"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly" -proverb I found a refrigerator magnet with that lovely proverb while waiting in line at Whole Foods shortly after I had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. That saying became my mantra. I needed it to be my mantra because something told me that I could find some good in my situation. What was my situation? For a number of years I had felt pain and extreme fatigue. Of course, I wasn't getting any younger, and teaching middle school requires so much energy in the classroom, and grading and planning in the 'off hours,' that I thought this was just a sign that I was ready to retire. And my handwriting had become so small and cramped that my students could no longer decipher the very cogent, insightful comments I was writing on their papers. Also, I had demonstrated a tremor that had gone from almost negligible to formidable over the past few years. When it got in the way of one of my favorite activities, eating, particularly eating soup, I went to see my first neurologist. So, in April, 2008, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and began a program of treatment medications shortly after my retirement that June. I was taking Sinemet 25/100, the dopamine drug, three times a day, and Requip once daily. After a while, my symptoms began to worsen. I had the option of increasing my meds, something I did not want to do. What I was really looking for was relief from the chronic pain. I could continually feel the muscles in my spine and arms and shoulders contract. Also, navigating stairs became a cumbersome endeavor, feeling like I had sandbags strapped to my arms and legs as I tried to make my way up to the bedroom. Although I found myself increasingly inactive, it's not like I took m situation lying down. In the first year after my diagnosis I was proactive about research and treatment. I saw two neurologists and a movement disorder specialist, visited the Parkinson's Center in Sunnyvale, California, applied to and was selected for the PD DNA study co-sponsored by Sergei Brin of Google and Michael J. Fox, a study called '23andMe'. I had also joined the local PD support group, researched and read numerous books and internet sites, practiced yoga till I became too stiff for 'downward facing dog' and so off-balance that my tree pose looked like 'downward falling tree'!! I had explored every avenue, visited everywhere, except inside myself.
To support the juicy living tour and to watch more video interviews, visit http://www.JuicyLivingTour
Donate now to support the Juicy Living Tour at http://juicylivingtour.com/support-the-juicy-tour/donate-now/
Stay tuned on the Juicy Living Tour and where it is right now in the world from Lilou's facebook fan page at http://facebook.com/liloumacewebtv