Happy New Year!! I don’t know about you but I have never been so happy to leave a year behind. It has been a year of trials and tribulations and wrinkled hands from so much washing. We have averaged 5 – 7 books per week since March, lived through almost 3 months with no tennis and discovered Zoom can be used for just about everything from exercise classes to family gatherings.
We have survived not eating out unless we can eat outside, wearing a mask everywhere you go, and not hugging. We go nowhere except to the grocery store and the tennis court which has reduced gasoline use and carbon in the air.
I could go on and on about what we will not miss about 2020 but we did learn some lesson from 2020. I received this list from a good friend and reader of this blog and I thought I would pass it along to you all.
It has been about 5 months since my last post but with the COVID-19 restrictions there is very little news to report. As noted above, we have been playing tennis with a small group (our pod) and the ever resourceful Pedaling for PD instructor Kathy has been teaching classes 3 days a week via Zoom. I purchased a spin bike for home in order to keep up with the exercise as much a possible.
I finally had a face to face visit with my neurologist in October which went well with no changes to medications or routines. I also met with a speech pathologist and we decided the Speak Out! program would be beneficial as my voice has been getting softer and softer requiring me to repeat myself often.
Speak Out! is a program where you meet one on one with the speech pathologists three times a week for four weeks and learn to speak with intent! The sessions were very focused on improving the volume of my voice using breathing exercises, visualising projecting my voice and practicing going from low to high and back while saying ahhhh. In addition to the voice exercises, they also have cognitive drills for each lesson and a reading aloud exercise. I found the program to be very beneficial and I have continued to work at speaking with intent everyday.
We spent the holidays at home with no family visitors for the first time that we can remember. Hopefully next year we can return to normal as the vaccine is rolled out.
Speaking of the vaccine, through a combination of serendipitous events, Mara and I received the first Moderna shot last week and are scheduled for the second shot in early February. Sarasota county opened appointments for persons 65 and over using an online reservation system. Because I had signed up for text messages from the county back in March, I received a text message that they were taking appointments and was able to schedule both of us before they were filled up. The process worked very smoothly when we arrived at the County Health Department. While there was a long line, it turned out they were people without an appointment hoping to get the vaccine by waiting.
Since we had an appointment, we went to the head of the line and were in and out in approximately an hour including a 15 – 20 minute observation period after the shot. So far we have had no major complications beyond some pain at the injection site. I will update you when we get the second shot as I have heard that is when they expect more minor complications will occur since your body has been making antibodies to fight the virus.
A reminder – if you haven’t already joined PD Avengers, please click here and add your name to the list of supporters. We are hoping for 1 million supporters by 2022 and together we are fighting to END PARKINSON’S!
I hope this post finds you healthy and not totally bored out of your mind. Please mask up, practice social distancing and stay safe!
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
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