Posts Tagged ‘caregivers’

Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s Blog Post 3 of 3

How Dr. Norman Doidge’s Books Help Me and My Chinese Papa Who Has Parkinson’s

 

I am not fluent in Cantonese.

When I was a new immigrant from Hong Kong in the 1960s, San Francisco public schools did not have ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.  Classmate’s snickering compelled me to learn my new language with urgency. By fourth grade, you couldn’t shut me up.  Then our parents (actually, probably just our father) insisted that my siblings and I go to Chinese School (classes in Chinatown everyday after regular school was let out).  One year of misery. Thank goodness our mother spoke up to our father (in Cantonese) – “Let our children succeed in English school first.”

Fast forward to 2017. Parkinson’s Disease has caused what Papa would say with his Cantonese accent “a lot of problem.”

[ 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.]

Papa and Teresa chuckle at the last part of speech exercises taught by Terri Snyder from Self Help for the Elderly - photo by Wen Hsu, translator extraordinaire

While I lack the vocabulary to tell my father that I sympathize, I do know how to encourage and praise with sincerity.  When he frowns at my prompting to do the exercises (taught by the dear professionals from Self Help for the Elderly) or Sit and Be Fit™  (recommended by NP Heloise Lim), or to pick up his feet when those darn rubber mats at grocery stores and restaurants seem to ambush him and his walker… I say to him: “You win! Do NOT let Parkinson’s win. You win!”

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Through the engaging stories in this book – The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D. – I have learned that our wonderful brains are forever changing, growing and healing. That knowledge gives me the vocabulary to ask the right questions as an advocate for my father. Dear friend Wen Hsu ordered the traditional Chinese edition of Dr. Doidge’s book through a bookseller in Taiwan. Papa has the book near his dining table; next to the Chinese edition is the English edition; both books are there for Papa’s helpers and friends to read.

As for my being an advocate/daughter who is not fluent in her parent’s native tongue, I know how to find people who excel in their work. In the past three weeks, Wen Hsu (translator extraordinaire) has translated my multiple letters (written in English) into Chinese for Papa’s Caregivers/Helpers.

I salute Papa’s caregivers/helpers, his caring friends, my caring friends, wise mentors, supportive spouse, dear sister, MaMah, Papa’s spunk, the doctors, nurses, administration staffs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, interpreters, dear folks at Self Help for the Elderly, South Market Senior Health Clinic, UCSF Movement Disorder and Neuromodulation Center, E.R. staffs, staffs at U.C. Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital, SFGH Orthotics and Prosthetic Center, the dear staff members at the building where my papa lives, and Dr. Norman Doidge for writing his book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.

Mr. Leung with traditional Chinese edition, Teresa LeYung-Ryan with English edition of the book THE BRAIN'S WAY OF HEALING: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D. - photo by Wen Hsu, translator extraordinaire

 

Special thanks to the dear folks at Self Help for the Elderly – Nurse Valerie Chan, Nurse Chiu Li, Physical Therapist Jenny Chiu, Occupational Therapist Tom Wong, Speech Therapist Terri Snyder, Translator Albie Wong, and of course the administrative staff, and all the nurses and therapists who have helped my father in the past and shall in the future.

 

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

Sincerely,

Teresa, advocate/daughter to my Chinese papa

P.S.  I am rereading Dr. Norman Doidge’s books

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, photo by Britt


Teresa LeYung-Ryan is

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  http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog (which attracts thousands of writers) helps writers build their platforms before and after publication
  • “For Themes’ Sake” and “Heroes, Tricksters and Villains” and “Where Are You On Your Writer’s Journey?” and other workshop material

creator of “Immigrant Experience Writing Contest” and

owner of trademark

 and proponent of public libraries, public schools, and excellent public healthcare for ALL!

The link to this blog post #3 of 3 in this series:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/teresa-leyung-ryans-blog-post-3-of-3-how-dr-norman-doidges-books-help-me-and-my-chinese-papa-who-has-parkinsons/

Blog post #2 of 3 in this series:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/teresa-leyung-ryans-blog-post-2-of-3-how-dr-norman-doidges-books-help-me-help-my-papa/

Blog post #1 of 3 in this series:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/theme-consultant-teresa-leyung-ryans-blog-post-1-of-3-what-i-learned-about-the-brain-from-dr-norman-doidges-2-books/

 

Dear Writers/Caregivers/Advocates for Loved Ones,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here . . .  I see how helping a loved one/being an advocate is so much like writing a book.

My papa has been diagnosed with Parkinsonism by his neurologist. If Papa is telling his story, he would be the first-person narrator; if I’m telling the story about him, then I would be the third-person narrator.

