The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Eleven Years Today!

Today is our 11th Anniversary. Although neither of us, nor any of our loved ones presently have LBD, it has always played a big part in our relationship, right from the first. Jim is a quiet man, unless he’s talking about a subject he’s passionate about. I got him talking by asking him about his license plate: LBDA.ORG. He told me about how his wife had died with LBD. He told me about the problems trials he’d had getting the right care for her. And he proudly told me about how he and four other caregivers had started the Lewy Body Dementia Association. After we married, I told him that although I’d support him in his mission, it wasn’t MY mission. But then, I made the mistake of commenting about how the LBDA was not doing well with volunteers—and became their volunteer coordinator. Jim’s mission became mine, and has been ever since.

In our eleven years of marriage, we’ve traveled a lot. From the first, we lived in Arizona and traveled every year to Washington state. At first, Jim also traveled to Georgia for LBDA board meetings. When, in 2009, he completed his six year term on the board, we were already going in a different, but compatible direction, teaching about LBD as we traveled, and at home. Over the years, we’ve attended many conferences and participated in several. We’ve also attended uncountable caregiver and Parkinson’s support groups. This year, we plan to attend the World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland Oregon. We find these events extremely important because that’s what keeps us in contact with people who are living with LBD and Parkinson’s. Your experiences are what drive our work. We take what we hear you talking about, do some research and present the results with our own slant.

Along the way, we’ve co-authored three books. The first one, Riding a Roller Coaster with Lewy Body Dementia was initially directed towards staff. When we tried to get it published commercially, editors were interested but told us, “Staff don’t buy these books. Family caregivers do.” The editors were right, and our next book was directed towards family caregivers. We are honored to say that A Caregiver’s Guide to Lewy Body Dementia is now a staple in every LBD caregiver’s library. But we had more to say and so last year, we published Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia. It focuses on those symptoms where Parkinson’s transitions into Lewy body dementia and on ways to deal with these with fewer drugs. We also re-published the Roller Coaster book because many family caregivers want something to give to the people who care for their loved ones. You can now buy the set of three, the “Trio” on our website at a discounted price.

I was a writer before Jim and I ever met. My first book, Betsy, is an historical romance novel based in Missouri in 1850. The heroine is my grandfather’s step-mother, who was only four years older than him. If I ever stop writing about LBD long enough, I have a sequel half-written that will actually be about my grandparents.

Then, in 2013, I wrote On the Road with the Whitworths, a memoir of our first year of traveling in an RV and the start of our teaching about LBD. Unlike the books about LBD, this book is fun to read. Especially if you are dealing with this baffling disorder, reading about it can be difficult. We recommend that you only read a few pages of our LBD books at a time and digest that before you go on. Even take a break and read something lighter. Reading this book provides a good break. It keeps everything light and is designed to make you laugh.

Since 2011, I’ve been writing this weekly blog. It has actually provided a lot of the content for our second LBD book. We now have another LBD book in the works and hope to have it published by this time next year.

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors. As informed caregivers, they share the information here foreducational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a physician's advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment