I know snow. I know that the stinging kind is never good. And while the puffy flakes call out for snowshoes, snowmen and snowball tossing, it piles up. I grew up in Buffalo and spent two decades in New England. I know how to prep and dress for blizzards, play and drive in squalls and clear a path through the aftermath of a Nor’easter. The reason I now live on the other coast derives from knowing snow, from having too much first-hand experience with it. Last week, the flat flakes began floating down from our western skies (“It doesn’t snow here”). It started sticking (“And if it does, it’s no more than a dusting”). Weather reports launched into increasing numbers of inches on the ground and days that schools would remain closed (“If we ever get too much, we wait for it to melt”). Once the sideways snow softened, the […]
I’m baaaaaack. It’s a New Year, the whirlwind transition to a new canine partner is behind in 2018, and I’m out and about with a second service dog by my side (it amazes me I am fortunate enough to be teamed with a second service dog). Yes, I’m back, complete with the stories. Some of them lean toward sweet and I’m back could be heard in the same tone as though coming home after too-long a journey. Other tales make me cringe and I’m back conjures up images and audio of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Among them, of course: the inevitable saddle comments. Regardless, I’m back in the saddle again. So, please come back as I continue to share these stories in order to help, hope, educate, advocate, learn.
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The Wednesday class is back from summer vacation and it’s better than ever. It’s Live! Online! Free! Click here for info. Sponsored by the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation/NWPF. Yoga is good for you. Not only that, it’s fun. It’s also a form of exercise, and exercise is good for you. Especially if you’re living with Parkinson’s. I’ve known it for years. Now studies even say so. Check it out: the Michael J Fox Foundation says so, too. No one should walk their Parkinson’s journey alone. Whether you’re convinced you can’t do yoga or you’re an experienced guru (or anything in-between), if you’re living with PD, yoga can help relieve symptoms. Join this live, online class with viewers from around the globe (including the instructor) who are living with PD. You’re not alone. See you on Wednesdays!
Here are a variety of insights on beginning a meditation practice. I was honored to be among the contributors to this Clever Yoga posting click here to go to post. Please be sure to read through to the end – I’m the last one. Speaking of meditation, it’s been a wild summer, from the wildfires charring my neighbors in British Columbia to all-that-was-normal gone wild here at home. These are the crazed days when there’s no time for yoga. There’s so much to do, to tend to, and only so much “on” time with Parkinson’s. But, the crazed days are when I find I need yoga the most, to re-center, to relieve stress, especially before it triggers more symptoms. While I still dread “off” times, I’m learning to use them to practice some yoga. Rarely have I enjoyed the quiet breath work of pranayama or the immobility associated with meditation when I […]
Sir Thomas greets each morning with a romp and rip through the yard, his tail high and happy. Dinner continues to be met with a lot of wagging. As does breakfast. As does snack time. As does the opening of the plastic container with leftover ham in it. Recently, however, by day’s end, the spring in Tommy’s step has sprung. Late afternoon, he’ll saunter up beside me and I notice that I have to slow my pace to his. It might just be that my mighty boy is telling me he’s getting tired. Perhaps that’s what the ‘tire’ in retirement means. The word conjures up images of golf clubs, very white sneakers and dinner reservations by 5:00 pm. The actual definition is retreat, withdraw, leave service. So, when should a service dog leave service? Google the question and hundreds of varying recommendations appear on screen, none of which derive […]
If you have a service dog and want to continue to have your access rights backed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you’d best phone your Representative in Congress. Today. The ADA grants access to all Americans. Movie theater, bank, café, laundromat: all Americans can enter. The “ADA Education and Reform Act” (H.R. 620) places business interests ahead of all Americans. ‘Reform’ means change toward improvement. The ADA is good, no change needed as it provides equal access. This reform bill, however, is not. It will re-form access requirements. Disabled and can’t get access to a public place? Write a letter of complaint. That’s a change, alright. Don’t let it happen. Please call your rep and ask that this bill be stopped from ever becoming law. Ask that it be stopped from even going to the full House for a vote (the House Judiciary Committee meets Thursday morning). […]
It’s been happening more and more. Just yesterday there were two instances: once at a restaurant, the second at the grocery store. The setting changes, but the scene plays out the same: A small child catches sight of Tommy, glee sweeps him off his tiny feet and propels him toward us. But before those little fingers catch hold of some fur, a parent grabs hold of the situation. How? They don’t grab hold of their kids. They don’t block, tug or scold. I’m seeing more and more young moms and dads pause, wrap an arm around the child, fold down to talk to them at their level, maybe even, for a moment, ooh and ahh at the size of the dog. What I’m hearing more and more of is: “Yes, he is a beautiful dog. But See his vest? He’s working.” “We’re not supposed to pet him. He needs to […]
In the fall, ECare Diary, an online site for caregivers, interviewed me on the role service dogs for people with movement disorders. (Click here for the interview.) Following up, a listener asked what may seem a simple question: What’s involved in taking care of a service dog. The answer, which in some ways is never fully complete because a great deal depends on the dog, was far too involved to answer in a few short sentences. I was invited as a guest blogger to post my answer, and here it is: Taking Care of Each Other .
It can be a tough go living with this ridiculous disease, no doubt about it. Yet, I can look back with gratitude. For when the going got tough, I got going. On vacation. With a bunch of guys. Andy Pre-Parkinson’s vacations with my husband routinely involved bicycles. We strapped on the panniers and rode circuits dotted with B&Bs, each a day’s distance apart. Whether rolling across England or New England, we’d wake to the aroma of bacon and coffee, load up, enjoy the scenery, fresh air and exercise before the next inn. It all added up to: Ride, rest and repeat. Alas, there was a down side: pets couldn’t come along. Oh, and one other: heavy rain. When the dark cloud of a Parkinson’s diagnosis tried to rain on my cycling getaways, Andy, thankfully, was quite flexible. Rather than touring the perimeter, we settled in and, […]