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Posts from the ‘Inspiration from Others’ Category

18
Apr

April is Parkinson Awareness Month. It is important that everyone at

least have enough awareness of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

to know when you or a loved one should go and see a neurologist. I

found out, at 41 years old, as Michael J. Fox discovered in his late 20’s,

that I had Parkinson’s disease. As the doctor that diagnosed me

explained to me, I had all the classic symptoms: micro handwriting,

blank facial expression (called masking), arm did not swing when I

walked, did not blink and hand shaking. The funny thing is that I did not

notice any of these symptoms. AND neither did the 3 doctors that I

recently went to for unrelated medical issues. I have found that this is

not unusual, but more like the norm.

This goes out to the hundreds of millions of people who have no

association with Parkinson’s disease and no idea what it is. Yes, that

likely includes you.

Parkinson’s occurs when the brain slows its production of dopamine. It

is not until your dopamine level gets lower than 20% that you start to

really feel the effects of it. However, unrecognized earlier symptoms

may include, among others, loss of sense of smell, vivid dreams, acting

out of dreams (I was once a superhero jumping off a blimp into

powerlines and woke up on the bedroom floor with cuts all over my

face from hitting the nightstand with my face), voice unknowingly

getting softer, unexplained fatigue and an occasional hand tremor.

Once the dopamine level in the brain gets below 20% of what is normal,

you have Parkinson’s disease whether diagnosed or not. Parkinson’s

disease can manifest itself in painful muscle cramps, uncontrollable

shaking, inability to walk, no longer able to drive, swallowing issues,

loss of short-term memory, stress from no longer being able to earn a

living, sexual difficulties, freezing up, stiffness, compulsive behavior

(gambling), bathroom issues, loss of self-esteem, depression, etc., etc.,

etc.

This is also Parkinsons Awareness Month for the many

extraordinary people who have found the inner strength that they

never imagined they possessed to see themselves the way that I see

them: courageous, tenacious, strong, perceptive, kind and, especially,

loving. A true community.

I want to dedicate this Parkinsons Awareness Month to those who

have loved ones who have died this past year to be given

the awareness that their loved one has not lost the fight, but they

simply just ran out of rounds. We win when we have done all that we

could, demonstrating extraordinary discipline and inner strength, to live

the best life possible for as long as possible. Healthy Food, Exercise,

Positive Thinking, Remaining Mentally Challenged, etc. That’s how we

win!!!

10
Jun

Norton Heathcare Newsletter Quote

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Ali teaches us to ‘go confidently’
Ali teaches us to ‘go confidently’
As we mourn the loss of Louisville’s native son, a reflection on what it means to be your greatest self.
Published June 09, 2016
“I’ve never let anyone talk me into not believing in myself.” – Muhammad Ali

Words to live by. What a gift to be blessed with this seemingly inborn confidence. It’s something many of us strive for every day. And it’s something we at Norton Healthcare had in mind when we created our Go Confidently speaker series.

It’s clear from the outpouring of emotion following Ali’s death that “going confidently” through life is exactly what he taught so many of us to do.

As I reflect on The Champ’s accomplishments, I wondered what role he played in the lives of our Go Confidently speakers.

John Baumann, a 2015 Go Confidently speaker, has Parkinson’s disease and says he looks to Ali for inspiration. Baumann told us to tap into our inner strength when going through life’s challenges, to have the confidence reflected in Ali’s now-famous sentiment: “I am the GREATEST. I said that even before I knew that I was.”

Baumann shared his thoughts after learning of Ali’s passing: “Tears have been rolling down my cheeks off and on since I learned of Muhammad Ali’s hospitalization and subsequent death, (because of) what Muhammad Ali has done since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He remained Muhammad Ali over 30 years living with, fighting, dealing with and embracing this horrific disease. He kept his identity. That’s why tears roll down my cheeks — tears of admiration, tears of strength, tears of pride, tears of power, tears of hope. He was the same comedian, magician, showman, family man that he has always been. The difference that Muhammad Ali made in my life, 15 years with Parkinson’s, is to set aside the fact that I have Parkinson’s and go on living. Be lovable. Inspire others.”

To our Go Confidently community, we know you are mourning the loss of our beloved native son in your own way. Join your like-minded friends, family and neighbors at our next Go Confidently experience on June 30. Allison Massari will deliver another message that Ali personified during the last years of his life: to intentionally make a choice to find joy alongside pain.

Thank you, Muhammad Ali, for the inimitable role you play in helping us all go confidently.

– Elicia Newcom Gregory

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8
Jun

Tears – Muhammad Ali – Parkinson’s

Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer of all time as he has said so many times and that may be, I am not an expert at boxer comparison. He did have 100 amateur wins and was a huge underdog at 22 years old when he knocked out Sonny Liston, who was thought to be unbeatable, to become the heavyweight champion for the first time.

