Support group attendee David who has essential tremor shares his experience of getting involved in March National Essential Tremor Awareness (NETA) Month.
Hello, my name is David Murdoch and I have essential tremor.
Our home printer had packed up, so I had requested the office send me a few posters and leaflets. I thought to myself "where would people most likely interact with someone who has ET?" I decided that it would probably happen most frequently in self-service cafés where I can't carry the tray and always have to ask for assistance.
David raised awareness of essential tremor
With that in mind I drew up a list of all the coffee/tea shops in the area and over the month visited each of them.
The way I did it was this. I asked to speak to the manager or the person in charge, and then handed them a leaflet explaining that March was essential tremor awareness month and why I figured this was the most likely place they would interact with someone who had the tremor.
I must admit that I had greater success than I expected. A common response was "yes a lot of our older customers have shaky hands." Most managers were surprised when I pointed out the part about young people also having the condition.
A couple of places asked for additional leaflets for the rest of their staff.
One proprietor called over a customer and said "Heather, you are a retired doctor's receptionist, have you ever heard of this medical condition?" She said that she had never come across it, and joined our conversation which must have been around 15 or 20 minutes long. It ended with 'Heather' asking for a few additional leaflets to drop off at her former place of employment in the doctor's surgery (she didn't say which one it was.
During the month we had a weekend break in the Republic of Ireland (it was mine and Pauline's 27th wedding anniversary). While there I did the same "show and tell" in the hotel restaurant and in several of the cafés nearby.
As the month drew to a close I had the opportunity to attend a hobby course in a venue which serves as an advice hub and foodbank for the local community, somewhere I wouldn't normally be going into. One of the manageresses noticed my hand tremors when I was trying to use the push-button keypad on their door, and enquired about it, so it gave me the opportunity to explain. As a result she took all of my remaining leaflets for their advice group and put it up on the staff as well as their public noticeboards.
At the month end I genuinely felt that I had achieved my goal of making more people aware of essential tremor.
The only downside of targeting coffee and tea shops is the amount of beverages I had to buy and drink during the month, although I did get a couple of free ones from owners who said they appreciated my taking the time to come and make them aware of this medical condition. That was indeed a bonus!
Jackie will be repeating her introduction to Mindfulness.
Have you ever wanted to find out more about Mindfulness, but not known where to start? Then we invite you to join Jackie Farrell who will explain simple ways to apply Mindfulness into your daily life.The session is suitable for anyone, so why not take the opportunity to make this a “Wellness Wednesday”.