Is Helping Others “Medicine”

In my role as an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, I am asked to complete a survey at the end of each week.  The survey consists of one question and a space for comments

How much do you agree with the following statement?

“I am satisfied with the work I was able to do this past week as an Ambassador.”         
Strongly agree
Strongly disagree

The Davis Phinney Foundation has two major goals. The primary goal of the organization is to be an outreach and educational resource with a particular focus on improving quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s disease today, and a secondary goal is to support the development of strong connections within and among the Parkinson’s community.

Some  weeks I “agree” I represent the goals of the foundation well by keeping myself informed, present and available.  Other weeks I “strongly agree” because of the variety on involvement I have with the Parkinsons  Community. 

The past couple of weeks have been  “Strongly Agree” weeks. In reality, I could have used some help myself, and some of my Parkinson’s friends caught on and did reach out to me.  What kept me going was all the activity where I was able to reach out to others. 

I was hurting from tendinitis is my knees…but wait…my elbow and wrists also hurt.  Is this PD PAIN?  I sneezed like crazy and had a sore throat but no fever…is this Covid-19? My husband was gone a lot this week helping others and I was a bit lonely and grew apathetic…is this advancing PD? And then this happened, I didn’t rinse the soap off my feet in the shower and I slipped and slid into the wall, like I was running for home plate and the throw was coming into the catcher: a perfectly executed slide.  Ouch!  

I had a boatload of stuff come my way.

And I believe this is what kept me upbeat and working through my own physical pain:

  • Local speech therapist contacted me to connect a newly diagnosed person with our support group.  I was able to give information and Every Victory Counts manual.
  • A relative was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and PD. I was able to be a listening ear and counsel.
  • A member of our local support group passed away.
  • Visited with a woman who is scheduled for DBS next week
  • Visited with a mom whose son suspects he has PD
  • Visited with the guy whose mother contacted me
  • Referred him to another ambassador who lives closer
  • Scheduled future activities which I will need to start working on soon:
    • Writing blog post for DPF
    • Representing DPF on a panel of ambassadors to Twitchy Women group
    • Presenting at virtual Lions Club Convention
  • Connected with a neighboring support group member 
  • Conducted a virtual support group meeting

AND for myself I participated in a poetry group and an art group.

I slept really well at night.  I feel like I have moved beyond most of my own pain. I wonder if I would still  have that severe of pain if I had not had the  opportunities to do something for others.

I think the mental activity really helped me get beyond my own physical issues..

What do you think?

8 responses to “Is Helping Others “Medicine””

  1. Martha Christian Avatar
    Martha Christian

    You are an amazing woman! As a family, you have been a treasure trove of information and inspiration for us as my husband has Lewy Body. The Every Victory Counts manual has been a Godsend. As new symptoms and changes occur, the manual is a go-to! You have always been available for questions and advice. I am very sorry to hear of your fall and tendinitis and hope you heal well. Thank you again for all you do and continue to do for and with the Parkinson’s community. Blessings!!

    1. Hope we get to meet inm preson sometime, Martha

      1. Martha Christian Avatar
        Martha Christian

        I would love that!!

  2. Wow, I’m exhausted just reading your list of activities! Makes me feel guilty for not doing more. 😊 Glad your various pains are healing up.

  3. You are so very busy all the time, i don’t know how you do it all, I can barley manage to get up and dressed, the cold weather really knocks me down fast. Glad you are healing up from your fall. Falling is so easy to do with PD, i try to be so careful and do end up on the floor and have to have my husband help me up. Have a Merry Christmas Carol and Chuck.

    1. the floor just comes up to bite us sometimse!

  4. My, you had lots to share. One item: my husband’s brother died 2011 of Lewy’s Body Dementia. What relative of yours diagnosed as?

    1. CUZ, not a relative of ours.

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