09/07/2015 17:21 BST | Updated 08/07/2016 06:59 BST

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

What makes you smile? Knowing it's Friday and there's no work the next day? Is it when your beloved grandchildren come to visit, or perhaps with a sigh of weary relief when they leave? Maybe going on holiday or seeing a live performance, concert or play? Smiling is good for you, is highly contagious and can warm the heart, lifting one's spirits and those around you.

Having a puppy in the house most definitely makes me smile, and has brought new life into our home. Even when I'm in pain and struggling daily with the horrid symptoms of Parkinson's, our puppy manages to bring a smile to my face and takes my mind off the situation, almost like a dose of good medicine.

Taking our puppy to the vet for her first injection should have been a memorable occasion, and memorable it certainly turned out to be. Looking into the face of our angelic puppy who quietly sat on my lap in the car, I said to my husband "butter wouldn't melt in her mouth". I spoke too soon, for clearly Rosie understood every word, and with no hesitation or further ado, proceeded to throw up on me. Horrified I looked down at her, amazed that such a little dog could produce enough vomit to cover my entire lap and handbag! Rosie looked at me apologetically as if to say, "Oh I feel so much better now!" I can assure you, I didn't. Covered in dog sick is not the way I envisioned arriving at the vet. This is where the ever handy wet wipes come into their own. I don't know who invented these amazing little damp cloths, but they are invaluable and able to remove the toughest of stains. I carry them in my handbag, for I believe in "always being prepared". I guess once a girl guide, always a girl guide!

Although I'm highly organised and like being prepared for any eventuality, I must confess of late, living with Gaucher and Parkinson's, not to mention the new four legged addition to our family, it's a job staying on top of things. Have you ever left the house and suddenly realised you've forgotten your watch, or left your mobile phone at home? I think we've all done this on occasion whilst distracted by the hectic pace of life today. I have to admit to feeling positively naked without a watch or phone. It's amazing how in a short number of years, society has become quickly accustomed and reliant upon always being connected. No matter where you are, with a mobile phone, anyone can contact you night or day.

Some years ago, when my husband asked if I would like a mobile phone, I naively replied "What do I need one for?" I reluctantly agreed to his suggestion but seriously doubted I would have much use for one. Needless to say, it didn't take me long to change my opinion, and realise the advantages. For me, in particular when in and out of hospital, staying in contact with family and friends becomes a lifeline of sorts.

Technology has leapt forward at such a rate, it's hard to keep up. But how does this affect the younger generation, socially, intellectually and emotionally? The youth of today think nothing of holding a conversation, albeit sometimes in a new strange language of phrases shortened to simply letters and little smiley faces showing various facial expressions. The days of a carefully crafted handwritten letter appear long gone. If I go out and leave my phone, I know I will be incommunicado for a while, and probably scare the hell out of my husband when he tries to call checking I'm alright.

So should you happen to have a senior moment and forget to put on your watch, or leave your mobile phone behind, trust me, your world won't crumble. As long as you can laugh at yourself, learn to make the most out of a bad situation, and remember to wear a smile - even if like me, you suffer with serious ill health issues, trust me, things won't seem so bad.