Trust me, I am not a reminder service, nor am I a medical professional, but with the soaring heat of summer, it may not be a bad idea for a few reminders to help keep your life a little safer:
- If you are taking Sinemet, pay close attention to direct sun exposure. Make sure to wear sunscreen and protection from the rays, so as not to burn.
- Check your medications for sun exposure side effects and talk to your neurologist and dermatologist about any moles, rashes, burns or bumps that are irregular, uneven, painful, changing color, or simply suspicious.
- Some of us with Parkinson’s have the challenge of self-regulating our body temperature. It is so vitally important to keep cool and to monitor if the sun is having any impact on you.
- Keep hydrated! I had a friend who was only drinking a little more than 4 ounces a day. When I found out how little he was drinking and he came back to hydration, my wife and I were amazed to see voice improvement, better cognition, better balance, and I dare say, a healthier look to his skin.
- If you have a pet or child, never leave them in a closed car without cool air blowing and water access.
- Don’t forget that many surfaces like concrete, blacktop, decking surfaces, and even wood can get blazing hot, making it very uncomfortable for paws and bare feet. If you have poor circulation or neuropathy, this could be very important.
- Be aware of your surroundings and your comfort always. Keeping aware will avoid some of those sun hazards.
- People with Parkinson’s are notorious for being deficient in vitamin D. Sunlight is great to help replenish your vitamin D level but pay close attention to too much direct exposure. Choose your time of day outside wisely and monitor your local weather for the safest time to walk your dog or go to the garden.
- Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses!
- Be sure to remember to always crack open at least one car window so you don’t return to a blistering seat and stifling air!
Use good, safe, solid, logic about being in the sun at its least intensity and keep cool!
Be aware of the sun’s intensity and extreme heat!
Protect everything! If you are taking Sinemet, exposure to the sun may cause you to burn more easily! Wear a hat and sunscreen everything that you don’t want to burn.
Stay hydrated! Staying hydrated is not just good for the body, but your pills may function better as well.
Hot or cold Many PD patients, me included, can easily overheat on very hot days. For some reason, we don’t always self regulate our body temperature at peak performance. Pay close attention to your sweating and thirst.
Watch your salt–Too little salt may cause orthostatic hypotension (dizziness when getting up or lying down) and too much can cause high blood pressure, find a balance and ask your doctor.
Most of us are low on vitamin D! Have your vitamin D level checked. Sun helps with D, but sun ages and burns. Dairy has D but be careful with protein and your meds.
Moderation and body awareness will help keep you sun safe. Be sun smart and careful out there! Talk to your doctor about these issues. I am not a doctor and these are suggestions, not medical advice. Be well!
It’s over–at least for this year! My beloved North Carolina Tarheels run for the NCAA Basketball Championship title for 2012 has ended with a crushing defeat from the young men of Kansas. Don’t worry about me–with years of basketball counseling, behavior modification, and heavy drinking, I will overcome this loss!
I have returned to the living and March Madness has ended for me. In spite of the Final Four still well ahead for the remaining teams, my interest is only in passing as I have no alliance to any of the contenders. Not to say that I won’t take a peak at any of the remaining games, I just don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other. I have broken free of the basketball tether to which I was entangled. I have returned from the dizzying world of the almighty bracket, once again.
The sun is shining. There is actually a world outside of my television screen–what do you know?
After experiencing a 45 second rattle from the 5.9 earthquake, I thought I would share some beauty to counteract the disturbances of the day. Please enjoy!
Do you find yourself losing track of time? Do you ever miss a dose of your medicine because you get distracted from the task at hand? Well, you are not alone. This is a common problem with Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients as we somehow find keeping track of time to be a challenge. Multi-tasking for someone with this illness is probably a mistake but if an orderly and defined task list with a defined time of completion is stated, there is a much better chance for that task to be fulfilled, as long as the individual is capable of performing.
So much of being capable is scheduling your medicines appropriately to your day. Keeping up on your daily regimen can be a full-time job in itself. The longer that you have this illness the more important it is to remain diligent in monitoring how your body is reacting to your medicines. Too little medicine in your system and signs of PD show through and too much medicine unleashes unwanted side-effects. On top of the maximizing of your medicines add the variables of how you slept the night before, how much stress you are under, what you ate and how much, and even your mood and state of mind. Even the weather can play a part in how you are functioning today. As I write this, I have no empirical research to back this statement up, but I know for me, weather has an impact on my condition and how the meds work or not.
Here are 5 tips or suggestions to getting more out of your medicines and your day:
1) Something as simple as wearing a watch that beeps on the hour can keep you aware of the day and alert you to when you may be due for your next dose. There are some elaborate and helpful timers and pill box systems to keep you on track for sale. If you are interested , Google “electronic pill box” or “pill timers” for more information.
2) I find a little caffeine with my medication speeds the uptake. This may not work for everyone and if you have heart problems or a problem with caffeine, don’t try it.
3) Calm your mind and body for at least 5 minutes a day with a meditation. As you get more used to meditation you can do it for longer periods. Try different types and see what works for you.
4) Keep as fit and active as you can be. Build a regimen that you can stick to. Try to incorporate stretching, balance, walking, and maybe weight training. Consult with your doctor and a qualified physical therapist or trainer who understands PD.
5) Challenge your mind daily. A daily crossword or Sudoku can be a wonderful way to get your brain going for the day–but keep track of your time!
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