October 21, 2009

Riddle Me This

When the photo arrived in my inbox, I clicked on it and thought: The image is like a riddle. What is colorful and varied yet single-minded; laughing yet quite serious; shaking and quivering yet not afraid? The answer smiled back at me in the picture of my fellow graduates of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) Clinical Research Learning Institute. The men and women who came to immerse themselves in all that is PD came from all walks – literally and figuratively – each with our unique gait and each with our story. A dancer, a doctor, a physicist, a pharmacist, an architect, an artist . . . mothers, fathers, grandparents. We came from as far west as California and Washington, and east from Rhode Island and North Carolina. There were southerners from Alabama and Texas and northerners from Massachusetts and New York. Despite our varied backgrounds, we had one focus: […]
April 27, 2011

April Showers

April, even in these last days as we edge toward May,  showers each day with so much. Admittedly, the start of the month held little magic with its umpteenth snowstorm here in New England. Yet, the white clung to the trees just long enough to admire before melting in the promisingly warm sun.  It came as a gift of a reminder that what we dread can hold beauty and that all things change with time. Travel to New York City brought much better weather and an invitation to the annual Team Fox dinner. The evening’s events centered  on thanking Team Fox fundraisers. What a sprinkling of delights! A sense of pride swelled for our efforts — Team Fox’s  New England Parkinson’s Ride raised more than $100,000  for the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2010. We’re dedicated to doing it again in 2011 (I’ll be posting a link to sponsor me and […]
May 11, 2011

Parkinson’s in Translation

In a recent issue of Good Housekeeping, Michael J. Fox answers an interview question about the challenges of living with Parkinson's. He responds that one of the most awkward aspects is that people don't know what to say.Perhaps they don't quite know how to say it.
June 4, 2011

Yoga for Parkinson’s: The Optimistic Warrior

One of three main yogic warriors, Virabhadrasana II holds a special place in the heart of my practice. This pose builds core strength and enhances balance, a benefit to many bodies, especially those with PD, dystonia or recovering from stroke. More powerful, though, than what this pose offers physically is its manifestation of something deeper, something that grows from the heart:  hope. The Pose We begin by pressing down evenly into where we’re grounded on the mat or chair. As the upper body moves into warrior II, one arm stretches back, the other extends in front. An important element of the pose, even when making modifications, is to maintain balance between the opposing reaches. Behind us, our fingertips nearly touch the past, but we don’t tilt into it. At the same time, we’re pointing toward the future, without leaning toward it. Our body remains centered between what was and what […]
August 11, 2011

Parkinson’s Poetry

I am honored that guest blogger Diane Durkee is sharing this: A WALK TO MY GARDEN I see the stairs and I must go down. Where will they take me? What lies ahead? I fear the unknown. What will I find? What will I see? I know I must go down. One step at a time. There is no turning back From this long downward climb. I’ve arrived at the bottom With closed eyes and clasped hands Am I ready to face my challenges? The future – the past – it’s buried in the sands. I feel a touch, a warm loving touch. A soft voice whispers and I hear “Open your eyes go forward and believe. Continue on your path for there is nothing to fear.” I open my eyes and begin to look! There before me are the flowers and birds, butterflies and bees Beauty surrounds me and […]
September 22, 2011

PD Attitude of Gratitude

  My gratitude list continues: Autumn leaves: Especially the feisty ones, rimmed in crimson and yellow but holding onto veins of green.  They display their nature – our nature – to resist change at the same time surrendering to it. NEPD Ride Volunteers: The New England PD Ride in support of the MJF Foundation proved to be a smooth 50 miles for Team Mama. The route was lined with good cheer, good food, great attitudes. The teams of volunteers providing much heart and help to the Team Fox riders and were probably responsible for the pristine weather. All in all, a delightful day of riding for a cure. Thank you. Elementary School Friends: As my son begins fourth grade, I recall a few friendships solidifying when I walked the halls of St. Christopher’s. I have the priveledge of gathering with two of the dearest of those friends for a whole […]
March 7, 2013

When I Grow Up

As a kid, whenever an adult asked me what I wanted to be, I answered – much to my mother’s dismay – A jockey. I, with Secretariat’s victories taped to every inch of my bedroom walls, envisioned my future filled with checkered silk jerseys atop a thoroughbred. My mother, an avid reader, had a more literary career in mind for me, snug in a button-down sweater surrounded by books. Neither of us would have pictured the grown-up me in leggings on a yoga mat. Could they be any more different: racetrack, library, studio?  Plot them out and they’d be separate points on a triangle, equally distant from each other in every way. There are, however, similarities: None are get-rich-quick life choices. Each means no need for expensive suits or uncomfortable shoes. All can be done during regular hours without ever having to be on call. The three derive from one common […]
September 30, 2013

MJFox Show Post-Miere Hit

Thanks to all for the fun and support at the MJFox Post-miere party! Though we gathered two days following the airing of the new TV series, the Saturday afternoon time made it easier for people to come and celebrate. The Thursday time was late (after 8:30! meds wane!) and it was on a school night (after 8;30! my eleven-year-old whines!)  Special thanks to Matt and Alison of Brassiere 28, of Andover, MA, for hosting on a weekend. While people gathered to watch, laugh and share stories, the front room of the restaurant glowed from both the sun streaming in and from the spirit within. As a special treat, Bruce Cook, MD, announced that he’d asked Michael if he could phone us during the celebration (unfortunately, he was in a plane at the time of our event).  Dr. Cook is a neurosurgeon and Michael was his patient. Bruce and his wife, Karla, shared a few stories […]
March 1, 2014

Snowga

It’s snowing. If I noted this in late December, my voice would lilt out ‘snowing,’ like birdsong. The words might even be prefaced by a “Look” or an “Ooh.” Evergreens dusted in white embody the postcard view of holiday time in New England. Were it mid-January,  ‘snowing’ would come out as a question. How many inches? Will school be closed? Can we go sledding? A warm weather fan, I admit I shift my stance a bit and suit-up. Nothing quite matches playing in fresh, puffy snow. Come March, the weight of  ‘snowing’ is as wet and heavy as a clump sliding off the roof. No more white stuff. I’m done with shoveling. Uncle. From one standpoint, it’s simply cold precipitation. From another, when will spring arrive? Yoga suggests we not only welcome the differing viewpoints, we step back and notice them for what they are: viewpoints. Rather than get caught […]