Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category

Theme Consultant Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s Blog Post 1 of 3

“What I Learned About the Brain from Dr. Norman Doidge’s 2 Books”

I thank Norman Doidge, M.D. and everyone who contributed to his two books.  http://www.normandoidge.com/

  • * The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science  (March 2007 hardcover; December 2007 paperback)
  • * The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity (January 2015 hardcover; January 2016 paperback)

On October 21, 2015, I had published my blog post entitled “The Brain’s Way of Healing – Chapter Titles and Index in Book Spark Hope and Motivation to Ask Physicians the Right Questions  As my family members and friends know, what I had learned from Dr. Doidge’s books helped me help my papa.

While loved ones who are ill or have diseases and do not have the energy to read and process the valuable information, WE do, and WE can help them and ourselves.

Knowledge that leads to health and wellness – this is my wish for everyone.

Dr. Doidge’s books are most engaging- I learned from the stories – I did NOT have to look up medical terms; the footnotes were equally engaging.

You have friends who have had . . . Strokes?  Chronic pain?  Suffering from symptoms of MS?  Cerebral Palsy?  Muscular Dystrophy?  Alzheimer’s?  Parkinson’s?  Head injury? Balance problems? Vision problems? Depression?

Dear friend and colleague Elisa Sasa Southard was the one who taught me about hooking attention with no more than 3 talking points in a speech.  Here are mine for this post. I (Teresa LeYung-Ryan) learned that the awesome brain refreshes itself which leads to healing… with a little help from us:

* LIGHT – sit in direct natural light (approximately 20 minutes a day).  Florence Nightingale who established the first professional training school for nurses, Sister J. Ward  who was in charge of preemies in a hospital in Essex, England, Soranus of Ephesus (physician in imperial Rome) – they knew about the healing power of natural light. The Romans had a law “right to light” which guaranteed people’s access to the sun in their homes.

* SELF IMAGE – look at a photograph of yourself (a photo reminiscent of a time when you felt vital) OR create that picture in your mind’s eyes – athletes and musicians know the benefits of visualization as a way of training

* SOUND – sing the songs from your past (a time when you felt vital)  Sara Davidson’s April 23, 2009 article “The Songs They Can’t Forget” for The New York Times – The New Old Age – Caring and Coping Blog inspired me to publish my blog post of July 2 (with a P.S. on July 18), 2017  Dementia. Alzheimer’s. Losing Memory. Losing Joy. Songs from the Past. Experience Joy Again.

Our amazing brains! Help our brains “rewire” (I say “refresh”) to enjoy life. Help the people we care about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am Theme Consultant/Platform-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan who teaches my clients (writers and artists) how to reach out, not stress out, before and after publication –

* identify themes in your manuscripts so that you can rewrite with ease;

* identify themes in your intellectual properties and create scripts for your websites/blogs, pitches, query letters, press releases, talking-points, one-minute videos, photo slideshows, and the all-mighty blog posts.

Please visit http://LoveMadeOfHeart.com/blog and http://WritingCoachTeresa.com  for resources.

Coach Teresa’s motto:  “Reach out, not stress out. Help your fans find you BEFORE & AFTER publication”

Teresa’s workbook:
Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW – print edition available at http://www.laurelbookstore.com in Oakland, CA  and on Amazon – print edition and Kindle edition!

Teresa’s novel:

Love Made of Heart: a daughter–mother love story (used in colleges; recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association)

 Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan a Big Fan of Volunteers at EBRPD and Regional Parks Botanic Garden

 In March 2017, I (Teresa LeYung-Ryan) retired from East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). My last post with the District was at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden  (aka “a living museum” ) as half-time Senior Office Assistant.  Another title would be “Email Pusher” (in my early career, that was called “paper pusher”). Honestly, so much of my work was communicating online, and creating and distributing documents electronically. Interacting with coworkers (at the Garden and District-wide), assisting visitors and callers, and working with volunteers had brought me joy to last a lifetime. I thank each person who has been kind to me.

