Honoring #caregivers in November for #NationalFamilyCaregiversMonth2018 🌹
Caring for our Caregivers luncheon https://parkinsonsocialnetwork.org/caring-for-our-caregivers/ via @PSN_PDsocial #Parkinsons #PDCaregivers #SelfCare
Tag Archives: parkinsons disease
I was recently asked to answer some questions about being a caregiver for eCareDiary.com.
Not only do I comment on being a Parkinson’s disease carepartner/caregiver but I also share some comments about Reiki in my life. I hope you enjoy the article – here’s the link:
When Your Partner is Diagnosed with Parkinson’s: A Caregiver’s Story
I was asked by the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center to write a blog post for National Family Caregiver’s month. Here’s the posting I submitted:
My nineteen year journey as a young onset Parkinson’s disease carepartner has been full of joy, adventures, excitement, challenges and new experiences. When Parkinson’s disease (PD) entered my life, it was not a shock. I met my husband, Karl, post-diagnosis. I’ve never known Karl without Parkinson’s.
At this point, the progression of Parkinson’s is moving slowly with little impact on our lives. The most disruptive part of Parkinson’s at this moment is dealing with the unpredictability of the medications. Not knowing if the medications will work or not work, throughout the day, makes for an always shifting agenda. No plans are set in stone. Decisions are made on a moment by moment basis. During the day, I may say:
“Let’s wait 30 minutes and see if the pills kick in.”
“I’ll drop you off at the restaurant and go park the car.”
“No need to come with me. I’ll run into the store and grab the item we need.”
Being mindful is one of my tools to living in each moment with peace. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s key teaching is that through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment — the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
Mindfulness has not always been a part of my caregiving toolbox. I work on being mindful every day with varying levels of success. Of course, there are times where mindfulness flies out the window and anger flies in.
Renowned author and speaker on self-development and spiritual growth, Dr. Wayne Dyer says in his book, The Power of Intention:
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
I find this sentence to be profound. It makes me think differently: change my attitude, change my focus, change my mood, and even change my mindset! This phrase inspires me to set a tone for each moment of my day. I invoke this phrase to improve my own mental, emotional and physical self-care.
How do you view your life? Day? This moment? We all have choices. Do we become so consumed by our carepartner/caregiver responsibilities that we forget we have choices? Optimism can be a choice.
Although we may be unable to change today’s challenge, maybe we can choose to see things differently? Imagine using this phrase as a filter to view your life as a Parkinson’s disease carepartner/caregiver living with daily challenges. If you are always living in the future, you cannot be in the present. I’m not naive enough to think that optimism solves all the issues that PD carepartners/caregivers face.
Take time for yourself to give yourself care. Even the smallest change in your own care can bring you big benefits.
Angela Robb is a Parkinson’s disease (PD) carepartner and Reiki Master who shares and teaches the value of Reiki (ray-key) to the Parkinson’s community.
Karl and I had the pleasure of hosting Sunday Connections recently and our topic for discussion was Reiki for Parkinson’s Disease.
All the webcasts/shows are archived and can be listened to for free. We cover what is Reiki, how Reiki can help Parkinson’s and other chronic illnesses, and how you can learn to do Reiki for yourself.
You can listen to the show by visiting this website: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=57021897
Angela & Karl
I hope you can join us today for this exciting event!
Join Karl and Angela Robb this Sunday at 5pm EST/2pm PST as they host Sunday Connections http://www.sundays.parkinsonsrecovery.com/ with guest Megumi Abiko, Reiki Master Teacher of Reiki Jin Kei Do.
Here is Megumi’s bio: Having gone through a spinal injury and being told my prognosis was being paraplegic was a HUGE wakeup call! I was fortunate to have a friend who introduced me to essential oils that stopped the swelling in my spine so that I regained full mobility! With that experience, it fired my interest to learn more about Holistic health. Each day I realize how powerful Essential Oils and Reiki is in my life! Through my practice, I’ve seen firsthand how the combination of the modalities can benefit all aspects of your life: Mental (behavior modification, stress management, emotional release, depression), Physical (backaches, allergies, and other diseases) and spiritual. I feel lucky to have been taught great gifts to add to my tool box that will help me, help others, become empowered one person at a time.
