I thought you might be interested in the activities of my Parkinsons's Coffee Group called Good Vibrations. This year I will be out of town on the day of the Walk but I still would like to fundraise. To all my friends and relatives, please consider donating to this worthy cause.
Thanks very much! Jean Flintoft
On a sunny Thursday morning at 9:20am, the first of 14 members of the Good Vibrations Gang (our allwomen support group) walks through the front door followed by others who step, waltz, stagger, shuffle, and trip into the house. Some are on the arm of their husbands, some arrive via carpool, two use their canes, one rides her bike across town. It’s the second Thursday of the month, our regular meeting day.
They settle into the various seating options in the living room,and eagerly engage in greetings and gratitudes. Two have been travelling in Europe, one recently recovered from a weekend illness, another from a hip replacement. One of the women, whose voice was deeply affected as a result of Deep Brain Stimulation, is sporting a microphone, which she uses to great advantage to tell her stories. There’s laughter and chatter, and offers to help. The first hour flies by as we eat our Hummingbird Cake, drink coffee, tea, and water, and debrief the Gala Fundraiser our local support group hosted this past Saturday.
The budding Spring, fresh air, and blue sky make it easy for us to forget we’re all card-carrying members of the exclusive club of Parkinson’s People.
Gradually,the conversation turns towards our Parkinson’s disease,and how we’re handling our meds, sleep issues and crazy dreams, constipation, dyskinesia, dystonia, aches and pains, fears of a Sinemet shortage, the Neupro patch and who’s actually using it,timing of meds,travelling with meds, and medical marijuana options and access. The newer members listen intently, and ask questions timidly; others with more experience have fewer inhibitions and offer commentary that diffuses the fear and uncertainty of tomorrow.
These are conversations unique to our little gathering. Because we all will eventually share the same issues, and walk in someone else’s shoes, there is a surprising air of acceptance and positivity. We are girlfriends with an inherent empathy for each other, bound by this insidious, degenerative disorder. We give each other a voice, respect, and love. That second hour flies by, the doorbell rings as husbands arrive to pick up their wives, hugs are exchanged, and “thanks” echo down the hallway. Fourteen women at various stages of Parkinson’s disease head back home, filled with hope and happiness.
Next month we will all still have PD, and yet eagerly anticipate the next gathering, none of us cured. Written by my friend, Debbie Hartley