I learned through the advocate given to me by Partners In Parkinsons, Maggie Barnett, how important exercise is in delaying the progression of Parkinson's Disease in the brain. She strongly recommended that I research the LSVT Therapy (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) BIG Program and find a PT clinician in my area now while I'm still in the "early to mid" stage of the disease. She advised me that the program - developed in 1987 - has a proven track record of helping to retard PD and as a bonus I can put the techniques I learn in my "toolbox" to use for the rest of my life.
I did my homework online and with my insurance company. Online there are incredible videos on You Tube of before and after program results. I was stunned. Older patients barely walking nto the clinic practically jog out 4 weeks later (the length of the program). How could that be? I called my insurance company and found out they cover 100%. I'm in!!!
Through the LSVT Global website I found a few program certified PTs in my area and settled on HealthSouth Rehab. There I met Erica Leiva, my amazing PT friend. For 4 weeks she tested me, put me through my exercises, challenged me to balancing acts NORMAL people can't do(!), and made me smile every morning for 4 weeks. She improved my balance by a good 50% and counting. I made her stretch and learn to count to 10 while gabbing the whole time. (Was that 10 or 15? Who cares 😄). We had fun and I stopped being dizzy when I sat up in the morning; I can close my eyes in the shower without falling over; and I annoyingly test all my friends and family to make sure they improve their balance into old age. Erica has made me a crazed advocate for the LSVT Program. And I highly recommend it to any and all PD patients. Trust me, you need this program just to affirm you're not crazy. It really is your brain playing tricks. But you can fight back and reverse the effects. It really works. Thanks Erica.
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"Lisa Chalker is One Face of Early Onset Parkinson's Disease. Come along on her journey from symptoms to diagnosis; through treatments and therapies. There are highs and lows, miracles and heart notes, and the determination to never, ever, ever, ever give up on the power of HOPE."