I was recently inspired and invigorated to post this list of suggestions, after meeting and talking with a few young onset and newly diagnosed Parkinsonians. I was reminded that I have an obligation to those diagnosed after me, who might learn from my experience. I am dedicated, after 40 years of living with Parkinson’s disease, to offering assistance and benefit to the Parkinson’s community. My goal, with my wife/care/life partner, Angela, is to build a website to provide a safe, positive, unique, resource for anyone looking for support and thoughtful, inspiring, entertaining, tools to add to their toolbox.
For anyone who is young onset and newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, here are some tips to consider:
Parkinson’s is different for everyone!
- Do not compare yourself with others! Don’t look at this as a competition because the only person in the race is, you! You are competing with yourself. Each of us is unique. All of us are on different regimens, with different medications and not on the same schedules. We all have different body types and body history.
Don’t panic! Learn as much as you can about your diagnosis!
- Sitting on the couch is not going to improve your condition so, you might want to seek out what works for you. Seek out new therapies, exercises (Rock Steady Boxing, walking, ping pong), and advice or suggestions to try, from trusted sources. If you are not confident with your doctor, you may consider a second opinion. If you have Parkinson’s disease, it does not mean that your world is over.
Parkinson’s is easier to deal with when you have a network of support!
- Parkinson’s disease can and will be a full-time job, for best quality of life, at some time. You must be at your best to stay on top of your condition! Build a network of support with friends, family, doctors, therapists, coaches, support groups, and all those people who help you maintain your condition.
Do some investigation into complementary therapies!
- Give some thought to going out of your scope of traditional therapies and embracing or at least adding complementary therapies that may be of help but are non-invasive and relaxing. Massage, yoga, Qigong, Reiki, and Tai Chi can offer benefit all naturally.
Parkinson’s disease is livable!
- A great deal of living with PD, is anticipating, reacting, and attempting to keeping your mind, body, and spirit, as healthy, developed, strong, and balanced as you are able. You may find that you will have to make some changes in your future, reevaluate some goals, or make changes in where and how you live, but you will also learn a great deal about yourself. Keep in mind, that unlike some neurological disorders, Parkinson’s disease is livable.
Make an effort to manage stress and anxiety!
- Stress and anxiety when kept at bay with breathing techniques, meditation, or some other modality can make a very positive benefit to PD symptoms. Don’t be afraid to explore what is available, but be cautious, thoughtful, and avoid costly and dangerous risks. Some modalities may be of benefit to your symptoms, but it may require trial and error before, you find a therapy that you love.
Balance in everything is crucial!
- Your attitude to diet to exercise and an openness to flexibility can make dramatic improvements when approaching stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. Your mind, body, and spirit need to be taken care of everyday. Staying positive, keeping your body active, and keeping your mind calm and malleable are good ways to maintain balance.
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Parkinson’s disease is a marathon and not a sprint. Working with a neurologist who is a movement disorder specialist and your care partner, family, friends, coach, or other will help keep you to be your best with Parkinson’s disease. We hope that this article sparks some curiosity and drive to continue your search for improving your mind, body, and spirit!