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Vulnerable, but Not Alone

vulnerability

Slow Is the New Fast

“People who know me know I’m strong, but I’m vulnerable.” — Catherine Deneuve

Oxford Dictionaries define vulnerability as: “The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.”

Recently, I felt a level of extreme vulnerability that I don’t remember experiencing before. Potentially, this could be due to any of the following reasons:

  • I lack confidence and strength now because I have Parkinson’s disease.
  • I am old (although in my mind, I’m still 21).
  • I am a woman living alone.
  • A combination of the above.

Although, lately, I seem to blame everything on Parkinson’s — it’s a good scapegoat!

What happened?

At 7:15 one recent morning, as I looked out my kitchen window, I saw an unmarked van backing into my driveway. A man I did not know got out of the vehicle and rang my doorbell. When I didn’t answer, he tried to enter. I froze as I stood in my hallway and stared at the front door, watching the doorknob moving. My pet bunny started to thump, and I knew I wasn’t going to get any help from bunny. I think he was more frightened than I was.

Luckily, since I live in a retirement community, around-the-clock security is available. I called security, and within five minutes, someone arrived and confronted the person outside my front door.

All is well

It turns out that some construction workers went to the wrong address and rang my doorbell by mistake.

Although I felt so vulnerable in this situation, I am thankful to live in a community where I am not alone.

“I do have a vulnerable side. I think a lot of people have a misperception of me. They only see the tough, defensive, aggressive side. But every woman is vulnerable.” — Rihanna

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Vulnerable, but Not Alone appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

As My Losses from Parkinson’s Accelerate, It’s Time to Fight Back

fight

Don’t forget you’re human. It’s OK to have a meltdown, just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.” —Unknown

I tend to have meltdowns more frequently these days.

Why is this happening?

My losses from this disease seem to be accelerating. Following are some examples:

  • In boxing class, I sometimes struggle with the punching choreography and can’t seem to coordinate my hands to do the actions required.
  • When reaching to place items on a high shelf, I lose my balance and fall backward.
  • My speed bag workouts are slowing down, and I lose my rhythm more often.
  • I am clumsier and tend to knock things over.
  • Typing on a computer keyboard is an exercise in futility. Sometimes my finger holds pressure on a key too much, and at other times, not enough. I can’t tell anymore.

I suspect that you can relate to my experiences only if you also have Parkinson’s disease (PD). While these setbacks may seem inconsequential, when they occur with increased frequency, it becomes frightening and overwhelming.

I must be mindful of what I do now more than ever. Falling and injuring myself a few weeks ago shocked me to the reality and seriousness of this disease. I find myself cursing at PD and yelling expletives at the top of my lungs in my house when my body fails me. My pet bunny doesn’t know what to make of this. I think the poor guy thinks I am yelling at him.

When my body does not move the way my mind is telling it to, my frustration levels accelerate. This may also be a harbinger of things to come.

Fighting back. (Photo by Michelle Del Giorno)

Running on empty

Some research indicates that over 50 percent (and as much as 60-70 percent) of dopamine-producing neurons are dead by the time Parkinson’s symptoms first appear. I have no doubt that the disease is aging me before my time. A 90-year-old friend is starting to experience symptoms that are due to aging — the same signs that I have at age 66 because of PD.

My neurologist has suggested that sometimes I need to take a step back, refocus, and not be too hard on myself. He knows me well.

I must fight back — and not give in!

At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.” Christine Mason Miller

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post As My Losses from Parkinson’s Accelerate, It’s Time to Fight Back appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

After a Nasty Fall, I Think of Those Who Came to My Aid

kindness of strangers

We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

Fallen, again

Not even two weeks after I put the finishing touches on my walking with mindfulness column, I had a very nasty fall. My first fall occurred in July 2017. Since my left foot tends to drag, I find I must focus on how I am walking so that I don’t trip. As I was heading to my car, my mind was going a mile a minute thinking about what I needed to do that day. I was not remaining in the present moment.

