For four days, I’ll be immersed in all things Parkinson’s at the World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow. Thousands of patients, caretakers, researchers, health care professionals, pharmaceutical reps, will converge on this Scottish city to focus on this degenerative neurological disorder. And I’m okay with that.
Typically, I would resist such an event as I would retract from a serving of Lima beans. Good for me, but hard to swallow. This state of mind of openly listening to, absorbing, witnessing the numerous, nasty effects of this disease has more to do with all that will be around me rather than what’s being served up:
- I’ve never been to Scotland. I intend to enjoy a few days at the front end of the conference simply being a tourist rather than being someone with PD.
- In addition to the plethora of medical presentations from around the world, there are a number to choose from on non-medical subjects. While I want to keep abreast of the latest drugs and research findings, the sessions on dance, art therapy, exercise and diet are what truly catch my interest.
- Hopefully, the Poster Session on “Yoga Teacher Training for Students with PD” will equally catch the interest of others, since I’ll be one of the three presenters for that exhibit!
- There will be a number of people — friends and acquaintances — to catch up with and simply enjoy their company and a good conversation.
- I have the opportunity to view the PDF Quilt, to which my dear friend, Andrea, contributed a square. Click here to see Block 22.
- I have the honor of speaking at the PD Association of Ireland afterwards in Dublin.
- Maybe I’ll learn something that will help not only me in my day-to-day life. Perhaps what I learn, I can share and positively affect someone else’s day-to-day life with PD.
I’m okay with being surrounded by so many lives affected by PD because so many of these lives are living, not just living with the disease but truly living.
There will be people dancing, creating art, touring Scotland, enjoying friendships. While living with PD, the Congress seems to be an encouraging place where we’re making room to simply live.