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James Jarrell Jr

How is everyone today? If you’re like me, shaking, hurting, stiff all over!

When I was in school I was a body builder and a health nut. I took martial arts. I was a woodsman who loved hunting, fishing, trapping and living off of the land. I'm more Apache than Cherokee and German. I drove coal trucks off-road at mine sites until I turned 21. I then began driving commercial trucks to all 48 continental states and Canada. I have been through many blizzards, hurricanes and tornados on the road. That was my previous life.

Today, I have Parkinson’s. After I was diagnosed I couldn’t hide it and had to leave the job I loved. That was eight and a half years ago. My life has since changed. I depend on others now. My Parkinson’s never does what I want it to do, and it prohibits me from what I am used to doing.

I have some tips I’d like to share that have gotten me through:

  • Get outside and enjoy the sunlight
  • Kick a ball like you’re playing soccer
  • Stretch
  • Use a cane to walk, if needed
  • Talk on the phone to friends, family, previous co-workers and church members
  • Eat veggies, especially leafy greens
  • Bounce a tennis ball and pass it from hand to hand
  • Learn sign language
  • Get in a pool
  • Exercise like Tai Chi An ancient Chinese martial art and exercise characterized by gentle, flowing movement couple with breathing. Has been shown to improve symptoms of PD.
  • Play computer games (I stay in trouble with this one!)
  • Most importantly, STAY POSITIVE! Don't give up. Stay away from all negativity. LAUGH! Enjoy life.

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