Wednesday, March 27, 2013
As part of Parkinson's Awareness Month, I am participating by utilizing the Parkinson's Disease Foundation's Toolkit of ideas to raise awareness! Here is my letter to the editor printed in our community papers:
To the Editor:
This April, I urge our neighbors to take part in Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Nearly one million Americans live with Parkinson’s and many of them, including my husband are living right here in Berkeley Springs, WV.
There is currently no cure. Parkinson's disease (PD) is "a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Parkinson's involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson's primarily affects neurons in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination, as well as cognitive functions. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally. Primary motor signs of Parkinson's disease include tremor, brandykinesia (slowness), rigidity, stiffness, postural instability."
Imagine being just 49 years old with a large family when a neurologist explains that the reason your movement is restricted, muscles experience terrible pain, walking appears intoxicated, sleep is elusive and you occasionally "freeze" while doing simple tasks is because you have a degenerative disease called Parkinson's. Our youngest children were only 3 and 4 years old.
But that didn't stop our family! Through PD awareness and support of a strong and loving church and family, we are conquering this illness through the power of prayer, positive attitude and exercise. With constant activity and connection with caring experts in movement disorders, we have come to manage what was a devastating diagnosis. Although the journey can sometimes be "shaky", it has been also been joyous; learning to live daily by counting God's blessings, realizing that each day is a new opportunity to be healthy.
I invite you to show your support for others living daily with chronic illness to "Wear Grey for Parkinson's Awareness!" on April 13th.
For more information, please contact the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Follow our story at www.excusemecanitellyousomething.blogspot.com where you can submit your photo and global pictures will be posted. Show your support and awareness, “wear grey” on Saturday, April 13th!
Berkeley Springs, WV
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Grey! Gray! or GREEEEEEEEEEAY!!!! Yay! On April 13th, I will be joining others in the Parkinson's community and wearing, yes... my FAVorite color: GREY! As part of Parkinson's Awareness Month this April, Saturday the 13th, has been designated as "Wear Grey for PD Day!" So, from head to toe, join me and others across the globe in an effort to raise awareness for families living with Parkinson's Disease.
You know what? Each and every time I post using that color which mixes a combination of black and white, I find myself googling the correct spelling. Gheeszh. Of all colors, I much prefer something vibrant, bright, maybe even fluorescent. But, for some reason the Parkinson's Disease folks have selected grey as it's banner color where you can see it included in the recognizable grey ribbon. Wonder why it couldn't be green to match my Irish eyes? :-) (I'm just teasing!)
So. Grey it is. Having just emerged from the shower with my dripping grey hair (at just 47 years old, need I remind you), it suddenly occurred to me that, well, grey really isn't so bad after all. Being nearly all white for the past few years, I recently discussed with Kim over at the local hair salon, attempting to cover up these locks of mine. Perhaps this is largely due to my second grader, Levi, announcing on his 8th birthday that he doesn't remember me in any other shade OR his recent question: "Mom! Why are all the other moms in my class like 25?"
R.e.a.l.l.y!? Well, because they are! But, like Michelle O'bama recently said about her new bangs, "It's just hair!" And for goodness sakes, the more "grey" the better if it brings awareness to Parkinson's Disease.
So, be looking for my letter to the editors in the local papers asking the community to raise awareness for Parkinson's Disease. It's like this: if more people hear about this stinkin' chronic illness, maybe someone out there will figure out how to fix it. Right? Until then, well, "Excuse me, can I tell you something?" guess it's just me and my grey hair wearin' grey everyday and April 13th for PD Awareness Day! You?
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Just when I think I am losing my patience, The Parkinson's Coach shows up on facebook. So. Really? Not to excuse bad behavior, ever; but reading the story "Parkinson's Apathy: Don't Care or Can't Care" helps make things make sense. I just thought maybe it would help another PD partner out there too.
If not, maybe check out these folks:
If not, maybe check out these folks:
The National Caregiver Support Line is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The National Caregiver Support Line Toll-Free number is 1-855-260-3274.
Visit the VA's Caregiver support site atwww.caregiver.va.gov.