What if one of the possible triggers of Parkinson’s Disease has a psychological origin?
I’m not saying that Parkinson’s Disease is all in your head, at least not in the colloquial sense. But in the literal sense, PD is most definitely a dysfunction in your brain, even if it is your body that shows the symptoms.
So maybe this idea is not as crazy as it first sounds…
I took more than a year off from updating the Parkinson FIT website…and stopped keeping up with the various PD websites, Twitter, and news feeds. I can’t really say I had a plan, I told myself that I was obsessing a little bit too much about Parkinson’s disease. I figured that I would just go about my life…keeping up the healthier lifestyle and exercise regimen that started after being diagnosed with PD 4 years ago. All this exercise was time-consuming enough…
All in all, it seemed like a pretty good year…not that different from the year before. This spring, I ran another half marathon, and went on another ski trip…and I get a sense of déjà vu looking at the Parkinson FIT website, and seeing my posts about these same activities the previous spring.
So what brought me back online?
It was my decision two months ago that it was time to stop taking a dopamine agonist (pramipexole/Mirapex).
In a research study published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers from Northwestern University determined that that people who exercised regularly had significantly slower declines in HRQL (health related quality of life) and mobility over a two-year period.
One of the most frustrating things about Parkinson’s Disease is finding yourself unable to do things that you used to enjoy doing. I suppose this applies to aging in general, but with PD, it is premature aging. I was never a great skier, but it was something I enjoyed.
There was a recurring theme in some of my dreams when I was younger…I’d try to run, but despite my best efforts, I was unable to make any forward progress. It was never a situation where I was running away from something, more like I was trying to run toward something. I’d get frustrated, trying to move my legs faster, but I would seem to be running in place. After some period of frustration, it would hit me…I’d remember that I could fly, I just needed to use my arms.
Flying dreams were the best. I’m certain these dreams were inspired by my having watched the Greatest American Hero TV show at an impressionable age. Thankfully, my flights did not require a special form fitting body suit provided by aliens. Let’s face it, even by dream standards, that would be weird.