This page provides some useful resources and reflections for people living with Parkinson’s.
Visit the CPA Video Library
Here you will find a collection of recordings/interviews with some of our leading Parkinson’s specialists in Cork:
Professor Suzanne Timmons: Sleep, Cognition and Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Disease
Dr Sean O Sullivan: Neurologist – Various treatments for PD
Dr Ruth McCullagh: Lecturer in Physiotherapy UCC – Exercise, Physiotherapy and You
My Parkinson’s Diagnosis
“’Tis early onset Parkinson’s, I’m sure. ..
Progressive. .. Degenerative. .. No cure. ..”
How’s God, going to bring Good, out of this?
Strangely, I feel rebooted, to secure,
A Fascinating, Fulfilling, Future.
– Gearóid Ó Dubhthaigh
Self-care, which includes your emotional wellbeing, is one of the most important practices for optimizing quality of life in the context of a chronic illness like Parkinson’s. We understand that living with a progressive, neurodegenerative disease makes it difficult to prioritize activities that are not directly related to the daily symptom control and you might forget that your other needs require attention too. Establishing a Self-care routine or talking to a trained professional will provide you with a better balance and it will undoubtedly result in you being better able to face the challenges this disease brings.
Assertiveness with Monica: why this is important when living with Parkinson’s and looking after yourself
A healthy voice
“Teleatherapy empowers clients with Parkinson’s disease to self-manage and maintain their identity through voice therapy.” CPA is working with Clare Meskill and her team of Speach language therapists at Teleatherapy.
One of the issues with Parkinson’s is the softening and weakening of the voice. Not only is this distressing and can make it difficult to communicate but also it feels like as a loss of identity. The voice is a vital tool for well-being and we must work to look after it and keep it in shape for as long as possible. Teleatherapy is an easy to use mobile phone application which is exercise-led and provides real time feedback to the team who will then advise you which exercises to complete to benefit you. Click here for more information.
People in Profile
Members of Cork Parkinson’s Association share a story about themselves as part of our profile series
Kathleen Kelley Reardon (Schull, West Cork)
Thank you, Tony, for the invitation to be part of the profile series.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of fifty-two after a series of misdiagnoses. My mother had Parkinson’s, but not until she was nearly seventy. So, having had breast cancer at thirty, my inclination was to think perhaps my symptoms were due to cancer. Finally, a Parkinson’s specialist identified my symptoms as PD. As upsetting as that diagnosis often is, I was relieved to know what was going on in my body. We commenced treatment and I felt better.
As a professor, I loved teaching. But my neurologist insisted that my condition would worsen rapidly if I continued. He was right. I tried to keep teaching, but it was exhausting. So, I continued writing and doing research where possible. Then something quite unexpected happened. I took a night course in painting at the Schull Community College near where I live. I could draw, but I was no artist. But a woman in the class invited me to join her weekly art group. I did. They generously shared their skills and I improved. Now, many years later, I paint in both watercolour and oil. I have a website for people with PD interested in learning to paint at www.paintingdoc.com. Stop by if you have a chance.
Researchers have found a link between a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and an increase in creativity. I’m working with the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) developing art exhibits to be shared around the world. It’s very exciting. Part of the exhibits will be immersive. Visitors will walk into a room and feel they are entering paintings, experiencing the details all around them. We hope to also help advance the current scientific understanding of the brain-creativity link many PWP experience.
When not painting, I’m often writing. During my academic career, I published nonfiction books. Now, I’ve turned my hand to crime mysteries. My first novel, Shadow Campus, opens in Los Angeles with a young, female professor, Meg Doherty, found hanging in her office nearly dead. Her estranged brother, Shamus, living in Connecticut, finds himself untangling the web of academic politics that brought his sister so close to death. Forbes described the novel as a “masterful” and “fast-paced” debut.
The second novel, Damned If She Does, was published during Covid. Not great timing! But Kirkus Reviews selected it as one of twenty-four “Great Indie Books Worth Discovering.” Damned If She Does takes place at a New York City academic conference where we meet Meg and Shamus again. For seven years Meg has kept a dark secret, until at the conference she discovers the body of the man who caused it all. Horrified, she runs and quickly becomes the prime suspect.
With two very talented performers, actor Brendan Conroy and singer Camilla Griehsel, during Covid we did the audio version of Damned If She Does. Karen Minihan, Schull actor and theater director, did the audio performance for Shadow Campus. You can learn the story of how we created the audio versions in Schull at the International Dublin Writers Festival (online) that starts September 11, 2021.
The third book in the Meg and Shamus Doherty trilogy takes place in West Cork. It’s about halfway written. Everything takes longer with PD, but it’s coming along.
Just in case you’ve thought about writing, I’m preparing a course for people with PD on writing crime mysteries. It will be available in October at Parkinson’s Art. So, watch that space!