When I was listening to a presentation, I heard the speaker say… ‘a person with Parkinson’s may not exercise because of apathy.’ I wondered if that might be MY excuse for not remembering to exercise as often as I should? NO, I’m just easily distracted, by researching and working to create blog posts, and weeding, or gardening, or volunteering to do service projects… I want to do research on family history, and write more family history.  In other words:   I simply never found exercising rewarding.

Still, I wonder, can you have apathy about one thing, if you are able to focus on other things? According to ‘Psychology Today’…

“What, exactly, is apathy? In a sense, it’s something like falling in love. You can describe it all you want, but until you’ve experienced it, you can only guess at what it feels like. Paradoxically, what makes the feeling of apathy unique is that it’s essentially the feeling of not feeling. It’s something that at some point in your existence you’ve encountered. Whenever you feel that something vital is missing from your life, yet lack the  drive to pursue it, you’re afflicted with this curiously “emotionless” emotion.”

“Through much psychological research, it’s now accepted science that you must experience feelings about something if you’re to take personally meaningful action on it. And without any compelling emotion to direct your behavior—and apathy literally means “without feeling”—you just aren’t sufficiently stimulated to do much of anything.”

“True, apathy is a feeling. But it’s also an attitude. And sadly, that attitude is one of indifference . . . unconcern . . . unresponsiveness . . . detachment . . . and dispassion. Such an attitude saps you of so much energy that you feel lethargic, listless, and enervated—almost too “paralyzed” to act—and certainly without the will to do so. Which is why apathetic individuals are easily identified by their very passivity. Their interest in confronting life’s challenges is seriously compromised. They just don’t care enough. And frankly, they don’t care that they don’t care.”

………………… ” So they can’t think of anything worth striving for.”

I liked the attitude a fellow PwP shared:”there is no easy answer I have yet found to apathy. It is always there, as patient as the law of gravity. Fight it directly and it will temporarily retreat. The only partially successful response I ever found was in Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. “When faced with an unbeatable foe, you do not fight, you deny him victory.”

Learned in the trenches ***

I found the following entry by Nell’s son, touching ( and a little frightening).  So I’ll put the link in the index under FEAR.   But I doubt she had the benefit of what I’ve learned about thiamine B1.  Plus the research for a cure holds out promise and hope.

 My mother Nell Canady, battled Parkinson’s for 18 years.  Over the years our family were witnesses to her decline in the quality of life. The disease would have taken her sooner if not for her steady routine of proper diet and exercise and will to live like a fox-holed Marine. My mother was as strong as they come. Before her diagnosis in 1998 she walked everyday, drank nothing but water, and ate mainly vegetables. As her youngest son, sometimes caregiver, and witness to this disease, I want to share some things we learned in the trenches over the years.

Parkinson’s is NOT a dragon to slay, not by your inner might, or toughness. You don’t, nor can you, fight the disease this way. Parkinson’s is NOT a chess match. Meaning, it will make a move and you counter with your move, expecting to one day pronounce checkmate! It can’t be outsmarted no matter how many moves you make, or how smart you think you are.

Once Parkinson’s is diagnosed; there’s just the fightFight to live. Fight to not permanently break down. Fight to see your grandchildren grow up or graduate. Fight to stay mentally strong. Fight to do the things you once did or love to do. Fight to not let it get the best of you. Fight to keep your strength up. Fight to keep your dignity. Fight to keep your quality of life. You’ll have good days and bad days. Some days Parkinson’s gets the best of you. Don’t be hard on yourself during the bad days; just remember to keep fighting.

However, fighting Parkinson’s disease IS about how you choose to respond to whatever it throws at you. To fight Parkinson’s disease and live to fight another day is most of the time, the reward.

My Best Advice:

  • Stay active and keep your body moving and exercise. The exercise helps fight the disease and slows the disease’s progress.
  • Do all the things you always wanted to do before Parkinson’s takes to you a stage your will, physical ability, and mental toughness can’t overcome.
  • Remember to give your spouse, family member, or caregiver grace. As a patient, you don’t face Parkinson’s alone. You and your loved ones are sailing into uncharted territories both physically and mentally. Give yourself and those you love room to fail and have bad days.
  • Quality of life is everything. Remember our goal was never about living a long life; it’s about living a life of quality. Do what you need to do to fight for your quality of life.
  • Mostly importantly, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Keep God close.

As a caregiver, Parkinson’s disease took me to places physically, mentally, and spiritually I’ve never been and then beyond. It was frustrating when I couldn’t understand my mother when her speech was slurred and everything inside me just wanted to help. If she fell, I cursed my physical weakness. I discovered it’s difficult to lift deadweight of 120 pounds off the floor without help.

Remember what I tell you; you can’t control Parkinson’s, you can only control how you respond to what it throws at you. The last couple years of my mother’s life she was not able to take a bath in a traditional tub or shower, so bathing was reduced to a small washbasin. One day I assisted my father in giving her a bath, and changing her bed linen.

I found myself in a role reversal. I was taking care of my mother like she took care of me when I was a child. It had a profound effect on me. Later that night I awoke at 2 a.m. and wrote the first thing that popped into my mind. I’m a writer and I keep a journal on my nightstand. I turned on the lights and penned what was on my mind. The following was the poem that came from that event and was later published by The Olive Press.  


I wash my mother with a rag.
A slick bar of soap floats
in a small tub of water;
life reduced.

Her nakedness is open to me.
The woman who bore me is vulnerable before me.
I’m imagining my primal birth:
dark water over softs rocks in a brook.
I emerge covered in blood and mud
from the creek onto dry land,
gasping my first breath.

