Saturday, November 21, 2015

Power Through Project – The Effects of Exercise on the (your) Brain

Parky and I after 12+ hr flight to Beijing
  For November, PTP diary writers are exploring the effects of exercise on the brain – a topic that has stimulated much research in recent years. It is also a question that I’m frequently asked during my Parkinson’s awareness activities and my standard response is based on my experiences as both, a patient and a physician.
     Fatigue is among the most prominent symptoms of Parkinson’s that I have experienced, although it is often difficult to determine what is truly due to Parkinson’s, a medication side effect or part of everyday life activities (such as the 12+ hour flight to Beijing I am on while writing this post). Regardless, I have found exercise to be a very effective way to combat fatigue.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Power Through Project – Beginning a New Exercise

      The October PTP diary topic was “Beginning to Exercise”. I’ve revised this slightly to discuss a new exercise. In the coming weeks I begin my challenge to complete 11 one mile swims in 11 Pacific islands. I feel confident that I can slowly complete a one mile ocean swim, but it wasn’t always that way.
     As we face every changing physical challenges related to Parkinson’s, it can be difficult to maintain exercise schedules. Fortunately, many exercise options have been adapted to the needs of those with Parkinson’s, such as dance, tai chi, and boxing. However, even with specialized activities it can be intimidating to try a new exercise. This was my experience with swimming…even before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Power Through Project – Team 444

     As I join the Parkinson Power Through Project as a diary writer, I’d like to take a minute to introduce myself to those I’ve yet to meet and reintroduce myself to the many wonderful people that I have met through my journeys to raise Parkinson’s awareness. I’d also like to introduce everyone to the Parkinson Power Through Project. I invite everyone to participate in this wonderful event and also follow me as I take on the challenge with a unique twist.

     I grew up in a small Montana town, attended college and medical school in Oregon, and then spent over 21 years as an Air Force physician. In 2010, at the age of 44, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The disease that threatened to take away my two favorite hobbies, sports and travel, has given me a cause toward which to apply my experience and interest in medicine and humanitarian relief.