Reflecting(sleep, mental health and eyes)

Just thinking about my last week and the last two posts  I made about sleep and about mental health.One thing does strike me from what others have said to me.(mainly said personally not been put online). We often don’t follow basic adviice. Sleep for example we need to get the best sleep we can but because basic sleep hygiene doesn’t fix the issue we give up on the advice and say it doesn’t work.

The basic sleep hygiene advice doesn’t “fix” my sleep issues but if I keep a diary then everytime I follow basic advice it improves. So I reccommend for anyone in doubt try the advice available to us. A link to Parkinsons Uk website is below

Please have a look at the advice they give and try it. If you doubt its impact keep a diary but give it a chance, as couple of days is not enough to change ingrained habits. Discuss any results with a medical professional ie Parkinson’s Nurse or GP if you still have issues. This may not be an answer to everyone but it will help most.

Last Sunday I awoke to a very irritated and sore left eye. It became more irritated as the day went on with the bright sunshine making it worse. By afternoon my eye had startedto flood with tears  at regular intervals. I had to drive home on a 15 minute drive but after 500yards sat waiting for 20 minutes for my eye to calm down. I stopped driving for the next few days.

The irritation in my eye affected my sleep and arrived at work more tired than usual on Monday morning with an eye flooding with tears after no more than a few minutes using the computer. My productivity at work was negligible and I went to the opticians who referred me to the local hospital eye unit. On Wednesday at the hospital I was given eye drops and now (Saturday)  my eye is feeling almost normal although I still have drops to use.

However the effect on my life this week has been huge. I am single and have a daughter staying with me for half the week. I work  full time,. I have two older in the area who sometimes need support. Not being able to drive removes travel to work arrangements as well as casting uncertainty on how I carry out my family role. I have problems with how to get to appointments. Eyedrops was also a challenge. Two sets of eyedrops one three times a day and the other every two hours  so about 11 times a day. I am extremely sensitive about my eyes .

So several problems and here is the link to mental health week. I needed help but asking is so difficult. Nowadays being single I have no immediate help. I need help more regularly than previously (ie when I have car trouble) and everyone has busy lives.  When your life is a challenge then extra challenges can be too much.

So a big thank you to my separated wife Liz not only for flexibility with who was transporting our daughter but for lifts to work (she is also a colleague) but also for taking a morning off to take me to the hospital eye unit. She made my week possible.

Eyedrops another problem. Could I put them in successfully? I didn’t know how I would manage as I always have been oversensitive about my eyes. Shaky hand and ee that wanted to close but with the regularity of drops needed it wasn’t possible to get someone else to do it.  So I manage but sometimes there is a bit of wastage when I miss. I asked the Dr for any tips on avoiding a repeat occurrence and he advised just wiping any dry skin buiding up around the lids with a wet flannel twice a day.

Thinking about the future, transport could be a problem any time and it is best to be prepared. So I intend to make sure I am aware of available public transport as well as making sure friends realise how much help they give. Having a plan B helps and takes some anxiety out of life,

Next blog The last encore of the spice pets













Mental Health Awareness Week

Here in the UK the past week has been Mental Health Awareness Week and I would like to reflect on a couple of things that caught my attention.

The first thing is to be prepard to show your vulnerability. Many of us hold things back not allowing others to see how difficult our lives are. Sharing our problems often allows others to see our human side. It rarely diminishes us in their eyes but takes away the burden to be strong all the time. It can open up a network of compassion.Showing your own vulnerability can allow others to share their own.

Linked to this we should remember that we are a social animal(or perhaps a social animal in waiting if a teenager). Our wellbeing is often linked to how well our relationships are working. This is not just relationships with partners but friends and colleagues. These are so important to us. Not only do they help improve our well being  but also may assist our physical as well as mental health.

There is a cause and effect between relationships and mental health that goes both ways . When one is depleted the other suffers and  struggling in a relationship this can make our mental health worse, and when our mental health declines we can find ourselves struggling in relationships. We need to break this cycle

An individual who is depressed is likely to become very introspective and self-focused. Contact with normal social networks at home and work starts to decline. At first it is the peripheral relationships that suffer but before long this starts to have an impact on central core relationships, with close friends and family. A depressed person finds it hard to make space in their life for friends and it can be hard for friends to find a way in. Low mental health doesn’t just impact the individual but also on the entire social group within which they operate.

Problems in a relationship can severely deplete mental wellbeing. Most of us assume things will just get better and often it does. It is important to stay mindful of how your personal psychological wellbeing is being affected and to seek help if things are not resolving fairly quickly.

One of the key ways we can look to lessen the effects of pressure and low mood is to seek out relationships to nourish the networks that we already have. It is important at times of strain to make time and space for yourslf and social network.  Reaching out to people just to keep your social network alive is an important part of maintaining your own wellbeing and making tough times easier to handle. Making a point of emailing someone you have a light-touch relationship with can help that relationship flourish, for example, by deciding to share more about yourself. We seem to have come full circle. There is rarely one answer to mental health issues everything is interlinked.

Another area to look at is the relationship with ptets and I will be posting about that within the next ten days. There will also be a follow upomn the sleep blog as well.

So bye for now but any comments please post them here.



Sleeping for Health and Serenity

One thing I have noticed is that for many of us sleeping is our biggest issue. It is a complex issue and problems can be caused by Parkinson’s. the medication or by factors that could affect any. Tiredness is curently the biggest threat to my wellbeing. It makes work harder and in fact everything harder

So I want us to band together and share our experiences so we can learn from them. The good, the bad and the ugly. I must ask one thing please post a comments on here. I need to keep them together. Anything you wish to share please share it here.  Contributions requested from partners as well as those of us with Parkinson’s.

Something we all know cheese is a bad thing to eat late in the evening.- it cotains amino acids that can keep you awake and is very hard on your digestion.

Something you may not know- Lettuce contains the natural sedative lactucarium which encourages deeper sleep.You can also heat crisp lettuce in stir fries.

So please help me help all of us share your stories and successes.

Thank you.




Walking to Wellbeing

Walking is good for you. It is official because I said so. Being a bit more serious now, walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to incorporate in your daily routine. There are several health benefits improved mood, weight loss, improved stamina. As well as the physical there are also mental health benefits. Helping to improve self esteem, ward off anxiety and even combat mild depression. World Health Organisation advises walking 10,000 steps a day can significantly improve your health.


While I was spending the afternoon with family at a small Cornish town of Lostwithiel. I wandered off for a while with my camera and found a nice quiet path alongside the local river.I often take my camera just snapping away but today was a special day as later on in my blog I will show photographic evidence to prove Lostwithiel does have “hotbottomed women”

I set off walking down the road and tried to take some photo of small buds, leaves and flowers in closeup mode. My theory that perhaps my tremor and the oscilations of the plants in the wind might cancel eat other out proving forlorn.



I walked along the path and passed a woman with a dog walking the opposite way. The dog was wet from swimming in the river but was obviously enjoying the walk. Then I noticed my evidence so I took a photo.



Conclusive proof there are  either hot bottomed women there or vandels. I know which one I believe but it does supply a clear warning of the damage that can occur if you ignite your farts whilst sitting on something wooden. I continued down the path and found a style and unfortunately whilst getting my leg over I noticed a no entry sign.



So I turned around and wondered back down the path to the obligatory unexplained copper sculpture looking strangely out of place.



After acouple more photos i wandered back satisfied. Walking had improved my mental and physical wellbeing and as a bonus also exercised my childish sense of humour.