Posts Tagged ‘Don Miguel Ruiz’

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

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


by Teresa LeYung-Ryan

This is 1 of 4 of my blog posts entitled “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements”

Remembering the mistakes I made when I was my mom’s advocate 15 years ago is benefitting another loved one.

Honestly, 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 #1 -  Be impeccable with my word

Wednesday evening while watching a Cantonese television program called Big Boys Club (the topic was about using a system to find meaningful relationships), my papa started expounding his philosophy.  I asked him to turn down the volume so that I could better hear him. He obliged.

All was copacetic until he said “You’d be happier if you get a Masters degree. People who go back to school get ahead in life.”

What the #%#*? (I didn’t say it). I could feel my pulse quickening though. “Ridiculous!” I sputtered.  I felt regret as soon as I heard the tone that went with the syllables. Then I said, “The most valuable lessons in life I learn from friends.”

Papa injected, “Mary’s brother is a doctor. He went to Harvard.”

What the #%#*? (I didn’t say it). What I did say was: “How wonderful for him. Okay, let’s say I did want to get a Masters degree. Many hours of school and studying. Who would be coming over here to help you exercise?”

There were two seconds of silence.  Then, with a smile and warm eyes he said, “The important thing is that you are happy doing what you are doing.”

Why didn’t I stay calm earlier? The word “ridiculous” floated between Papa and me.

I suppose I’ll have to practice Agreement #4 – “Always do my best”

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/part-1-of-4-parkinsons-disease-my-chinese-papa-and-my-practicing-the-four-agreements/

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To listen to my reading of this blog post, please visit my  YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/TeresaLeYung  or simply click on the following underscored text …  Part 1 of 4 “Parkinson’s Disease, My Chinese Papa, and My practicing The Four Agreements”

To share your comment or to read the comments from dear friends, please click on the blue title box on top of this blog post, then scroll down . . .  Thank you so much!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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 Breaks Free from Her Violent Past as Her Mother Journeys through 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


Many Chinese people (especially my generation and preceding ones) don’t like the number 4 because the Chinese word for “four” (in Cantonese, pronounced saay) sounds like the word for “dead” and “death.”

 

I like the number 4 – 4 legs to hold up the table I write on; 4 wheels to keep my vehicle on roads; 4 seasons; 4 compass directions; 4 parts in the Chinese word for “love”; 4 letters in the English word for “love”; 4 colleagues working on some of my projects; The Four Agreements by Don Miguel   Ruiz   http://www.miguelruiz.com/

 

Speaking of four, Theresa Stephenson’s friend Jill Lebeau, MS, MFT has co-authored Feng Shui Your Mind: Four Easy Steps to Rapidly Transform Your Life! with Maureen Raytis, MA, L.Ac.   www.fengshuiyourmind.com


Sincerely,
Teresa LeYung Ryan

Teresa's trademark Love Made of Heart

I am so happy to announce the opening of the Love Made of Heartonline store where you’ll find gift items for yourselves, women, children, moms and babies, friends and pets.  http://lovemadeofheart.com/Love-Made-of-Heart-Online-Store-&-Gift-Shop.html The Chinese word for “heart” is inside the word for “love.”

Love Made of Heart -  purple heart inside pink love

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For Writers:
Build Your Name, Beat the Game: Be Happily Published is the 22 minutes for 22 days workbook. http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

I am so upset; I don’t get upset often.  I heard words that made me angry for my friend.  Today, my friend told me: “My doctor says I’m demented.”

I could not believe my ears. What happened to “Be impeccable with your word” in The Four Agreements?  Didn’t this doctor read the book?

In that little powerful book, Don Miguel Ruiz gives readers [ Agreement #1. Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. ]  http://www.miguelruiz.com Ruiz’s books are based on Toltec teachings.

When I see my friend, I will show her another beautiful book.  Learn to Power Think by Caterina Rando, published by Chronicle Books. The book’s subtitle is: A practical Guide to Positive and Effective Decision Making.  On the back cover, the words “change your thinking change your life” make me smile.

Words are powerful–our using them can create compassion or contempt, peace or war.

May all healthcare providers and receivers (including yours truly) get to practice all 4 agreements in The Four Agreements and the wisdom in Learn to Power Think.

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung Ryan

“My blog is to encourage you to transform your experiences into powerful stories.”

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