New Year’s Resolutions

Its that time of year, ladies, time to consider whether you are content with the status quo in all areas of your life, or whether you would like to see change happen.  Sometimes, we set bold, large goals like losing a substantial amount of weight.  But sometimes, they are smaller, quieter goals like smiling more or working harder at something. Regardless of size, the resolutions make us feel like there is a clean slate in some aspect of our life and that we hold the tools necessary to write on it.

What the resolutions have in common is the desire to make your life better.  It seems to me that this a great time to examine your Parkinson’s symptoms, medications, exercise and its effects on your life as well.  Not everyone will see their neurologist in January but, even if you don’t, note how you felt over the holidays and now, and evaluate yourself:  Do I feel my meds “wearing off” early?  Do I feel more dyskinesia than before?  Am I more tired?  Is there more leg pain?  Balance issues?

If you feel like there has been a negative change, maybe its time to look at your schedule.  The holidays have a way of foiling the best of intentions.  Out of town guests, restaurants, parties, holiday foods can all play havoc with your sleep schedule, your normal diet (when else do you eat cookies with your breakfast?), your exercise schedule and your medication dosing times.  The combination can leave you feeling at less than peak.

Parkinson’s resolutions needn’t be fancy.  We don’t have to wait until January 1st.  Add a 15 minute walk 3 days a week.  Make yourself eat a healthy balanced breakfast.  Work on eating more vegetables and fruit.  Investigate the produce aisle and try something new.  Drink more water .  Make a concerted effort to get your meds in your system on time.  Pick up one of the fine new books out about Parkinson’s and learn something new.

My Parkinson’s resolutions include adding back a yoga, tai chi, or Qigong component to my work out schedule  My diet has changed to include less animal protein and more vegetables and whole grains.  This unknowingly simplified a complication I, like so many others, have dealt with – the protein/carbidopa/levodopa battle for access to the blood/brain barrier.  Timing was always so tricky, especially when eating out.  This diet has allowed me to take my Sinemet with dinner!

So before you take on your resolution to deal with the co-worker who is driving you crazy, or to finally get rid of your kelly green walls (really?) or to reconnect with your extended family ,take care of YOU first.

REMEMBER:  I am not a doctor or medical anything other than consumer.  If you are feeling less well, of course, you should consult your medical professional.  Likewise, the diet I follow and exercise I choose are not recommendations for others to do the same but just to illustrate ways to think through the issues.

The next group meeting is January 6th.  There is no speaker by design.  Come to the meeting to share what’s going on with  you and how the others are doing. No topic is off-limits.  In fact, if you have something particular in mind, let me know and I’ll pass it along so members have a chance to prepare and share.

I wish you all a year of delight and peace, and hope for a year of major research breakthroughs for Parkinson’s disease.  Happy New Year!

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