It was 7am. Just another day for a girl with PD. On my 40-minute walk with sticks before my workday. I was going along at a good clip on the last leg of the walk, when I noted the oncoming traffic. As there were no sidewalks, I side stepped into a deep bed of mud to make way for an oncoming car. Just as the car approached, I slipped and fell splat on my knees. Frazzled that I could have been hit by the car that didn’t slow down, a quick look told me the cut on my knee was bad.
It looked like I might need a stitch or two, so I climbed into my car with a temporary bandage and headed for the emergency room at Kaiser. A cheerful staff reassured me that a stitch wouldn’t work in this case and that probably keeping it clean and dry was the best treatment. They cleaned me up, and I continued my journey to work. A couple of hours later, it was time to drive to the not-to-be-missed monthly Parkinson’s Women Support luncheon.
We had a big crowd of about 18 women. Our esteemed friend, Dr. Melanie Brandabur came, and we gave her just enough time to order before we pounced on her for a talk about the current state of Parkinson’s Disease. She had to talk so quickly, she barely had time to breathe.
Our Keynote Speaker
First news of the day: the Parkinson’s Institute found out that they get to offer a PWR! Retreat here in Silicon Valley in the fall. That news had everyone mesmerized. Place and time not confirmed yet, but it will be a huge accomplishment for people with PD. You can bet I’ll be taking the fall prevention classes.
Dr. B gave an impromtu survey of supplement and drug therapies. We allowed Dr. B a few minutes respite to eat her beets, while our dear friend Alternative Nancy introduced a new book.
Our Other Speakers
Nancy told us about Brian Lowe, is 61yr old PwP living in Palo Alto who is also the guy who donated his Ideo cash honorarium to the holiday bazaar last year. Also, he is a patient of Dr. Brandabur.There’s an online forum called NeuroTalk and one of their sub groups is for PD. Some of the old timers there formed a not-for-profit group called “Parkinsons Creative Collective” (PCC) www.parkinsonscreativecollective.org. According to Brian, they are mostly women!
They have published their first book, The Peripatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease. Brian says and we agree, that the book is amazing – over 100 PwP contributors, many MDs and neurologists, Andy Grove etc – all in over 320 full color pages. The group received a grant to provide one free copy to all US PD support groups – and Parkinson’s Women Support were one of the groups! You can email Susan Foster if you’d like to “check it out” of our library, but for a faster read, consider buying one.
Brian recently signed up to help them market and promote the book. So of course the book can be purchased from Amazon or the PCC website for about $35. Their goal is not to make money, but to provide a support group in a book and get the information to as many PwPs and family members as possible. We looked through it at the luncheon and we think it is great. The distinguishing factor is that it has lots of personal stories from PD patients on how they are dealing with treatments and the disease. Hands-on advice. You won’t be sorry if you buy it! We’re so delighted with Brian, we might invite him to our next lunch.
Aternative Nancy also told about the course she’s taking (it would be her alrighty): Evidence-Based Nutritional Strategies for the Aging Brain Wed. March 5, 9am-4pm, in Palo Alto www.ibpceu.com
Sondra Erickson rushed in with flyers on the Parkinson’s Day of Action. Voice your support for Parkinson’s research and services by calling Congress on February 26! Just pick up the phone and call. http://www.parkinsonsaction.org/dayofaction
By then, it was time for me to head back to the office but the lunch was still in full swing. Dr. B reminded us of the upcoming Helen Bronte-Stewart talk, and explained how Dr. Birgitt Schuele is engaged in a new study, and oh my, I know I’m forgetting a million other bits of news.
A Very Good Feeling
I had to head back to work with a throbbing knee, but a very good feeling that I’ve left a growing group of women who are loving life and each other. Not bad for a day in the life of a girl with PD!
About Parkinson’s Women Support
The mission of Parkinson’s Women Support is to offer moral support, encouragement and camaraderie for women who are either Parkinson’s Disease patients or caregivers. Check out our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonswomen