Diagnosis

My video wins popular Competition at University of NSW

I entered a video competition at UNSW School of Population Health and I didn’t win it but they had a popularity competition on facebook and so I announced it on twitter and social media and it won the popular vote.

Thank-you for the votes for the video. Link to video.
https://youtu.be/Tlb3OQxM8bA

I am always trying to get Parkinson’s in the media, get people understanding and potentially inspired to help the community in some way.

20% of Aussies affected by Parkinson’s are under 50 at diagnosis, like me. Parkinson’s is advancing all over the world! It’s prevalence has doubled in the last 25 years and it will double again in the next 20 years unless we act (Dorsey et al, 2018).

I hope young researchers and undergraduates will consider Parkinson’s disease as a research topic. We need to end Parkinson’s Disease – an insidious and disabling global pandemic! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to my blog those who are new. People ask me a lot of questions but these are the ones that come up over and over again so this is a quick blog answering 5 questions.

  1. Were you a gymnast as a kid? Is that why you can do a handstand? I never did gymnastics as a kid but I did do handstands in the playground.
  1. Did your coach come back? (you have to watch Handstand for Parkinson’s to understand this question) My coach did come back after leaving me and it was pretty quick, as soon as I finished editing the video. It was more like a break but it was devastating at the time.
  1. Why did you do gymnastics? I had been watching my twins do gymnastics since they were 4 so the gymnastics facility was a location I knew well and the coach was my girls coach which made it easier for me to ask him to train me as I knew he had an adult class. There are no Parkinson’s disease physiotherapists or exercise classes where I live, so I was pretty desperate to find something to help my body move better. I knew that I needed accountability and a tough coach to push me along.  I didn’t know it was going to work so well at all but retrospectively one sees that balance, coordination and strength are features of gymnastics so it make sense. I do mainly physical preparation rather than tricks and it took 9 months before I tried a handstand.
  1. You must train every day for long periods of time? I started off with 45 minutes, 3 times a week and then I raised it to an hour and eventually 3 times a week, 2 hours a day.  Often I’d do an extra low key session on Saturdays. It is a solid commitment I think it’s doable and worth it.
  1.  Does your coach know anything about Parkinson’s disease? Is he trained? My coach didn’t know much about Parkinson’s disease, so I explained the basics. But he did have a friend who had had the disease and who he told me stories about. I gave him some things to read and he might have investigated further. I’d done a PD warrior Course as a patient in Australia so that gave me some good principles but the coach really did what he usually does with gymnasts making adjustments for sore knees etc and lowered his expectations. He seemed to have a good eye for what needed work.

If you have other questions ask in the comments or on twitter: https://twitter.com/christinejeya

My youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ChristineJeya

Newsletters and their importance – Noticias en Español.

Welcome to my blog those who are new. It is nice to have you journeying with me. I hope you enjoy or learn something here.

This is a newsletter I wrote recently in Spanish. I won’t translate it all but basically I am promoting everything that is happening in Actívate, the Parkinson’s group I created. Well, not much has happened because of Lockdown but nonetheless little things should be celebrated.

I studied community development and one thing you learn is you need to share the successes and promote your group in an ongoing way. It is nice for the participants to get mentioned and of course upcoming events and opportunities for their involvement in research are advertised.

I have included also for the Spanish speakers. If you have questions I can answer them and gradually I will tell these stories too in English.

Joy – A Poem

The raw grief of diagnosis slowly has ebbed away,
but living on, it visits from time to time, but never to stay.
But strangely there is joy that’s hard to explain.
not joy in trouble walking, not joy in aches and pains,
not joy in insomnia, I try not to complain
But there is joy in working hard despite my fears
There is joy in achieving goals though it takes years
There is joy in comforting others and in empathy
There is joy in sense of purpose and pure clarity
There is joy in fighting for others who don’t know how.
There is joy in others helping, I’m not alone now
Today whatever raw emotions catch me unaware,
I know the best is joy and I willingly will share

Nuevo sitio web en español New website in Spanish.

I have created a Spanish website so you’ll find English below the Spanish

¿Por qué este sitio web?

Cuando me diagnosticaron con la enfermedad de Parkinson aquí en Perú hace 6 años, tuve problemas para encontrar expertos en parkinson, información para educarme y encontrar otras personas con quienes poder asociarme, intercanbiar información y así no estar sola.’

