Not just a fad (element #4)

There’s a reason why Parkinson’s specific exercise programs exist.

It’s not just a fad. Or a scheme.

A brain and body affected by Parkinson’s has some specific needs, which is why Element #4 of the highly effective Parkinson’s exercise program is this: 


Here’s a brief (but not all-inclusive) summary of what to keep in mind.

>> To combat RIGIDITY & LACK OF ARM SWING, you should incorporate exercises that encourage spinal and trunk rotation.

VIDEOSeated rotational reach with Sarah
>> To combat BRADYKINESIA, You should incorporate exercises that move through big ranges of motion in all directions.

>> To combat POOR POSTURE, You should incorporate exercises that encourage flexibility in your spine, hips, shoulders, neck. V

>> To combat FREEZING & SHUFFLING, You should incorporate exercises that encourage weight shifting and powerful stepping in all directions. 

VIDEOKneeling Power Step
Try a few of these exercises this week and observe how they impact your symptoms immediately after.

Exercise is a powerful medicine.

Simply Resume

There is a story taken from an episode where Michael J Fox was at a Thanksgiving celebration and an awkward situation arose as his tremors were interfering with his attempt to serve mashed potatoes onto his plate. The hostess finally quips; “Ok, you can have a personal victory later.. right now, we need to eat.”

We need to always find a reason to laugh, rather than have a pity party. We want to view life with optimism. When we fall off the keto wagon and eat a donut… adopt the Dory philosophy, ‘keep on swimming’ or Simply Resume. Besides, optimists are happier & live longer. 🙂

My goal is to provide encouragement, being a spokes person for life..not for the disease. I found some little gems of wisdom (or council):

  • If you have Parkinson’s don’t let pride keep you from asking for help. If it takes a half hour to button your shirt… allow your caregiver the opportunity to take a minute.
  • If you are the caregiver… Ask before you help.
  • As a caregiver, you might ask, “Do you want to talk about this… or just let you know I’m there for you?”
  • When you’ve asked, “How you are doing?” and your Parkie friend says, “I’ve had a rough couple of days…” that means ‘I’m ready to talk about it… don’t gloss it over.’
  • Own the truth.. depression for Parkinson’s may need medical assist. Find someone you can unload emotions on… other than your spouse. (who doesn’t deserve it)
  • What I find encouraging… is when people share their positive experiences.
  • People who survive have a purpose.
  • (Here are a variety of suggestions) * seek for clarity * define your reality * choose joy * don’t focus on yourself * be loving to others * be a role model * to have the peace … give up the need to understand.
  • But you never know when a lay person (or researcher) might come up with a solution.. so don’t roll over and play dead.
  • Be a spokes person for life. Press forward & do what you can.

Our Trials Represent An Opportunity That Won’t Last. Whatever we face in life that seems like a problem or a trial actually represents an opportunity. In this life, we have the opportunity to praise God, and to worship him, in the face of adversity. This takes an act of will, a decision, a certain amount of discipline.

  • If it continues to progress, as the doctors assure me it will, I will fight the good fight of faith with even more joy in my heart. I will not waste the opportunity to show others how to live, fully alive, no matter what is thrown at us.
  • We often reflect… ‘God never said it would be easy… But it will be worth it.’
  • It Doesn’t Matter. . My continued illness is not an excuse to abandon my faith, it’s an invitation to embrace it. My light and temporary affliction does not matter. Illness is no excuse to abandon faith, it’s an invitation to embrace it.
  • God uses many instruments for healing, and often the instrument is medical science.
  • Sometimes we ask God for an oak tree, and he gives us an acorn. We must steward the acorn.
  • And sometimes we must simply embrace the mystery and accept that we don’t know everything, but affirm that God is still good.

In the movie “Shawshank Redemption”, Andy Dufresne says to his pal Red as they sit in the prison yard, “It comes down to one simple decision. Either get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Each of us is able, today, to offer God the gift of gratitude. Truly, I refuse to waste my Parkinson’s.

I choose to live.



