14 THINGS I HAVE LEARNT ON MY JOURNEY
I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Parkinson’s (UPDRS 127) and Early-Stage Multisystem Atrophy in 1995 at 52 years of age.
I pursued many avenues for healing - conservative, radical and outright adventurous.
By mid-1998, I was free from symptoms and remain so to this day, nearing my 80th birthday.
Am I “cured”? No, there is no “cure” and never will be – but that is a discussion for another time.
I am free from symptoms (recovered) while I choose to live a life of health and interest. If I revert to old, unhealthy habits, I tend to develop a tremor as a warning.
This is not a restrictive or boring life - far from it – it is interesting with plenty of great activity, tasty food and even treats.
My journey from collapse to wellness was long, hard and fraught with pitfalls. Many people from all walks of life helped and supported me but, in the end, it was my choice and my responsibility to become well; to recover.
Here are a few of the lessons I learnt along the way.
1. Neurologists are clever people who are trained to treat disease, but have little knowledge of or interest in wellness.
2. I was told that we don’t know what causes Parkinson’s but, once I found out what really does cause Parkinson’s, I was able to find MY causes and get well.
3. The causes of my Parkinson’s symptoms were a combination of things done to me and things I had done to myself.
4. I was told that there were medicines to “keep (me) comfortable as long as possible”, but the effective time seemed to be limited to 5 years or so, and adverse effects declared by manufacturers were not something I welcomed.
5. There is no “cure” and never will be. But we CAN get well.
6. When an “expert” tells me I can never be well, that really means that they have never seen anyone get well and they don’t know how to help them get well. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
7. I realised that no one could do it for me. If I was to get well, I had to do it myself. Certainty with advice and support from skilled and caring practitioners, but I had to do the work.
8. Just because there was no record of recovery from Parkinson’s in conservative literature, it did not mean it had never happened or could not happen again.
9. I thought my neurologists would be eager to learn about my remarkable recovery, but they did not want to see me nor receive any correspondence from me.
10. Recovery is harder than “accepting the inevitable” but the rewards are enormous.
11. My health improved when I avoided the “naysayers” (those who insisted that I should listen to and obey western medical doctors only) and mixed with those who supported my right to make decisions about my health.
12. I thought most doctors would push me to take meds and “accept my fate”, but I worked with several (in hospital operating theatres) who encouraged me to pursue my adventures because, in their words, “the medication won’t do you any good”.
13. I needed my journal. When my quest for wellness seemed hopeless and I wanted to give up, the notes in my journal always gave me clues about my progress, so I was encouraged to keep on getting well.
14. If I love myself enough, I can achieve objectives considered impossible, like recovering from Parkinson’s.
These are just fourteen of the things I have learnt on my journey from Parkinson’s to wellness. There are many others in “Shaky Past” and “Rethinking Parkinson’s Disease” available on Amazon.