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Friday, July 27, 2018

My Recent Findings and a Move.

I wanted to give a quick update on my last post. Yes, I've definitively noticed a difference on my symptoms as per the plant-based diet. How, you may ask?

Simply, I've cheated on occasion, as I indicated in my original statement I would. That is, on special occasions, I would eat meat and the like. I recently had one such special occasion, my birthday! July 16th is my birthday, and we celebrated by going to Chili's. I had one of my favorites, baby back ribs.

The following days, I could tell a difference. My right hand can have breakthrough tremors on occasion. I had noticed previously that I could hold  a pencil or whatever in my right hand without any tremors, which is a new progress. Until I went on plant-based eating, I couldn't do that without some tremors breaking through the DBS. But the more I've been on a plant-based diet, the better I'm able to keep that hand from trembling when I'm holding something.

But after the Chili's feast, my right hand would tremor if I held anything. The worst is when I attempt to hold a cup of liquid. It will get sloshed out and create a mess in fairly short order.

So yeah, I'm going to stick to a plant-based diet for the foreseeable future. All the scientific evidence to avoid all diseases like heart and cancer are to do a plant-based diet. Having Parkinson's is enough. I don't need heart disease and cancer to be added to the mix of stuff I and my wife need to deal with.

So I've finally found the diet that will help with my symptoms. Yay!

I recently met with my Movement Disorder Specialist. We discussed a few things, but overall I'm doing great with my DBS. Still no medications required. I feel blessed to have this procedure and am glad every day that I have near zero symptoms and can do the things i used to do, like write. Which I've been doing quite a bit of lately, save for the last couple of weeks. Which leads me to the next thing I need to talk about.

I wanted to let you know why it may be a while before I can get another update out. We are moving! To Denver, CO area, no less. What has prompted this move?

I'll be honest. It wasn't because I wanted to move. I've come along somewhat reluctantly, especially at first. That is mainly for two reasons. One, it is obviously much colder there for much longer than it is here in Central Texas. While I've lived in colder climates before, I didn't necessarily enjoy it. There are, if I'm being honest, some things I enjoy about snow and cold. But overall, if I had to chose, I'd take the heat of Texas over the cold of Colorado any day.

Yep, that's even including the high temps here of late being around 109 degrees. I was much more miserable this past Christmas running around in the teens of Colorado than I was in the 109 heat of Texas.

Now, if I hadn't had DBS, this would be a no-brainer. Cold weather makes my tremors go crazy. While I was cold this past Christmas, I didn't have the same problems that I'd had before when my symptoms. So I know that for the time being, the "cold doesn't bother me anyway," at least as far as my tremors go. Still, that means at some point when the DBS is no longer effective at keeping my symptoms at bay, it will mean moving back to a warmer climate if I'm to be reasonably comfortable. I'm willing to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Two, financially, I feel we are doing better now than in times past. In large part to my being able to do window work. I've done well enough to catch up on my mortgage payments while also paying off a debt I owe. I have a couple of houses scheduled next couple of weeks that will amount to around 1000 dollars. That's on top of what my wife makes cleaning houses, which also continues to grow. I feel like it is crazy for us to drop all this and start over in a new place. I won't have my wife's clients to get window work from. I'll be starting my window cleaning business from square one in Denver, giving up the good progress I've made in the last 6 months of doing this.

Still, we've worked it out financially. Lenita is going to finally get involved in her passion, which is taking care of kids. To start out, in Colorado, you can legally have 4 kids to watch without a license. She will watch two of our grandkids starting out. This will allow our daughter to get her interior design career started. She figured she could afford paying for an apartment for us easier than to put her two kids in daycare. So once she has a job, she'll be able to pay for us to have a place to stay. That means she can watch two other kids for around 1000 each a month. Along with my disability payment that will result in a little over 3000 dollars we will have at a minimum. I've calculated that the bills we'll have there will barely fit into that income. As I work on getting my window cleaning business going in Denver, that will be gravy on the top to give us some extra spending money.

I know there are some questions left in the above picture. Like, what happens if my daughter doesn't get a job very quickly. We'll be staying with them initially, until that happens. There are considerations to take into account if that gets extended too long, And a lot is riding on whether Lenita can get another couple of kids to watch and how quickly that will happen. Otherwise, we could end up figuring out how to live on my 1200 a month disability payment. Also a lot depends on how quickly I can get window jobs to increase our income.

So we've worked out the financial side of it, though it all depends upon how quickly my daughter can get a job, how quickly my wife can get a couple of extra kids to watch, and how quickly my window cleaning business takes off there. Still, it seems a bit crazy for us to dump what we've worked so hard for, right when we'd be making the extra money we'd need to be more financially secure.

But if there is one thing I've learned, is that a happy wife can lead to a happy life. And my poor wife cannot continue to do the housecleaning work she's been doing for these past 18 years. She generally cleans around 3 to 7 houses a day. Yes, she doesn't do them all herself, but that is where our company has grown to, and she is doing the bulk of the houses herself, putting in long, hard and grueling 8 hour-plus days, cleaning 3 to 4 houses a day herself along with her crew. She frequently takes pain medication just to survive the day. She can't keep that up forever.

So, I want her to retire from her cleaning business, and this seems the best prospect for doing that. She wants to start her own daycare in Colorado. More power to her!  It is for this reason, and yes, we'll be closer to our grandchildren and she'll see them nearly every day, that we decided to do this. We pray it will all work out financially. We are trusting God to help us.

But there are some positive feelings I have about this venture. One, I've always wanted to live in Colorado at some point. Mainly, "Mountains, Gandlolf!" I loved the time I was in Colorado Springs at a mountain retreat, and climbed a couple of mountains. One I climbed around 5 am, to watch the sun rise over the range as I sang hymns to God. That was a very impressive experience in my life. I've been drawn to the mountains ever since.

Two, there appears to be a vibrant Parkinson's community. The University of Colorado has the biggest DBS centers in the country. There will be plenty of support and help there from knowledgeable people.

Three, one of the reasons my daughter and son-in-law moved there was because it was listed as one of the best states for autism support. Being their older son has autism, that was a big draw for them. Likewise for us.  While Texas isn't ranked as one of the worst, it is far from the best. Our oldest son, Nathaniel, has autism as well. We are hoping where the resources haven't been adequate in helping him become independent, Colorado will help. It certainly seems to have more resources there for him.

So for the above reasons, I'm willing to live with some financial uncertainty and the cold weather. It will be for us another venture in which we trust God to make a way for us. It will certainly be an adventure.

However, what this means for this blog is that it may be a while before I post another update. Depends on a lot of factors as to when that happens. Our current plan is if the house sells quickly (a lot depends on that) then we'll leave sometime between 9/15 and 10/1. Otherwise, I'll post new information when I have new information to post and when I have the time to do so.

Until then, pray for us if your the praying type. If your not, then whatever well-wishing you want to send our way will be appreciated. I thank each one of you for your support.

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