I can see clearly now

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sadness

Sadness, depression and all that goes with it are very exhausting. My Parkinson's makes me very sad and I was an extremely happy person once.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

SINGLE PARENTING WITH PARKINSON'S

I am angry, upset and need to take it out on someone so i thought the best thing To do was write. As you know I have Parkinson's and have now been diagnosed for over ten years. I exercise, do Feldenkrais, yoga, walk and anything else that will help me cope. I have a 20 year old daughter who I have raised on my own since her father died 7 years ago. He was sick for many years and went through a transplant before he succumbed to liver cancer. Yes it has been a difficult ride but financially I am ok and do have a good life. It is, however at times difficult and I do get down, stiff sore and sick of the struggle and constant need to be vigilant that I am not letting the Parkinson's 'take over'.

My daughter is not perfect, in fact we do argue a lot over her lack of assistance around the house etc etc but she is my only child and I love her unconditionally. Since my husband ( he was of Italian origin) died she has not really kept up the contact with her Italian family even though I have tried. I reached out again recently to try and heal the wounds only to be told that her behaviour is partly my fault for not being stricter etc etc. Of course she was compared with somebody else's model child.

All I have to say is:

TRY AND BRING UP A TEENAGER IN THESE TIMES -
AS A SINGLE PARENT
AND DO THAT WITH PARKINSON'S!!!

THEN THOSE WITHOUT SIN CAN CASTE THE FIRST STONE.

Friday, February 5, 2016

OK it's been a long while since I posted something on this site. I haven't been in denial just that I was involved in a very damaging relationship for a while and neglected my own feelings and clung on too long.

I suppose being 60 and having Parkinson's was one of the reasons I was clinging onto this man as I was beginning to feel old and that no-one would be interested in me. However like the India Arie song;
 "I am not my hair I am not this skin I am not your expectations no I am not my hair I am not this skin I am the soul within".

I am not my Parkinson's nor am I the person who clung to a man who had the habit of living off women and then hated them for it. I am also convinced that one of the drugs I was on changed my thinking a little and made me more obsessive (a well known side effect of this drug). When the moment of clarification arrives and finally you can escape the complex mess of a bad relationship it is liberating.

Liberating yes but nevertheless it takes a while for the strength to return completly and the 'bad  days' make it even harder. Today as you may have guessed is a bad day. Stiff, sore, slow to move and down was how I woke up this morning - feelings that of course I fight against and hate but, then again I do indulge a little as I think - Fuck I've got Parkinson's I can have a little angry cry now and then.

Recently I went to a new neurologist - second opinion, just turned sixty, have been diagnosed for 10 years so it's part of the new plan. He said that I looked fabulous and that my Parkinson's was moving at a glacially slow pace. I am either lucky or I am doing something right. He made me feel great but I still have these days when it all feels too much. Fortunately however I still can pull myself out of them.

So I think people who have chronic problems such as Parkinson's become experts in survival - bouncing back and continuing on regardless of aches and pains or lack of sleep. Maybe we become a bit too impatient at others who complain of aches and pains as you just want to say you have no idea or give me a break.

Back to breaking up aches and pains when you are sixty with Parkinson's. You would think by sixty one would be over all this and I think I am nearly there but I love the intimacy of being a couple. I had a wonderful husband who died 6 years ago so know how good it can be and then mistakenly fell for a charming, charismatic, penniless fraud (as recently discovered was not penniless). We did have fun but it all became too difficult and added to my health problems due to unnecessary stress and of course depression and feelings of inadequacy.

But NO LONGER - gone, over and I am emerging again and determined to continue to take this Parkinson's by the horns and not let it defeat me.
I am back to yoga, swimming, meditating and thinking and spending positive time alone - started drawing classes and planning an exciting holiday.

Maybe when I become myself again something may happen! In the meantime I have closed all my online dating site profiles and am going out into that wonderful big wide world.




Thursday, May 14, 2015

OMG Paleo and Parkinson's again!

Well it's 2 years down the track and I'm back on the Paleo diet after of course not getting anywhere with it last time. However, it's crunch time. When I first was diagnosed with Parkinson's I had the idea of 5 year plans. Unfortunately my darling husband up and died in the middle of my plans and threw me into total confusion. Doggedly I started the idea again after he died and decided to wait until my daughter finished school, then sell the family home, rent at a beachside suburb until I bought a 2 bedroom flat close to the beach so I could roll out of bed and swim. It all went to plan but the sale, and 2 subsequent moves along with bringing up my teenage daughter and attempting a relationship with a much younger man finally took it's toll. I moved into the new place and sank down on the couch with a great sigh and shouted to the world "I did it."

I really couldn't believe the effort I had made. My body knew what an effort it was and it was suffering.

I was overweight, totally exhausted, depressed, drinking too much, smoking too much dope, eating rubbish but pretending all was ok.

I kept blaming my Sifrol meds for my obsessive behaviour towards my 'friend', My daughter hated him but the ssex was good and basically I didn't have the energy to do it all again. He loves me  and I love him but we are not meant to be together - friends yes but not lovers. We are now trying to salvage a friendship and he is genuinely concerned about my welfare but is not in a situation to be of any real help.
Enough was enough - I couldn't face my profile walking passed shop windows anymore so for two weeks now it has been no grains, dairy and hardly any sugars (except in the glasses of wine that I can't seem to give up yet).