A book (story) consists of one main character (also known as “hero” or “protagonist”) or multiple main characters and other characters (other archetypes), a subject matter that is discussed repeatedly (“theme”) and at least one plotline (“what happened?”). The merging of these elements helps the writer show the hero’s journey.

Helping a loved one/being an advocate consists of at least 2 protagonists (YOU and the loved one) and other archetypes (physicians, healthcare and social service providers, other family members and friends, neighbors, coworkers, vendors, . . . the stranger who gives up her/his seat on the train for you), themes (the cause for help and advocacy and the related issues), and plotlines (the interconnected events associated with all the characters).  Who will be the most transformed in the story?  The loved one?  You the caregiver/advocate? The person who is most transformed would be the main character/hero/protagonist.  Perhaps both people will go through great transformation.  Two protagonists!

I am writing – I keep a notebook for whenever I visit my papa or when I do something on his behalf- gosh, there are so many little “subplots” to keep track of! (Is this Papa’s third or last session with the physical therapist? Mary and I need to witness the exercises so that when the P.T. closes the case, we would be able to coach Papa. Did he say he wanted another heating pad? Oh my, there are at least 18 model to choose from.   Gotta review friends’ advice about what is a comfortable bed and also Consumer Reports. Then Papa has to “test drive” some beds. You just can’t shop for a mattress the way you shop for a pair of shoes.

MATTRESS SHOPPING TIPS (from Sealy’s website)

  1. Plan to spend at least one hour in the store.
  2. Wear loose clothing and easily removable shoes.
  3. Test out mattresses in groups of three for easier comparison.
  4. Lie on each mattress for 5 to 15 minutes to let it fully adapt to your body.
  5. Don’t feel rushed. It’s ok to ask for privacy.

I would add:  Bring your own pillow so that your neck is supported while trying out mattresses; maybe bring an extra pillow case too.

And, I am reading the book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D.  Chapter 2 is titled “A Man Walks Off His Parkinsonian Symptoms”  . . . how John Pepper has been able to reverse the major symptoms, the ones that Parkinson’s patients dread most, those that lead to immobility. He’s done so with an exercise program he devised and with a special kind of concentration . . .

All the “characters” in Dr. Doidge’s books (The Brain’s Way of Healing  and The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science) and in Dr. Victoria Sweet‘s book (God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine) are guiding me on my journey as an advocate for my father.  And, I just know that my mom plays a huge role in helping me.

I thank everyone who has given me her/his time, energy, and prayers.

Here are links to websites I’ve relied on lately:

https://franceskakugawa.wordpress.com/category/caregiving/  Frances Kakugawa

http://www.writeradvice.com/ywmtdw.html  B. Lynn Goodwin

http://www.normandoidge.com/  Norman Doidge, M.D.

https://www.michaeljfox.org/  Michael J. Fox Foundation

Special thanks to Margie Yee Webb, Frances Kakugawa, Penny Manson, Debbie Ramos and her daughter Melanie who went out of their way to help me research specific items and to Mary, my sister Maria Leung, Linda Harris, Sue, Janet, and Elaine for being there in person.

Sincerely,

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

http://lovemadeofheart.com/

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

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

 

 

 

 

 

( This blog post welcomes comments from everyone who has learned something from Marisa Suzuki.  Please press the “submit comment” button when you’re done.  Thank you so much. )

My feisty friend Marisa died this morning.  At 3:00am pst she left for her “Mountain Lake” where she’ll dance, swim, and sun herself again. Marisa introduced me to Ashleigh Brilliant quotes http://www.ashleighbrilliant.com/ (“IF I’M NOT HOME, ACCEPTING WHAT I CAN’T CHANGE, I’M PROBABLY OUT, CHANGING WHAT I CAN’T ACCEPT.” was one of her favorites); also, she shared Aikido wisdom. . . (“FALL, ROLL, AND GET UP SAFELY” was/is one of my favorites).  I’ve met other remarkable people through Marisa–her sisters and other family members, her friends, and her son Mikko who inspired me to give thanks to the food I get to eat everyday; her caregivers during her transition are compassionate and beautiful spirits too.

Marisa

Marisa

To the ancient Maya, Earth was the cosmic turtle  http://today.brown.edu/articles/2010/04/maya-art When I visited my sister and brother-in-law, I saw the exhibit “Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea” at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

Dear Marisa a.k.a. Mountain Lake Turtle (Friend to all Cats), I wish you safe and joyful adventures at your mountains and lakes.

Much love from Teresa

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