Today August 5, 2017 at “the living museum” Volunteers will be recognized for their dedication helping Regional Parks Botanic Garden staff accomplish their annual goals and commitments. The Superstar Volunteers during the last 10 years of my career at the Botanic Garden include Ron Clendenen, Rosemary Clendenen, Sue Rosenthal, John Rusk – these folks had received special recognition from East Bay Regional Park District. I had the privilege of working with these four and many other superstar volunteers.  The beloved volunteers who are now angels watching over the Garden include Jenny Fleming, Es Anderson, Jock Anderson, Pat Eckhardt, Carrie Sprague, Miriam Pollock, Wayne Roderick (as you might know, Wayne was Steve Edwards’s predecessor as Botanic Garden Director). By the way, Steve has happily retired too; his successor is Bart O’Brien.

Volunteers, I celebrate you all!

I advise everyone to get a copy of this book – the book that has helped me help my father and my friends and their friends and families. I am NOT a medical student.; this book is for everyday people. Through the stories in Dr. Doidge’s books, I am able to implement changes and find more resources for my parent and friends.

The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity -  the second book by Norman Doidge, M.D.

 

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I am Theme Consultant/Platform-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan who teaches my clients (writers and artists) how to reach out, not stress out, before and after publication –

* identify themes in your manuscripts so that you can rewrite with ease;

* identify themes in your intellectual properties and create scripts for your websites/blogs, pitches, query letters, press releases, talking-points, one-minute videos, photo slideshows, and the all-mighty blog posts.

Please visit http://LoveMadeOfHeart.com/blog and http://WritingCoachTeresa.com  for resources.

Coach Teresa’s motto:  “Reach out, not stress out. Help your fans find you BEFORE & AFTER publication”

 

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P.S. July 18, 2017 Angels everywhere!

Theme Consultant/Writers’ Platform-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here to say: “Angels everywhere!  I found a source for songs to gift to my friends who have dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Five days ago, I opened an email from Patrick von Wiegandt announcing his new CD SWANKY AT ABBEY ROAD.  Seeing Patrick’s name brought back delightful memories of when Elisa Sasa Southard and I were morning presenters (teaching writers how to attract attention from agents, acquisition editors, and anyone who could be a fan) at the San Francisco Writers Conference (founded by Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada).  Over the 3-day conference, Patrick and his team would orchestrate the recordings of 100+ sessions.  Friday and Saturday evenings at the conference, Patrick’s band entertained hundreds of writers.

“What joy to know that his music is for sale.  On his website, Patrick von Wiegandt says: ‘Swanky is a fresh take on some of the most elegant, engaging and absolutely wonderful songs ever composed. This is my loving musical tour of the Jazz Age – 1920′s to 1940′s. My pal, mentor and Legendary Producer/Engineer/Mixer Al Schmitt supervised the recording at Capitol Studios, Hollywood. I want to thank all of the terrific musicians, engineers and all of the creative and hard working folks who helped make this dream come true. I could not  - would not have done this without you.’

“So, I ordered 6 CDs.  And, I asked Patrick if his press releases and other PR material talks about how his CDs (songs from 1920′s to 1940‘s) help folks who are battling memory loss. He replied with heartwarming news. I cheer for Patrick and encourage him to add his news (see below) and photos to his website/blog/social media. Patrick, please help more fans find you. Please blog at least once a month, and add a photo or a 30-second video (of your audience, could be backs of their heads) each time you publish a blog post. You do good work in the community and that ought to be broadcast.  I teach my clients the importance of understanding what fans can do.  Well, I am your fan and I applaud you and I tag your name, your CD titles, and the words “songs from 1920′s to 1940‘s” in this blog post and shouting out . . . 

Patrick von Wiegandt says: “We have been playing in retirement homes and Alzheimer’s facilities in L.A  and Hawaii  – and it’s been an amazing experience.  A real joy  to see people light up when we play these songs from 1920′s to 1940‘s.”   http://www.patrickvon.com/

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

July 2, 2017

Dementia. Alzheimer’s. Losing Memory. Losing Joy. Songs from the Past. Experience Joy Again.

How can family members, friends, neighbors, caregivers help the person suffering from affliction?

