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The Journey Has Begun…

 I can’t say with any certainty when it began. 

     As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, firm in the faith, I understood none of us are exempt from trials that will test us.  But I also knew many of our trials are a consequence of prior bad choices.  Because I was born with a strong healthy constitution and had a health conscious life style, complete with nutritional supplements, herbs & essential oils I felt like a candidate for one who could live to witness the second coming of Christ.

     John & I raised ten children of our own, and as circumstances permitted we were professional parents to numerous special needs young people, then for nearly 16 years we operated a licensed Family Group child care in our home.  We lived on an acre of land and had an amazing garden and all sorts of fruit trees and berries.  I felt like my life style afforded me all the exercise I needed.

In the spring of 2015, I noticed it was difficult to move around in the cherry tree while picking.  But when I climbed into the apple tree to string lights for our youngest daughter’s wedding reception in June of 2015… I knew my days of tree climbing were over.

      After moving to Lady Lake, I transitioned to a holistic Dr. stating I had lots of abnormal symptoms. None, by themselves were serious, but I wondered if together they might be indicative of a bigger problem? April 30th 2018, by process of elimination and observation, Dr.Kraucak determined my diagnosis to be Parkinson’s Disease. For me, having a name meant I no longer needed to wonder why I had such a soft voice and drooling, why my hands were so weak, while playing family games, I couldn’t hold cards to shuffle and my handwriting was so small and unintelligible. A name meant I now understood why I felt like my feet struggled to keep up with my head and I couldn’t balance enough to participate in a water exercise class, etc..

  It has taken NINE months since I received the name to target my research efforts… but now I am ready to begin to blog.

Welcome 

I am DELIGHTED to have you here. If you haven’t done so already, please browse the website to learn more.  I will try to make it easy for you, by linking my blog entries to the INDEX page,to facilitate your search for specific topics.  

Don’t forget to click on FOLLOW so you stay up to date on additional new content!

      I have already learned so much on this journey with Parkinson’s disease. I saw a blog called Parkinstand hosted by a lovely African lady seeking to locate other people of African ethnicity.  I was prompted to create a forum where people of my faith could share their experiences to strengthen one another.

I can’t wait to share all that, and more, with you!

Stay tuned.

 

Making Healthy Progress

On May 5th I posted about the Resonance Effect

‘The book on Amazon you can buy right now is called Resonance Therapy by Carolyn McMakin. wherein a person can learn about the history of and how Frequency Specific Microcurrent is changing lives. ‘

“Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) works on the body on the same principle as a key fob which uses resonance to unlock a car door (or) as a radio transmitter and receiver resonate with each other to bring a signal into your radio.. or TV. “Resonance follows the laws of physics and the observations and principles of science”

At that time I had learned of a device that had 20,000 medical doctor users in Europe and tens of thousands in 43 countries who are not doctors and became available May 1st in the USA.  The claim was ‘If you can push on an app on a smart device then you can learn how to use this amazing FDA class II medical device.’

I acquired the device… it was so flimsy and cheaply made and difficult to use and the company offered zero customer support. But despite the glitches, the product did work.

Mid January of 2021 I learned about micronutrients. At the link just below you may view an interview where a Dr. McGee speaks with Dr. Reg McDaniels about restoring our bodies to normal I found his presentation of details about the value of micronutrients pretty compelling. He is very careful to say it is not something that cures… But that it gets nutrition to the cellular level.

The person who introduced me to the Frequency Specific Microcurrent was having great success in assisting people find better quality of life with the device, but he was spending hours each day doing what the company should have been doing; providing customer service.

He, Reg McDaniel Jr., and his working partner, Beau Johnson have withdrawn from the FSM company which is based in Germany. And have put together an amazing group of successful marketers, engineers, scientists, lawyer and a Doctor. They even have acquired a website that works well. Ascend Sciences International The ‘Curie” is still in development stage but they have a ‘Mini Curie’ set to come into production in the next two or three weeks which they will allow those who have pre-purchased Curies to purchase a ‘Mini Curie’ before the company actually Launches, so the people can begin sharing the ‘Mini Curie’ with ailing friends and family.

Additionally, Reg’s father Reg McDaniel Sr. has given them the list of ingredient’s and recipe / formula adding another nutrient to market the HerbaCeuticals™ Q800. The Aloe has been contracted for, along with the other necessary ingredients and the company is ready to begin production very very soon.

