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J of Grey Cottage

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J of Grey Cottage last won the day on September 3

J of Grey Cottage had the most liked content!

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About J of Grey Cottage

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 02/16/1946

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    Literature, gardening, music

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  1. Antidepressants and Rasagiline and Pramipexola

    Hello, Rainbow -- Lots of questions are good! No need to apologize. I was taking Pramipexole and Amantadine before Rasagiline came on the market. But as soon as it did, my doctor wanted me to add it to my regimen of drugs, which I did. It is hard to say what each drug accomplishes for me, but I know that Pramipexole (Mirapex) is my chief symptom fighter. It eliminated my handwriting problem, any tremors I had, my awkward gait, and more. Whether Amantadine or Rasagiline or both may be responsible for delaying the disease's progress I do not know. However, I have now had PD more than 20 years, and I am still in the first stage of development. My doctors are not sure why, but we don't want to change anything in my treatment when I am lucky enough to be doing so well. Exercise is important. For many years of my PD, I exercised strenuously and often. I am now 71 years old and have slacked off a lot without noticing any difference. I read an article not long ago stating that exercise beyond 45 minutes does not do any more for the body. My results make me believe it. I used to work on weight machines and the elliptical more than I do now. I have been practicing tai chi for five years and find it very helpful with flexibility and balance. I also walk two to five miles per day five days a week over quite hilly trails and sidewalks. If your mother is young and can do more, bicycling is reputedly excellent for many PD patients, too. Or she could join a square dancing or line dancing class. Your mother is fortunate to have you as her support and her researcher! Good luck to both of you. J
  2. Since I was never much of a swimmer anyway, I have not tested my body thoroughly in pools. However, the first time I knew PD was causing trouble in the water, my legs FLOATED rather than sank! I could not pull them down or do a flutter kick. I had no control over them at all and had to work my way along the edge of the pool to reach a woman who helped me get out of it. By the strangest coincidence, she was a researcher working with PD and heart patients! J
  3. Music and Parkinson's Disease

    Hi, Seward -- I must first confess ignorance of playing drum and guitar. Therefore, I cannot offer suggestions on technique. When I am at the piano and experience lack of coordination, when my fingers don't do what my brain is telling them to do, I know my medication is not in full effect. Sometimes I just have to take a break and try later. I know that is not very helpful, but the only other action I take is to try rigidly timed finger exercises and see if I can increase muscular control. Usually that has a positive result, though I never expect perfection. J
  4. Linda's thread

    Hello, Linda -- I enjoyed the comments and advice in your post. Even considered aside from a spiritual setting, the advice on examining and using childhood experience would be approved by sociologists, too, I believe. At least, I have read the same principles propounded by them. And because of my background, I cannot help thinking of certain poets. "As the twig is bent, so the tree's inclined." Or "The child is father of the man." Many minds have pondered these ideas over the centuries. J
  5. Post diagnosis projects and accomplishments.

    Have a great time! I admire your courage -- a kayak?? In two days I'm taking a journey to New Mexico, where I will engage in such daring activities as strolling through art galleries, shopping, and eating heavily. Very tame stuff! But I am looking forward to visiting a state I've never seen before. Again, best wishes for a wonderful trip! J
  6. Post diagnosis projects and accomplishments.

    Good for you, Jul! I discovered somewhere in my thirties that I had lost the ability to ride a bike, and that was long before PD. I wouldn't dare try it now! But travel, I find, is a big confidence booster. Knowing that I can manage the planning and carrying out of all the details of travel is encouraging. This is especially true when I travel alone, as I did a few months ago in order to finish a manuscript for publication. Best of luck -- and keep riding that bicycle!
  7. Parkinson Glove Experience

    Rogerstar1 -- I was with you on that smoothie recipe until I got to the broccoli. Broccoli? Was that just a test to see if we were reading the whole thing, or is there really broccoli in your smoothies? Of course, once a cook gets started with a blender, it's possible to hide almost any ingredient in there! J
  8. Unexplained foot/ankle pain and swelling

    Yes, I have had experiences that are exactly like yours. Some medications can cause the swelling, I know. But I have learned little about the pains. I just know that they come and go and vary in intensity. In one leg, only first thing in the morning, I occasionally get a pain that feels like "shin splints." It shoots up my calf if I put any weight on that foot. Sometimes the ankle pain may feel more like a twist or sprain. They are not everyday things for me, thank goodness, but they can be incapacitating when the pain is severe. J
  9. Post diagnosis projects and accomplishments.

