Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Advocating for Another: Inspirational Quote

"If we all did the things we are capable of, 
we would astound ourselves." 
~Thomas Edison 

I love this quote because is so true. So many times, we don't do something because we don't think we can. We make up excuses like I'm too old, I don't have the knowledge." Yadda yadda yadda. We never know what we are capable of doing until we try. Take Thomas Edison for example. He had thousands of failed attempts at the light bulb, but he kept at it. Look at how one idea changed the world forever. Light is everywhere now. 

People are constantly breaking world records in the Olympics because they thought they could do it. What are you holding back from because you don't think you're capable? Let the fear of failure propel you forward to something better, bigger, than you ever imagined. Discover something your good at and work until you become great. Don't let life pass you by because you're sitting on the sidelines. Be a participator in life!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Advocating for Another: Once Upon a Time

It’s storytelling day! Write a story about yourself, your community as though you’re a children’s book author. Be sure to include a beginning, middle, and end. Extra points for illustrations! 

Since I've told plenty of stories on my blog, I'm going to do something a bit different...a poem!

Once upon a time there was a young girl who stood out among the rest
She was spunky and Southern, and thought no outfit was complete without jewelry!
There was just one problem: she couldn't escape the stares about the colorful braces that hid under her dress.
"Oh well," she thought, "that's the least of my worries!"

She grabbed her backpack and headed for the bus
Anticipating the adventures she'd have in room 201
Finding a friend, she started chatting. That was a first day of school must!
With all of the cackling, you'd have thought we were at a chicken run!

Alas, it was time for class to begin
Just then my new friend whispered, "What are those things on your legs?"
"They help me walk better," I replied with a grin.
"Cool," she said. "Do you like chocolate eggs?"  
Afraid we'd get in trouble, we stuck our nose in our books.  We wanted to be alive to enjoy the weekend!

If you want to join in the blogging fun with WEGO Health, click here! (Link no longer exists)
Be sure to like WEGO Health on  Facebook to read everyone else's posts!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Advocating for Another: Betcha Didn't Know

Today’s post theme is all about the reveal. What’s something people would be surprised to know about your life as a  Health Activist, your community, or condition. Uncover it and elaborate upon in stream-of-consciousness-style.

This means this post won't be connected and might not make sense. It will just be my thoughts.

Contrary to  some misinformed people, cerebral palsy is not a progressive disability. Whatever grade brain bleed you had, is what it will remain. Also, it's not possible to pass it on to a baby should a woman with cerebral palsy choose to have children. Along those same lines, not everyone with cerebral palsy will struggle with learning. They could be like me and have a mild case that only affects the lower extremities, not the brain.

People with cerebral palsy can work. They are more productive than some able-bodied members of society. We might have to do things a little differently and a little slower than most people, but we get it done. Not walking on time as a child made me tough. I found a way to get to my toys, button my clothes even when my fingers fought me every step of the way. (Now, admittedly, necklaces are still a bit tricky.) We find joy in the journey. 

Change doesn't affect us like most people. It's all I've ever known. Between new doctors, hospital visits, and altering our schedules on any given day due to pain just becomes something we adapt to along the way. 
Love is much more than a feeling. It's something I actively give to those around me. I've seen how disabilities affect people's lives, and I'm determined to make the most of each day. 

I'm a goal-setter. Even today as I've slept most of this beautiful afternoon away, I did manage to read a chapter for my Mass Media class. That makes me feel content, even things didn't go exactly as I'd planned. 

Of the people I've met with disabilities, their personalities, dreams, goals, shine as we talk. I don't even notice a girl or boy with a disability... or maybe a wheelchair and oxygen tank. The parents look over approvingly as we talk like two young adults sharing and listening about life. Sure, maybe there's a bustle of patients in the background, but right then, at that moment we are not bound by disabilities or stereotypes of what doctors say we can and can't do. We are two young people with the whole world at our fingertips just waiting to be changed by us.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Advocating for Another: Challenge Accepted!

Today's post almost didn't get written because I've been dealing with a cough and congestion in the middle of trying to complete things for school.

This prompt is aptly titled challenge accepted because it deals with the hard things about leading a community.

1. Making sure everyone's voice is heard. I'm in the process of working on a way to fix this. There are so many people that need encouragement, it's hard to reach everyone.

