Sunday, 3 September 2017

_ _ it just got real     Why? Read on                                                    

Parkinson’s is a complex disease, here are some ways  to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. Note, the word is managing not reversing, arresting, or stopping.   We live in a big country, even though Australia has a good health care system there are many regional areas without Pd specialists or Pd nurses. Self care is necessary,  in one year, most People living with Parkinson’s spend 1 hour in neurological healthcare and 8,765 hours in self-care. So get into life and learn about how to monitor your Parkinson’s. No one else will be doing it for you. 
Be Master of your own ship.
Some things I have found:

Exercise – Walking with BIG movements, PDWarrior, Dance for Parkinson’s, Pedaling for Parkinson’s.  Exercise is medicine.
Research – being involved in clinical research programs formulates relationships with health professionals whose innovative ideas assist PLwP. 
Activities and fun – hobbies, creative interests, weekly groups, learning opportunities. Art and crafts, painting, woodwork. Mental health is greatly improved with participation in choirs, group projects and being creative.  Music is a definite mood changer; has opened a world of opportunities.
Meditation and mindfulness – Being present in the moment and focus on the smaller things that sometimes go unnoticed, like the trees outside the window when you are washing up.  Setting aside time to concentrate on what is happening now, the breath. Drawing and colouring, puzzles and gardening.

We need choice
Introducing: Parkinson’s Fighters United Inc.
Bringing Non Contact Boxing and other activities to Brisbane’s Parkinson’s population.
A newly formed Not For Profit Organization whose mission is to improve the lives of Queenslanders living with Parkinson’s Disease through the provision of a targeted non-contact boxing program.

Where did this idea come from?
Back in 2013 I visited the World Parkinson’s Congress in Montreal, having applied for and awarded a travel grant to assist my Poster Presentation in the category of Living well with Parkinson’s. My paper “Accessibility to Parkinson’s Specific Exercise” recognized the shortage of affordable Parkinson’s specific exercise programs and activities available in Brisbane. Being able to get out of the house and wanting to participate only to find that exercise groups are oversubscribed and at inappropriate facilities e.g., hospitals, is a barrier to better health.
On the way home through Dallas I attended a Parkinson’s specific Non Contact boxing class at Fort Worth run by Paulie Ayala, a boxing champ from USA.
In 2016, the 4th World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Rock Steady Boxing Non Contact Boxing was very popular in the Renewal Room. Matt and I were part of a large group of PLwP, supporters, Physios etc. all getting sweaty whilst punching, ducking and weaving. For me it was one of the highlights of the WPC, feeling the Parkie power, seeing the smiles on all the faces and feeling the sense of belonging.
Back in Brisbane with renewed energy and increased verve to make it a reality for people with Parkinson’s here. The barriers that existed to this becoming reality fell in July, resigning from a role that I had no longer any patience for. Making way for positivity and hope. The Team that is making it real is a group of women with Pd; they care about making change happen and want more choice. Striving for better health and providing opportunities for improved outcomes for Queenslanders’ with Parkinson’s.  It is refreshing to hear YES!!

More about Parkinson’s Fighters United Inc. as the group gets into action. The group is an Incorporated Association; a launch party will be happening soon, the PFU Inc logo is being created, a location announcement, public awareness and publicity.

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