Lost in thought, I was not mindful of my walking, tripped, and did a face-plant on the sidewalk. As I lay on the ground wondering what just happened, I remember hearing voices asking if I was OK. As I sat up, blood poured from my face and I found myself surrounded by concern and compassion.

What do I remember?

Most of what happened in the moments surrounding the time I fell is still a blur. What I do remember is a few people crowding around me. There was a police officer, a local postal employee who also is an EMT, a man who gave me his handkerchief to stem the blood flow, and someone who ran to the drugstore to get bandages and peroxide. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of these strangers. I will say it once again, kindness matters. It was such a time of great vulnerability for me, and through the caring and concern of these strangers, I did not feel so alone.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” –Scott Adams

Emotional and physical pain

As I drove myself to the emergency room, I broke down in tears. This was partly because of the pain, but more due to the fact that I believe my Parkinson’s disease may be progressing. Luckily, I only had some minor swelling, a few cuts and bruises, and a chipped tooth. However, my emotional healing is taking longer than my physical recovery from this fall.

Lessons learned

  1. Practice what I preached in my previous column.
  2. Remember the kindness of strangers that day, which has helped me to physically heal.
  3. I am not alone.
  4. I need to accept the fact that my mind moves a lot faster than my body and I no longer can multitask. I must pay attention to the task at hand.

If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post After a Nasty Fall, I Think of Those Who Came to My Aid appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Heel, Toe: Walking with Mindfulness

walking

Slow Is the New Fast Jean Mellano

Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” — Sharon Salzberg

The ability to walk is something many of us, myself included, have always taken for granted. Now that I have Parkinson’s disease (PD), something that used to come as a matter of course to me is starting to deteriorate. PD has adversely affected my left side more than my right side. I find myself tripping more, since I tend to drag my left foot.

Walking now requires my conscious thought

Going for a walk is now more of a mindful task than an exercise for me. I find it much more therapeutic to focus on how I walk and be in the present moment than to think about the future and how my PD may progress. With each step I take, I concentrate on repeating to myself, “Heel, toe.”

My stride analysis

When there was snow on the ground, I decided to compare my walking steps when I did not focus on saying “heel, toe” with those from when I did. My footprints in the snow were very telling, so I took a photograph. On the left side of the photo are my steps when I was not thinking about my stepping patterns. You might notice that both feet show a bit of a drag in the snow. On the right side of the photo, as I moved forward, I really focused on flexing both of my feet and having my heel strike first. There are no signs of drag on either foot.

Am I putting too much thought into this?

Years of training to improve as a dancer and a cyclist have made analysis of my body movements come quite naturally to me. Whether it was improving my pedal stroke for more cycling power or perfecting my balance to do pirouette turns, I learned to be mindful and to be in touch with how my body was performing. Now I must use that skill to help myself be more attentive when I walk.

My neurologist says I tend to overthink things. I believe our greatest strengths can also be our greatest weaknesses. Sometimes, I do overthink, to the point of getting paralysis by analysis. However, I believe that mindful analysis of my PD symptoms (including my walking technique) is critical in helping me to create different ways of doing things that at one time (before PD) used to come as second nature to me.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Unknown

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Heel, Toe: Walking with Mindfulness appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

For Parkinson’s Patients, the Sense of Loss Is Relentless

disease of loss

I fight for my health every day in ways that most people don’t understand. I’m not lazy. I’m a warrior!” –Unknown

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disease of loss. It chips away one’s ability to perform seemingly mindless tasks.

Examples of what I have lost to Parkinson’s disease

The list of things I can no longer do, or no longer do without a lot of effort, may seem inconsequential:

  • Putting a letter or card in an envelope
  • Keeping a slipper or clog on my left foot
  • Opening a sealed envelope
  • Picking up a thread on the floor
  • Turning the pages of a book
  • Tying my shoes
  • Rolling over in bed or on the floor
  • Opening up packages
  • Shaving my underarms
  • Rolling a yoga mat
  • Folding laundry
  • Washing the hair on the left side of my head
  • Holding a handbag close to the left side of my body
  • Finding the edge of the toilet paper on the roll
  • Slipping on a sports bra
  • Trying to put on pants while standing on one leg
  • Putting on pierced earrings
  • Writing legibly
  • Walking without fear of my left foot dragging and tripping me

“…[I]f opening your eyes, or getting out of bed, or holding a spoon, or combing your hair is the daunting Mount Everest you climb today, that is okay.” –Carmen Ambrosio

What is the most troubling loss for me?