If anyone is interested in attending a zoom meeting to learn more, please reach out to me.. If you check out the website , PLEASE, do ‘NOT’ click on the ‘JOIN NOW’ on the home page of Ascend Sciences Intl. They are still in PRE-LAUNCH mode..

BTW… I feel like the tools I have spoken about in this post are having a very good impact on my progress toward normal.

Conversation on ideation

Please read this discussion and offer your own thoughts. @mckchart said :

I asked the same question (why me ) but get one thing straight it’s not a death sentence so be very positive and make sure you don’t let it get you down ,many a famous person has thrown in the towel and done the unthinkable ,just make sure you have someone to talk to when things get on top of you …….Parkinson’s educator ( feel free to contact me )

……………………………… Here is @pdpatient’s response :

@mckchart, the “unthinkable” was excellently phrased by you and I couldn’t have said it better. However, you have inadvertently opened the proverbial pandoras box for some PwP’s such as me.

I was formally diagnosed in the early summer of 2014 by an MDS af the University of Columbia, NYC. I fell into a rut and things went ft bad to worse and I was contemplating the “unthinkable,” which I really hadn’t thought through. My son was 14 and my daughter was 9 and I was the only breadwinner of the family. My only concern for my family was that I would need to die in such a way that it could not be labeled as a suicide. I had my policy long enough, but I could not trust in the system to honor the payout for a suicide.

Around that time, my most favorite movie actor – Robin Williams had also received a bed diagnosis . I was devastated. Next thing I heard, he had committed suicide. Oops. I have said the “unthinkable,” but it is time for us to face the monster head on and find a way to make this widely known to PwP’s, newly diagnosed PwP’s and their families.

Thankfully, my family came to my rescue and I agreed to take powerful medications that brought me back from the brink. I survived and my family is doing well still. I am grateful to God and the Universe for everything that I have been fortunate to receive despite my perception that others are more deserving than I. After all there are almost 8 billion people on this planet and I am only one of the lucky ones that is still alive

I learned along the way that life doesn’t end with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Every doctor that I have met has told me that I was not facing a death sentence. True. However, what they don’t say is that the possibility of suicide in newly diagnosed PwP’s is extremely high. This is an existential problem that is overwhelming in its impact and understated in its awareness.

Unfortunately, I am still haunted by the ghosts of this seemingly “easy way out” or so as it seems. It is a path chosen by many and it rears its ugly head once in a while when the symptoms get worse.

This is a topic that is ripe for involved and in depth discussion.

…………………………… P Bear’s response

I do not expect to do myself in over Parkinson’s. However, at one time I had an uncontrolled chronic pain condition that did cause suicidal ideation.

Each person’s circumstances are unique. It is important to tend to our responsibilities. That said, if someone’s health situation is such that they deem it fitting and proper to leave, it is not my place pass judgment on that decision.

I get that your mention of income is in the context of why it was appropriate for you to stay. However, income is not a measure of worthiness, and a more modest description would be preferable in my opinion.

……………………………. Sharon provided “

You might want to refer to this Korean study found in science direct.

sciencedirect.com/science/a…

“Suicide risk in PD patients is approximately 2 times higher than that in the general population. Psychiatric disorders, and also L-dopa medication need further attention with respect to suicide.”

Another good overview can be found in Neuropsychiatry Review

jnnp.bmj.com/content/90/7/822

“Suicide is consistently listed among the top 10 causes of death in the USA, with rates steadily climbing throughout the 21st century and reaching an annual rate of 13.4 deaths per 100 000 in 2016.6 7 It is a dominant cause of mortality among the elderly and persons with neurological diseases including stroke,9 Huntington’s disease10 and epilepsy.”

” Depression in particular is common in PD, with one meta-analysis suggesting that 17% of PwP suffer from major depressive disorder and 35% suffer from clinically significant depressive symptoms.”

In contrast, suicide is not a major cause of PD death (which are falls and pneumonia.)

Atypical


Atypical parkinsonisms are conditions in which an individual experiences some of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) — tremor, slowness, rigidity (stiffness), and/or walking and balance problems — but does not have PD. Atypical parkinsonism can be due to certain medications (some anti-nausea and antipsychotic drugs), other brain disorders (repeated head injury or multiple small strokes) or neurodegenerative diseases.