My mother cradles me in her arms, wipes mud from my eyes,
pulls me to her breast.

As a child, she washed me
and put me to bed,
but those footie pajamas are worn thin;
there’s a hole in the sole.
Winnie the Pooh’s honey is gone.

My mother’s hands, once strong,
now covered with thin soft skin like wet tissue,
lie trembling in her lap—
hands that held me, fed me,
spooned bitter medicine into my mouth,
now helpless, worthless stones of flesh.

I cut a fresh diaper with scissor-snips.
I slip her diaper over her feet.
Spots of red nail polish speckle her toe nails,
reminding me everything fights to hold on—

I lay her down in bed like a child
upon fresh linen.
I fix her pillow.
She likes to watch westerns on TV,
so I turn it to her favorite channel.
She’s seen this one a hundred times,
and so have I.


Psychotic Behaviors

My purpose for typing today is to share information I found on multiple Internet sites: As part of chronic Parkinson’s disease and its treatment, psychotic behaviors occur in over 50% of patients. These problems include hallucinations (false perceptions), illusions (perceptual errors), , delusional thinking and even suspiciousness and paranoid behaviors.

“Dopamine is the brain’s master chemical. This single neurotransmitter is responsible for a plethora of mental and physical processes. By learning how to stimulate your own dopamine levels naturally, you can overcome depression, anxiety, apathy, and fear, while boosting feelings of pleasure created by this amazing little neuron.”

What Are Hallucinations?

Hallucinations are when someone sees, hears or feels something that is not actually there. They are best described as deceptions or tricks played by the brain that involve the body’s senses. Hallucinations are not dreams or nightmares. They happen when the person is awake and can occur at any time of day or night.

Types of Hallucinations

  • Visual: Hallucinations in people with PD are usually visual. Common hallucinations include seeing animals or people, such as a furry creature running by or a deceased love one sitting in the room.

Other types of hallucinations: Auditory (hearing), Olefactory (smelling), Tactile (feeling), Gustatory (tasting)

  • Hallucinations are most often a side effect of medication and are not necessarily a sign of a decline in cognitive abilities. Most hallucinations experienced by people with PD are fleeting and non-threatening. However, in some cases hallucinations may become threatening or bothersome.

What Are Illusions?

Illusions are another sensory misperception. Instead of seeing something that isn’t there, people with illusions misinterpret real things in the environment. For example, the clothes in the closet may look like a group of people.

Like visual hallucinations, illusions tend to occur in low light or low visibility situations.

What Are Delusions ?

Delusions are illogical, irrational, dysfunctional views or persistent thoughts that are not based in reality. They are not deliberate and are very real to the person with PD. People with delusions who feel threatened may become argumentative, aggressive, agitated or unsafe.

  • Delusions are less common in PD than visual hallucinations. They affect about eight percent of people with PD.
  • Compared to hallucinations, delusions tend to be more complicated, present a greater risk for behavioral disturbances and safety concerns, are typically more difficult to treat and represent a more obvious deterioration or decline in one’s condition. 

What Is Parinoia?

Paranoia involves intense anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy. Paranoia occurs in many mental disorders, but is most often present in psychotic disorders.


It is a process

It took me a while, but I think I figured out why I was having so many stutter steps and near falls. You may recall I said that I can no longer skip. I have been doing little jumps on the WBV machine since I went to therapy. But until this week, I was jumping with both feet at the same time. When I decided to jump one foot at a time, I discovered it has been my left foot doing all the work. I still can’t get my right foot off of the ground as I attempt to hop on the one foot.

This revelation led me to the conclusion, that is why I have been experiencing so many stumbles. I out of habit, always attempted to start out with my right foot! Yesterday, I made a concentrated effort to step out with my left foot first. To my delight, I found that by applying this strategy, I did not stutter step or stumble at all.

I celebrate each little victory. 🙂


In response to Cory’s challenge

In a recent post there is a line from Cory’s blog that I feel compelled to answer. He said:

“I’ve always been a little irritated by people who insist on finding a silver lining in every crappy situation they face, though. Those people are noble, inspiring, and worthy of emulation, but also sometimes just a little bit too good to be true.”

The difference between he and me is our perspective. I understand the long range goal is eternity. I have cut and pasted words from the talk given by D. Todd Christofferson: The Power of Covenants


“Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him. A covenant is an agreement between God and man, an accord whose terms are set by God.”


“All this is not to say that life in the covenant is free of challenge or that the obedient soul should be surprised if disappointments or even disasters interrupt his peace. If you feel that personal righteousness should preclude all loss and suffering, you might want to have a chat with Job.”

“This brings us to a second way in which our covenants supply strength—they produce the faith necessary to persevere and to do all things that are expedient in the Lord. Our willingness to take upon us the name of Christ and keep His commandments requires a degree of faith, but as we honor our covenants, that faith expands. In the first place, the promised fruits of obedience become evident, which confirms our faith. Secondly, the Spirit communicates God’s pleasure, and we feel secure in His continued blessing and help. Thirdly, come what may, we can face life with hope and equanimity, knowing that we will succeed in the end because we have God’s promise to us individually, by name, and we know He cannot lie “(see Enos 1:6Ether 3:12).


“We need strong Christians who can persevere against hardship, who can sustain hope through tragedy, who can lift others by their example and their compassion, and who can consistently overcome temptations. We need strong Christians who can make important things happen by their faith and who can defend the truth of Jesus Christ against moral relativism and militant atheism.

May you find the silver linings in your life.