Moments of Victory®–Jaime Robledo Dances, Practices Martial Arts, and Shares His Stories to Live Well with Parkinson’s

29 March 2024

Jaime Robledo is one of our first Hispanic ambassadors. We previously published his Moments of Victory® story on our Spanish-language blog, and wanted to share a translation of it here on our English-language site, too.

If you read Spanish, you might also enjoy reading the Spanish-language version of this content.

JAIME ROBLEDO’S STORY 

WHAT HAS YOUR LIFE BEEN LIKE SINCE YOUR DIAGNOSIS? Jaime with his family, his wife, his son, and his daughter.

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the doctor said, “Don’t worry–you won’t die due to Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have a cure.” This didn’t tell me anything, and at first, I shared my diagnosis only with my closest family and friends. I waited five years to share the news outside of this group because I was afraid for what would happen in my future. In this time, my family and friends’ love helped me manage with the diagnosis.  

I lost my job after 16 years of working for a multinational company and having a good deal of success. After this I applied for other jobs, but the illness made it difficult for me to be competitive for them. Since no one gave me work because of my diagnosis, I started two businesses, but both failed, which left me bankrupt.  

The stress of these things, together with the pandemic, triggered a worsening of my Parkinson’s: I slept only two hours a day, and although I maintained my medication, it only worked for around five total hours each day; the rest of the day was spent in an OFF state. The neurologist who saw me at that time only increased my doses, but this was not very helpful. I was already hitting rock bottom, and the situation was affecting my family. 

WHAT DO YOU DO NOW TO LIVE WELL EVERY DAY?Jaime dancing with a woman on a brown stage

How did I get out of this situation? First, I found some supplements that helped reset my biological system. Once restored a little, I resumed physiotherapy sessions at the Valle del Lili Foundation, I changed my attitude, and came to understand that living well with Parkinson’s is possible with love, patience, perseverance, and exercise.  

I began the practice of Qigong–a martial discipline based on the harmonization of the body and spirit–and through this I have managed to reestablish functions I had lost, including my sense of smell, balance, and some fine motor functions. This practice has also helped me focus my priorities and feel that, if I firmly put my mind to it, I will heal. I am a certified Qigong teacher, and I lead virtual classes for people with Parkinson’s, older adults, and anyone who needs to heal their body and spirit. 

Now, I’m writing a book about my experiences in short stories. I am in the process of revising twelve written stories. I have two stories published in anthologies: Vestiges of Memory and Reminiscences of your Skin. My wife and I also have a business making natural and artisanal jams. Another way my wife and I have grown closer is by dancing tango. And I am a Hispanic Ambassador with the Davis Phinney Foundation! 

I live every day with passion. I push myself to the limit and give my all in everything I do. I do my Qigong routines, attending classes four times a week. My wife and I dance tango from Monday to Friday and sometimes on weekends. I go to my appointments, and I give my advice and perspective to other people with health challenges.  

I also continue to review stories I have written. I work in a business with my wife, I cook and clean for lunch and dinner, and we generally divide the household chores. I’m always active and my wife says it seems like I am never tired. I tell her, “I have to take advantage of good moments, because the OFF time will come.”   

I am always doing something, maybe reading a book, playing Sudoku, or even just watching videos. Sometimes I get together with friends to play pool or chess. I am also starting to practice Kung Fu and taking Italian classes. 

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN TOLD WHEN YOU WERE DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON’S?  

Not what my neurologist said.  

What they should have told me was something like: “This disease is very difficult, but it can be overcome if you take care and receive treatment. Don’t face it alone. Communicate your diagnosis to those around you, explaining what it feels like so that they understand the condition more and can understand you more. Everyone can be a teacher and a student.” 

I would have liked someone to tell me that the first thing I should do is look for what makes me feel good, makes me fall in love, and makes me proud. And if I do this every day, it will give me a lot of peace and lead me on the path to being well. 

WHAT MESSAGES DO YOU WANT TO SHARE ABOUT LIVING WELL WITH PARKINSON’S 

  • Happiness is achieved at every step, not at the end of the road. 
  • Symptoms may come at any time, but they also go away. 
  • Love is the force capable of transforming anything. The love of my wife, my children, as well as that of my therapists, doctors, and friends make my life calmer. 
  • Sharing your story can help others and yourself. When I share my story with other patients, I not only try to help them understand that they can be better if they just decide to try. This also helps me understand what I have done has helped me to be better. 
  • Passion can make your body react and change. What I do, I do with passion. 
  • It is possible to recover somewhat from Parkinson’s, even after 17 years: I have recovered my sense of smell, fine motor movements, and balance. 
  • It is also possible to never tire of dreaming of a better future for those of us who live with Parkinson’s–even when there are difficult days. 

SHARE YOUR VICTORY 

We love to spotlight people from our Parkinson’s community who embody living well today! Like Jaime, your story could be featured so that others can learn from your experiences and victories. Use the link below to share your story with Davis Phinney Foundation staff members for review and consideration.  

Submit Your Victory 

The post Moments of Victory®–Jaime Robledo Dances, Practices Martial Arts, and Shares His Stories to Live Well with Parkinson’s appeared first on Davis Phinney Foundation.

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