Recently I visited one of my dear mentors – author Lynn Scott who had brought joy to her clients (suffering from Alzheimer’s disease) by singing songs from  her clients’ past.  So, when I was talking to another dear mentor (she and her husband had just moved into an apartment in an assisted living community and now her husband is moved to the “memory care unit” which is in another part of the building), I told this mentor about Lynn Scott; also I asked if their son could get CDs of songs that she and her husband listened to when they were a young couple. This morning, I was awakened by memories of conversations with both mentors. I Googled the words [ Dementia, Alzheimer's, songs from the past ] and found the insightful article written by Sara Davidson:

The Songs They Can’t Forget – The New Old Age Blog – The New York …

Apr 23, 2009 – Familiar songs can help people with dementia relate to others, …. My dad passed away five years ago after a long, sad battle with Alzheimer’s.

The New York Times – The New Old Age – Caring and Coping Blog

“The Songs They Can’t Forget” by Sara Davidson April 23, 2009

Excerpts from Ms. Davidson’s article:

Tom was a wanderer. When his wife, Elsie, came to visit him at a care unit for patients with dementia, he would give her a perfunctory kiss, then wander off through the rooms and stare out the window. Elsie tried to walk with him and hold hands, but he would shake her off, leaving her heartsick.

A music therapist at the facility, Alicia Clair, was searching for ways to help couples like Elsie and Tom connect.
[....]
Researchers and clinicians are finding that when all other means of communication have shut down, people remember and respond to music. Familiar songs can help people with dementia relate to others, move more easily and experience joy.
[....]
Not just any music will do, though. The trick is finding out what music was popular when the patient was a teen and young adult. Ms. Kate Gfeller said those years are such a powerful time in developing autonomy — a time of first love, learning to drive, getting the first home of one’s own — that people will play the music they heard during those years all their lives, and recall it the longest.
Thank you, Ms. Davidson!

Sara Davidson’s website is saradavidson.com

Lynn Scott’s memoir is  A Joyful Encounter: My Mother, My Alzheimer Clients, and Me

Lynn Scott’s blog https://lynnscott.wordpress.com/

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan who teaches my clients (writers, artists) how to reach out, not stress out, before and after publication — identify themes in your manuscripts so that you can rewrite with ease; identify themes in your intellectual properties and create scripts for pitches, query letters, press releases, talking-points, one-minute videos, photo slideshows, and the all-mighty blog. Please visit http://WritingCoachTeresa.com  and http://LoveMadeOfHeart.com/blog for resources.

 

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February 2017 performances – Director Kathryn G. McCarty’s benefit production of Eve Ensler’s

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES

 

We honor women and girls!  We celebrate women and girls!

Please catch a performance or buy a ticket for a friend. Director Kathryn G. McCarty’s benefit production of Eve Ensler’s THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES.   V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Lucky me (Teresa LeYung-Ryan) is in the cast!

2 performances in February 2017 – Fri. Feb. 24 at 8:00pm; Sun. Feb. 26 at 3:00pm
55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA

Tickets 1-800-838-3006 or http://v-daywalnutcreek.brownpapertickets.com/
Proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood Northern California.

Here’s the Youtube link to view the lovely slideshow that Director Kathryn G. McCarty created in 2010 with Ellen Gailing photos of the cast at  Richmond V-Day 2010 Eve Ensler’s THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIs8H2u6lW0

I wish everyone excellent health and abundant joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,
Teresa LeYung-Ryan

For Coach Teresa’s Blog, please visit http://LoveMadeOfHeart.com/blog

Teresa’s novel:
Love Made of Heart: a daughter–mother love story (used in colleges; recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association)

Teresa’s trademark

Inline image 2

 

Dear Everyone,

Today January 21, 2017  women and men are marching (and rallying, standing, speaking, cheering from home) all over the world to celebrate The Women’s March On Washington. I am so proud of everyone.  I am so proud to be a writer and reader. I am so proud to be a daughter, granddaughter, a niece, a sister, a cousin, a wife, and friend and a neighbor. I am so proud to be an American woman.

