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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Parkinson's Victoria's Ambassador Program

I work very closely with Parkinson's Victoria.
In the 9 years since I was diagnosed, I have watched them grow from a team of 2 social workers, to a huge team which includes a nurse, social workers, a marketing and fundraising coordinator, volunteer coordinator and a CEO.
From time to time I am called upon to talk about my Parkinson's Journey; to educate people about Parkinson's and tell my personal story.
PV puts out a kit, with powerpoint or overhead projector pages, which is very handy.
A translater is provided if necessary; I have done a session with an Arabic group, which was very successful.
At the moment I am talking to 1st year Medical Students at Melbourne University. They are interested in my story from a doctor's point of view. My main message to them is that so many people wait years to be diagnosed, and that doctors are reluctant to diagnose young people, especially females. Many have never heard of DBS. The sessions are enjoyable, with lots of good questions afterwards.
Last Tuesday, I spoke at "Tuesday, Shmooseday"; at a local senior citizens gathering.
I had my powerpoint presentation ready, and after about 20 minutes of fiddling, got it working. I was able to supply facts as well as covering my own story; including the formation of Y@(Young at Park - a group of younger people living with Parkinsons who meet up socially), my travels, The Vietnam Challenge, The Unity Walk and DBS.
The talk was well received.
School friends Judy and Debbie

 Tuesday Shmooseday 

I have been accepted to talk at The Parkinson's Australia National Conference, which will be held on 13th & 14th of July 2012 in Brisbane. I'll be working hard to improve my powerpoint presentation and it's content! For more information on the conference, go to 
If you would like me or any of The ambassador team to talk to your group, contact Parkinson's Victoria o9581 8700.
A reminder; if you have chanced upon this blog for DBS information, scroll down to the beginning of the blog

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weight and DBS.

OK, I'm going all out now. You've seen me at my most vulnerable; bald, stapled, dyskenesic. Now you can see me fat!



Above are 2 photos taken 2 years apart; as a teacher, we had them taken annually.
I have mentioned that my mother was a diabetic; she died aged 58 of complications from diabetes. As I entered my 40s, I began to resemble her more, so I decided to lose weight.
Ironically, I ended up avoiding diabetes, but inherited my father's disease; Parkinson's.

I was diagnosed in 2002, so on the one hand, felt great about myself, whilst on the other hand had this baffling disease to digest. I had lost 'a person' in weight by eating less and walking. For the next 9 years I managed to keep a respectable level of weight, mainly through my secret exercise regime, which I will share with you now; my involuntary movements!
These having stopped, along with my walking being difficult, and my bike riding stopping, have resulted in putting on about 4 kg in 7 months, which, my neurologist assures me, is quite normal.
Great! Normal, but not nice.
My plan?
I have already committed myself to Pilates. I still try to ride once a week with Ingrid. I walk Molly 2ce a week with Yon. And...yeah, off the junk food.
Hah! WE will see what the future brings. I hope to be back in my Levi's by this year's Unity Walk. (August).
3 weeks after DBS August 2011
Feb 2012

August 2012
4kg is A LOT to lose!!!!