Blog Archives

A Soft Voice Chosen by Healthline.com as One of the Best Blogs on Parkinson’s Disease

Thank you @Healthline for including us for this distinct honor and acknowledging our work!

Congratulations to Allison at Perky Parky, Sharon at Twitchy Woman and my peers at @ParkinsonDotOrg @CureParkinsonsT @DavisPhinneyFND @shakeitupaust @parkinsonstory on this accomplishment.

To be included with such well respected peers is a true honor. You all make huge contributions to our #Parkinsons community that are so life changing. I am honored to be in the company of these influencers on Parkinson’s disease.

Many thanks to you, my readers for making this possible and your continued support. I hope that I can provide you with positive and useful information. My goal is to empower and to offer a fresh perspective at how we handle and perceive our chronic illness.

ZOOM Is Changing The Way We Communicate

I really like using Zoom for meetings, but a month ago I saw what can happen when security measures are not taken. I was Zoomed.

Illustration of computer with multiple human likenesses.
Image: istockphoto.com

 A month ago, I had a day that would unexpectedly burn disturbing images in both my brain and my wife’s brain. I was attending someone else’s Zoom social get together. It is difficult to forget. It was a shock.

What began as a charming get together of sharing and caring amongst people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers/carepartners, did not end well. It turned into an invasion of indecency and pure smut. A hacker’s prank or an experiment in disruption, spoiled the event for all who were involved. This was a gross abuse of technology.

When used properly and measures are taken, Zoom calls can be very helpful, enjoyable, and productive events. Follow these suggestions and keep your software up-to-date to keep out uninvited participants.

If you or your group use Zoom for a meeting, a get together, or lectures, make sure that you take caution and follow some of these precautionary steps to protect from being interrupted by unwanted attendees, to your event.

Zoom Hints For Attendees/Participants:

  • Use the “art of the pause” when participating so others can respond to your comments.
  • Be patient for speakers who may speak more slowly.
  • Make sure you upgrade your Zoom application to the latest version to get important updates.

Zoom Hints For Hosts:

  • Always password protect your meetings.
  • In your meeting setup, turn off screen sharing for participants as a security measure.
  • Use the waiting room so you can screen who is admitted.
  • Have attendee’s audio and video muted as they enter the room, so it is not distracting. Muted audio can help a lot for those late arrivals who might interrupt a meeting in progress.
  • Always greet your attendees as they enter and say goodbye when they leave.
  • Make sure you have the latest updated version of the Zoom application.

Informative Zoom Videos to Watch:

Share these resources with anyone you know who is a Zoom user or moderator. One of these sources may help keep you and your attendees stay safe.

Hear It, Share It – Positive Daily Living (Part 4 of 4)

I hope that you enjoy this last installment (4 of 4) in the Hear It, Share It series where you can listen to chapters of my audiobook (for free/no download).

Chapter 29 of my book,
A Soft Voice in a Noisy World, is Positive Daily Living. The chapter offers some fresh perspectives and numerous suggestions on how we might make some changes in our daily lives. Voice actor, Doug Gochman does a wonderful job in expressing my words on the audio book.

Chapter 29 – Positive Daily Living – A Soft Voice in a Noisy World by Karl Robb

Listen to the Series

If you missed the first three parts of the series, you can use these links to go back and listen:
Part 1: Timing in Parkinson’s Disease May be Everything
Part 2: This Disease Isn’t Fair
Part 3: How to Talk to Doctors

Please feel free to comment about this chapter by clicking the Leave a Comment button below. Share this post with others by clicking the share buttons on the right.

If you want to hear more of the book, the audio book is available where most audio books are sold. Here’s a link to the Audible/Amazon version. If you still use CDs, you can either order online via our Square store or email us to order the 4 CD collection!

Hear It, Share It – How to Talk to Doctors (Part 3 of 4)

Knowledge is Power - A Soft Voice.com

It’s week 3 in my Hear It, Share It series. My goal for this series was to share some chapters of my audiobook (for free/no download) with you in hopes to help during this Coronoavirus pandemic. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these chapters and found something to take away!

Even though my book with this chapter was released in 2012, the information remains timely and pertinent for telehealth visits as well as in-person appointments. Making a connection with your physician(s) can build a rapport that is less stressful and reduces the usual doctor visit anxiety. Click the play button below to hear voice actor/narrator, Doug Gochman read Chapter 9:

If you missed the first two parts of the series, you can use these links to go back and listen:

Part 1: Timing in Parkinson’s Disease May be Everything
Part 2: This Disease Isn’t Fair

Please feel free to comment about this chapter and share your own tips on how you talk with your doctor(s) by clicking the Leave a Comment button below. Share this post with others by clicking the share buttons on the right.

Come back next Thursday to hear the final installment in this audiobook sharing series! If you subscribe to the blog today, you will receive automatic notification when the next post is released.


I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This is my personal opinion that I’ve developed as I’ve lived with Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years.

Does Masking Have A New Meaning?

Mask Up!

There is a common, unfunny, and overused joke about not playing poker with people who have Parkinson’s disease because many of us have reduced facial movement and it can be hard to read our expressions. This is masking, as I understand it. Sometimes the muscles for smiling just do not work well. Speech clarity and projection are vital to being understood. Being heard under a cloth mask when one has voice issues makes life frustrating for both the speaker and the listener.

Now, to make matters more of a challenge, add practicing social distancing, having a problem with your speech, having a softer voice, and placing a mask over that soft voice.  For someone with Parkinson’s disease, the combination of muffling the mouth, relying on just the eyes can be deceptive, and poor vocal projection, all add up to not being easily understood and worsens communications.

For some of us with Parkinson’s disease, our eyes are not as expressive or fluid as we would like, added to the tightening of facial, neck, and jaw muscles. Dry mouth, too much saliva, swallowing issues, and dental problems can all contribute to someone with Parkinson’s speech challenges.

Sight and Sound are Covered

Communication in a marriage is crucial and in this new COVID-19 pandemic of being home sequestered, the sharing of information is close and continuous. To maintain human interaction with family and friends by phone or new social technologies, takes a little practice.

Be sure that while under the fabric facial mask, (if your jaw is ok), to move your mouth, lips, and jaw. Exercising the facial muscles can add to your expressions. Do not just hide your face under the mask. Remember that you are going to have to speak louder, slower, and clearer, especially, with a mask covering your mouth. One more challenge to tackle. We can do it!

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