Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pain Management is YOUR Choice

There is almost always some level of  physical and psychological pain associated with any medical condition.  When surgery is involved, certain drugs are necessary and I am extremely grateful for them and the physician's knowledge in using them effectively.  However, in situations where  pain is chronic and one has to incorporate living with a level of pain into their lifestyle the patient has the right and, in my view, the responsibility to have a say in what modalities will be used.  To be quite honest, I have a bias against using prescription drugs to manage pain for more than 6 months except in certain situations.  I find the side affects to be more limiting than the medical condition being treated by drugs.  I much prefer biofeedback, chiropractic, meditation, change in diet, exercise, etc  that have been shown to greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for medications.  Much information  is available online or there are Naturopathic Physicians who can help with such decisions

In my life, I have always been very physically active, despite living with cerebral palsy and, more recently osteo arthritis.  Since early childhood, I have gone for walks, camped, hiked, road amusement parks rides, and have gone swimming.   As a child with a disability, I was taught how to fall without getting seriously hurt AND how to get up independently.  Scrapes, bruises and minor injuries  were just part of growing up that just lasted longer in my life. Although the thinking in the educational and medical communities have, apparently, changed, a parent's right  to make choices for their child remains.

I encourage responses to this post. Please feel free to disagree and share your concerns.  I will share more about the choices I have made as an adult in  the coming weeks

Thank you for reading this post

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The most difficultt thing is..........

...........recognizing my place in society.  Living with a challenge that has a medical diagnosis and requires equipment for mobility and services that need a physician's documentation leaves me somewhat disoriented in finding where I fit in.  Some things are defined for me, while other things are defined by me.  For example, when I go to the theater  or concert, I sit in a designated  wheelchair space.  However, choosing to go out in public and where I go is decided by me.  Over the years of living and traveling independently, I have learned that taking responsibility to ask for assistance when necessary is both a skill that can be taught and a talent  that I have acquired over time.  I encourage people to say "no" if assisting some one with a disability is something they prefer not  to do,  It is each person's responsibility  to articulate what  kind of help they want and how best to assist them.  This  is taking responsibility for yourself.  I am quite good at it and can teach others to do likewise if they choose to do so.  This is the essence of "Lliving independently" in today's society.  Some of this assistance is paid for by the government and the provision of minimal services is mandated by law to be delivered in the least restrictive environment to allow for the highest quality of life and social integration.  However\, the requirements are quite stringent and often do not allow for any flexibility.
I am fortunate to have developed an extensive support network over the years to encourage and assist me in living an independent life style.
My hope is to teach these skills to under served populations who find it difficult to access services.  Those who don't meet the stringent requirements for many programs  can create  other options for  themselves.  I have made my desires known   in my community and more people than I ever imagined have donated money, time and  their expertise.  What do I contribute, some may wonder?  EVERYTHING I AM!!

I am, active and visible in my community and the confidant of many.  Living where there is  a large university allows contact with young people who are always in need of encouragement and a homesick freshman to nurture during that first year of college life.  Over the  years, many parents have asked me to keep an eye on their daughter or son during the first year of living  away from home. 

Find a place where   you "FIT IN" and you will probably be surprised at how many people will support your place    in community life.  It's up to you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012