Ten years later at 32 past his prime, he, despite a forced layoff of more than 4 years, knocked out George Foreman, who was thought to be unbeatable at 26 years old, in the prime of his boxing career with a record of 40 wins and no losses (37 by knockout), to again become the heavyweight champion of the world. Muhammad Ali was bigger-than-life, legendary. 

Tears have been rolling down my cheeks off and on since I learned of Muhammad Ali’s hospitalization and subsequent death, not because the passing of any human being is a cause for sadness, though it is, and not because we lost a great athlete.

My tears reflect what Muhammad Ali has done since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He remained Muhammad Ali through over 30 years living with, fighting, dealing with, embracing this horrific disease. He kept his identity. That’s why tears roll down my cheeks, tears of admiration, tears of strength, tears of pride, tears of power, tears of hope. He was the same comedian, magician, showman, family man that he has always been.

Even in the last years of his life, he was able to rise to the occasion when an audience was present, University of Louisville football games, the Sugar Bowl coin flip, his surprise lighting of the olympic torch, among countless other occasions.

The difference that Muhammad Ali made in my life, 15 years with Parkinson’s, is to set aside the fact that I have Parkinson’s and go on living. Be lovable. Inspire others. Be the greatest John Baumann that I can be. I sure am going to give it my best shot because of a man named Muhammad Ali.

3
Apr

Appreciate the Blog Comments

http://voiceaerobicsdvd.blogspot.com/2016/04/john-baumann-proud-person-with.html

John Baumann Proud Person with Parkinson’s posi-spectively in my head

Frequently if I am working with a patient in their home, a television is on in another room of the house, just loud enough to compete for my attention. Especially annoying for me, is the never ending chatter of the 24 hour news channel, especially if they are espousing views that are contrary to my own. Like heavy metal music, it makes me irritable.

Sometimes it’s the voices of others, and sometimes, it’s our own voice inside our head, that affects our mood. Particularly if we get into a period of “stinking thinking,” the end result is usually a bad mood.

Last week, I was in one of those sorts of moods much of the week. It felt like one of those weeks, where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. If I were to detail specific events, most likely readers would think they were minor inconveniences, but, on a bad week, even the minor inconveniences turn major, and as the grievances accumulate in our minds, the result is crankiness and depression.

So, while in the midst of my week of “stinking thinking,” a package came in the mail. It was John Baumann’s book, Decide Success, and an accompanying audio CD: Reclaiming Posi-psective.

Since I spend much of my week impatiently driving in traffic, I thought it would be good to begin listening to John’s tape. He shares alot of his personal journey from, Ivy league graduate, to corporate attorney, to a proud person with Parkinson’s. Each time I turned on the car last week, it was John’s voice I heard. Annoyingly optimistic in comparison to my cranky mood. In the evenings, instead of turning on Bravo for some mindless unwinding, I began to read John’s book. Now, he was posing questions. Asking me, the reader, to do some work, do a self analysis of my strengths and weakness, and, well, basically, decide success. Despite the fact that I spend all week writing goals for patients, long term, short term, measurable goals, it’s actually been quite a few years since I’ve done the same thing for myself. But, with John’s help, I’ve begun the work.

John Baumann has now gotten into my head. Like ear worms, those jingles or songs that you can’t seem to shake from your brain, his annoyingly positive, glass half full, you can do whatever you set your mind to, voice is in my head. And, it’s making me act. I have taken step one of his success formula and begun a self-assessment. I have begun to re-focus on some goals that I have thought about and talked about for a long time, but with no corresponding action plan.

If you are stuck in your own stinking thinking, feel mired in the problems of your life, and fail to see the possibilities, I hope you will consider joining me at the end of the month when John Baumann is my guest on my monthly podcast: Voice Aerobics Talking 2 You.
You’ll have an opportunity, along with me, to ask John questions, to hear his inspiring stories, and to get a little “posified,” because, like John says: “you ain’t dead yet!”

Upcoming Podcast: Friday April 29, 2016 at 12pm EST

How to Live an Amazing Life with Parkinson’s…or any other challenge you are facing.
Guest: John Baumann

If the day you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you thought it was the end of the world, you need to tune into this podcast. Why? Because, John Baumann, diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 40, while practicing law, will tell you how, for him, a diagnosis of PD became a life saving event. John will reveal his success formula for living an amazing life-with or without Parkinson’s disease.

“My basic message is that, whatever hand life deals you (whether your fault or not), whatever life-changing adversity you have to endure, you still have some control over it, to not just live well, but live an AMAZING LIFE. It takes faith in yourself, discipline, determination, desire, intensity, inner strength. For me, it was having Parkinson’s disease in my 30’s; I am 54 today and have very few symptoms.

To follow the show or listen to past shows, please visit:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/voice-aerobics

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