A more disturbing concern is that I can’t be trusted to hold on to something firmly with my left hand, whether it is a cup of coffee or giving my rabbit his medication.

As an example, while giving medicine to my bunny, I was holding the bottle in my left hand and used an eyedropper with my right hand to administer the medication. Next thing I know, I looked down and saw pink medicine all over my rabbit’s fur. I was unaware that my left hand was tipping the bottle. So, not only did I waste the medicine, I also had to clean the rabbit.

I once spilled hot paraffin wax all over the kitchen floor, counter, and cabinets because I could not hold on to the paraffin container while trying to empty it. It took me almost two hours to clean up the mess.

The loss of my left-handed grip is a problem in itself, but the extra work and cleanup I have to do when it fails me are even more troubling.

PD is progressive

Just when I think I can deal with what I have lost, something else that I used to perform with ease now eludes me. It almost feels like a death by a thousand paper cuts.

While the loss of the ability to perform each activity is no big deal, it is the daily, collective, and continuing loss of other activities that serves as a constant reminder that I have an incurable and progressive disease. Day after day, this wears me down, and it seems the list of lost functionalities grows on a monthly basis.

Sometimes you will be in control of your illness and other times you’ll sink into despair, and that’s OK! Freak out, forgive yourself, and try again tomorrow.” –Kelly Hemingway

What’s the big deal?

While it may be easy to find a workaround now, PD is relentless, and someday it may get to the point where I don’t have an alternative way to accomplish a task. This is when independence is lost. Facing new failings every day, no matter how insignificant, is daunting and can fuel a sense of despair and hopelessness.

How can I best combat PD?

Keeping my sense of humor about some of the ridiculous things PD does to my body will be my salvation. Laughter will be one of the most effective weapons in my arsenal while I battle this insidious disease.

You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” –Josh Shipp

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post For Parkinson’s Patients, the Sense of Loss Is Relentless appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

When You’re Living with Parkinson’s Disease, Kindness Matters

kindness

“You will never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors. No matter how happy someone looks, how loud their laugh is, how big their smile is, there can still be a level of hurt that is indescribable. So be kind. Even when others are not, choose to be kind.” —Author unknown, via 3am Thoughts Facebook page

What was my mindset?

The weather was typical of a New York winter’s day: cold, damp, and dreary. My spirits were equally dark and depressing. Parkinson’s disease (PD) has a way of aging people before their time. As I walked into the grocery store, I was ruminating on how much my bones ached and how fatigued I felt.

What happened?

When I went to purchase my items, I asked for my 10 percent senior discount — there are some benefits to getting old. The young woman behind the counter looked me in the eye and said in a sincere tone that she thought I was much younger than 65. I could tell she meant to pay me a compliment and was not going to ask me to prove my age with my driver’s license. I was so touched by her kind words that I broke down in tears.

What changed?

This woman’s random act of kindness blew me away. My mood transformed from melancholy to elated in seconds. She didn’t know that I was in the midst of a major pity party thinking about how old I felt. She was surprised by my tears and didn’t realize how welcome her words were to me when I was feeling miserable.

Why am I telling you this?

The point of my sharing this brief, transformative moment of my PD journey is that kindness does matter. The simplest actions can make a huge difference to someone who may be going through a difficult time. It has been weeks since this act of kindness. However, I still smile at the thought of that simple gesture from a stranger. This was an unsolicited, kind act from someone who didn’t know how unhappy I was or how much I needed some positive feedback.

