If We Were Having Coffee Guest Post – Feb.22/2015 Compassion


Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Willow has plumped the cushions and started a cozy fire so we can warm yourselves while we have a cuppa and chat. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

1000 voices speak for Compassion

This week (Feb.20, 2015) there was a special electronic gathering of WP bloggers called “1000 Voices Speak for Compassion”. Each blogger wrote a piece on compassion and they were well done. I first read of it over at Mamamickterry’s blog  Then I watched the video (above) she had posted and it struck home for me. Mama says it was produced by a medical services delivery company that is a customer of her company. Definitely worth a peek.

Would you like another cuppa, perhaps something a bit stronger? So, with Mama’s post in mind I was off to dialysis on Friday and I was a bit early so I stepped out to the smoking area for a puff. It was cold and there was only one other gentleman there, a man a bit younger than I – perhaps in his late 40’s to early 50’s. As I usually do, I asked if he was visiting as he was dressed in casual clothes like someone who was spending the day at home. As we smoked, he told me that he was a patient. He had an open Coke bottle in one hand and he held it up for me to see. It was about 1⁄4 full and was very flat because his hand was vibrating considerably. “Would you like a drink of flat Coke?” he asked in a joking tone. “It’s been almost 20 years now since I’ve had fizzy Coke from the bottom of the bottle.”He explained that he had early onset Parkinson’s disease and was diagnosed about 20 years ago. With medication and treatment he has managed to live relatively normal but required a lot of time in the hospital. As he told me that his muscles only shook when at rest, I thought about the video – to see this guy walk down the hall, you would never know that he had a serious illness – an illness that was going to kill him. He told me that the doctors had told him that he had about 20 more years to live, but the disease would progress considerably in that time. Treatments have gained a lot of years for Parkinson’s patients over the decades and may very well gain more in the coming decades. The disease is called “idiopathic” because there is no known cause. Oddly enough, one behaviour that reduces the progress is smoking. For reasons not understood, those who smoke are less likely to have the disease or symptoms.

Ballet Based Exercises can help reduce Parkinson’s Symptoms

Another cuppa? We have sweets and cake as well, so just help yourself. Anyway, my new acquaintance had some hard years ahead of him. As his nerve condition deteriorated, so too would dementia start to show itself. This is the same disease as Michael Fox has and his condition has not gotten as bad as fast as was predicted due to new treatments and medications. This gentleman had the same hope – that the progress of treatment would keep him from suffering as much as was being forecast. And yet, if I met him in the hallway I would have no idea that this man was even sick, let alone dying. It really drives home the idea of compassion, of caring about our fellow humans, of trying to see the world through the eyes of others, and of remaining non-judgmental.

We parted ways after about 10 minutes of visiting, he on his way to his room and me on my way to dialysis. I thought about him a lot since our chance meeting, and he has made me more sensitive to the plight of others. I wish him the very best and I hope that upcoming medical progress reduces the impact of his disease on his quality of life.

Dialysis went extremely well on all fronts – no machine alarms (it is very sensitive and an average treatment usually sees at least a half a dozen alarms), excellent blood pump speed, I slept through the whole session and felt rejuvenated at the end. I had very little fluid to remove (I’ve been behaving myself) and we got that off and a bit more – which allows me more flexibility in fluid consumption over the weekend. All is well – one day at a time.

That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and watch the fire. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

The Queen’s Favourite Tea Cake: Souped-up Chocolate Biscuit Cake

What is Parkinson’s Infographic

And of course  the


over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. willowdot21
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 22:41:30

    Wonderful post Paul as ever you show us your true compassion by listening and chatting with the people you meet in your everyday life and at the hospital! I am so glad you mentioned 1000 Voices for Compassion. I did a post for this too yesterday 20th Feb. Well done to everyone who took part.
    I also had a cousin my marriage who died last year of Parkinsons. She was a lovely lady and we miss her dearly she died too soon and too young. Thanks again Paul.xxxxx


  2. Paul
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 22:51:19

    Hi Willow! Thanks so much for the opportunity to guest post.It is a pleasure to be here. i think I’ll have a touch of whiskey in my coffee today. t is brrrrr, cold here. Have a great week!


  3. Diana
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 23:55:01

    Glad you stopped by.

    Parkinsons can be a devastating illness–I’m glad we’re coming up with some therapies that can help patients’ quality of life, though I do look forward to when we’re able to cure things like Parkinsons and cancer.


    • willowdot21
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 07:22:15

      Yes Diana that would be wonderful. Paul is on his way with your coffee. 🙂 xxxx


    • Paul
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 09:38:07

      Hi Diana! Thanks so much for dopping by for a coffee and a chat. Yes there are some serious medical challenges still ut there – like Parkinson’s and cancer, to name a few. But we have come a long way to helping those so afflicted. I actually had colon cancer 10 years ago and have been cancer-free for about 9 years now. Even 25 yeras ago, i would have died from the cancer. not so today. I was one of the lucky ones.

      Your cisit is greatly appreciated and i hope you come by agaon.


  4. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 00:20:00

    A wonderful video, educational blog and as always an enjoyable read.