Parkinson’s Plus

The neurodegenerative diseases, which cause damage or death of brain cells, include corticobasal degeneration, Lewy body dementia, multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy. These conditions are often referred to as “Parkinson’s plus” because they mimic PD but have extra associated symptoms (the “plus”). They can be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease because no blood or imaging test can, on its own, make a definitive diagnosis. (As with PD, the diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history and physical examination.) Early in the course, people with Parkinson’s plus syndromes also may get some benefit from levodopa, the drug most commonly used to treat PD. A poor response to levodopa, development of additional symptoms and more rapid progression of disease may eventually differentiate Parkinson’s plus from PD, although it can take years for these differences to emerge. As with PD, no disease-modifying therapy has been discovered for any of the neurodegenerative atypical parkinsonisms so treatment is symptomatic and supportive.Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

Management of Parkinson’s Plus

These diseases are complex conditions that progress over time. As ongoing symptoms worsen and new symptoms arise, a person’s needs will change and caregivers’ roles and responsibilities will evolve. A team approach involving the person with disease, caregivers, family members and multiple medical professionals, is necessary to address the multitude of symptoms. As with PD, no disease-modifying therapy has been discovered for the neurodegenerative atypical parkinsonisms. Treatment relies on medications to lessen symptoms, allied health care services, assistive devices (canes or walkers) when necessary and caregiver support. Palliative care specialists can be especially helpful consultants for managing symptoms and coordinating goals of care.

Levodopa is usually the initial therapy for motor symptoms, although most people do not get a significant or long-term response. Other Parkinson’s medications are sometimes used in conjunction with or instead of levodopa, but in general these are not very effective either. For dystonia, Botox injections can be helpful, and for associated non-motor symptoms (such as memory, behavioral or sleep disturbances), doctors may prescribe a variety of other medications.

Physical and occupational therapy are beneficial, specifically for dystonia, gait and balance problems, and falls. In earlier stages of disease, therapists can develop programs aimed at maintaining mobility, preventing falls or falling in ways to minimize injury. They can also assess the need for a cane or walker. In advancing disease, therapists can teach exercises to maintain joint range of motion, evaluate the home for safety and suggest modifications or adaptive equipment (such as shower grab bars or a raised toilet seat), and determine the appropriate type of wheelchair if one is necessary.

Speech therapists can recommend language exercises for speech disturbances and dietary and/or mealtime adjustments for swallowing problems. If swallowing problems are particularly severe (leading to weight loss, choking or pneumonia), your therapist or doctor may discuss starting a feeding tube. While not always required, it’s worth thinking about this possibility early on so that a person (and their caregiver’s) thoughts can be taken into full consideration.

Throughout the course, social workers can provide educational resources, link to support groups and assist with finding in-home care services or alternative living situations. Palliative care providers can be consulted at any point for help with managing symptoms and determining goals of current and future care. In conjunction with a person’s movement disorder specialist, palliative care experts can aid in optimizing medical therapy while lending extra emotional and spiritual support, and c

https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons/living-with-pd/topic.php?atypical-parkinsonism

Butyric Acid

Alternative Medicine Review has the article “The Potential of Butyric Acid as an Alternative Treatment for Parkinson’s” atlasbiomed.com “Could Parkinson’s Disease Begin in the Gut” states “butyrate producing bacteria less in PD.”

The man from the Parkinson’s News Today forum, Russ, said he uses T. E. Neesby brand Butyrex. The ingredients are: calcium 480mg, magnesium 240 mg, Butyric Acid 3.6 g. Having never heard of this brand I was apprehensive. But I have been so pleasantly surprised. Butyric Acid is a short chain fatty acid that helps the colon. I was concerned that it would not make it to my colon but perhaps it is because the improvement is very definite.

Oh and I want to add that On the same Parkinson’s News Daily forum, a wife shared that her husband has had significant improvements with mannitol. I started using it a few weeks ago figuring, what the heck, might as well try. I am suddenly smelling things I previously did not even know had a fragrance like my mascara!

…………………………………………………………………………….

Butyric acid naturally occurs in butter, hard cheeses (e.g., parmesan), milk (especially goat’s and sheep’s), yoghurts, cream, and in some other fermented foods (e.g. sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, and fermented soy products) but in very small and insignificant amounts for gut health.