I am Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan, wishing everyone abundant joy, excellent health and courage!

 

Teresa LeYung-Ryan with her Love Made Of Heart tote bag - photo by YBK

Sincerely,

Theme Consultant & Writing Coach & Platform-Building Coach  Teresa LeYung-Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll always have Paris, my darling friends. And themes.

Blog post by Teresa LeYung-Ryan

 

The date that Elisa Sasa Southard had written on the first page of the notebook (with drawing of Eiffel Tower on the cover) that she had given me is 20 April 2015. The words she penned in purple ink included pieces from my mental wish list:

“Must See – Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Rodin’s, Sainte-Chapelle, Shakespeare and Company

Must Do – Museum pass, Walking tour

Movies to Watch – Midnight In Paris, French Kiss, Irma La Douce, Populaire, The Closet

Aah I had seen Woody Allen’s movie Midnight In Paris in a theater, and, later, rented it several times just to see the first four minutes (shots of arrondissements “neighborhoods”) with 3 minutes and 20 seconds of composer Sidney Bechet’s saxophone magic  “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere”

Then Margie Yee Webb gifted me 3 books – The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter; Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and More by Christina Henry de Tessan; The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City by David Lebovitz

Even if I cannot go...reading David Lebovitz's most beautifully written book THE SWEET LIFE IN PARIS made me smile happy tears.

**

The plan was to go to gay Paris (pronounced “Paree”) in 2016.  In May 2015, my papa received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease – that explains his leg weakness, tremors, and freezing, as well as the “shuffling”. As my darling friends were talking dates and flights, I heard myself saying “I can’t go…What if I am in Paris…and Papa falls…” My friends were sympathetic. Trip planning was terminated.

I created a blog series “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements” (you know, the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz)

One day, after Papa had assembled a pedal-exerciser (I was so happy for him), he got up too fast…plop.  He fell, right in front of me. His recliner broke his fall. What a lucky fellow! I was in shock for two whole seconds. Gosh, a lot of worrisome thoughts raced through my brain as he popped up to standing position, with a look that said “That did not happen, you did not see that.”

Later that week, I had my epiphany – I could hear my mom telling me “You cannot worry about what might or might not happen.”  She’s been my muse every since she showed up in a mighty healing dream – a dream that inspired my “Talking to My Mom Monologues”.

Here she was again, being the muse.  I started a new monologue “Papa Fell Down, I’m Going to Paris”

I called my darling friends. “Let’s look at calendars. How’s September 2016?”

Teresa LeYung-Ryan here, inspired by the arrondissments we walked in and everyone who have made my 8-day trip to Paris a most remarkable experience. The “everyone” includes my papa, sister, friends (including Margie, Sasa et Will, Linda, Vicki, Lynn, Luisa, Martha, Olga, Kristiane, Cousin Howard, JB, my darling mom of course), colleagues, vendors, and strangers who have given me their well wishes or assistance or greetings of “bonjour” or all the above. Traveling with Elisa “Sasa” Southard (certified tour director and travel writer) who speaks Français and is such a fun and  thoughtful leader and Margie Yee Webb (author, photographer, documentary film producer) who pays attention to details and is also so thoughtful =  joy and delight for me (whose knowledge of magical Paris had been from watching Hollywood, English and French movies…until now).

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Aah, we (Elisa Sasa Southard, yours truly Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Margie Yee Webb) did go. Thank you, lovely AirFrance flight attendant, for taking photo minutes before landing at Charles de Gaulle airport.

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Oui! La Tour Eiffel ("tour" is French word for "tower") is really that beautiful - by day, by night, in sun, in rain! Oui! that is Sasa with Chronicle Books bag (that Margie gifted us) over her right shoulder.

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Parisian architecture, sandstone buildings, trees trees trees, Eiffel Tower!

