Over three thousand viewings!

Today my Blog reached a bit of a milestone, over 3,000 viewings from 40 countries as far apart as Nigeria and the Republic of Korea.

We recently enjoyed a week near Quimper in Brittany, staying with friends we met 17 years ago on our first cycling holiday. It was always about travelling from one nice hotel to another rather than climbing mountains. Despite my concerns riding a bike was no problem, getting to the top of hills was more of an issue! I must get my bike out at home now that summer is here, just wish that there was less traffic.

Not quite Tour of France speed!

Not quite Tour of France speed!

Back home there was a visit to my helpful Parkinson’s Nurse. We agreed that I would continue with Rasagiline, which could provide some neuro protection, and not take anything else at the moment. My biggest problems are, as ever, my shoulders and the tremor in my left hand. However, I am managing my symptons and feel well and positive. I am sure that all the pilates and other exercise really help and I am fitter than I have ever been! I have had my first acupuncture session, fascinating, and look forward to my hydrotherapy which starts next week, impressive NHS.

The lovely daughter is home during July and likes to set me a challenge so we are off to walk part of Hadrian’s Wall; four days averaging ten miles a day. I walk regularly with a walking group so think I have enough stamina. Not being able to swing my left arm is a bit of a problem and I keep trying different ideas to make it easier, poles weren’t really successful. You see so much more when you walk, people are always friendly and to be outside is a joy.

I have always enjoyed ballet and one of my Christmas presents was to become a friend of Covent Garden. I am going lots to watch everything I can, sometimes on my own but often with others. I love watching people’s faces the first time they go into the Opera House; it must be one of our most beautiful buildings. Most memorable recently must be the new ballet “The Winter’s Tale,” a fantastic production in every way.

All in all, no time for dusting!

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From Autumn to Spring

Our last weeks in Australia included lots of visits to beautiful beaches, from the tropical Sunshine Coast in Queensland to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. I just love the feel of sand between my toes, walking along an empty beach as the sun rises is unforgettable.

Sunshine Beach

Sunshine Beach

The beach at Noosa

The beach at Noosa

Then it was home to England and a beautiful spring awaiting us with bluebells at their very best and the first flush of vibrant green on trees and bushes. It was lovely to catch up with family and friends, especially my son who had been rushed into hospital with appendicitis, I love Australia but here in Sussex is my home.

The Parkinson’s hadn’t caused me any real problems, particularly once I stopped taking Clonazepam. Back here I contacted the nurse and we agreed I am not ready to take Dopamine Agonist or Levodopa. I will try Propranolol, a beta blocker. However I generally feel so well that I will delay that until necessary. The Rasagiline I realise has helped some symptons and I can swim 30 lengths without twisting or spasms and my sense of smell is back. Now I am in the system at the local hospital there has been lots on offer, physiotherapy, talks, maybe hydrotherapy or a taste of acupuncture – I’ll try them all! My only pain is my right shoulder, currently trying rolling a golf ball in a sock across the area! I even felt badminton seemed a bit easier this week. I am back to lots of pilates which is a wonderful help.

Next week it’s time for a few days in Brittany with friends made on a cycling holiday many years ago, will I be able to ride a bike still…….

Down Under

This blog edition comes from Australia where I am staying with the lovely daughter. When in Melbourne this is the view from my daily walk – amazing.
image
It is a little easier to swing the arm in the warm sun but the current medication has not helped the tremor at all. Parkinson’s is a very individual condition and I will continue to search for the right medication for me. I have joined my daughter for my first attempts at Yoga but show no natural ability.
What an amazing country Australia is, so much to see and do. I loved our weekend in the Macedon Ranges, north of Melbourne, staying in a delightful farm cottage; freshly baked bread and cakes provided! We watched the DVD of the film “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and then the next day walked across the paddocks to explore the area and climb the rocks; didn’t find the missing schoolgirls! We did however find some delicious wines to try!
We also travelled in the bush with friends to Lake Mungo, a dry lake where human bones from 45,000 years ago have been found and features sand cliffs know as The Wall of China

I have now had over 2,500 viewings on the blog from 33 countries including many from Brazil and some from countries as diverse as Taiwan and Bosnia Herzegovina. Between 7 and 10 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s and this will increase with an ageing population; we need to continue to work together to find a cure.

A change of scene

Sitting here watching the rain lashing down I can’t wait to go out to Melbourne in ten days time. Lovely daughter is going to walk with me every morning by sea and sand before going into work. Hopefully our rain will have stopped and the Aussie temperatures will have dropped and the danger of fires receded. We have lots planned including a trip to Noosa, north of Brisbane, and visiting Moama to spend time with dear friends. We stay on the Mornington Peninsula one weekend where there are great vineyards including a favourite, Ten Minutes by Tractor – a glass of wine and warm weather works wonders for a tremor!
Grapes
I am looking forward to reading in the warm sunshine, obviously with factor 30 sunscreen! Did you know that people with Parkinson’s have a four fold higher incidence of melanoma. I think part of the charm of Australia is that there are lots of things which are similar to England and some that are very different.

Not really much has changed much in the Parkinson’s since a year ago. Everything is slightly worse but still manageable, and life is just a little harder. If I could sort my left arm out for walking that would be great. I am disappointed that having waited a year to start medication I haven’t found anything that really works for me, now on Clonazepam as one suggestion following my recent visit to the consultant, but not looking very promising. It is a very individual but rather frustrating illness. I continue to see the physio and have a clinical massage every few weeks and do as much pilates as I can fit into life. That all helps but maybe I should accept the shoulder issues will not go away and just thank my lucky stars that most of me is ok; I can run up the stairs pretty well and generally look a picture of health!

We return home at the beginning of April but have lots planned for later in the year including a visit to Provence and the Lac de St Croix, one of our favourite places, and a River Cruise on the Danube. More actively; daughter wants me to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall when she is next home and there is a trip with my walking group to a sporting hotel in Devon … should be fit…..!

Sunshine ahead!

Happy New Year!
We enjoyed Christmas with the lovely daughter, very traditional after an Aussie Christmas last year when we had a walk along the beach in the sunshine. Boxing Day saw us join my son and his wife at Kempton Park. I won £40 by mistake, exciting yes, but I had a very small bet, no compulsion there! I had a wonderful present of three days in Paris with the lovely daughter. We packed a lot in including watching the Bolshoi ballet at the Opera House for 10 Euros; an amazing experience.

With Desert Orchid at Kempton Park

With Desert Orchid at Kempton Park


I gave my husband a very special mug for Christmas. Taking two cups of tea upstairs in the morning was beginning to be tricky so I got him a much taller mug which I only fill halfway, no more drips now!
...the mugs!

…the mugs!


I have been taking Trihexyphenidyl for a month now and sadly this has not helped the spasms and tremor. Champagne and canapés can be challenging at drinks parties! On advise from the Parkinson nurse I have gradually trebled the dose, swimming better but not really anything else. Side effects have been manageable except this week I have become very aware that my short term memory is poor in certain situations, think this is called “word fishing”. I see the consultant in a week so will chat it through with him as long as I can remember what to say! Only 4 weeks till we are off to Australia so will have to work out medicines to take and with an 11 hour time difference when to take them.
My next Blog will be from Australia as we will be there for over a month.