BOB TAYLOR'S STORY
90 Ellison Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 8BL E Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
visit http://www.uniquewatercolours.co.uk Tel : 020 8302 8165
Hi, my name is Robert Taylor (Bob), and I am fifty six years of age. I am married to Elizabeth (no not that one) and we have one son, Grant. In 1998 I became aware of a lack of mobility in the left side of my body, and after a consultation with a neurologist the symptoms were diagnosed as Parkinsons disease.
I had my own building company, which at that time was on the approved list of various Housing Trusts and local authorities, carrying out aids and adaptations, for people with special needs. The other area of my expertise was interior design and much of the work; I undertook required my artistic flair and ability. I continued the business until March 2001, when I felt the need for change.
Since that time I spent two years attempting to set up another business centered on my artistic skill and my love of golf. The project did not become the success that I had envisaged, so slowly my art has evolved in different directions.
As a Christmas present in 1998, Liz arranged for me to have a series of aromatherapy massages, which were very relaxing and therapeutic. The treatment began to open up a whole new world to me as the aroma therapist explained to me the part stress can play on the body. She also made me aware that exercise diet and nutrition can play a big part in our well-being.
In the spring of 1999, shortly after I had been diagnosed with Parkinsons I wanted to enquire about nutrition. I was given a contact number, only to be told when I called by someone on the other end of the line that we do not have any information on nutrition, there is a dietician at one of the London Hospitals, however as you have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease you have lost over 80 % of certain brain cells, & you will loose this & that, & take certain drugs etc, etc wheel chair etc.
Nobody knows whats round the next corner, as we infrequently reflect after losing someonehowever in that moment my mind was made up. I decided that I would find out about people who had cured themselves of any conditions. Just because there is no cure for my condition at the moment, does not mean that there isnt one.
I found a South African nutritionist living and practicing in London, who specializes in treating people with Parkinsons. Her name is Lucille Leader. She has written two books on the subject.
The New Nutritional Handbook. In depth look at diet in relationship to different medication regimes
Parkinsons Disease the way forward. A very good positively written reference book covering all aspects, written in such a way, that you need only read the relevant sections to take what you need from the book.
After a consultation and various blood tests Lucille suggested various supplements, and also dietary changes, which did make improvements. It was rather trial and error as not all the supplements had positive results. It was a difficult time as a family, because from a financial perspective things were becoming very tight. At this time Lucille was becoming involved with a centre in Vienna, which was doing groundbreaking work by giving vitamin supplements, CQ1, CQ 10 and NADH intravenously. She was trying to convince me to go. Not only was I unable to contemplate this financially, I was also not convinced on the treatment, as I had been in contact with somebody who had been to Vienna. He was unfortunately involved in a car accident shortly after his return, which appeared to nullify the treatment.
In the last couple of years I have been offered nutritional advice by various practitioners, and have even had kinesthetic testing on supplements. On several occasions my body has appeared to reject a supplement. This can wipe me out totally and immobilizes me, and it takes weeks to get back on track. It is very difficult to decide to continue taking a supplement in the belief that it is doing you good. I am never sure whether or not my body is detoxifying, or the supplement is causing an imbalance in my body, or a reaction with my medication.
I have proceeded along this path with caution. I figured that I need some kind of benchmark that is measurable, so earlier this year I sent off a hair sample for soft tissue analysis, and received back from the clinic a report on levels and relationships of minerals and vitamins stored in the body, and dietary advice to correct the imbalances. So far so good, so I will have another test result taken later in the year.
I have the utmost respect for the Medical profession. There are very few Neurologists in this country, and it is not easy to make an appointment instantly with them, as they are so busy. Hopefully with the introduction of specialist nurses the waiting times with shorten. I had some initial communication problems with my first consultant, as I did not feel that I was given any answers to questions that I posed. At the moment I am actually on a type of research scheme where the Neuropharmacologists are investigating the possibility that bacteria in the gut are what are driving PD. This work is more interesting from my point of view as they are looking for a reason.
In the spring of 2000 I saw a book in a shop in Brighton that took my eye. It was called Mind over Cancer by Colin Ryder Richardson. I found many parallels in the book that I could connect with, and I used the book to discover more.
I was discussing the virtues of this book with my friend, and she thought she had seen information on something similar. A couple of weeks later in May 2000 I was given a flyer about a seminar called The Journey. I bought the book read it in a day, and immediately enrolled for the next seminar, which was in June in London. The Journey Intensive as it was called was a weekend workshop on cellular healing, inspired by Brandon Bays who tells her story, of curing herself of cancer, by releasing unresolved emotional blockages. Delegates then learn these techniques for themselves, and then under the guidance of accredited therapists & trainers carry out the processes. The weekend totally blew me away! This was most profound weekend that I had ever encountered. I was on cloud 9 for the next week.
There is a network of therapists, and graduates across the world that arrange meetings and swaps, so that people can carry on using the processes to heal. I continued to swap processes whenever I could find a willing partner. By continuing to do these processes I cleared out huge amounts of emotional baggage, which had been burning up a tremendous amount of my mental energy. I expect you know the kind of stuff I mean.