……………………………………………………………………………

I’ve read the theories that Parkinson’s begins in the gut. And among the foods that numerous sources say that the best diet for gut health includes a lot of fermented food I’ve also read that butyric acid is necessary in the colon to enable the probiotics we take be effective. But it is hard for me to eat enough fermentation to be effective. Therefore I was excited to learn about a supplement to enable me to increase my butyric acid consumption.

Just saying.. for what it is worth.

GERD

ok.. I’m going to attempt to get my blog entry’s linked in the index again. So as I find information such as this item, I’ll be posting them.

GERD or GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease is what happens when the Sphincter at the base of the esophagus that connects the mouth to the stomach, no longer closes tightly and allows stomach acid and food to backflow into the esophagus creating a host of uncomfortable symptoms. The esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated because it is not meant to be exposed to stomach acid.

Who Can Get GERD?

A common issue in people with Parkinson’s disease(PwP) and the general population is GERD. In PwP it is 4.1 times more likely to occur than in non-PwP.


When I had my EGD the Dr. told me that acid reflux had damaged my esophagus. It seems funny that when my lips can’t hold tight enough to keep the drool from making sores at the corners of my mouth, and the opening to the stomach doesn’t close tightly, yet, spasms close off the esophagus in between.

I typed about it all in my Knock on Wood post.

Dust off the sewing machine

Eliza-Jane posted: Trouble turning in bed?

I made myself a couple of satin tubes. When one is in the wash I have a back-up. I bought the satin online. Here are the instructions. Cut a length of satin the same width as your fabric i.e. approx. 1 meter. Then cut a second square the same. Place the first square down, satin side up with the cut ends at the top and bottom. Then place the second piece on top of the first, satin side down with the cut ends left and right. Do not just fold it over on itself, that will not work. Stitch the 2 sides together leaving the top and bottom open. Then hem or make a satin binding for the top and bottom. I used a French seam on the sides. The top and bottom are left open like a tube. Place it on the bottom sheet of your bed and when you get into bed sit on the bottom end of the slip near you. You will find this helps to slide over and up and down. It’s not perfect but it helps.

Humpty Dumpty moments

Neither PwP nor a doctor can predict which symptoms will arise or the severity of those symptoms. It is a lifelong and progressive disease, with symptoms steadily worsening over time, therefore fall prevention for many is the first call to action for preparing their loved one for the journey ahead

Teri wrote : An approach to avoid injury while falling:. Knees, ankle, and all the rest, most important to protect is the HEAD.

Teri’s profil picture modeling her head protection


So many falls went straight to my head. They didn’t hurt A lot, but I sure got worried as they piled up. So I decided that before my almost inevitable HUMPTY DUMPTY moment, when all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t fix a thing, I would find a helmet. And this is what I found. I paid $176.00 for it out of pocket; Medicare wouldn’t cover it I have fallen and hit my head many times since, AND IT WORKS

…………………………………………….

A pastor recently typed: Don’t let pride or stubbornness get you injured or dead
use a walking aid to prevent falls. My motto, “I’ll crawl before I’ll fall.” and I have done so. Bible says ‘pride goeth before a fall.’ May God bless us on this journey!!!

——————— But to consider the feelings of the PwP, to allow them to not feel conspicuous, and normal, I found two Ribcap products. (see the links)

An owner and wearer of two Ribcap products, the baseball style hat and also the beanie. I love how ‘Protection meets fashion’ in these beautifully crafted pieces of headwear and at-risk persons like myself can wear head protection without the worry of any stigma.

Falls and Common Household Hazards

If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease, here are tips for preventing falls around the home:

  • Floors. Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its accustomed place.
  • Bathroom. Install grab bars and nonskid tape in the tub or shower. Use nonskid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Lighting. Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway. Make sure there is a light switch at the top and bottom of the staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
  • Kitchen. Install nonskid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean up spills immediately.
  • Stairs. Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it may be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times stairs must be climbed.
  • Entrances and doorways. Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.