You can submit questions online ahead of the event by using this link: http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=51628782 . Click the “Ask a Question” link and complete the information in the box that appears below the button.
Here’s the Link for listening online for Sunday Connections. Listeners online can listen to the live event and can submit questions.
Or if you would like to call in, in which you can ask the hosts and guest questions live and listen to the event.
Primary dial in number: (425) 440-5100
Secondary dial in number: (323) 476-3997
Guest pin code: 200414#
Karl and Angela recently hosted Parkinson’s Recovery – Sunday Connections online webcast and radio show. They discussed their experiences with Reiki, how Reiki can help one improve their well-being and healing process, how Reiki can help Parkinson’s disease, and how positive thinking can benefit everyone.
Use this link to reach the replay of the webcast. http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=40845387
When you reach this page, click the link and type in the password: karl2012
We hope you enjoy listening.
Angela & Karl
A Soft Voice in A Noisy World: A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease – 12/12/12 Book Launch! | A Soft Voice In A Noisy World
Dear Friends – We are excited to announce that today/Wednesday 12/12/12, Karl is officially launching his first book: A Soft Voice in a Noisy World: A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease.
Whether you are newly diagnosed or have had Parkinson’s disease for many years, younger or older, the lessons that Karl Robb offers in this book will apply to your situation. A culmination of over twenty years of personal experience, in A Soft Voice in a Noisy World, Karl Robb provides an assortment of tips and suggestions that have made a difference in his life and benefited him in his personal struggle with PD. This guide shows how one man successfully navigated the medical gauntlet with the support of his wife and care partner, and found his answers, often in the unlikeliest of places.
Drawn from the pages of the popular Parkinson’s blog, ASoftVoice.com, this once-skeptic turned Reiki master describes the importance of complementary therapies to “Parkinsonians” through his personal mind, body, and spirit journey, detailing the role these have played in the course of his personal healing. In this book you will learn how through maintaining a positive attitude and utilizing Reiki and other complementary therapies, Karl has kept his Parkinson’s in check, slowed the disease’s progression, and amazingly seen signs of improvement, even after over two decades of dealing with PD.
This book is a compilation of hundreds of insights and practical tools intended to add inspiration and ease to your daily life, including suggestions and resources for bettering your patient-doctor experience, living a productive and happy life, staying fit and active, traveling, participating in support groups, being a PD advocate, improving your mind-body connection, and empowering yourself to heal.
By Karl Robb
There is little doubt that human touch is of benefit to our well-being. When I speak of touch I mean it in the most caring and compassionate of ways and not just in a sensory manner. Touch is therapeutic and I have great confidence that it is the highway to relief and possible healing.
If you’ve never heard of Reiki, then I hope that this posting will intrigue you enough to learn more about what it is and what it does. In the end, I hope I can encourage you to experience the power of Reiki. I think it best to get an understanding of what Reiki is from my dear friend and Reiki Master Teacher, Gilbert Gallego, who over 12 years ago showed me how Reiki could improve all aspects of my life. I have seen Reiki greatly reduce my symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, lower my stress, give me peace and calming, and provided me with a greater understanding of who I am and what I am capable of achieving. First, learn what Reiki is and where it came from and then I will tell you some amazing but true stories of what I have seen Reiki do:
Reiki is a Japanese word. The Kanji Rei means spirit, and Ki means energy or life force. In essence, Reiki can be interpreted as spiritual or universal life force energy. Reiki is also known as the Usui System of Natural Healing, a very simple technique to aid in the process of healing and many believe that it leads to a path of self-transformation. Reiki was initially brought to the United States by Mrs. Hawayo Takata, a Japanese American who studied it in Japan in the 1930’s. Reiki has since become the fast-moving energy modality in the West during the past 30 years.