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The most yummy-looking and truly delicious quiche we enjoyed in Paris was at Café de Flore

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The themes that I got from being in “The City of Light” are:

* sandstone buildings, why maximum height is eight-stories

* what to eat at a boulangerie, pâtisserie, bistrot, traiteur, brasserie, or a restaurant

* art is beauty for all the senses

Forthcoming:

Part 2 What I learned about the Eiffel Tower and the architect

Part 3 Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre, Musée Rodin, museum passes

Part 4 Croissants in Paris and my being wheat gluten intolerant

Part 5 Walked, Walking, Will Walk

Part 6 Airplane, Batobus (ferries), Metro (subway), buses, train, elevators

Part 7 I want to look at everything at the U Express supermarket s’il vous plaît

Part 8 “Make Your Name Stand for Something,” says Writers’ Platform-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Part 9 “I’ll always cherish my time in Paris,” says Teresa LeYung-Ryan

For the slideshow  “We’ll always have Paris, my darling friends,” says author Teresa LeYung-Ryan on Teresa’s Youtube channel, please click on https://youtu.be/LbX50ojbc84

à bientôt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Teresa LeYung-Ryan uses her fiction and nonfiction to advocate speaking openly about the stigmas associated with mental illness and the repercussions from family violence.

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She is the author of:

  • the mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart (used as required reading in colleges)
  • the workbook Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days
  • Coach Teresa’s Blog at http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/
  • her monologue series “Talking to My Dead Mom” (her monologue “Answer Me Now” received an award from CWC Redwood Writers)

Creator of:

  • the “Immigrant Experience” Writing Contest
  • workshops including:
    • “For Theme’s Sake: Edit Your Own Manuscript Before Pitching to Agents or Self-Publishing”
    • “Heroes, Tricksters, Villains – Know Your Archetypes”
    • “Where Are You on Your Writer’s Journey?”
    • Build/Retrofit Your Writer’s Platform
    • her trademark Love Made of Heart

Affiliated with:

  • Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter (member and past board member and officer)
  • California Lawyers for the Arts (member)
  • California Writers Club (member, San Francisco Peninsula Branch and Redwood Branch; a past president of the San Francisco Peninsula Branch); a recipient of the Jack London Award for outstanding service to California Writers Club

Advocate for:

  • public schools and public libraries!

 

by Teresa LeYung-Ryan

This is 4 of 4 of my blog posts entitled “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements”

I didn’t know that I would be enjoying my new part-time job as my father’s exercise coach, appointment escort, and advocate OR that I would be practicing The Four Agreements (from Don Miguel Ruiz’s timeless

Agreement #4 Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret….

From August to December of last year, I felt a great sense of accomplishment (after reading Dr. Norman Doidge’s book The Brain’s Way of Healing and learning how to ask Papa’s neurologist the right questions). Questions that led Dr. White to  order specific physical therapy to help Papa reverse the Parkinson’s “shuffling” gait and “freezing” gait as well as improve posture. Thank you, Dr. White!

Papa had learned new tricks (to retrain the brain) from Physical Therapist Brenda. I bragged about my being Papa’s exercise/walk coach.

During the same months, at my half-time day job, unbeknownst to me, my right hand was developing acute and chronic tendinitis. By mid-December my right wrist was in great pain, so much so that I was using my left hand for almost every task. Turning a key or a doorknob was asking for torture.

I no longer felt strong enough to “spot” Papa when he did his exercises. Thank goodness Papa’s new helper Mr. Chen walked with him and watched him exercise.

Over the next three months, I would still visit Papa and escort him to his appointments; however, instead of initiating “Papa, let’s walk stairs!” or “How about walking with walker down the block?” or “Show me your strengthening exercises,” I would ask him “May I watch ME TV channel?” Sitcoms like “Family Ties” (Michael J. Fox portrayed son Alex), “The Jeffersons” (Sherman Hemsley portrayed George) and “The Partridge Family” (Shirley Jones portrayed the mom) comforted me while a cold pack relieved pain and inflammation of my wrists.

On more than three occasions, I called Papa to cancel. I just did not feel well

It’s March (four months since Physical Therapist Brenda last saw Papa). She says: “Teresa, even though your father has been doing his exercises and he has good posture, his legs have gotten weaker and he has lost muscle mass.”  I want to cry.

The loving part of me says: “You have been showing up for Papa. You have to show up for yourself too.”