Strategies for eye care

May 2017,         I complained…”Something is wrong with my eyes.”  For the past three yearly exams, when I receive the glasses, everything seems ok.  But then I find I have so much trouble focusing, I find myself unable to read things like name tags , seeing everything in a blurr. Texting was becoming nearly impossible. Auto correct just added to my embarrasing typos.

Then, last year, I finally was referred to an Eye Dr, who determined my difficulty in seeing was caused by Oblique double vision.  They pointed out I have an accompanying tilt to the right…akaPisa Syndrome.  I could no longer use bifocals and transiitioned to using reading glasses with a prism and single vision glasses for longer distances.

This was the diagnosis which led me to discover, in my internet research, the first clue that led us towards the diagnosis… “…indicates oblique double vision & Pisa syndrome is a rare clinical entity usually associated with underlying neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple System Atrophy.”

Today, I returned for my annual eye exam… the prescriptions needed tweaked. [and I found out our insurance only helps with eye wear once every two years. 😦 ]

Because my facial feelings are diminished, I do not blink frequently…and I don’t remember to use eye drops regularly, because I don’t realize they are dry. He gave me a strategie… to have four bottles of lubricant eye drops… placed strategically, where I’ll see them to be reminded to put drops in my eyes a minimum of four times a day.

He also told me I have an eye infection (who knew?) My instructions are to wash my eyes with baby shampoo and then put a salve on my eyes as I go to sleep.

I share the Doctor’s advice, for the benefit of others who also forget to blink.

Staying Hydrated

I found this great information on the Invigorated site:

Staying Hydrated with Parkinsons: Going Beyond “Drink More Water”

glass of water with orange slices

“You need to drink MORE WATER!”

You’ve heard it a million times.Every health practitioner worth their salt has recited these words hundreds if not thousands of times to their clients. However, there is more to staying properly hydrated than just chugging 8 glasses of water every day and the implications can be life changing.

Imagine the potted plant in your home that sits in the corner.

Similar to a water-starved plant, your cells can become chronically dehydrated .  Re-hydration has to be strategic.

Similar to a water-starved plant, your cells can become chronically dehydratedRe-hydration has to be strategic. If it hasn’t been watered in a while the soil gets dry and crumbly. When you add water at this point the soil isn’t able to absorb a majority of it and it slips through the cracks and out the bottom of the pot. No matter how much water you pour over that poor guy he’s not going to re-hydrate properly!

This is similar to what happens to your cells when you have been chronically dehydrated. Our cells are less able to properly absorb the water we put into our system. This excess of water in our digestive tract leaves us feeling water-logged and making frequent trips to the bathroom.

Similar to the wilted plant, our body can’t perform its daily functions without proper hydration to your cells.

Proper cell hydration is a fundamental issue in wellness. Without it:

  • You can’t get proper nutrients into your cells (here come achy joints and painful muscles)
  • Your mitochondria (which are the energy-producing “powerhouse” of each cell) can’t produce the energy you need to heal and function
  • You can’t make digestive enzymes or hormones (hello constipation, nutritional deficiencies, and anxiety)
  • You can’t repair your DNA (fast track to looking and feeling older than you are!)
  • Your neurons are less efficient at sending electrical signals to each other (brain fog, anyone?)
  • You can’t flush out nasty toxins that contribute to disease and disarray.
  • As you can imagine, regaining the ability to properly hydrate can have a drastic impact on how you move, think, and feel on a day-to-day basis. Implementing the following into your daily hydration routine is an important part of regaining your vitality:

Balance Your Sodium

Adding 1/4 tsp of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt to a quart (32 oz) of water helps assist your kidneys at properly absorbing water from your bloodstream. Specifically using Celtic or Himalayan sea salt offers 60+ trace minerals and electrolytes that assist your cells in absorbing the water molecules and using them to your advantage.

(Afraid of overdosing on sodium? 8 ounces of this cocktail contains 115mg of sodium compared to 8 ounces of Pedialyte that contains 260mg.)

