Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's


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Thatcham, Berkshire – Summer Craft Market

The daughter of one of the other members of my local Parkinson’s UK group is co-organising this event. This is the press release:

Pineapple Palace’s Summer Market for Parkinson’s UK

 

A group of local crafts people and artists will be hosting a fundraising weekend at the Pineapple Palace from Friday 17 June to Sunday 19 June to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK.

 

Pineapple Palace, located at Lower Way Farm in Thatcham, is a unique shop and café supported and stocked by a number of local artists. The Summer Market will include craft demonstrations, music, food, children’s activities, raffle prizes and over 50 quality craft and arts stalls exhibiting over the weekend.

 

For one of the artists, the cause is personal. Sophie Callaway owns Sophie Waite Ceramics, and has a studio at Lower Way Farm next to Pineapple Palace.

 

Sophie explains: “Eleven years ago my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. At the time I had little knowledge of what that meant, but over time we have discovered it is a cruel condition that affects different people in different ways and the severity can vary from day to day.

 

“My Dad started with a tremor and now has many more symptoms such as slowness of movement, fatigue, rigidity and restless leg syndrome. He belongs to the local Parkinson’s UK Newbury group and Newbury Sparkies and I know he and my Mum enjoy the support and friendship this group provides as well as taking part in the exercise classes, voice coaching and sessions at the Therapy Centre that the group offer.

 

“In April our whole family took part in the Walk for Parkinson’s – Welford Park.  It was a great day and it felt amazing to help raise awareness of this progressive condition. I am delighted that I can have the opportunity to support Parkinson’s UK again, along with the MS Therapy Centre, at the Pineapple Palace Summer Market.”

 

Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “I’d like to wish Sophie and the Pineapple Palace team the very best of luck with their fundraising weekend. I hope local people will join them for what promises to be a fantastic weekend with something for everyone.

 

“As the UK’s Parkinson’s support and research charity we’re leading the work to find a cure, and we’re closer than ever. But our work is dependent on donations.”

 

To find out more about fundraising for Parkinson’s UK visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/fundraise or email fundraising@parkinsons.org.uk

 


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Mervyn Peake Awards 2016 – Inspired!

Shelves of Inspiration, acrylic on wooden panel, 40 x 40 cm

This is my winning entry to this year’s multimedia themed category. The theme is “Inspire”. My idea was that I find inspiration in many things – everywhere – and in many ways, and so I created a set of shelves to display them on.

Parkinson’s UK’s official announcement is here.

I was also shortlisted in the art category with “Ridge”.

Ridge, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

But my poem didn’t make the grade.

I am illusion

I am illusion,
A 2-d invitation,
To step into, to step right through
The picture plane, to find anew,
Space to be, time to see.

I am distraction,
Reflection and refraction.
See the world through another’s eyes,
Another’s truth, another’s lies.
An other understanding.

I am perspective,
Inherently subjective.
I revolt, revive, reward.
I am everything, nothing, all.
I am life. I am art.

 

 


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Mervyn Peake Awards 2015 – my entries

Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 cm, any which way up you like

Clasp – Highly Commended in the themed category (Together) and featured in the 2016 calendar

Oil on linen-covered board, 30 x 40 cm

Curve – unplaced in the art category

Ambition dismissed:
Impractical, they insist.
Opportunities missed.

Decision postponed.
Nobody phoned.
Potential disowned.

(Then came the day)
The future all changed.
Yes, my future rearranged,
And nothing was the same again.

(For my life had)
Changed before my eyes;
It took me time to realise
That if I was to be wise:

Ambition – reinstate;
Decisions to make;
Opportunities to take…

Go for it.

Ambition – unplaced in the poetry category
and featured in the 2016 calendar


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Blackout

saltmillLast week, I had a brief, but rather alarming, blackout.

Just about to stand up, I collapsed backwards (gently) from kneeling and found myself in a state akin to dreaming for a few seconds. I don’t quite remember the collapse, but my husband was there, and I do remember hearing what he said at the time.

A little cursory reseach revealed that this could be “orthostatic hypotension“, or low blood pressure, particularly when you stand up too quickly.

My local GP (family doctor) took my blood pressure today. Seated, I was a little low but within the bounds of normal; on standing, my blood pressure sank to the sort of level where I may well feel dizzy.

Drug treatment in unsatifactory and neither the doctor nor I wanted to go down that route. I asked what I could do.

“Salt”, he said.

“Eat crisps”, he said.

Unusual medical advice, but easy enough to follow…