Monday, December 20, 2010

Support Group

Post 25
We arrived at the PD support group with just enough time to sign in before the meeting started. The person at the sign in desk welcomed us. “I belong to a gym” I said.  Nonplussed by my strange behavior, she pointed us toward the meeting room.
The room was filled with approximately 25 people. They were arranged in a circle. There were men and women, mid-aged to elderly in various stages of their PD journey.  Some were in wheelchairs. We found two folding chairs and joined with group. They were happy to make room for us.  I was happy to give Martha a personalized evil eye glance.
“Let’s start with a neck roll” Chirped the young physical therapist. And so it went, fifteen minutes of chair exercises, ending with, yes, you guessed it, a very enthusiastic wave finale.
After the exercises, there was an entertaining and informative demonstration of a service dog by its trainer. The dog was quite remarkable in abilities.
I wasn’t so interested in the exercises. I belong to a gym. I’ve been around service dogs before but never really thought about the dedication and work involved preparing them for that role. What I was truly interested in were the people who chose to attend. Some were people with PD, (PWP), some were spouses or friends of people with PD. Some showed no outward symptoms, some we’re profoundly disabled. All seemed happy to be there.
This was their tribe, and I think they were asking me to join them. I knew I was peering into my future. I knew that I would someday join with them, or perhaps others who are closer to my symptom level.  It just won’t be today.

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