My amazing friend Colleen, whom I have known since we were ten years old, has early-onset Parkinson’s Disease (PD). One of the things that makes her so amazing is her ability to take the negatives, work around them and find some positives. In her case, she fills the gaps left by things she can no longer do, with new things that she can do. Simples! Of course it sounds simple, and of course it isn’t but she works hard at it and not only manages her own illness in this way, but she also shares her inspiration and positivity with others and I am one of the lucky recipients.
Colleen started drumming lessons last year as it is said to develop those parts of the brain which have become dormant and are lacking in stimulation which in turn helps to replace those parts of the brain affected by PD. It seems to be working and Colleen is now an accomplished drummer!
I have been “talking” to Colleen on Facebook this weekand she quickly gathered, quite correctly, that I was struggling. This week hasn’t been great and after a few good weeks, my sleep patterns are again disturbed, I am extremely tired and as a result my brain has become foggy, uncooperative and forgetful. My GP has increased my medication and I can only hope that this helps. I forgot my hair appointment this morning but thankfully my lovely hairdresser Paul made a space for me later in the morning. So, Colleen suggested two potential remedies for these latest setbacks. The first task is to start drumming and the second task was to make a memo board to help me to remember things on a daily basis (I will deal with the memo board in my next post)
Drumming my way out of depression sounds like fun (a good start) and so I duly visited the music shop whilst in town this morning. I now have the name and number of a local drumming teacher. I also viewed some electronic drums. I had visions of having a proper drum set like my brother did when he was younger and keeping everyone awake at night with the incessant thump, thump, thump of the drums and crash of the cymbals every now and again and being stuck out in the garage. Apparently not, apart from a little bit of tapping, all the sound form the electronic drums comes via your headphones 🙂 Now that’s progress.
I’ve done a bit of research about drumming and depression and there is overwhelming evidence that drumming can help to lift mood, adrenalin levels and endorphins. You may say that going for a run, swimming or a game of golf will achieve the same result but as I have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I am looking for ways of making myself and my body work and feel better without the exhausting and debilitating effects of physical exercise.
Drumming could be the answer….I’ll let you know!