The judgmental part of me says: “You’ve been neglecting your duty as his exercise coach.”

Occupational Therapist/Hand Specialist Susan has taught me tricks to prevent re-injuring both thumbs and wrists. I too am exercising and healing.

It’s April. Wednesday evening I visited Papa. After we ate dinner (lamb and Chinese carrots over white rice for him; chicken meatballs and brocollini for me) and he watched news on a Chinese channel while I filled his pill boxes and updated his medical appointment list, I said, “Let me see your ‘fancy walk’ in the hallway.”

 

“Fancy walk” is:  his holding onto handrail with right hand; taking three steps forward (pick up feet); putting both hands on handrail to pivot (pick up feet); then, while holding onto handrail with left hand, take three steps backward (pick up feet); then putting both hands on handrail to pivot (pick up feet); repeat sequence until he gets to the end of the hallway. His legs tremor during pivoting; I say: “no hurry, pick up one foot.”

 

After that, we went downstairs to the mail room. Just a postcard for how to register to vote by mail. I said, “Let’s go to the lunchroom, slowly.” My heart was lifted seeing him pick up left foot, then right (his left leg is stronger than right). We walked through the lunchroom, down to the computer and stationary bike room. “Papa, why don’t you sit and rest? I’ll look at the birthday bulletin board.” To my surprise, he got onto one of the stationary bikes, put his feet into stirrups and began to peddle. I filmed him with my phone. Last year, he would have biked ten minutes. Tonight, three minutes. I felt happy – that he did not push himself.

Slowly we reversed our direction – down the hall, go through the lunchroom, and turn left.  As we neared the mailroom, he took his left hand off the rail and mildly swung his arms. “You go, Papa!”

He is doing his best.  I am doing my best.

To share your comments, please click on the blue title box on top of this blog post, then scroll down, fill in the boxes, and click “submit” . . .  Thank you so much!

Author & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out. Enjoy your writer’s journey.”
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/user/teresaleyung

Teresa LeYung-Ryan is the author of:

·          Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (workbook);

·          Love Made of Heart: a Daughter Finds Herself Through Witnessing Her Mother’s Mental Illness (novel used in college classes, recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association, and archived at the San Francisco History Center);

·          “Talking to My Dead Mom” Monologues (the first monologue received an award from Redwood 10-Minute Play Contest and was staged at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA);

·         Coach Teresa’s Blog (which attracts tens of thousands of writers) at http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/  helps writers build their platforms before and after publication

Teresa LeYung-Ryan is the creator and owner of the trademark LOVE MADE OF HEART

 

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by Teresa LeYung-Ryan

This is 3 of 4 of my blog posts entitled “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements”

I didn’t know that I would be enjoying my new part-time job as my father’s exercise coach, appointment escort, and advocate OR that I would be practicing The Four Agreements (from Don Miguel Ruiz’s timeless book).

Agreement #3 – Don’t Make Assumptions

Extraordinaire Physical Therapist Brenda had taught my papa how to retrain his brain to turn Parkinson’s shuffling into “pick up foot” and “heel first, then toes” walking. Papa works hard at this.  He holds onto the handrails outside his apartment when he practices what I call “fancy walk.” However, when we leave the building with his walker, his walking regresses to shuffling. I assumed that Papa was uncooperative. That is until three days ago…when I put myself in his shoes.

[ According to http://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons/ Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people … a person’s brain slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate their movements, body and emotions.]

If  Papa is pushing a walker (one type of movement), how does he concentrate on picking up his feet (another type of movement)? I asked Brenda to step out onto the sidewalk with us and teach new tricks.

She said to Papa: “Relax your arms on the walker. No need to strain yourself. Do concentrate on heel first with each step. I’ll put tennis ball slider feet on the rear legs of your walker to reduce the friction.”

This was Brenda’s last session in this round of physical therapy ordered by Papa’s neurologist. What other concerns to tell her?  Oh yes, Papa coughs when he takes his pills. Aiy yah. I assumed he was being Mr. Macho, downing four pills at the same time. Brenda had the answer. “Drinking water when taking pills, coughing?  Water is going down the wrong pipe. Add a thickening agent to liquids to reduce the risk of choking. And, sit in an upright position. Do NOT tilt head back.” I must ask her what kind of thickening agent.

