There were twelve of us at our September 8 “Reunion” meeting. It was so great to see everyone and welcome a new member to our group.
I always have mixed feelings each time we extend these warm welcomes to newcomers. We are an exclusive group—you not only have to be a woman, you have to have Parkinson’s disease to gain entry. Although there’s no way to change the diagnosis and there is currently no “cure” for the disease, we can bolster each other up and offer our insights and experiences. As our founding member said at the meeting, “Sometimes just hearing—I have that too—is all we need to know we are not alone in these daily hassles.” She also talked about her shift in attitude this past year from solving the mystery of PD to appreciating what has been given to her in this life.
Other members echoed similar sentiments of gratitude: for friends, family, spouses; for the availability of medical, educational, exercise, and other resources in our area, especially the number of movement disorder doctors we can chose from; for the friendships that have grown out of our group. Discussions ranged from specific questions about dealing with issues like constipation to what’s helped us stay strong, physically and mentally, in order to live the best life we can with Parkinson’s disease.
In sharing, many of us mentioned the individual nature of Parkinson’s. What helps one of us will not necessarily help someone else. Another member’s experience can provide good information to talk to your medical providers about. No one should ever make any changes or adjustments to their medication without discussing it with their doctor first. This includes over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, as well as remedies for issues such as constipation.
Our next meeting date is Wednesday October 6. We plan to continue to meet in-person, fully vaccinated and masked. The classroom accommodated 12 people comfortably, providing enough room for us to physically distance at a personal comfort level. We will continue to ask for an RSVP response to the monthly meeting announcements in order to determine the best room to meet in so that everyone who chooses to attend can feel safe.
Lastly, I am going to email out a list of active attendees with email addresses and phone numbers. If anyone does not wish to be included on this list, email me and let me know. Thanks.
And now for the specific information from the meeting I said I would post:
The Parkinson’s Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA) offers free classes via Zoom. A list of all the classes can be found here. One of our members highly recommends the Communication Club class with Susan Wranik on Mondays at 3:00 pm.
Sneakers with elastic shoelaces that you can slip on and off without tying and untying laces: On Cloud. From a quick online search, a few places you can find them: I purchased mine from Zappos. Another member found hers at Nordstrom. Limited availability at DSW, REI, and Amazon. That should get you started!
Constipation remedy suggestions:
- MiraLax (someone suggested buying at Costco)
- Benefiber taken with MiraLax (on advice from a member’s doctor)
- All Bran Buds cereal
- One member finds wheat bran works better for her than oat bran
- Lots of water