Tips for Maintaining Balance With Parkinson’s Disease

  • Keep at least one hand free at all times; try using a backpack or fanny pack to hold things rather than carrying them in your hands. Never carry objects in both hands when walking as this interferes with balance.
  • Attempt to swing both arms from front to back while walking. This may require a conscious effort if Parkinson’s disease has diminished your movement; however, it will help you to maintain balance, posture, and reduce fatigue.
  • Consciously lift your feet off of the ground when walking. Shuffling and dragging your feet may cause you to lose your balance.
  • When trying to navigate turns, use a “U” technique of facing forward and making a wide turn, rather than pivoting sharply.
  • Try to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. When your feet are close together for any length of time, you increase your risk of losing your balance and falling.
  • Do one thing at a time! Don’t try to walk and accomplish another task, such as reading or looking around. The decrease in your automatic reflexes complicates motor function, so the less distraction, the better!
  • Do not wear rubber or gripping soled shoes, they may “catch” on the floor and cause tripping.
  • Move slowly when changing positions. Use deliberate, concentrated movements and if needed, use a grab bar or walking aid. Count 15 seconds between each movement. For example, when rising from a seated position, wait 15 seconds after standing to begin walking.
  • If you become “frozen,” visualize stepping over an imaginary object, or have someone place their foot in front of yours to step over. Try not to have a caregiver or companion “pull” you, this may throw you off balance and even prolong the episode.
  • If balance is a continuous problem, you may want to consider a walking aid such as a cane, walking stick, or walker. Once you’ve mastered walking with help, you may be ready to try it on your own again!

I’d like a Harmonica, please

Can you imagine sitting for a half hour each day breathing in and out thru a straw? That is an exercise used by pulmonary rehabilitation to strengthen diaphragm muscles for COPD COPD is a catch-all term that includes people diagnosed with illnesses like emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis. (I think with our slowed muscle response time and weakened muscles PwP could benefit equally well.)

VA Health Promotion-Disease Prevention Coordinator in Tampa… Dave Folds, says “The type of breathing used to play the harmonica is like the breathing exercise used in therapy for COPD. Basically, the breathing exercises are pursed lips style breathing, like breathing in and out of a straw (which would be) the same way you would blow in and out of a harmonica”

“By making music, it’s much more enjoyable than sitting at home for half an hour each day breathing in and out of a straw,” Folds said, “Most people in the class won’t do that, and they say so. But they will sit at home and practice their harmonica, some of them for hours.”

A veteran who has been learning to play the Harmonica said. “I do feel different. It made a noticeable difference. I have more endurance.” Additionally, “With the harmonica, you’re actually achieving something and hopefully getting pleasant sounds out of it. You’re getting the reward for the effort you put in.”

And thinking about breathing issues… I’ve begun trying to do the tongue in teeth, swallowing exercise as shared by a fellow PwP, since reading at the included link…

Early occurrence of inspiratory muscle weakness in …

“In Parkinson‘s disease (PD), respiratory insufficiency (including functional and muscle disorders) can impact dysarthria [difficult or unclear articulation of speech] and swallowing.”

……………………………………………..

He typed, “I used to have it. Now I do 5 minutes of “exercise” every night and it’s gone. The exercises include “Swallow 20 times while holding your tongue in place with your teeth. I recommend that you go through “the system” and spend some time with one of these swallow therapists.”

B complex and Anxiety

I wanted to tell a person struggling with anxiety about my blog, but when I looked I found this was still in my drafts. It contains three pieces of conversation that was had on a chat format for PWP.

“Weird but wonderful,

I’ve been having unfounded anxiety lately where I constantly feel like fight or flight jitters. Long story short, I read on some random website that B complex can help with this. Lo and behold, it did! (Or) I’m enjoying the placebo effect again. I also took a D vitamin today.

I actually have been avoiding B complex because I would think this would interfere with carbidopa, but I seem to be having a really good day of low anxiety and very mild PD symptoms.”

………………………

“Elevation of plasma homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemi) has been linked to cardiovascular disorders, an increased risk of fractures in the elderly, stroke, and to neurological conditions such as PD and Alzheimer’s. Even mild elevations in homocysteine can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack and increase the risk of cognitive decline in the future.”

neurologysolutions.com/park…

………………………….

“Many studies have shown that PWP are often deficient in b12, and lacking the vitamin can cause all kinds of neurological, psychiatric, and motor symptoms. B12 is also a methyl donor, so it can certainly cause anxiety and panic attacks in some that are over methylated at high doses, but more commonly it’ll have an opposite effect in those who are undermethylated. Get tested and supplement adequately.”

……………………………..

“Have you tried the Hardy’s den yet? Worth a shot. It has lots of trace minerals too. Maybe you have a few things missing in your diet so this tops them up as well as all the b vitamins.”

……………………………

Since anxiety isn’t a problem for me, I haven’t pursued checking out Hardy’s Daily Essential Nutrients. But I left it in, for what it is worth. Sue