Es muy importante no sentirnos aislados, esa es la razón número uno por la que las personas con parkinsons empeoran.

Por eso después de años buscando todo tipo de información, tengo algunos contactos de confianza y quiero compartir con ustedes, tristemente he escuchado historias de gente que se aprovechan de las personas con parkinson, ofreciendo tratamientos que realmente no sirven y muy por el contrario solo los empeoran.

Por eso las recomendaciones aquí tienen que venir de personas de confianza. Es importante resaltar que está página no tiene fines comerciales, no vendemos productos. Lo que buscamos es promover un espacio donde podamos compartir información útil, y de confianza para todos los pacientes y familiares con Parkinson, un espacio para no sentirnos solos.

Los Menús son:

Directorio de Parkinson en Perú – Eso sería profesionales de Parkinsons quienes están o estén preparándose para ser especialistas de Parkinson. No solo es doctores – puede ser: Dietéticas, logopeda, fisioteraputa, y asociaciónes de  Parkinson en varios lugares del Perú.

Educarse (sobre el Parkinson) – Vamos a dividir enlaces por tema y también incluir Manuales sobre el Parkinson. Todos los recursos serán en español pero a veces son escritos en otro país por eso tengan esto en cuenta que a veces los sistemas de salud son diferentes. Tendremos enlaces para profesionales también para ayudarlos a estudiar.

Noticias – Compartiremos fotos e historias de eventos de Parkinsons en Perú o peruanos afuera del país.

Inscribirse– Estamos animando a todos a inscribirse a nuestra web, para escuchar noticias nuevas y futuros eventos.

Gracias por tomar el tiempo para leer y educarse sobre la enfermedad de Parkinson.

Christine Jeyachandran

Why this website?

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease here in Peru 6 years ago, I had trouble finding parkinson’s experts, information to educate myself, and finding other people with whom to associate, exchange information, and to meet with.

It is very important not to feel “isolated”, this can be the number one reason people with parkinsons get worse.

So after years looking for all kinds of information, I have some trustworthy contacts and I want to share with you, sadly I have heard stories of people who take advantage of people with Parkinson’s, offering treatments that really do not work and quite the contrary only the get worse.

So the recommendations here have to come from trusted people. It is important to note that this page is not for commercial purposes, we do not sell products. What we seek is to promote a space where we can share useful and trustworthy information for all Parkinson’s patients and families, a space so that we do not feel alone.

The Menus are:

Parkinson’s Directory in Peru – That would be Parkinsons professionals who are or are preparing to become Parkinson’s specialists. It is not only doctors – it can be: Dietetics, speech therapist, physiotherapist, and Parkinson’s associations in various places in Peru.

Educate Yourself (About Parkinson’s) – Let’s break down links by topic and also include Parkinson’s Manuals. All the resources will be in Spanish but sometimes they are written in another country, so keep this in mind that sometimes the health systems are different. We will have links for professionals also to help them study.

News – We will share photos and stories of Parkinsons events in Peru or Peruvians outside the country.

Register – We are encouraging everyone to register on our website, to hear new news and future events. Thank you for taking the time to read and educate yourself on Parkinson’s disease.

Christine Jeyachandran

Video Launch – “What are the Benefits of Exercise? Parkinson’s secrets for living successfully!

“The Amazing Benefits of Exercise in combating Parkinson’s Disease”. People with Parkinson’s from around the globe unite to share their stories. #parkinsonsawarenessmonth #empoweredbyexercise #Parkinsonssecrets #parkinsonsdisease

Thirteen people with Parkinson’s from all around the world have joined forces to create a video about the benefits of exercise. Each has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological degenerative movement disorder that  affects one’s balance, ability to walk, coordination and range of movement. Each experiences Parkinson’s differently but one thing is quite common – People with Parkinson’s are often apathetic or struggling with motivation because of the shortage of dopamine.  Muscle stiffness can make movement difficult, but fighting this movement disorder requires movement.

These Parkie’s are all passionate about one message. They want to encourage others to exercise to combat Parkinson’s because they’ve benefited dramatically; physically and emotionally. Most have found a sport they love which keeps them motivated and a community that helps motivate them too.  This video comes with a sequel discussing “What keeps you motivated”. 

These empowered people implore you to: 

“Start exercising, any physical activity you enjoy doing. Then do it with determination and intensity”. 

Though the world has stopped for COVID19, Parkinson’s disease never takes a day off and neither should you. Waiting to begin an exercise regimen is not an option. This video inspires and gives hope in a time of crisis.

