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Out of Control

Out Of ControlParkinson’s Disease agonist medications (Requip and Mirapex) have been shown to cause compulsive behavior for some users. Some users have been shown to be prone to gambling addiction, sex addiction, shopping addiction, food addiction, and gaming addiction may occur. Compulsion may even entice users to go beyond legal limits to feed their desire or lose sense of time.

If you find yourself facing any kind of compulsive behavior that may be taking you away from friends and family, or is disrupting your life, tell your neurologist and someone close to you about breaking the cycle. Communication is so vital to your well-being. Carrying secrets only fuels the tension and stress on the mind and body. Letting go and making a change (with your neurologist’s help) might just be the right move forward.

Winter Can Be Cruel

Cold WinterAs a child, I used to love winter. I would sled and ski and didn’t give the bitter cold a second thought. Now, I am less oblivious and less tolerant of the cold. My body functions and just moves more freely in warmer climates. Cold seems to cause greater constriction of the joints and even the muscles.

Winter doesn’t just bring on change of the physical body but with light changes and shorter days, the changes may impact your mood. Keep a close eye on your daily attitude and if you experience thoughts or feelings that you need to express (sadness, possible depression, or anger) consider getting help and stay on top of it, before it manifests into something you can’t control.

Some Do’s and Don’ts For A Better You

Pay close attention to changes.

Pay close attention to changes.

Once you find a routine that works well it becomes comfortable and automatic. The routine would be wonderful but adjustments must be made, because when one is dealing with Parkinson’s disease, the rules as we knew them change on us. The alteration in what was once normal can be both perplexing and sheer upheaval. The uncomfortable trick to working with this illness, and not fighting it, is analyzing what the body has changed and how do I counter-move to the newest change.  The process is difficult and a tremendous challenge. I can speak from my own experience that as I continue to make slight adjustments in my daily life, I can tweak what isn’t working and slowly implement something new that might help. Part of the process is keeping an open-mind and a willingness to try what may be considered “unconventional”.

Here are 5 items to consider:

  1. Do- Keep a close eye on your medicine regimen. You don’t want to spike your dopamine level nor do you want it to plummet. Keeping the same schedule daily is your best bet for maintaining an even flow of medicine.
  2. Don’t–Avoid or at least reduce your consumption of  high protein foods, high sodium foods, fatty foods, and unhealthy processed foods that may be interfering with your medications.
  3. Do-Something as simple as a banana before bedtime may reduce muscle cramping and improve your sleep. I’ve seen it work!
  4. Do–Breathing is an action many of us take for granted. The problem that I have found for many parkinsonians is that we don’t breath as deeply as we are able. Focusing on our breath and making sure that we are processing as much oxygen as we can is of vital importance. Through awareness, practice, and maybe some help through your local yoga teacher or an online video, you may expand your breath capacity.
  5. Do–Speak up –if you aren’t getting what you need from your support group, tell them what you need or start your own group.

Making slight and subtle changes everyday may be very beneficial!

The Frustration

Why is it that some people who need help ask for help and when help is provided, the assistance is rejected?  I can’t tell you how many times I have come across this scenario.  I try not to offer advice unless the advice is requested. You would think that if someone were open enough to ask for help, then they might be open enough to try the advice.

Those Parkinsonians who are unwilling to take charge of their meds or their condition are going to face an uphill battle and make the future that much harder on themselves.  A small change in our bodies can set an array of problems off that we would never expect.  For example, a minor toe infection can throw off your walking, your comfort, and lead to a fall down the steps. I have seen things very similar to this account.  If you are able to address what appears to be insignificant and stamp it out early, the small stuff doesn’t go rampant.  If left unattended, the scab may lead to infection and worse.  A big component of self-care is knowing your body’s strengths and weaknesses.

Something as simple as missing meals, dehydration, or poor nutrition can lead to a laundry list of blood, psychological, and balance related issues that throw the whole body out of balance. People with Parkinson’s disease are prone to low vitamin D levels which may bring about stability and bone issues, according to medical websites.  Keeping up on your nutrition and staying current on your regimen of medicines is vital to receive maximum benefit. When we fail to monitor our body and our condition, we put ourselves in harm’s way and open ourselves to damage more of our systems.

I am not a doctor and this is just my opinion. This is NOT medical advice—it is just what I think.

Join us online December 9, 2012 to discuss Parkinson’s Disease!

Join me, Karl Robb and my guest host, Angela Robb, as we answer questions and discuss issues impacting Parkinson’s disease(PD) patients, caregivers/care-partners, and those who want more information about living well with PD. Thanks to Robert Rodgers (www.parkinsonsrecovery.com) for the chance to guest host. Feel free to submit a question before the web show by logging into the web link and password below or phone your questions in live with the provided information and code below, on the day of the show (Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard or 2:00 PM Pacific)

See the online and phone information below for show details:

http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=35333202

Online Event password: karl2012

Primary dial in number: (206) 402-0100

Secondary dial in number: (323) 476-3672

Dial in password: 200414#

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