2. Coming up with relevant and interesting content. I'm sure every blogger has had that moment where they question things. I try to keep the communication flowing between my readers by asking for everyone's input, what you want to know about me or cerebral palsy. Usually no one responds so I'm assuming it's because they don't know what to ask. This leads me to my third point.

3. Educating the public. So many people don't know about disabilities and how they affect the person and their family. Especially with the internet, there is SO much information available by people who claim to be experts. I'm working on making a change in this area as well, but I can't say anything just yet because I don't have all of my information together. 

 In my opinion, education starts at home. I can't tell you how many parents I've come across who discourage their children from asking me questions. I love it when that happens because it gives me the opportunity to smash the stigma associated with disabilities while watching a child soak up new information!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Advocating for Another: Inside the Fishbowl

Since I talked about my community and some things that make me and my readers unique yesterday, I thought I would branch out and do one of the bonus prompts, which says to tell what my life is like to someone looking on the outside then describe it from the inside.

On the outside, I look like a stylish young woman busy attending college classes and helping out at my church all while in a wheelchair. Some people have mistakenly thought I have an easy life because I have people helping me do things, get a little extra time to do tasks, and so on.

From the inside, they would see a slightly different picture. My hair looks so good because my mom helps me dry it and style it. I have a beside commode because I'm not quite strong enough--yet-- to walk to the bathroom and sit down without help. They would also see I have to get up about thirty minutes to an hour before I have somewhere to be in order to get ready because it takes me a little longer to do things. They would also see that I LOVE my family. Someone on the inside would also see me on my not so good days. I have days that I am tired and do all of my schoolwork from my bed. I have moments of frustration because society seemingly forgets about the disabled population and think that's okay.

Someone on the inside would also see my progress. They would understand what a huge thing it is to sit in the living room with the family-whenever I want! Even on the days when I am really sore, one small victory like being able to walk down the hall just little further than last time is cause for my mom to smile broadly and say, "See, you're getting better!"

So with aching muscles, I look around at my yellow walls (with a purple accent wall) and remember that having someone to share life with is so incredible!

Come back tomorrow for day three of advocating for another by WEGO Health!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Advocating for Another: Community

Today is the first in a series of posts about health activism thanks to WEGO Health. I advocate for myself as a patient, but I also have a community of wonderful readers who are hopefully inspired by how I fully live my life in spite of my disability, which is cerebral palsy.

This post is all about my community!

I decided to do a collage with some of my readers and friend's pictures who I knew wouldn't mind being featured here. I also used a few images from dreamstime to represent everyone's interests!

Click collage to enlarge

The people that make up my blog's community are students, grandparents, families, nurses, musicians, fun-loving. Coffee lovers. Artistic. Individuals. Creative. Black. White. Old. Young. Eclectic.

Yes, some people who read my blog do have cerebral palsy. But more than that, we are all encouraging each other. You are beautiful, my friends!

If you are an a parent, caregiver, or health activist of someone with a disability or condition, feel free to participate by blogging, tweeting or doing short status updates to Facebook.

Image Credit:

© Michael Levy | Dreamstime.com

© Daniel Gilbey | Dreamstime.com

Nurse via Microsoft Clipart

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Need a Creative Graphic Designer!

I am planning something exciting and need a logo design! Since I haven't decided on a name, I'm going to let the logo help me decide. Me and a friend were talking and had an idea about a half man half woman. I don't want to reveal all of the details just yet, but if you are creative and up for a challenge, I need your help!

If you are willing to do it for free, shoot me a message, and I'll give you details! You would get credit after it is completed.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Help me get to WEGO's Health ePatient Conference!

As you all know, I use this blog as a personal journal as well as sharing my heart about what I want. 

Well, I've took a leap and joined the WEGO Health Network, a place where people of different disabilities who are advocating for others can come together. I so desperately want to help others! In September, they are having a conference and one lucky person will get to go free-conference and travel expenses paid.  I just wrote why it would be awesome for me to go on the WEGO Facebook page. I don't know if it will help get me there, but if you would like my wall post, maybe, just maybe, someone will be encouraged.

Thanks, y'all!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Water at Watson Mill!

Mom and I made a short trip to Watson Mill campground a few weeks ago. It's also handicap accessible! I just had to share the beautiful pictures!

Where have you been lately?