The last time I took a picture with my dad was in December 1999. It’s a picture of us hugging each other. Little did we know that that would be the last photograph we would ever take, because he would pass unexpectedly a few months later.
As it might have been for many of you when you got your Parkinson’s diagnosis, your world got turned upside down. Filled with fear, grief, anxiety about what would become of your future, and perhaps tearfully mourning the loss of the life you were so used to living. Maybe you were in shock for several months, disbelieving the new reality. I was no longer Daddy’s Girl, but Dutiful Daughter.
After over a year of going through the motions of my then glamorous jobs (yes, it took quitting two glamorous jobs to figure out that I was still unhappy), the decision to start over finally came to me. I made the decision that I really wanted to do something that would make this world a little better.
Fast forward to today, where we as a PD-Connect family are growing and helping those in and around our sphere like never before. Some of you are in the best shape of your lives. Many of you have said what a strange blessing in disguise it is to have PD, because without it you wouldn’t have found this family we have created. Turning challenges into gifts. Without PD, Jimmy Choi wouldn’t have a world record and be a celebrity advocate. Without my dad passing, I wouldn’t have gone into physical therapy.
Earlier this year, I listened to some webinars about Parkinson’s, and here are some of my notes:
Interventions to Prevent Falls by Dr. Natalie Allen
– Exercise reduces risk of falls by 26%
-Exercise that is supervised has better effect (although our classes don’t give you one-on-one supervision, we absolutely do observe when you are doing something incorrectly or can do something better, and being in class is better supervised than a solo gym session or solo ride on the stationary bike)
-Exercise type did not matter, but the most effective were gait, balance, and functional training (these are things we practice and reinforce at every class)