Eight little things you can do to improve your life with Parkinson’s

Living with Covid-19 quarantines has challenged our daily routines, and with that, our individual and collective health. And sanity. One of the goals of beginning Sunday Mornings with Twitchy Women three months ago was to help us find ways, frequently little ways, to better meet the challenges of living with Parkinson’s disease. Thanks to our presenters we have been able to do just that. Each of them has shown us that we are resiliant and can adapt to the challenges that confront us. Almost all of these tips can be useful for everyone.

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  • Find new ways to exercise. We all know the importance of daily exercise to fight the disease, and we got to experience several different types of exercise. Many of our favorite exercise classes, such as Jen Parkinson Iljin’s Neuroboxing and Lisa and SteF’s PD-Connect are now available online, either through live Zoom classes or Youtube videos. Not being able to go to the gym is not an excuse to sit around and do nothing. Two useful tips: you don’t have hand weights? Use filled water bottles instead. No yoga strap? Use the sash from your bathrobe.
  • Worried about going back to the gym when it reopens? The Youtube exercise/meditation/mindfullnes videos you have been watching will still be there, as will the recorded exercise classes on many different websites. There is a lot to choose from and this option will not go away soon.
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  • Maximize your Levadopa. Lemon juice helps your body absorb Levadopa better. According to Dr. Laurie K. Mischley, studies have shown that people with PD do not make as much stomach acid as needed for proper digestion and absorption of nutrition from food and meds. Adding either 500 ml powdered Vitamin C or 30 ml Lemon Juice will help make more Levodopa bio-available, making it 25-35% more absorption and a smoother delivery of the Levodopa.
Should You Stop Taking Fish Oil?
  • Work on your Omega 3s. Can’t take Fish Oil? Look at Algae oil — not Flax oil — as a substitute. Better yet, get your blood levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids checked. If normal, you won’t need to take either. As Dr. Mischley pointed out, many people who are vegetarians have normal levels without taking Fish Oil.
  • New ways to mindfulness. Have you tried mindfullness and meditation with no luck? According to Kat Hill, who brought us Sketchbook Journaling, sketching what you see is a mindfullness practice, which reduces the stress response. Gratitude Journaling can also form new neural pathways. And Life Coach Kristie Scott told us about Evolution Cards. These give you a “focusing word” with an insightful lesson and a challenge to inspire positive action followed by words of encouragement. The point is to use your chosen word to start a new evolutionary journey every day.
Taiko Drum Stock Pictures, Royalty-free Photos & Images
  • Taiko Drumming! This is a great way for a person with PD to exercise. It includes large amplitude movements, full extensions, trunk rotation, variation of volume and tempo, sequencing, memory and cognition and vocalizations. Special thanks to Sydney Shiroyama and Naomi Estolas for this fun presentation.
  • Know where to go for PD resources. Kristie Scott also gave us a comprehensive list of resources for people with Parkinson’s.
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  • Be silly; have fun. According to (self-described) “Parkinson’s Diva,” Dr. Maria de Leon, do just about anything that will put a smile on your face; a Tiara and Red High Heel shoes will make you feel a lot better, even if you can’t walk in those shoes!

Sunday Mornings with Twitchy Women are webinars on Zoom for Women with Parkinson’s Disease, held every other Sunday morning at 10 am Pacific Time. To maintain privacy for this group, we ask that care-partners and family members not attend unless an event states that registration is open to all. If you have any questions, please contact twitchywoman18@gmail.com.

Next up: Sunday, June 28 Living well with PD in Covid-19 era 

Movement Disorders Specialist Indu Subramanian, MD, UCLA and the VA, (my wonderful doctor and PMD Alliance superstar!) will talk about living well with PD in the Covid-19 era including the importance of social connections, mindfulness and yoga to alleviate some of the stress we are all feeling during this unsettling time. Watch her recent talk on PMD Alliance with Dr. Ray Chaudhuri about pain and PD. Register here for this program.

To see what else is scheduled, click on Sunday Mornings with Twitchy Women at the top of this page.

Have a great week!

Stay Safe, Stay Well and please Stay Sane!

Taking a different path, Quarantine & Webinars

Here is my latest post published yesterday on Parkinsonsdisease.net

On the Road Not Taken

By Sharon Krischer · March 17, 2020

illustration from Parkinsonsdisease.net

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

Each person with Parkinson’s has a different story to tell. Some are diagnosed immediately, others take years.  Our symptoms and rate of progression will vary. So do our medications. It can be so overwhelming, especially when you have just been diagnosed.

I like to tell people to talk to more than one person with PD because no one’s story will be the same as yours.  As in Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” each of us will have to make a choice. We can be passive and give up or do everything that we can to live well with it, recognizing that there is no one right answer for all of us.  continue reading here

Keeping busy while under quarantine

How are you coping with the enforced quarantine? Are you going stir crazy yet? Are your children concerned about every move you make? How about your partner or caregiver?

It can be difficult to maintain any sense of motivation while under “house arrest”. Apathy can take over if you are not vigilant. You need to exercise, but those naps that you take while watching tv or reading a book are so wonderful, why bother with exercise. And so the downward spiral begins.

Mr. Twitchy and I are binge watching a lot of tv, but finding it hard to get moving on those projects that we were saving for a rainy day. Well, the rainy day is here and we need to take advantage of it. We have boxes and boxes of photos that I have started going through. Remember when you actually used film and got duplicates photos when you developed it? And all of those scenery shots from who knows where? In the trash! 3 boxes down to 1 1/2. 17 to go. For you multi-taskers out there, go through the photos while binge watching Mad Men or Breaking Bad. You won’t feel that you have totally wasted the last 5 hours watching tv.


Bored? Find a webinar to participate in. There are so many out there. Every Parkinson’s organization is hosting numerous web based activities. Even Twitchy Woman has gotten on board with our very first webinar on Sunday, March 22 at 10:00 am PDT. Kristie Scott, life coach and woman with PD will share what she’s learned so far living with Parkinson’s, and give us some helpful tips on coping with the challenging times we’re in.Learn about Kristie and her Evolution Cards on her website:  https://www.evolvewithkristie.com Evolution Cards sold on Amazon and Kristie’s website. (not required for the meeting).

For more information click here. Registration not required but please rsvp to Twitchywoman18@gmail.com so that I can have an idea how many will join the call. I hope that we will continue to have these webinars on a regular basis while we are all stuck at home. If you know someone who would be a great presenter, please contact me.

Need some ideas for activities? Someone posted this on Facebook and there are a lot of great ideas for things to do.

Found on Facebook