The latest research about Parkinson's indicates that the disease may begin in the gastrointestinal tract and the old 'leaky gut' may be the cause of the inflammation somehow or other of the brain so what better way to start controlling this monster than diet.

Well apart from tonight when sleep evades me my sleeping has improved, energy levels are great, I don't wake up feeling like I want to die, the inflammation in my arm and hand has gone down and woo hoo I've lost nearly 3 kgs in less than 2 weeks.

I'm attacking it from all sides and the new 5 year plan is to reduce my meds. I am reading The Brain's Way of Healing by Norman Doidge who is coming to town ( got tickets of course) and inspired by the man who has walked away his Parkinson's symptoms.

I am working only 2 days a week and walking to work, learning the ukelele and to keep dementia at bay, going on little holidays and working out what my next 5 year plan is going to be. My next song I've chosen for the uke is "I can see clearly now"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FscIgtDJFXg 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Paleo partying

It's been a while since the last post. A new relationship, a teenage daughter, work and of course keeping on top of the Parkinson's all got in the way. However with renewed vigor I'm back to it with gusto. Expect my blogs to get more energetic as my energy levels rise as I'm on a mission and on the Paleo Diet.
OMG another fad/craze like the Atkins/ no carbs after lunch type of diet. Well yes it is all of those things BUT apparently it reduces tremors ad most importantly reduces inflammation which we all know is bad news for Parkinson's sufferers.
What is the Paleo Diet? It is the diet we are genetically designed to eat that is , how our Paleolithic ancestors ate. The modern incarnation means that you can eat meat, fish, eggs, certain vegetables , fruit, berries, nuts and seeds.
What you CAN't eat is grains, dairy, processed foods, salt and sugar.
One of the reasons that a Paleolithic diet is recommended for people who suffer from Parkinson's disease is because researchers believe that grains, beans and potatoes have high amounts of toxins when they are raw, and cooking them kills a lot of the toxins but not all; therefore people are still consuming some toxic foods.Evidence for this comes from the roughly 80 or so hunter-gather tribes that remain across the world, mostly in Australia, Africa and South America. Researchers have found that these tribes tend to have better overall health than the modern world population and do not suffer from diseases such as Parkinson's, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension or strokes. Some researchers have concluded that this is do to the "ancient" diet that they consumed.

Of course the other magic part of the diet is weightloss.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Do I burn the candle at both ends or try and stay healthy?

It's hard to know whether to party, party, party or stay healthy and try and maintain good health and supposedly a better quality of life. By this I mean stop drinking, eat grits and grains, go to bed early etc etc. The Parkinson's seems to advance no matter what one does to slow down the degeneration.

Some days I am full of that wonderful positivity and I am sure that I will be able to maintain my health for a long time but other days that cloud of grief for my lost future hangs ominously over my head.

Unfortunately today is one of those days.

The body is stiff and sore from the moment you wake up and you just want somebody to make it all go away or just care for you. Instead daughter must go to school, dog fed, start working or if it is too much just go back to bed and try and pretend it is all not happening.

So back to my original statement of whether to party or not.

If I mention my moods to my neurologist he immediately wants to send me to a shrink to go on anti-depressants but I am already on a shitload of drugs and couldn't really face any more - the L-Dopa, dopamine agonists, vitamins and a couple of others for a couple of other health issues. Some days you just want to throw the drug basket into the bin.

Anyway I have yoga in an hour so my mood will go from black to a more calming colour and I will be OK.

I have learnt to keep this all in (but today I am sharing it with the world!!). If any mention is made to my neuro he immediately wants to send me to a shrink and be put on anti-depressants. More drugs NO THANKS. Yes we all know that Parkinson's physically can cause depression but usually it is just that one feels down because you have a degenerative neurological condition and are aching all over. (In all honesty, who doesn't in their late fifties!!)

So I play the Pollyanna Glad Game and say "Gee aren't I lucky to have a slowly degenerating strain of Parkinson's".




Friday, July 6, 2012

Working and Parkinson's

We all want to remain as participating members of the community but on the other hand do you work or retire young thus enabling you to do these things that you always wanted to do before it's too late.

If you can arrange it, part-time work is the answer and even better, part-time working from home. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's I took a medical retirement from my governmet job which fortunately gave me enough to pay off my mortgage and set up  asmall consultancy where I could work part time and at my own pace. It was probably the most sensible thing I have done in my whole life!!!

If i have a lot of energy i can do more work and if my energy wanes I can do less.

I can go to yoga, the gym and have rest breaks which are vitally important if you want to be able to sustain your working life for a bit longer.

I find that when that dreadful sudden hit of tiredness descends you simply must lie down and rest because working or even thinking is impossible.

This brings me to the main message of this post and that is planning. When I was initially diagnosed I started my 5 year plans - things like retirement, sell the house etc. When my husband died my plans were derailed but I have taken the idea back on.

So planning is my number one message (after exercise).

I did, however, want to explore a little the issues around working and Parkinson's. It has traditionally been thought of as an old people's disease so working was never an issue. Now with many more people being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinsons's , dealing with it in a physical and burearucratic way has become vey real. Fortunately when I was working full time I was working in a very supportive environment and again true to my 'milking it for all it's worth' philosophy used it if I needed to move to a centre close to home and not travel as far. I'm sure it's different for many others who may feel the need to hide their Parkinson's from work mates and bosses in case they will be discriminated against or told to leave work.

In this day and age of OH&S requirements surely there is a type of light duties for an employee with Parkinson's.