October 4, 2016

Balance Dogs and U

Sir Thomas rose from his bed only once in the first forty-eight hours at home after last week’s Parkinson conference. True, Sir T is an excellent sleeper. But there were more than 4,200 attendees from dozens of countries and connections to Parkinson’s and it felt as though each one of them commented, queried, or captured a photo of us. Some twice. Tommy’s eyes weren’t the only ones bloodshot at the end of each day. One afternoon, I started a count. I gave up after the twenty-ninth stopper – not including the  “handsome dog” passer-bys, but actual stop to talk/ask/admire/poise cell phone camera encounters. In the four years we’ve been together, I’ve not been so exhausted. Even the restroom wasn’t safe.  Washing my hands, Tommy doing his such-a-good-boy best to remain in a stand-stay beside me, I watched in the mirror as the crowd gathered. The restroom echo grew louder, spooking […]
September 13, 2016

The WPC: My Big, Fat PD Wedding

I’m packing up a folder full of schedules and notes on all that I plan to partake in at the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) next week. Sir Thomas’s toenails are trimmed (he knows something’s up) and I located and even used the iron before adding a couple of blouses to the suitcase.  I can’t help but feel as though I’m off to attend a giant wedding. Like with a modern event where the bride and groom have shared equally in the planning, patients and practitioners of this event have both contributed to the preparations. And, when guests arrive, we aren’t relegated to sit on one side or another. This multi-day gathering encourages intermingling among all those related to Parkinson’s disease (PD), from individuals living with it to researchers seeking to strike it from our lives. There are speeches, toasts, even dancing, and the fully-stocked program is the buffet table of tasty […]
June 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Sir T

Look who’s turning five. Among the myriad causes for celebration of such a marvelous event lingers one I’d rather see fizzle. No. Die. And quickly. Sir Thomas’s fifth year among us marks three-and-a-half years of partnering with me. In that time, strangers have been taking our picture. That’s 42 months. Make that 182 weeks. Shall I continue? Okay, in days, we’re talking 1,274. Surely, you say, his handsome face isn’t snapped on someone’s cell phone every day? No. There have been, however, numerous days when more than one click of some unknown camera captures our likeness. Therein lies my issue with the puparazzi. First, it is not our ‘likeness’ that is being captured. Second, consider that word capture. Our images adorn the digital photo albums of people’s vacations (tourist camera-at-ready stroll-by shots), individual’s wow-ya collections (the stop-and-comment crowd who must show their neighbor, brother-in-law, dentist’s sister’s uncle) who pull out […]
March 23, 2016

Fear Not

Art? Literature? Travel? All are fine topics to wrap a conversation around. Politics? Not so much, for me. There are times, however, when a discussion must include the very topic that sits in the living room like the proverbial pink elephant. The only way around is through. And my only way through is with the help of my service dog. Climate of Fear Fear factors rise with each news story of the verbal and physical attacks occurring at Trump gatherings. Disagree and you might become disabled. It seems not to matter that rules are broken or laws overstepped. For a wee sense of balance, counter those images with clips of Sanders on stage, arm-in-arm with musicians singing, “This Land Is Your Land.” It makes me wonder if Trump protesters could be so easily tossed out if, linked together at the elbows in a human chain, they held no signs but […]