[ According to https://www.michaeljfox.org/foundation/news-detail.php?swallowing-and-parkinson-disease ….  Difficulty swallowing, called dysphagia, can happen at any stage of Parkinson disease. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include: difficulty swallowing certain foods or liquids, coughing or throat clearing during or after eating/drinking, and feeling as if food is getting stuck.  As the disease progresses, swallowing can become severely compromised and food/liquid can get into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death in PD. [....]

Because Parkinson disease is progressive, swallowing abilities can change over time, underscoring the need for early intervention and frequent follow-up. Sometimes the signs of a swallowing disorder can be subtle, so it is important to be vigilant. If you think you have difficulty swallowing, ask your physician to refer you to a speech language pathologist for a swallowing evaluation.]

Gee, Papa is doing hard work. I’m very proud of him.  My practicing the four agreements is also hard work. I do believe that Mom is proud of me, and, if Papa knew how much I’m learning, he would be too.

To share your comments, please click on the blue title box on top of this blog post, then scroll down, fill in the boxes, and click “submit” . . .  Thank you so much!

 

Author & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out. Enjoy your writer’s journey.”
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/user/teresaleyung

Teresa LeYung-Ryan is the author of:

·          Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (workbook);

·          Love Made of Heart: a Daughter Finds Herself Through Witnessing Her Mother’s Mental Illness (novel used in college classes, recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association, and archived at the San Francisco History Center);

·          “Talking to My Dead Mom” Monologues (the first monologue received an award from Redwood 10-Minute Play Contest and was staged at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA);

·         Coach Teresa’s Blog (which attracts tens of thousands of writers) at http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/  helps writers build their platforms before and after publication

January 16, 2016

Dear Writers and Readers,

Thank you for reading.

This is an intermission in Writing Coach Teresa’s “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements” blog post series.

This post is about my courageous cousins.

My 42-year-old cousin is dying of metastasized colon cancer.  I wish to speak up for her and another young woman who died three years ago.

Even though the medical world says 50 is the age to get a baseline colonoscopy . . . there are people under age 50 who would be alive today if they got tested much earlier.

According to Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org

What is your risk level?

Your risk of colon cancer might influence your choice of screening tests. If you have an increased risk of colon cancer, your doctor might recommend more frequent colon cancer screening with colonoscopy.

Talk to your doctor about your colon cancer risk if you:

  • Have a personal history of colon cancer or precancerous polyps
  • Have a parent, sibling or child who has had colon cancer
  • Carry a gene for a hereditary colon cancer syndrome
  • Have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

Cousin Anna started rejecting food over three weeks ago. The purple and black marks on her skin are signs of liver failure. Hospice nurse tells my aunt and uncle and cousins that their daughter/sister will be leaving soon.

Anna’s siblings have been her loyal advocates; they too need moral support now.

While witnessing Anna’s journey, I see how my relatives practice The Work (as Byron Katie would say) -  taking care of what is in front of us, with grace.

Anna herself is doing The Work – She calls out for her brother (who has been her primary caregiver; what a loving caregiver) when she wants to drink water from her stainless steel cup, change position in her bed, or merely see him in the room.

Anna’s loving brother is doing The Work – He has set up a station (including info packet and supplies from hospice care) outside Anna’s room; he supervises as well as provide excellent care when he is home; he goes to his new job in San Francisco.

Anna’s adoring sister is doing The Work – She flew in to be with her sister, meet the hospice nurse, orchestrate delivery of a hospital bed, shopped, made phone calls, and comforted her parents; then she flew back home to take care of her own family.

Anna’s sister-in-law is doing The Work – She has been there, is there, to give everyone moral support.

Anna’s mother and father provide food and tea for us all. We eat in silence.

January 29, 2016

Cousin Anna died in the early morning of January 21st.  Rain had stopped. We even had blue sky.  A new angel on her way.