    • willowdot21
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 07:20:24

      Welcome Sheri Paul will be with you in a short while. Xx


    • Paul
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 09:42:02

      Good morning Sheridegrom! Thank you so much for the compliment. I’m pleased that you enjoyed the post and i am honored that you dropped by for a read and a comment today. Please take a look around at Willow’s wonderful posts while you’re here and we’d love to have you back again.


      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
        Feb 22, 2015 @ 20:35:50

        Paul, I will be. I’ve followed Willow for a few years now. I always enjoy her posts and of course the video of the patients hit home for me as I blog relentlessly regarding healthcare.

      • Paul
        Feb 22, 2015 @ 22:30:30

        It must be a challenge to blog on healthcare Sheri – a very big and controversial topic. I apolgize for not recognizing you – Willow has very many followers and many only comment on topics they hold dear. And rightfully so- which means i’ve only met a small number of her regulars. It’s good to know you’re out there.

  5. Tricia
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 06:15:42

    What an outstanding post Paul and thank you WillowDot for creating this forum to hear such beautiful words from our fellow bloggers. It can be hard to imagine the very difficult circumstances others are going through and Paul you helped open my eyes to something I am not at all familiar with (dialysis). God bless you as you continue on this journey with much compassion indeed.


    • willowdot21
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 07:18:20

      Welcome Tricia Paul will be here with coffee ASAP. 🙂 xx


    • Paul
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 09:54:10

      Hi Tricia! Great to see you here for a coffee and a chat today. Willow is indeed a kind and wonderful blogger and has been a great deal of help to me as a new writer. She allows me to write whatever I please and offers me this forum to express myself. I need some new hardware before I can open my own blog.

      Thank you for the kind words and support. I’ve been a dialysis patient for about 8 years now and it can be challenging. My kidney damage was caused by the radiation treatment I had for cancer some 10 yeras ago. It’s been a long and complex journey.

      I am honored that you dropped by today for a read and a comment. It is a pleasure to have you visit.


  6. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Feb 22, 2015 @ 13:24:41

    Glad to hear your week went well, Paul. Thank you for the story about your new friend outside the hospital and the video is indeed heart-wrenching. Good food for thought. ❤


    • Paul
      Feb 22, 2015 @ 16:08:01

      Hi LCTC! Thanks so much for dropping by for a read and comment . I’m pleased that you enjoyed the post. I hope your week goes well LCTC.


  7. markbialczak
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 01:28:36

    You are a compassionate man, Paul, and your concern for the fellow with Parkinson’s is of no surprise to me. I have a friend here in the States that has been fighting it for a decade, keeping a good attitude, living his life to the fullest. That’s what you can do, right? Hope the medical world keeps making more and better advances to help those afflicted.

    I am glad to hear your dialysis went well this week, Paul. I worry about you, my friend.


  8. Paul
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 16:55:18

    Hey Mark! Thank you for dropping by and for your concern. I am very grateful. Yes, Parkinson’s is a difficult one. Those who are fighting it are very brave in my books. Hopefully medial science will keep deve;lpoing new treatments so they can live a full and high quality life.

    Thanks again for the visit Mark – I am honored.


  9. ~ Sadie ~
    Feb 26, 2015 @ 02:08:57

    Great post Paul!! I really liked the video, though it made me tear up. When my father-in-law was dying of cancer, and we lived with them to help them, I realized then that we never know WHAT others are going through. I began to have more patience with others, since like us, they might be going through something sad or tragic. My grandma and her dad had Parkinson’s – my great-grandpa died of it. I always wondered if it was hereditary, but being a smoker, maybe I won’t have to deal with that if it is. Maybe the only benefit of cigs 😉
    Glad your dialysis went well, too!!
    Thanks Willow for hosting Paul’s posts!! I enjoyed a few of your posts I got the opportunity to read, as well 🙂


    • willowdot21
      Feb 26, 2015 @ 07:47:00

      Hi Sadie welcome Paul is on his way with a coffee for you. Thanks for stopping by you are very welcome and I so pleased that you enjoyed some of my posts too. Xxx


    • Paul
      Feb 26, 2015 @ 08:54:10

      Hi Sadie! Thank you so much for dropping by for a read and a coffee (or whatever you choose to drink). After I wrote this post, I was surprised by the number of readers who had friends or family who had experienced Parkinson’s. I knew it was out there, but knew no one who had had it. According to my investigations, there are genetic and environmental components to Parkinson’s but they are the exceptions – the majority of Parkinson’s patients have no apparent cause for the disease. I too figure that my best defense is smoking – Ha! that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

      Taking care of your father-in-law when he was ill, must have been very hard Sadie. My hat’s off to you for your kindness and caring. Having had cancer, I know just how time consuming being ill really is. To have someone act as a care-taker and advocate is such an enormous relief for the patient. Trying to navgate the system while you’re ill is a monumental task.

      Willow is a wonderful host and I am learning a lot from her. As a newbie/wannabe blogger, i need all the help I cab get. ha! Thanks so much for your visithere today Sadie. i am honored.


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