Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Norman Doidge’

Dear Folks who have been, are, or will be advocates and/or caregivers to a family member who has Parkinson’s,

I salute YOU!  If I didn’t have caring friends, wise mentors, supportive spouse, dear sister, MaMah, and the information from Dr. Norman Doidge‘s book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity, I would be in need of advocates and caregivers myself.

Last month, Papa fell again.  No broken bones. No kidney damage. He sure is a lucky fellow.  After his first fall earlier this year, the doctors and nurses explained to him (in Cantonese) and to me that when someone falls and cannot get up and is on the floor for hours, the muscles release a material into the bloodstream that could cause kidney damage. So, what did the doctor and interpreter at the hospital say this time?  “Your father was dehydrated and weak. He needs to eat well, eat more. Encourage him. To eat more. To drink plenty of water.”

Aah, the word “encourage” contains the word “courage”.

Parkinson’s Disease has discouraged Papa – the disease has made Papa’s movement “smaller” – small steps, small voice, small hand-writing.

Encourage my father to do this, to do that? Sounds simple enough.  Then why do I feel discouraged myself?  Whatever happens, I must take good care of my own brain.

I am not fluent in Cantonese, Papa is not fluent in English -

At least twice in the past month, he got upset when I said something about myself (he thought I was talking about him). “Teresa, keep your cool,” I tell myself. (Thank you, mentor Lynn!)

 I do not understand why Papa seems to be evasive when answering questions -

“Papa, when did you last eat?” I’d ask.

“I ate a lot,” he replies.

“What time?” I ask.

“A little while ago,” he says.

“What time?  Six o’clock? Ten o’clock? Two?  It’s two-thirty now. What time did you eat?”

“Eight.”

“Eight o’clock! That’s not a little while ago.” I can hear the irritation in my voice.

“Teresa, encourage him, not grill him.”  (Thank you, NP Lim!)

I cringe just thinking about entering his apartment and getting blasted by the television volume set at 84 or the thermostat set at 80 degrees -

What can I do?  I supposed . . . instead of asking (accusing) him “Is your hearing going?” and “Are you cold because you’re ill?” I could just turn down the two dials and engage him in conversation. (Thank you, dear Sasa!)

I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, daughter of a father who has Parkinson’s, thank everyone who has helped my papa and Dr. Norman Doidge for writing his wonder-full book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.

Thank you to all the doctors, nurses, administration staffs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, interpreters, everyone at Self Help for the Elderly, folks in UCSF Movement Disorder and Neuromodulation Center,  E.R. staffs, folks at St. Mary’s Hospital, SFGH Orthotics and Prosthetic Center, and the dear staff at the building where my papa lives.

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

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, advocate for my Chinese papa

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

If you’d like to read 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/

Teresa’s trademark:

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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)

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.

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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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