Kindness matters.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post When You’re Living with Parkinson’s Disease, Kindness Matters appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

The Day Parkinson’s Disease Left the Room

rock steady boxing

“… [T]he power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.” –Eckhart Tolle

Rock Steady Boxing is not just about boxing, sweating, moving, and exercise. More than once, the classes have allowed me to recapture a part of my former self from before my Parkinson’s disease’s (PD) onset. In the past, this has always been very personal and unique to me. In a recent class, I observed the other participants experiencing something similar in their own way. It was a sight to behold, truly an empowering feeling of joy shared by all.

Living in the moment

“If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.” –Jim Carrey

The class was united for a few moments — I truly believed none of us thought about PD. During our warmup, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” started playing. Spontaneously, we all started singing the lyrics. There were smiles all around and one of the boxers took out his harmonica and played along. The feeling was palpable. For those moments in time, none of the participants had PD. We were fellow athletes having fun, singing along to the music (yes, even I sang despite being unable to hold a tune), and living in the moment. The feelings I experienced in that class still resonated with me days later.

Click here for a video clip of the magic moments. Thank you, Sensei Michelle and assistant coaches Rita and Michael, for giving the boxers a respite from our troubles that day.

We shouldn’t underestimate the power of music and the camaraderie fostered by Rock Steady Boxing. What happened in class that day could not be scripted. We were all caught up in the moment, oblivious to any burdens we walked into the room with.

Who are we?

Rock Steady Boxing is a community of people — coaches, patients, and volunteers — who share collective experiences. We are all united in fighting back against an incurable and progressive disease. The moments like those experienced in that particular class keep me coming back. This is what makes Rock Steady Boxing such a healing and unique experience.

“Alone, we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.” –Helen Keller

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post The Day Parkinson’s Disease Left the Room appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Have You Joined Our Parkinson’s News Today Forums Yet?

forums

The Parkinson’s News Today Forums were created to allow those of us with this disease to lean on and learn from each other, and most importantly, laugh together. The forums also aim to help caregivers, family members, and friends to understand the daily challenges of those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Have you ever tried to explain to someone without PD how difficult it is for you to fold sheets or put on a seat belt? Only another PD patient can empathize with this disease of “little losses.” We hope that these forums can facilitate and encourage these conversations.

Our goal is to be the “one-stop-shop” forum for information and experiences related to PD.

Why should you check us out?

Our forums differ from other platforms in the following ways:

We have moderators

I moderate the forums alongside my BioNews Services colleague Ally Macgregor. We remove advertisements, links, and promotional posts, and we ensure that discussions remain respectful and relevant.

Regular contributions

As moderators, we keep the forums active with discussions on topics related to new research and shared experiences. We respond promptly to questions and concerns from members, and we hope to lessen feelings of social isolation.

We monitor the audience

We will quickly delete spam and promotional content. We don’t tolerate bullying or belittling behavior, and comments that violate our policy will be removed.

Additional features

You can add media to your posts, including videos, images, links, and podcasts. A private messaging option also is available for members.

Keyword search

You can search for a topic using specific keywords related to your area of interest.

Someone to lean on

Knowing we are not alone with our disease is empowering. Being part of an online community can help us to heal and to cope with PD’s challenges. The forums allow you to share your personal experiences and frustrations with challenging situations.

To learn from

We will keep you up to date with posts about cutting-edge treatments for PD. Participants can share their symptoms and experiences and the treatments they have found to be most effective. However, please remember that PD symptoms, medications, and side effects vary from patient to patient. While an alternative treatment, medication, or supplement may benefit one patient, another person may not have the same response.

To laugh with

Laughter is the best medicine. Having a sense of humor about the absurdity of some PD symptoms can help with the healing process. If we can share our stories with others, it may lessen the embarrassment caused by our symptoms.

When and where

Our PD forums launched in 2018 and cover a broad set of topics, including:

Convince me

Following are three examples of topics currently being discussed in our forums. Click on the links to join the conversations.

Count me in!

Getting started is easy:

1. To create a profile, go to “Register,” located at the bottom right of the “Log In” section.

2. Once you’ve entered your details, you can head to the main forums page. Discussions are moderated and inappropriate comments will be deleted.

