I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease two years ago. In reality, Parkinson’s had started creeping in at least three years before that. As a violin teacher, I’d noticed that my bow handling was getting more and more robotic, but I ignored it.
Do not ignore the little signs. Talk to your doctor about even the smallest things if they are persistent.
When my massage therapist noticed that my arms didn’t swing when I walked, I had to stop living in denial and face reality. Unfortunately, my current reality is that I am stiff as a board, and my body shakes when I try to do anything. Unless I am submerged in water, that is.
Gravity is a damnable thing to Parkinson’s victims. Being in water is close to Nirvana for us. Paradise, Nirvana, same thing, right?
I wish my house was underwater. I wish I was a mermaid. I wish I didn’t have Parkinson’s Disease. None of those wishes are going t come true anytime soon, if ever, so I am grateful to Starr and her team at Paradise for making life more bearable.
If you don’t know anything about Parkinson’s Disease let me tell you this. It’s caused by the gradual loss of dopamine producing cells in the brain. Dopamine? It regulates movement. And emotion.
So, as your brain stops making dopamine, you get stiffer. And you get tremors. You can become depressed and anxious. The side effects of the drugs they prescribed
were awful. I had no desire to live in a haze, so I went to Paradise.
If you want to understand how absurdly difficult life can be for someone afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease, consider this: I feel stiffness and tightnessunder my hair. It’s like wearing a hat that is two sizes too small. Crazy, huh?
But that all changes when I jump in the pool at Paradise. As soon as I hit the water I go from feeling like the Tin Man after the monsoon season, to feeling like Jane Freaking Fonda, some sort of ninja ballerina.
I can move to the music in my head when I go through my routine that Starr designed for me personally. There is NO WAY I could go through one of Starr’s workout sessions out of the pool. I would look and feel like a zombie trying to do yoga.
I feel so good after my sessions in the Paradise pool. My muscles are softer, my range of motion is better. Any pain I wake up with disappears. Even when I have my bad days I really want to come to Paradise.
Riding a bike is when I feel most “normal”. Biking in the water is an awesome experience. It’s fun, and if it’s fun you will do it! Even life on land is better on the days I can’t make it to Paradise.
Next I’m going to try the infrared sauna. I am told that infrared heat helps PD symptoms go away.
Short of a cure for Parkinson’s, Paradise is the best thing I can wish for, and I don’t need a genie to grant that wish.