you’d want on your team.
5. For some, symptoms are often on only one side of the body, making it half as bad as those with symptoms on both sides of the body. This oddity persists through the progression of the disease.
6. Michale J. Fox has learned to laugh at PD, although I’m sure he doens’t consider it a laughing matter.
7. Exposure to paraquat, a pesticide, triples a person’s risk of getting Parkinson’s disease.
8. Therapeutic techniques used in Parkinson’s disease and tremors would not have been possible without research on monkeys
9. People with Parkinson’s often must answer to the question, “What’s the matter?”. We say, “Nothing. Nothing is the matter. We just wear what is referred to as a ‘masked face’. That’s all.”
happy or glad,
full of joy, full of sorrow,
we look the same today
as we will look tomorrow.
10. There is a proven link between gut bacteria and PD.
11. This picture depicting PD also needs to be tossed into the pile of rejects…
Okay, so maybe you won’t be jumping off a snow covered mountain peak on a snowboard or skateboarding down a rail, but having Parkinson’s disease is not a death sentence and there are so many things available for you to still do and many things you’ve loved to do are still available as well, perhaps just at a slower pace. Don’t live a glass-half-empty life. Life is much too short.
Studies have shown that exercise is one of the very best things you can do for yourself if you have PD, walking being one of the best choices. Physical therapy is a bonus and they can teach you what’s safe and doable without hurting yourself, which is important to consider with PD and it’s limitations. A walking partner can make all the difference. Ask someone to start walking with you.
Swimming is a great therapeutic exercise in so very many ways and exercises many muscles much gentler than other programs.
Painting is possible! Check out this site: The PD Gallery of Painters
Biking is another great way to get exercise that has proven to be extremely beneficial for PD’ers.
If you don’t want to go out of the house to exercise, check out the ‘Wii-Fit’.
Write daily – keep a journal. Also – crossword puzzles, Soduko and the like keep the mind active.
Take pictures of the things that bring you joy!
Take a dance class. Studies are showing this to be great exercise and therapy for PD patients. If you don’t have a partner, find one.
Get into a singing group to stretch and strengthen vocal cords – church choir? local singing ensemble? Check out Tremble Clefs , a program started specifically for PD’ers to come together for music, fun, and to strengthen their voices! A nationwide program.
Volunteer at the local hospital, a nursing home, after school tutoring for kids, reading to kids at libraries…
You don’t have to be jumping out of an airplane or another extreme activity. Just get involved somewhere, doing something, with someone. You’ll be a better person physically, emotionally, and mentally.