3. Start exploring the forums now.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Have You Joined Our Parkinson’s News Today Forums Yet? appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

My PD Frustration Consists of More Than Only Symptoms and Treatments

frustration

You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared and anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a ‘negative person.’ It makes you human.” –Lori Deschene

As many people with Parkinson’s will attest, both Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms and finding the right treatment to alleviate them can be extremely frustrating.

The perception

Just as frustrating for me is that everyone thinks I am fine. Since I have no tremors, there are no obvious symptoms. Most well-meaning, healthy people either tell me I look great or that they have the same issues as me — cognitive decline, balance, poor fine motor skills, slowness of movement, and fatigue.

The truth

I struggle to maintain balance and must consciously avoid walking into furniture. My body, especially on the left side, does not always listen to me when I tell it to do something. Trying to maintain focus to do this is draining in itself. I also feel weak inside and I am always extremely fatigued. It is an exhaustion that no amount of sleep or rest can diminish.

A glimpse into my frustration

To help my fine motor skills, I have taken up ukulele lessons. I never played any instrument in my life, so I have no muscle memory to call on. The left hand and fingers play a huge role in learning how to use this instrument.

Recently, I had a meltdown in one of my lessons. My left fingers were not listening to me while trying to play some chords. The instructor was very patient, but I don’t think he understood the extent of my struggles. I was trying to play a G chord, which requires positioning three fingers from my left hand on various frets. These fingers would not cooperate and they just froze. With all the energy I expended trying to get my fingers positioned, I worked up a sweat.

Finally, so full of despair and frustration over what I have lost, I just broke down in tears. I can no longer control my body.

Empathy

The frustration continues on many fronts for me: the symptoms themselves, trying to find something to help treat my symptoms, and well-intentioned people not comprehending what I struggle with daily. Many years before I was affected by this disease, a friend of mine was diagnosed with PD. I could never understand why it was so hard for her to put on a seat belt.

Now I know.

I have a form of Parkinson’s disease, which I don’t like. My legs don’t move when my brain tells them to. It’s very frustrating.” –George H. W. Bush

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post My PD Frustration Consists of More Than Only Symptoms and Treatments appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Reflections on My First Year of Rock Steady Boxing

reflections

Twice a week for over a year, I have been religiously taking Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) classes for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Has RSB helped my PD?

I believe that my PD symptoms would be worse or my disease would have progressed more quickly had I not taken these classes. There is no definitive proof of this. My dietary changes and the medications and supplements I’ve taken may have slowed the progression of the disease and prevented new symptoms from appearing or old ones from worsening. Before my diagnosis, I was a trained athlete with well-developed muscle memory, which may explain why I am not worse off now. Perhaps it is a combination of all of these reasons.

Other intangible benefits

Although very elusive, the ability to recapture a few moments of graceful movement and rhythm fills me with joy. A dance teacher once told me, “The good thing about ‘losing it’ is that you ‘had it.’” This gives me hope, and I keep coming back to rediscovering that feeling.

Vulnerability plagues me because I feel PD has made me weaker, but RSB has given me moments of confidence and strength.

Camaraderie

“You don’t appreciate things until they are gone. For me, I miss my friends; I don’t miss boxing, I miss the camaraderie.” —Sugar Ray Leonard

In RSB, the participants relate so well to each other’s triumphs and failures. More than once, I have broken down in tears during class, feeling sorry for myself over what I have lost. Every time that has happened, at least one of my fellow boxers has comforted me, got me back on my feet, and encouraged me to carry on. The empathy is strong among RSB participants and we are always there for each other.

The camaraderie of those classes is incredible. Most of us come to class feeling tired and apprehensive of the workout to come. However, by the time we leave we are all smiling and looking forward to the next class.

What is next for me?

I am so inspired by what RSB has done for my classmates and me, that I have become certified as an RSB coach. When I first started taking RSB classes, my goal was to be the “poster child” for RSB. With the encouragement of my coach, the volunteers, and my fellow classmates, I have completed the certification process. Even if I never teach a class, I believe that taking the course and passing the test makes me stronger and will hopefully provide inspiration to others with PD.

You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” — Conrad Hall

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Reflections on My First Year of Rock Steady Boxing appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.