April marks Parkinson’s Awareness Month and as I move through speaking engagements and presentations, Sir Thomas and I advocate for each other.
April 7: Sister, Sister!
The Dames with Danes presented the “A, B, Cs of Service Dogs” to a Parkinson’s support group. We talked about A=All the Good, B=Be Sure to Consider such things as cost, commitment, change in lifestyle, C=Caution (which included discussion of vet care, what a 24/7 partnership means, reconsider if you’re more of a cat person). It was a great crowd with many thoughtful questions and respect for the Do Not Pet/Do Not Distract on both Danes’ vests.
Our initial entrance to the building, however, met with quite the opposite awareness of the two dogs at work. The appearance of a pair of giant dogs in harnesses inside a city building (where the support group happened to be meeting) speaks of working dogs. We’d been in the car for 90 minutes and were rather stiff and creaky (and in need of a rest room) when we stepped inside. It seemed evident to any onlooker that the two dames were clearly relying on the service of the aforementioned dogs.
Not so. As Thomas and I shuffled in behind Lynne and Willow, the first sound I heard was that kissey-kissey come-to-me doggie sound. It repeated. I couldn’t see where/who it was coming from though I did hear Lynne say, “No, she’s working.”
More kissey-kissey. Lynne next said, “No, Sister, she’s working.” The source of the distraction started toward me. A nun in full habit reached her be-robed arm out to Tommy with the same kissey-kissey sounds. I thought, “Hey, Sister,” said, “No, Sister,” and swallowed the urge to continue in song, “No, Sister, Hey, Sister. Go, Sister.” Seriously.
April 7: Tune In
ECare, a resource for caregivers, interviewed me on their radio program about the benefits of yoga for Parkinson’s. You can hear it here: http://www.ecarediary.com/CommentRadioShow.aspx?id=264 Tommy spent the interview in relaxation pose.
April 11: Not Your Average Old Person
I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at Frog Pond Yoga Studio with teachers-in-training. I presented on and demonstrated the who, what, where, why and how to work with people with Parkinson’s, many of whom are in their 40s and 50s. It was delightful to be there and share the unique approach of yoga to benefit those living with a movement disorder. Thomas enjoyed a few downward dogs as well.
Meanwhile: Yards toward a Cure
A person in the U.S. is diagnosed with Parkinson’s every 9 minutes. The disease affects 1 million in the U.S. alone. Medicatin costs average $2,500 per person annually. The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) has invested $86 million since 1961 (the year I was born) to fight Parkinson’s. While we may be miles from a cure, I’m hoping to get a few yards closer by proposing donating yard sale proceeds during April to the APDA. I am.
April 26: Yard Sale!
Local friends: Please stop by! Please let me know if you’d like to donate any items to the Yard Sale.