This past Tuesday I did a speech on Pet Therapy to a local ALS group. I had been practicing for weeks as I gathered information to convey to the pals and cals which are patients of ALS and caregiver of ALS. I did draw from experiences as a patient, as a caregiver and having animals in the home who have helped me so much since I first became sick so many years ago.
The group was small and very laid back. It helped that the coordinator of the group is a good friend of mine so she was there to help prompt the members to ask questions as she did herself. But than something interesting happen. She told me that they are very quiet and might not interact. Boy was she wrong. They asked questions, they talked about their experiences and helped move the meeting along. The group consisted of patients, caretakers and a health professional. This is the feedback I received.
Peggy: “Joanna, did you bring Sharon here to just talk to me? She gets what I am going through.”
Ken-health pro-“You did a wonderful job. Very informative.”
Margie-“Could you come back and speak to us again?”
Plus multiple hugs from the ladies.
Before I knew it I was being told I just had five minutes left to wrap it up. I was floored how fast it went. Every bit counts, as far as I am concern, regardless of the size of the group, size of the presentation and the overall reactions I receive. But more importantly it was nice to give back to the community , in a small way, and that for me personally made it worth the work and time it took to do this.