Please listen to what your body tells you.  The statement “You’re too young to be tested” is just someone’s opinion. Be your own advocate. After all, you are the expert of your experiences.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author, playwright, speech writer

http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/user/teresaleyung

 

**

 

 

 

by Teresa LeYung-Ryan

This is 2 of 4 of my blog posts entitled “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements”

I didn’t know that I would be enjoying my new part-time job as my father’s exercise coach, appointment escort, and advocate OR that I would be practicing The Four Agreements (from Don Miguel Ruiz’s timeless book).

Agreement #2 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

Would you say that I ” took it personally” (in Blog Post 1 of 4)?

Well, here’s what happened this time… I escort Papa to his quarterly appointment with his podiatrist; Papa’s feet have diabetic nerve damage. The doctor’s assistant is named Geri; I tell her “What a lovely name, I know another Geri.”

I meet the podiatrist (male doctor) and give him a copy of the “After Visit Report” from Papa’s neurologist; I see him (podiatrist) reading the neurologist’s report that includes the recommendation  to continue Carbidopa/Levodopa (the drug that helps alleviate some of the Parkinson’s symptoms)

A minute later, the podiatrist is asking Papa: “You’re taking what I prescribed?  Gabapentin. No side effects?”

Papa looks confused.  The doctor writes a prescription refill and hands it to me. Then he proceeds with clipping my papa’s thick and discolored toe nails.

Later in the lobby while waiting for SF Yellow Cab, I tell Papa and his sweetheart Mary that I would gladly go to Target Pharmacy for him, to fill this prescription. Mary says in Cantonese “Don’t bother, he already takes too many pills.” Papa is nodding in agreement.

“Okay,” I say and I start for the elevator. “I’ll give back this prescription.”

“Don’t!” Mary leaps to her feet.  Papa looks agitated.

I’m raising my voice. “I told the doctor that I would fill the prescription. If I’m not going to, then I want to let him know that.”

Papa speaks in Cantonese: “He won’t like me if he knows I’m not taking his medicine.”

“You’re worried about being liked,” I snap. “Okay, it’s your life, not my business.”

Later, at my own home, I realized that I was taking it personally (not practicing Agreement #2) and getting upset with my father (not practicing Agreement #1).  Oh, Angel Mom, please give me strength.

The researcher in me wanted to know what the heck is Gabapentin. So,  I go to Mayo Clinic’s website.  According to:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/search/search-results?q=gabapentin

Gabapentin (Oral Route) is used to help control partial seizures (convulsions) in the treatment of epilepsy. This medicine cannot cure epilepsy and will only work to control seizures for as long as you continue to take it.

Gabapentin is also used in adults to manage a condition called postherpetic neuralgia, which is pain that occurs after shingles.

Gabapentin works in the brain to prevent seizures and relieve pain for certain conditions in the nervous system. It is not used for routine pain caused by minor injuries or arthritis. Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant.

This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, gabapentin is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:

  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

WHY IS A PODIATRIST PRESCRIBING THIS DRUG WHEN PAPA’S DIABETES DOCTOR AND NEUROLOGIST ARE ALREADY PRESCRIBING OTHER DRUGS?

The next time I saw Papa, I apologized. Also, I composed a letter to his primary care physician and diabetes doctor, asking them for guidance.

Gee, practicing the four agreements is hard work.

To share your comments, please click on the blue title box on top of this blog post, then scroll down . . .  Thank you so much!

 

Author & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out. Enjoy your writer’s journey.”
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/user/teresaleyung

Teresa LeYung-Ryan is the author of:

·          Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (workbook);

·          Love Made of Heart: a Daughter’s Journey Through Self-Forgiveness, Sparked by Her Mother’s Mental Illness (novel used in college classes, recommended by the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association, and archived at the San Francisco History Center);

·          “Talking to My Dead Mom” Monologues (the first monologue received an award from Redwood 10-Minute Play Contest and was staged at the 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA);

·         Coach Teresa’s Blog (which attracts tens of thousands of writers) at http://WritingCoachTeresa.com  helps writers build their platforms before and after publication


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