Australian Christine Jeyachandran initiated this video project because she wanted to encourage others positively and knows what it is like to struggle: 

“I had to overcome apathy, doubts, fatigue, and fear but the benefits have been worth the effort” says Christine. Christine was diagnosed at 37 year of age with Parkinson’s Disease. Her story Handstand for Parkinson’s was selected as a finalist at the World Parkinson’s Congress amateur video competition. She grew in confidence, set new goals and kept training. She made a Before and After video which systematically shows contrasting footage of her balance, coordination, flexibility and sheer strength and it has inspired the Parkinson’s community. 

The power of exercise and targeted physical activity to help people live well with neurological conditions cannot be overemphasized”  stated Professor Meg Morris Parkinson’s exercise expert researcher and Head of Allied Health and Professor of Clinical & Rehabilitation Practice at La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia. 

The Sequel to this video is “What keeps you motivated?” which is an equally necessary topic. Click this Link below:

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Christine Jeyachandran

Parkinson’s is like a rope climb!

Parkinson’s is like a rope climb. You think you can’t do it but you hold on for dear life. But you start to climb, it aches, the rope burns. You keep trying. You learn new techniques. Little by little you move up and feel a sense of achievement. But always leave energy for the descent.

New treatment developments for Parkinson’s Disease

Many ask me questions about the new developments that are coming out to treat parkinson’s disease. While I know a lot sometimes I find it hard to explain so here is a great video from Dr Simon Lewis, from University of Sydney, who I met at the World Parkinson’s Congress. He explains everything you might need to know but it is 45 minutes long because it isn’t a simple question to answer.

I think it is worthwhile watching if you make the time. Please share with others and give it a like.

World Parkinson’s Congress 2019 Kyoto JAPAN

The World Parkinson’s Congress in Japan was amazing and life changing. Researcher from around the world joined with patients and carers to hear and share about the latest scientific developments and support each other in this journey called Parkinson’s disease.

A reception for Australian’s got me started on networking. There were hundreds of Aussies and over 60 countries represented. I was the only one from Peru.

I heard talks about advocacy, diet, the best exercise, depression/ apathy and anxiety and coping with early onset Parkinson’s with family/work. Some scientific talks that went over my head and others I’m reviewing at home to remember. I did yoga, a dance class and tango which was so empowering.

I met people from all around the world and I especially tried to connect with Latinos and Spanish people and encouraged people to come visit us in Peru and maybe volunteer there.
I told everyone about how tough it is for sufferers in PERU but was so excited to hear next time it will be in Barcelona so that means Peruvians can attend as the conference will be translated into Spanish as well.
My video did not win – but thanks again to everyone who voted nonetheless. The winning video was professional, one of four entries by the same person and about a legendary campaigner/PWP in the Parkinson’s world who had passed away suddenly. A worthy winner indeed.
It was amazing to see how different the symptoms were around us and that there must have been over 200 people under 55 with Parkinson’s at the conference. Over 2000 people attended from 60 countries.
I loved it so much that I can’t wait for World Parkinson’s Congress in 2022. #WPC2022

Knowing Spanish, I hope I might help in some way with organisation as it is run by a small NGO and as you can imagine it is a mammoth undertaking and they need volunteers to help run it. Maybe you could come and volunteer too.  

Saddened by Parkinson’s stories in Peru

Everyone is asking: Yes I am back at the gym training with my coach, trying crazy things. M y daughter, Amelia, has pointed out I am doing this wrong and how to fix it.
Little by little.

Thanks everyone for sharing and donating to the page: https://www.gofundme.com/hand-stand-for-parkinson-disease

Anything in addition to the target goes towards an educational campaign for patients, families and interested health professionals. Today I met with a Parkinson’s sufferer who has lost faith in doctores, who don’t give patients enough time to educate them properly, explain repercussions of drugs (like laxatives) nor the importance of nutrition, exercise, exercises for the voice, self care and the prevalence of depression and how to confront the disease. Looking back maybe I got more time, being the gringa because I was firing question after question despite noticing the doctores desire to say “next” written all over his/her face. But even then the responses were simple ” yes physiotherapy could help”. I am working one on one to educate but more is needed. I know I have been an encouragement but thinking of a team of people educated in Parkinson’s to deal with this nasty disease properly. People able to model love and kindness and willing to go to the regional centres too.