Monday, October 02, 2006

Caregiving: catharsis & coffeehouses

     When those ancient Greeks were pioneering professional performing arts they believed in the concept of catharsis. Changes in emotion while the audience viewed a performance would result in renewal and revitalization for living.

     When I involve Patti in the right entertainment situation, that original purpose of catharsis is so dramatically evident. She demonstrates improved ability and unquestionable revitalization. It’s eerie.

     Coffeehouse entertainment is one of those environments. In such an intimate venue, visual impairment isn’t as much a factor. An almost nostalgic ‘beat generation’ atmosphere settles in, and you don’t need designated disability seating and such. Because of proximity, everyone actually has to care about each other and it works out.


     A solo performer, like our friend Brian Lockman, of ballads and folk songs, many funny and witty, is easy to follow and fun. Patti’s MS mental confusion is minimized.


     It is all the more outstanding because the traditional later hours of live entertainment already have the stacked deck of MS fatigue working against them. Yet Patti enjoys and is revitalized for longer than I would guess.


     Plus I’m sure the other half of coffeehouse entertainment, coffee and desserts don’t hurt the process. <grin> Though here is another area where I don’t know how to explain it outside of catharsis. MS related dysphagia 

is NEVER a factor with coffeehouse entertainment, yet a coffeehouse visit without entertainment and Patti still will have intermittent problems with dysphagia. Go figure!


     WARNING: This treatment is not endorsed by either the FDA or AMA. No drug manufacturer or medical professional was able to make any money off the evening's fun. <grin>


     So with temps dropping to the low 40’s this past Friday evening, we welcomed the Pumpkin King by feasting on pumpkin pie washed down with pumpkin caramel lattes, and enjoying the music and banter of Brian Lockman, that “singer of old songs.”


  1. sounds like a wonderful evening!! we won't tell the FDA or AMA about this preferred method of treatment; they probably would want to make it their own in some way to get some money off of it :)


  2. This sounds like a wonderful good time.  I know she enjoyed it very much.  The quality of her life is so high because of all you do.

  3. That sounds wonderful. Wish I Could have been there. Bam

  4. sounds like a fun time:) i love those pumpkin lattes yummo


  5. ...hee hee Jack and I were talking last night, a comment was made on tv about going around the corner to the coffee house.  Well, we tried to figure out just WHERE one might be here.  So I  made my own coffee and we just watched
    TV!   Sounds like tons of fun!

  6. I love those types of evenings! There is a little coffee shop in the town just south of me I love to go to! On some Saturday nights they have entertainment from different people/groups. Mostly it is folk, celtic-irish groups.  I haven't been in a long time, but maybe soon... You've put me in the mood, Patrick!!

  7. That is weird about how coffeehouse and entertainment equals no dysphagia, and coffeehouse without entertainment equals intermittent dysphagia. It sounds like the entertainment takes her mind off of the swallowing response? or that she is more relaxed in such an atmosphere? I'm sure you've pondered this puzzle over and over trying to find a connection. But, hey, she's having a good time, and so are you. I say, thank God for small miracles and enjoy the time you have together. You must live in a big city... there are no coffeehouses near where I live. Not anything resembling what you describe. Too bad, I think I could enjoy such a place. Bea

  8. Hi, I'm a new reader, this is amazing the coffeehouse entertainment has on Patti.  The music sounds like it soothes her.


  9. I had to smile at this post because I can totally relate :) How fun!



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