    Hello, Gulfvet -- Here is my contribution. It was when I was playing the piano that I first suspected I had a neurological problem. By the time I got my diagnosis, I could barely play at all because of my lack of manual coordination. Having studied classical piano for more than ten years, I was sad to lose that beautiful and rewarding pastime. With medication started and some improvement observable, I tried practicing again. It was pretty discouraging at first. But as the medications grew more and more effective in fighting symptoms, I practiced more often. Today I could never play on a concert stage, to be sure, but I can enjoy playing pieces of music that I never expected to play again! (A few examples are Chopin's "Fantaisie Impromptu in C# minor," two Rachmaninov preludes, Mendelssohn's "Rondo Capriccioso," and Chopin's "Berceuse.")
  10. Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    Tai chi really does require good knees, since much of it is performed with knees slightly bent. Good luck with getting yours back to normal! J
  11. Generic Azilect

    Thanks for your post, MusicMan. I see that you were using the original Azilect nearly three years before trying the generic. I have been taking it even longer, so I appreciate the warning your experience gives. My 20-year case of PD still is not advancing beyond the first stage, much to my amazement, and I'm operating on the principle of not rocking the boat. I did not know a generic of Azilect was available, but now I would be hesitant to try it. I hope that either your body adjusts to this new pill or that you can return to the old course of meds. Thank you again -- this sort of sharing is one of the values of forums. And please keep us posted on your case. J
  12. Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    Great info to post, Lethe! Thank you. BillBRNC, yes, tai chi does provide real exercise if it is done correctly. It also leads the body to develop muscle memory that frees the mind and aids in relaxation. It does not lessen the need for cardiovascular exercise, though. And, yes, it is an ideal pursuit for couples. In every tai chi class in which I have participated, there was at least one married couple enrolled. It is an activity in which men and women seem to have equal ability.
  13. Glad you are doing better, Linda! Luke, I like your tone. When I first saw this thread on the forum, I had no idea it would turn into one of the most entertaining of all! In state-run organizations (such as the high schools in which I once taught) I was unyielding in observing a strict separation of religions and general education. But this forum is not state-run and its threads not mandatory reading for pwp. Although I do not label myself "Christian," those who find Christianity helpful in their self-treatment are welcome to their own thread as far as I am concerned. They are not proselytizing if I am not reading. Like Luke, I say . . . carry on!
  14. Anybody Find Tai Chi To Be Helpful?

    I can offer one more recommendation for studying tai chi. This is my sixth year, and I have moved into the advanced class, where I am now learning the 103-movement form. Prior to this I learned and practiced for several years the basic 24-movement form. I am the only pwp in my class of 16 people. Sometimes I have a day of poor balance. But for the most part I can do everything the others can do. As others have said here, tai chi is beneficial to body and mind or spirit. Although it is exercise, it is relaxing as well. Best wishes, J
  15. Drifting from myself......

    Hello, Gypsy Gold -- It's 7:30 A.M. where I am, near Portland, Oregon. The first thing I read this morning was your post, and I felt compelled to answer, though I shall perhaps be of no real help. You are young to be facing such daunting health issues. I was 56 when I was diagnosed with PD. Although I'm now 71, I still remember vividly the fear that pierced me when I heard the official confirmation of my self-diagnosis. The most terrifying element is hearing "progressive disease." The idea that things will only get worse is indescribably distressing. However, your diagnosis isn't even complete yet, and I see at least two encouraging signs. Though you say speech is difficult, you certainly write well! (And that's from a former teacher of literature and composition.) Your mind is obviously functioning clearly and well. You mention that when you've got your "meds working right," you feel more like your old self. That is greatly encouraging! It means there are medications that can help relieve your symptoms, a fact not everyone can claim. It may take you and your doctors time to experiment, but perhaps once you have a definite diagnosis, you will find the right dosages and combination of drugs to reclaim more of your former self. Your reference to "the deep, dark waters" was very touching and reminiscent for me. But try to keep your hopes up; in my case, once I found the right medications, things got better rather than worse. You do have a support network if you choose it here on the forum. There are others who have lived through the horrors you are undergoing now, and they will respond to your post, probably with more practical suggestions than I have been able to provide. But I'll be thinking of you and hoping that your diagnosis will guide you toward effective treatment and brighter skies. Sincere best wishes, J