living with parkinsons

April 7, 2017

Looking Up to Wayne & Looking Up Parkinson’s

We lost one of our own this week. Wayne didn’t die from Parkinson’s. But he did soldier through living with Parkinson’s, which, to me, means he died a war hero. I didn’t know Wayne well, but I did know two aspects about him. One is that he battled it all and then some, having a variety of medical conditions. The other is that he had a sparkle in his look, as though behind the dusty blue of his eyes was an enormous filter that sifted through the muck for those shiny moments of fun and humor. That quality likely got him through the daily skirmishes with PD. There are ten million of us worldwide (according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation) who make up the ground troops in combat with rigidity, dystonia, dizziness, dyskinesia, insomnia, meds that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. April is Parkinson’s Awareness month. So, in addition to […]
April 27, 2018

It’s Time

    Sir Thomas greets each morning with a romp and rip through the yard, his tail high and happy. Dinner continues to be met with a lot of wagging. As does breakfast. As does snack time. As does the opening of the plastic container with leftover ham in it. Recently, however, by day’s end, the spring in Tommy’s step has sprung. Late  afternoon, he’ll saunter up beside me and I notice that I have to slow my pace to his. It might just be that my mighty boy is telling me he’s getting tired. Perhaps that’s what the ‘tire’ in retirement means. The word conjures up images of golf clubs, very white sneakers and dinner reservations by 5:00 pm. The actual definition is retreat, withdraw, leave service. So, when should a service dog leave service? Google the question and hundreds of varying recommendations appear on screen, none of which derive […]
September 1, 2018

Got Parkinson’s? Get Exercising.

The Wednesday class is back from summer vacation and it’s better than ever. It’s Live! Online! Free! Click here for info. Sponsored by the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation/NWPF. Yoga is good for you. Not only that, it’s fun. It’s also a form of exercise, and exercise is good for you. Especially if you’re living with Parkinson’s. I’ve known it for years. Now studies even say so. Check it out: the Michael J Fox Foundation says so, too. No one should walk their Parkinson’s journey alone. Whether you’re convinced you can’t do yoga or you’re an experienced guru (or anything in-between), if you’re living with PD, yoga can help relieve symptoms. Join this live, online class with viewers from around the globe (including the instructor) who are living with PD. You’re not alone. See you on Wednesdays!
September 3, 2018

Yoga for Movement Disorders: Teacher Workshop

Join us! There’s room for a few more participants: Teacher Training Workshop September 15-16, 2018 Whidbey Island, WA Earn 10 Yoga Alliance CEUs For more info, click below or email [email protected] yoga teacher training
February 15, 2019

Snowvasana

I know snow. I know that the stinging kind is never good. And while the puffy flakes call out for snowshoes, snowmen and snowball tossing, it piles up. I grew up in Buffalo and spent two decades in New England. I know how to prep and dress for blizzards, play and drive in squalls and clear a path through the aftermath of a Nor’easter. The reason I now live on the other coast derives from knowing snow, from having too much first-hand experience with it. Last week, the flat flakes began floating down from our western skies (“It doesn’t snow here”). It started sticking (“And if it does, it’s no more than a dusting”). Weather reports launched into increasing numbers of inches on the ground and days that schools would remain closed (“If we ever get too much, we wait for it to melt”). Once the sideways snow softened, the […]
February 28, 2019

Who’ll Get the Dogs Out?

How businesses like the local coffee shop can help reduce service dog fraud I’m seated at Starbucks with my chai latte (almond milk) grande, scone, extra napkins. My service dog, curled up on his mat beside me, sighs. We’re content in our corner, which has me wondering how it got so complicated.   Not the tea. Green or black, with bagel or brioche, the simple fact is that it is pleasant here. No surprises. Just what this customer wants. An untrained dog running amok would cancel out the pleasantries. Like the diners in a California bistro recently, I’d find another establishment for my tea break. The dog in the booth beside those diners lounged on the seat until a plate of fries arrived, which he then snarfed off the table. I’d also be among the no-repeat customers in a building in Massachusetts where, while on the elevator, a vested mini-dog […]
May 9, 2019

Inhale and Hold for Five

This Is So not Yoga A Promise For more than five years, neurologists have been promising an inhalable form of the Parkinson’s gold-standard medication. No lengthy trials were needed to test the medication itself – the inhaler uses the Levodopa of the Carbidopa/Levodopa combo so many of us already swallow numerous times per day. The delivery system (a puff like an asthmatic’s remedy) however, needed to pass safety and efficacy trials. Early on, the Michael J. Fox Foundation gave two grants of more than a million dollars to the study. Still, the years ticked on. Burger or Bust The reason so many of us continued to be hopeful about the elusive inhaler was because it would send the medication into the bloodstream without having to go through the stomach and intestines first. Maintaining a steady level in the bloodstream is essential – drop too low and symptoms become severe and […]
August 26, 2019

The Yoga of Travel

I’m not a light packer. A weekend getaway requires a giant duffel. Forget shoes, there’s the sack of daily Parkinson’s meds, service dog paraphernalia–bed, harness, food–more food–and of course, my yoga mat. Now, imagine a month-long vacation in a compact RV. Fortunately, James (the RV) feels roomy due to lots of nooks and cubbies (and a wee bit of cramming) to store the four weeks’ worth of supplies. But I forgot about  the extra 165 pounds of Great Dane—and his bed and food, and more food–on board. It wasn’t looking good for unrolling my yoga mat. That concerned me. Vacation time away doesn’t mean time away from yoga. Hours of sitting on James, no matter how glorious the views, would be an open door to lurking rigidity.  No space? No problem, I decided. By pairing upward salutes with seated half dogs in my co-pilot seat, I created a rendition of […]
March 11, 2020

FDGB

While at a local health fair recently, (held before virus warnings of not to convene in large groups with others), I sat at an exhibitor table with my yoga colleagues. Some of the attendees stopped to say, Hi, talk about yoga and comment on the giant dog beside me. Others took part in Tai chi lessons, worked on movement with various exhibitors and commented on the giant dog beside me. Said giant dog did very well refraining from approaching any of the attendees who spoke to him or reached out a hand. It’s the skill we’ve been working on the most lately. Having an uber-friendly dog is by far not the worst problem to have in these days of so many issues. However, when that dog is a balance service dog, it’s essential he moves only on my command because if he lurches forward for a friendly pet, I FDGB. […]
August 30, 2020

Roadside Yoga

It was a hot afternoon, even in the mountains. We were en route to our age-of-pandemic vacation: Bicycling (outdoors all day!) from a remote campground (not many campers = further distance apart!), in James, our RV (no hotel lobbies, no public bathrooms). I had meals planned (no restaurants this trip!), and my yoga mat, plenty of snacks and water packed. And, we were remaining within state borders. Halfway into the six-hour drive, we were following switchbacks through the mountains. We curved around to an uphill and noticed the string of vehicles ahead. We eased up behind a boat on a trailer. A shiny black car stopped behind us, another RV behind them. No one honked. The cars kept coming, as though someone was stringing an endless supply of beads. With no cell service, none of us knew what was causing the delay. It could’ve been road construction, a rock slide, […]