Whenever time and money has permitted, I have come back to help as a Trainer on the Intensive weekends. I just love the energy of weekend, and to see the transformation of the delegates entering the room on the Sunday as compared to Saturday is amazing. I have also attended several other seminars that The Journey run which have all continued to help in my journey of discovery.
Since that time, I have delved into various complementary therapies, relaxation and mind body healing techniques, taking what I regard as beneficial to me from each. I now view my diagnosis as a wake up call I personally believe that my life has been has been enriched, because it has made me grateful for everything I have.
I have undertaken various other workshops and seminars on the following techniques: -
Alexander Technique,Autogenic Training,
Body Alignment & Vortex, Emotional Freedom Technique
The Journey (Intensive, Healing with Conscious Communication, Journeyman & Abundance Retreat), & Trainers Training
Geopathic Stress.Laughter Therapy Facilitator course
I have taken an active role in the running of a junior football team for eight years in various roles, and I was the child protection officer having undertaken the football association-training course. The team has now progressed into playing in mens football, and I still help out.
I have been invited to speak at two local Rotary Clubs in the past few years on the subject of Parkinsons disease & our journey together so far.
Since May 2003 I have been tutoring an art group at Goldie Leigh Hospital which is near London for the charity Headway. It soon became apparent to me that everybody in the class cant. I cant draw. I cant paint. I cant remember. Also many of the delegates are stuck. They want their old lives back regardless of how bad it may have been, rather than this path into the unknown.
What really struck me about the group was that most of the delegates had suffered strokes or head injuries, and they are all very quick to tell me that had lost part of their short term memory and they would not get it back. This is the one thing that every single one of them remembers. Someone in authority has told them that they have lost part of their memory and they will never get it back. How limiting is that! They all remember many things but they fail to notice because they are not focused on that. To endorse it further they get backup from the others in the class, she's lost part of her memory, and she won't get it back.
I had an idea, if I can get them to change their beliefs about drawing and painting, maybe I can get them to reflect on this in other areas of their lives. I set up some exercises that I tried on them which challenged their beliefs. It has made an impact; however I am governed by the charity and have had to tread very carefully in how far I challenge them.
As part of research for the drawing exercises I read a book called Drawing on the right side of your Brain. This was to be a defining moment in my journey, because it clarified so much
From my discoveries at Headway I applied for and won funding for a new art project from the Create It award scheme from the Millennium fund. My vision was to run a new art group for younger onset Parkinsonians and their carers. My reason to work with people stamped with the same label is obvious, but I have realized just how much carers are taken for granted. Regardless of how patients react to their illness, carers in many cases live with the conditions more. They have not asked for this situation any more than the patient, but their life has been disrupted as well. They are expected to accept the extra understanding and responsibilities caring brings, whilst trying to cope with the enforced changes in their own life, and the uncertainty the future holds. They can feel trapped, alone, abandoned, with no voice, quite often unaware or too proud, to ask for the support and resources that they deserve, and may desperately need.
The sessions are weekly, and are especially for people who think that they can't draw or paint. It is my experience that at many Arts for beginners courses the teachers assume that you have some basic knowledge which can also be very daunting for the novice. So my course is structured to give some basic drawing and painting techniques and practices in a new and innovative way. The exercises are designed to make them look at things in a different light, and give people the confidence and toolkit to express themselves fully.
I combined these techniques, with some sample sessions of different relaxation techniques, given by qualified practitioners, to open their eyes to the positive actions we can all take to enhance our lives. It is my belief that by creating this positive environment, that they will start to realize their own potential.
The group is still running despite the fact that the funding has now finished. Actually it is increasing in size, as we also have several people with MS attending each week.
I have also attended Learn Direct to brush up on my computer skill by attaining the ECDL qualification.
I have volunteered at the local Adult Education Centre to help special needs students to assist them with their studies. I have enrolled and passed a C & G Teacher Training Examination so that I am able to teach adults in the future.
In the summer of 2006 I read an article in the Times about laughter therapy, and the positive effects of the physical act of laughing can have on our bodies. I went along to an evening session being held in central London, and was amazed at the transformation laughter made to a group of twelve complete strangers who were willing to take part. At the start of the session it was noticable how difficult it was for some of us laughter virgins to make eye contact during some of the exercises. By the end of the session it was as if we had known one another all our lives. I was so blown away by the session that I booked myself on to facilitators course so that I could share this discovery with others. Laughter is serious stuff !
I am now taking both my Drawing exercises and the Laughter sessions to Parkinsons support groups and carers groups, and any other groups that may benefit.
In 2009 I was invited to the Young Parkinsons Network AGM of the UK, where I took a 15 minute Laughter Icebreaker for 150 delegates at the Gala Dinner. On the back of that I was invited to The Parkinsons Disease Societys AGM 2009 to give four x 45 minute Stress Busting laughter sessions, with a maximum of 30 people in each. All of the sessions were filled and I was amazed by the response afterwards.So many people wanted to find out more, and for different reasons.
