Laughter is the best medicine

May 11, 2011

Parkinson’s in Translation

In a recent issue of Good Housekeeping, Michael J. Fox answers an interview question about the challenges of living with Parkinson's. He responds that one of the most awkward aspects is that people don't know what to say.Perhaps they don't quite know how to say it.
October 3, 2011

Yabba Dabba Yoga

Yoga, the violin, Fred Flintstone and PD, all in my guest blog at the American Parkinson Disease Association/Massachusetts Chapter site:  http://www.apdama.org/site2.0/blog.php
March 17, 2012

Power Hungry

Topping my Gratitude List these days: Electricity. I wouldn’t be typing this without it. I certainly wouldn’t be typing at this hour (3:12 am) without it. Ultra aware of the nanosecond we lose power in a storm, I rarely appreciate the immediacy of light when I flip the switch, the ease of warm water streaming from the shower, the simplicity of a cup of hot tea. Tap the keyboard: internet. Turn a knob: music. Press a button: the garage door opens. Even my toothbrush plugs in. Do I need all these conveniences? Not likely. But living with Parkinson’s in this age of power makes me thankful that I’m not of an earlier time. PD carries with it enough challenges, imagine adding late night wanderings by candlelight or stoking the stove to boil water. My tremor triggers just thinking about constipation and outhouses. (Another listing under Gratitude: Indoor plumbing.) The yogi […]
June 6, 2013

Bad Yoga. Bad.

E. W. Jackson is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia. According to the Huffington Post, his agenda items include yoga warnings: Yoga may leave unsuspecting people vulnerable to satanic possession…. In a post for the National Review on Wednesday, Betsy Woodruff highlighted some quotes from Jackson’s 2008 book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True. Among them was one about the hazards of yoga. “When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana,” Jackson wrote in his book, according to Woodruff. “The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.” So THAT’S where I got Parkinson’s. Stoopid, […]
September 30, 2013

MJFox Show Post-Miere Hit

Thanks to all for the fun and support at the MJFox Post-miere party! Though we gathered two days following the airing of the new TV series, the Saturday afternoon time made it easier for people to come and celebrate. The Thursday time was late (after 8:30! meds wane!) and it was on a school night (after 8;30! my eleven-year-old whines!)  Special thanks to Matt and Alison of Brassiere 28, of Andover, MA, for hosting on a weekend. While people gathered to watch, laugh and share stories, the front room of the restaurant glowed from both the sun streaming in and from the spirit within. As a special treat, Bruce Cook, MD, announced that he’d asked Michael if he could phone us during the celebration (unfortunately, he was in a plane at the time of our event).  Dr. Cook is a neurosurgeon and Michael was his patient. Bruce and his wife, Karla, shared a few stories […]
December 3, 2013

Yoga, Parkinson’s and a Pair of Pink Gloves

Despite my attempt at a yogic, peaceful approach to life, there are moments when I simply want to haul off and hit something. Hard. Maybe even several times. Yoga helps. But so does boxing. Whether I’m waiting for a dose of meds to kick in, fumbling to zip up a jacket or passing on the scrambled eggs because the protein will interfere with the next dose of meds, the argh moments of life with Parkinson’s disease build up throughout the day. It’s incredible how the frustration dissipates when I take it out on a punching bag. Studies show that exercise is beneficial to PD. “Forced” and challenging workouts such as boxing can be even more helpful. According to the Cleveland Clinic, activities such as boxing ease symptoms and are neuroprotective. Besides the tension release and fitness factor, there’s another bonus. Boxing is actually fun. Seriously, try on a pair of […]
March 1, 2014

Snowga

It’s snowing. If I noted this in late December, my voice would lilt out ‘snowing,’ like birdsong. The words might even be prefaced by a “Look” or an “Ooh.” Evergreens dusted in white embody the postcard view of holiday time in New England. Were it mid-January,  ‘snowing’ would come out as a question. How many inches? Will school be closed? Can we go sledding? A warm weather fan, I admit I shift my stance a bit and suit-up. Nothing quite matches playing in fresh, puffy snow. Come March, the weight of  ‘snowing’ is as wet and heavy as a clump sliding off the roof. No more white stuff. I’m done with shoveling. Uncle. From one standpoint, it’s simply cold precipitation. From another, when will spring arrive? Yoga suggests we not only welcome the differing viewpoints, we step back and notice them for what they are: viewpoints. Rather than get caught […]
February 11, 2016

What To Do, What To Do

                                          TO DO: _√__ Register for the World Parkinson Coalition’s (WPC) 2016 Congress in Portland, Oregon. _√__ Get Sir Thomas a spiffy new vest for the occasion. ____ Blog about the Parky for the WPC. Check. Check. Hmmmm. When I first heard about Parky, my really? radar triggered. But, I’m a blogger for the WPC, I need to hone in on the really! qualities of this 10-inch, floppy plush toy, not the fact that it looks like the dog’s favorite chewie. A stuffed raccoon (really?), Parky is the WPC’s mascot for their upcoming Congress, the Parkinson’s conference of conferences. The organizers invite everyone affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) from everywhere around the world to a summit of shared stories, current findings, breaking news, latest treatments, song and dance and so […]
March 1, 2016

Insta-Like

I click the Like icon routinely on friend’s Facebook posts or their comments on mine. It’s a rare moment, however, when my internal Like button gets pressed and that immediate, undeniably warm sensation whooshes in and says, Yes. Good. Life is better because that person is here living it, too. In yoga, our awareness opens us, teaches us to step back from our egos and witness the Like in all. Well, I’m not there, yet. Maybe after the election. In the meantime, there are people such as Meg Bernard. I haven’t met her, have never spoken with her, don’t know where she lives. Still, she has a message and such likeability worth sharing. Almost makes me want to staple her name to a stick and stand on the street corner urging you to read Meg’s blog (click to read her blog) and cast your ballot for more people like her.
April 16, 2016

Forging Awareness

Ever notice a baby when another baby enters the room? There’s an instant look of recognition, a ‘Hey, I know you` connection. For some, the grin is hard to contain, others stare for a while first. Either way, they’re drawn to each other. This happens to me when I meet someone living with Parkinson’s, whether a new student in my yoga class, a chance encounter at a café or amidst many at a conference. Like babies, regardless of how caring and understanding our caretakers are, in that instant, we know that the only other one in the room who gets babyhood (or PDhood) is the baby. The camaraderie of the Parkinson’s community has provided me with resources from book reviews to diet tips, made me laugh, introduced me to people whose paths I’d not have crossed otherwise, given me cause to reach out in support when a bad day got […]