My Father had Huntington’s disease. He fought the disease for over 42 years. The last 16 to 17 years of his life he was told he would not stand up within three months and be a vegetable within the year. There was no way around it. The brain was shrinking and fast. There was nothing you could do to stop it. He was walking small steps and to the side, was talking one word sentences, and shaking liked crazy. He shook so much when we bought a new box spring and mattress for his bed that had a fifth teen year warranty. They had to replace it a year and a half later. My Father was about to accept the fact he would became a vegetable. His Mother had the disease and had care for 20 years ten of those years she was a vegetable.
I would not let him give up. I saw light and people thought I just wasn’t going to accept reality. I said Dad you always told my brother, sister, and I when we were children you were the greatest. Every boxer that gets on TV says he is the greatest but has to get into the ring to prove it. You say you’re the greatest we are going to walk, talk, use our hands, and we are going to prove it. We have a goal; we are going to prove them wrong. Anyone who says you can’t do it, we are going to do it to prove them wrong. We have nothing to lose by trying ,only to gain.
So I told him our first goal was going to be the hardest of all. Each goal after that will become easier because the goal we achieve will help us accomplish the next goal. So we walk half our block which took thirty five to forty minutes. But he did it. I told him practice makes perfect. As we were walking I asked him, what are we going to talk about? He said nothing. So I said ok let’s talk about nothing. If you not going to talk let’s sing. He laughed because a singer he was not even with a voice. So then he tried to talk. When we walked and talked around the block I held his hand loosely to let him know we were doing it together. Then I said we are going to use his hands and use those hands with all his shakes. He started drying dishes.
I am a self-employed landscaper and I took him to work with me. I gave him things to remember. He started reminding me both long and short term. Then he started giving me orders. When that happen he started talking full sentences oppose to one word sentences. Then he was coming up with ideas on the job. They were good ideas. He should not have been able to reason with the disease and he started reasoning very well. He started building self-confidence. He felt needed. Everyone needs to feel needed and was proud of what he was accomplishing. Every night after we ate dinner we walked half our block and talk.
Six months later. He asked to go to London England. There wasn’t one person other than he and I that said it could be done. The doctors said to me that my Father and I were dreamers. How is he going to get around when he is walking small steps, he isn’t eating and drinking enough. He is on appetite medicine and is dehydrated. How is he going to manage the plane ride? I said Dad if we go to London we are not handicap we are normal. We are going to walk, take the bus, the underground, and whatever other train. We are going to eat and drink more. As we discuss from day one we have a goal we are going to prove them wrong aren’t we? He was hurt he was put down before he even got there. I said Dad let then be concern but we have nothing to be concern about because we set our goal to prove them wrong. Right? He said OK and that ease his mind.
So we went to London before he left he knew what he wanted to see and do. He had to be at a certain place at a certain time. Why my parents went over for three days before I got there to get over the jet lag. When I got there I said OK Dad you know what we discuss. Now lets do it He was trying to keep up with the pedestrians which were walking fast. Each day he started walking a little straighter and a little faster. He had to catch one train to another to be on time. He did it. He started eating and drinking a lot more. He accomplished what he wanted to see and do. Twelve days later when he got home that 35 to 40 minute walk half our block took him before he left took him 12 minutes when he got home. No one recognize him at first. The friends, neighbors, and doctors all asked What in the world did you do? How did you do this? We put our mind to doing it. We had a goal to prove anyone who said we could not do it wrong and that we did. Mind over matter will there is a way.
When he went back to work with me since he was walking much better he started doing physical as well as mental work with me on the job. In two years he had arms like a major league baseball player, all the mussels back in his legs, a pot belly, full neck, losing all his shakes, eating and drinking very well. I was able to take away his appetite medicine when he got home from London and within two years was able to reduce his medicine for his shakes because staying so active he lost all his shakes. He went to work with me and did things for himself for twelve more years. The numbers of people that even were complete strangers were watching him with disbelief.
For 4 more years he ended up in a nursing home. His leg lock and he then could not walk. He did things in the nursing home no one could believe what they were watching. Some nurses burst into tears it was so powerful. They ask how is he doing this. We put our mind to it.
Ten years after I did this they said I repaired his brain. They learned that if you work the brain hard enough the brain has a way of repairing itself.
The mind is a powerful tool. More than you can image.