Reiki was developed in the early 1900’s by a Japanese Shingon Buddhist named Mikao Usui. Master Usui was a well-known scholar and respected healer in Kyoto who undertook an extensive study of healing phenomena as taught through history’s greatest spiritual leaders. Through his travels, research, and meditation, he was led to an ancient healing method based on a combination of Buddhist practices performed only by monks and kept as secret knowledge. It is believed that Dr. Usui learned part of this method and received special empowerments and a meditation through which he expanded his understanding of the energy of healing. He spent the rest of his life practicing and teaching this knowledge. One of his students, a medical practitioner named Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, gave this method a proper structure, which lay people, could practice. Today, this method is now known as “Reiki”. From www.reikijinkeido.org
Twelve years ago, I knew nothing about Reiki. By total coincidence, if you believe in them, I met Gilbert, my teacher. I had heard of a therapy called Trager (which is very different than Reiki) and found that he was the nearest practitioner in my area. I went for Trager but found Reiki. My wife, Angela, who suffers from migraines came along with me to the appointment. Gilbert explained Reiki to us and we both had doubts and were wondering why we were even in his office? We were true skeptics. I was reluctant to get on the massage table (fully clothed by the way) and Angela agreed to watch but that would be the full extent of her participation–that didn’t happen!
A little over an hour later, after coming in stiff in the legs and a bit tired, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated. I felt wonderful and it showed! My face beamed and seeing this, Angela, with no hesitancy, decided to go next. She too experienced the power of Reiki.
This was the first step on our eleven year Reiki journey. Twelve years later, my wife and I just completed our one year training as Reiki Masters. I have seen Reiki do some wonderful and unexplainable results for me, my wife, my animals, and friends.
Here is just a brief list of what I have experienced with Reiki:
- I have seen Reiki stop or dramatically reduce dyskinesia (uncontrolled movement).
- I have seen Reiki diminish or even subside headaches and pain.
- I saw Reiki lower my mother’s blood pressure before her chemo treatment.
- I have seen Reiki reduce stress and help improve sleep.
- I saw Reiki drastically reduce a Cancer patient’s pain from an 8 to a 3 on a 10 point scale (10 being the highest). That patient was my mother.
These are just a few of my experiences with Reiki. If you would like to learn more, please contact me for more information.
Importance of Self-Care
For many years, as I visited with other carepartners, I stressed the fact that carepartners “needed to take care of themselves so, they could care for their loved one with Parkinson’s”. Last year, I had a personal realization about this phrase. What I should have said is: “I need to take care of myself for me first, my loved one second”.
It’s so easy for us in today’s world to put ourselves last on the “care list”. We put our children, spouses, family, home, work, pets, and so on way before we take care of ourselves. When a chronic illness such as Parkinson’s is also part of the equation, there’s even more of a tendency for carepartners to rush their loved one into the top spot for care.
If Not YOU, WHO?
It is vitally important that the carepartner have a depth of self-knowledge and be willing to ask one’s self “How are you doing today?” or “How am I doing in this moment?”. My realization of this fact came from my study of Reiki and mindfulness meditation. The first level of Reiki is about self-care. Mindfulness Meditation is about being still and focusing on the self, specifically one’s breath. My self-knowledge evolved over time and I’m so happy that it did. I only wish that I had a grasp of this self-awareness sooner! I find myself checking in on my mental, emotional and physical awareness. This really is a practice that you have to do yourself. As much as your loved one, family, or friend ask you “How you are doing?”, they may not be prepared for your true answer. Most of us will not give the true answer, anyway. The true answer is being with yourself and looking honestly at the whole package. I find the following questions are helpful for me. These are just a few examples to help someone to get started. Once you begin an internal dialog with yourself, you will find questions that are best suited to you.
- How do I physically feel today? Are there areas which need some attention?
- How balanced do I feel mentally today?
- How much time can I make for myself to meditate, exercise, <insert your activity here> today?
- How can I best care for myself today?
Our journey in Reiki has been a wonderful exploration and experience. Since 2008, we’ve been working with the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA) to offer free Reiki Level 1 workshops for those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their carepartners, caregivers, family members, or friends.
We plan to blog on givereiki.com for anyone who is interested in Reiki for their own personal health and development.
Angela & Karl Robb