Use a Water Filter

It’s important to remove them from your daily routine whenever you can. Remove toxins and chemicals from your tap water with a filtration system.

Hydrate in the Morning

Start your day with a glass of water as this is the time of day where your body is housing its highest concentration of toxins and is most dehydrated. (Add a squeeze of lemon if you’re feeling fancy and want a digestion boost.)

Pick the Right Water Bottle

Avoid plastic water bottles whenever possible (even if it says it is BPA-free) as chemicals released from these bottles can also contribute to your daily toxin load. Choosing stainless steel or glass bottles are best.

Cheers to your most hydrated self!

Routine Variations

When I first joined the community (probably 5 months ago) I posted my exercise goals for accountability. In January, I posted my routine in this blog as I described my Ruby Slippers and WBV routine. I inclued a photo of my ADMI Fitness exercise platform at that time.

I have altered my exercise routine. I appreciate having the bar across the front for gripping as I do 5 sets of twenty squats (100) and 5 sets of twenty knee lifts.. raising each knee high enough to tap my arms holding onto the bar. I took a note from the rocksteady boxing and exercise my voice… LOUD counting with each squat and each knee lift. Then I strive to pull my chin in and attempt to tuck my shoulder blades into the back pockets while doing the last three minutes of higher vibrations for freeing up sluggish lymph through out my system.

I thought you might like to see some of the benefits I found claimed on the internet sites of makers of whole body vibration platforms.

From ADMI Fitness

“How can ONE HOUR at the gym be compared to 10 MINUTES on the whole body vibration machine? Whole Body Vibration has the name for a reason! When your body engages 97% of muscles in the same exercise your results are accelerated. At the gym you spend your time on your different individual muscle groups. It would be incredible to see someone working his or her abs, arms, legs and calf’s at the same time at the gym! As wild as that picture is in your head Whole Body Vibration does exactly that and more. “

“Balance: About 30% of people over the age of 65 lose their balance and suffer a fall each year. Whole Body Vibration is an effective way to maintain or enhance skeletal mass in low-mobility individuals without the risks associated with high-impact exercise. WBV stimulates the primary endings of the muscle spindles, activating alpha-motor neurons resulting in muscle contractions. Studies have shown that WBV is associated with increases in lower limb muscle strength. WBV also delivers mechanical loading to the skeleton, which increases bone mass and improves postural balance by strengthening skeletal muscles. Balance and gait are improved by enhanced muscle control effected by routine WBV exercise. Strengthening skeletal muscles has a direct effect on coordination and balance “

‘ Parkinson’s: Researchers from Germany compared the effects of Whole Body Vibration and conventional physiotherapy on levodopa-resistant disturbances of balance and gait in idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease. Gait assessments and upper limb control tests showed significant improvements on gait stability and posture, a significant decrease in tremors and less rigidity in PD patients receiving whole body vibration therapy compared to a control group with no therapy ‘

” The Health Benefits of WBV-Training are many, and the reason for this is because WBV stimulation affects not only your musculature but also your internal organs and glands, including your brain”

Increase muscle strength, especially explosive strengthPain reduction (such as with fibromyalgia)
Increase hormone secretion: IGF-1, testosterone, and human growth hormone (HGH)Counteract age-related muscle wasting  
Increase fat loss; WBVT in conjunction with resistance training improved fat loss in menopausal women.8Other research9 found WBVT was 54 percent more effective than traditional aerobics and strength training in producing visceral fat loss.Those using WBVT were also less likely to gain the weight backReduce cellulite; 8 to 13 minutes of WBVT, two to three times per week for six months was shown to reduce cellulite by 26 percent. When combined with 24 to 48 minutes of cardio, cellulite was reduced by more than 32 percent10
Increase bone mass and mineral density, thereby decreasing risk of osteoporosisImprove in blood circulation, which can also stimulate tissue healing. Three minutes on a vibrating platform doubles mean circulation for at least 10 minutes11
Increase flexibility and mobilityIncrease secretion of serotonin and norepinephrine
Improve proprioception and balanceIncrease lymphatic drainage
Decrease cortisol levels  Speed up recovery from injury
Improve fitness in the elderlyImprove neurological conditions


The Spoon Theory

A recent dialog at “The Invigorated Community” an online group for Parkies or their care givers… the question was posed. “How do you get people to understand the fatigue we experience and why we can’t do everything we used to?”