Stress Busting, 'Speech Therapy, Singing Groups and Exercise Routines. A couple of General Practitioner thanked me, because they had learnt so much about releasing emotional baggage.
Finally I received this email after the AGM.
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: PDS AGM BOB Laughter
I am sure that many like me will thank you for these notes etc and thank you for the fun fun session we had at PDS AGM. I am very glad I did not miss it. I don't have a date to try this material yet, except on the grandchildren when we go to see them regularly. They will love it. At another level, I have been thinking about using your session with groups of pwp.
Like all good memories just thinking about your session has me smiling and I hope to see you again and repeat the session - have you thought about doing it at the World Parkinsons Congress next year? Yes your presentation is a world class event, With love
Charles of the Double Doubles(Charles Holme is the chairman of SPRING)
Learning from my own experiences, I feel that the first thing people want to do when they encounter disease is to put a name on it. However what do you do when you have been labeled, deny it, give in to it, or fight it? The situation is not helped by the fact that friends and family often do not know how to deal with it. Often peoples perception of anybody with a serious illness or disability is that he or she has lost something, and frequently they do not know how to communicate because of preconceived notions that they are abnormal.
It is my belief that there is another option; embrace it because it is born of me, and to find the answers that lie within me. Every one of us is unique and our illnesses are individual to us. People whom lose something, if they are empowered to take the positives from their Wake Up call may realize what gifts they have, & achieve greatness. They no longer want to be normal & moan over what they dont have. Normal means average, routine, standard, ordinary. This is potentially a defining moment in their lives, if they really want to go for it! Their chance to be EXTRAordinary.
I find it interesting that even when I have met or listened to other people who have made positive steps in their lives after being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease I have yet to meet anyone who has even contemplated the possibility of being able to find their own method of recovery. As positive as they are in the changes they have made they are coping with, suffering, in spite of, this evil
Under the guidance of my Neurologist I had been attempting to introduce an additional medication into my regime, but my body was reacting against it. On the Saturday of this challenging week I stopped the additional medication, and in the afternoon I was able to go out with some friends who were going to play golf. I did not play. I was just happy to be out in the fresh air. On their way round the golf course they moaned about everything, the grass, the people in front, the people behind, the weather, the Government, the Country You name it they moaned about it! I thought they just dont know Everything they have, and they dont appear to be grateful for anything, and they feel sorry for me because they believe I have lost something ! I suddenly realized just how blessed I am. Waves of gratitude washed over me for all the wonderful things that touch my life, and the realisation that any or all of them may not be there tomorrow.
They are walking around this golf course called life, and they dont see the beauty of it in this moment, as they are blinkered by the past or they are projecting forwards what they perceive what the future holds.
I am just grateful to present
In the words of Seneca
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow a mystery
This moment is a gift
Thats why its called
I have not lost sight of the fact that although I have made many positive strides since my diagnosis, I am not reliant on this dis-ease to live my life to its fullest. I am potentially sitting on a time bomb and the clock may be ticking. I do not know all my answers yet, but I will continue my search. However I do have a desire to improve the lives of others in many ways & empower anybody who is open to improving their own life, either by giving or receiving.
The experience I encountered with that telephone conversation may have awakened me, but for many vulnerable people this could cause untold damage. We can all learn positively from any situation, if we choose to. That is the gift I took from the incident.
You may have heard that tale before, because I mentioned this, when I am interviewed on the Being There DVD produced by The Parkinsons Disease Society in 2007. Yes I am the second case study, the one who makes everyone shed a tear.
There are I dare say many people would regard me as being in denial because of my views. I believe that the boot is on the other foot, in that it is really them who are in denial.
I will leave you with this thought.
In May 1954 just before my birth an athlete named Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. Reports of his astonishing feat immediately flashed around the world. For at least one hundred years prior to this runners had tried unsuccessfully to achieve a sub 4 minute mile. Eminent doctors and scientists said it could never be done as the human heart would literally burst and that muscles and bones would be ripped apart by the stress of such effort. Why did Roger Bannister achieve the impossible? Why did he succeed where so many others had failed? His answer was simple. He chose to set aside the global belief that it was not possible, and believed in his goal that he would do it. It is even more interesting to look at what happened after Bannister set his record. Within the next 12 months 37 other athletes had broken the 4 minute mark, and in the next three years another 300 runners also achieved it. How could this be?
Any of those 37 runners were just as capable as Bannister of earning a place in the record books, but they were constrained by their own beliefs in a way that Bannister was not. How many of them had passed up their chance by yielding to a limiting belief that its not their day or maybe that it is too dangerous or its not possible.
The global consciousness of Parkinsons is that there is no cure, (not even a yet) It appears to me that every article on Parkinsons that I read, always ends on this with the same statement.
So. My question is this. Who is really in denial here?
Its just a thought but then everything starts with a thought
In All Love