Letter from Heather Dos Reis
Dear fellow PWP’s, I have had Parkinson’s just short of 4 years. I took L-Dopa medication for the first 6 months and hated every minute of it. Fortunately I found a Neurologist who took me off the L-Dopa and put me onto an MOA-B inhibitor, active ingredient Selegiline. Then I was fortunate to meet John Pepper, at a talk given by Dr. Norman Doidge. I bought John’s book and totally agree with his theory for more than one reason.
I have an older sister, who has Parkinson’s. She has taken L-Dopa from diagnosis till now; that’s 12 years. Her PD tremors have greatly increased, plus she now has dyskinesia very badly, and a whole lot of other problems – I have convinced myself that these are caused by ever increasing doses of medication, plus inactivity (a total lack of exercise). I am very heart-sore when I compare her to myself, after 4 years and how she was at 4 years - because truly, there is no comparison. Yes, my right hand shakes but I can control it, thanks to John. Yes, I drag my one foot slightly when I am very tired, but that has all but disappeared, since I have taken up walking, three times a week. I have only got to walking 2 km’s (don’t tell John). I am aiming to walk 5 km’s each time, I’ll get there soon, I hope. I do yoga twice a week, on the days I don’t walk.
Now, I have recently had an unrelated health problem, which has kept me from both yoga and walking, since not exercising at all, and eating all the Silly Season food. I am shaking much more and I'm depressed, I don’t sleep well, my intestines don’t work like they should; too much info I know but it’s a fact. This is another reason why I agree with John’s theory. No Exercise, symptoms worsen.
I started walking again and am back at yoga and can’t believe, in the two months of inactivity, just how much I have regressed! But I am going to follow John’s advice, and 30 years down the line, I too am going to have to prove to people that I have, or had, Parkinson’s.
I recommend John’s book to all the new PWP’s I meet.
Heather dos Reis (South Africa)