Mind you, I’m the eternal optomist and believe the therapies I have adopted will give me many years of productive living… but I wanted to share what others have said, to answer the question.

Quote from MJFF “One of Parkinson’s more insidious symptoms is fatigue. This is not your garden variety bone-tired. This is fatigue on a cellular level. Your body is working overtime to accomplish the simplest of tasks: Taking a shower, answering the phone, pouring orange juice. In addition, you may be coping with the combination of possible cognitive problems knows as “Parkinson’s apathy”. These problems include difficulty initiating projects, inability to follow complex instructions, short-term memory loss and difficulty in switching gears midstream.

You can fight Parkinson’s disease apathy by exercising, trying to get regular sleep, taking short naps, and making sure you do not isolate yourself.”

I’d like to share a link from… ButYouDon’ It explains the Spoon Theory… a concept developed by Miserandino and frequently referenced among those with chronic or invisible illness. Many people living with conditions ranging from fibromyalgia to anxiety to depression to parkinsonisms self-identify as “Spoonies” and use the theory to explain their lives to people who may not understand the scope of their illness. (Miserandino’s diagnosis is Lupus)



Marilee wanted to see

Marilee had such an impact on my attitude, I’d like to share her message.

To set the stage…We attended church in Brownsville, Texas. At the time of my ‘training’, John & I had seven children, John was a member of the ward Bishopric and a great deal of his Sabbath day responsibilities kept him busy.. out of the home. The boundaries of the McAllen Texas Stake were large. Our home was 60 miles from the stake center. I, as one of Marilee’s Stake Primary Counselors, had ridden with Marilee on assignment to visit a branch on the other side of the stake. I took the youngest two children with me.

Both of the children were asleep, as Marilee pulled the car into our drive. [This was in the days before seat belt restrictions] The three year old was asleep on the back seat, and the infant was asleep in my arms. Full well knowing what to expect after the oldest five had been home for several hours without adult supervision, I said, “I’ll take Stephen in and be right back to get Emily.”

Marilee alighted from the drivers seat, volunteering, “I’ll bring her in for you.”

“NO,” I protested… “You don’t need to. I’ll be right back for her”

After a couple more exchanges, Marilee explained. “You don’t understand. I WANT to SEE! Then when I get home, I won’t feel so bad about the condition of MY home.”

I laughed, and accepted her help. I made a mental note…”Let people see your messes, if it helps them feel better about themselves.”

Trust me.. I’ve helped lot of people ….feel really good about themselves or their efforts. We all love to give service to others… but when the table has been turned… and WE NEED a helping hand, accepting it graciously can be a challenge to learn. I hope each of us can remember something I learned from my father-in-law, Wally, when I offered assistance (service); ” you don’t have to do that, BUT who am I to deny you your blessings.”

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” – Anthony Burgess

My creamsicle breakfast

My Sweetheart prepares breakfast for me most every day.
Keto..avecado, bacon, egg & berries… with almond bread

You may observe the pile of nutritional supplements. What I have in the mug is what I call my orange creamsicle. My substitute for applesauce, which is generally considered the ‘go-to-medium’, for aiding a challenged person to swallow their pills, but is too high in sugars for the keto diet.

I start with 3/4 Cup Alkaline filtered water, add 25 drops of 35% food Grade Hydrogrn Peroxide and 16 drops of Amino Acids. Then I stir in two heaping teaspoons of a sugar free orange flavored fiber and add 1/4 C. heavy whipping cream. HONESTLY.. it tastes like a creamsicle. I then take my supplements quickly, because it thickens so quickly I have to finish it with a spoon.

On 9/14, I began the protocol for oxygen therapy.   I plan to re-evaluate around the end of April 2019.