Here is an article from Good Samaritan Hospice about Worrying. They gear most info toward caregivers providing care to people who are dying. Much of the advice they provide is applicable to us all:
"Relieving the stress of worry doesn't mean you have to stop worrying. Here are some strategies to harness the positives of worry and keep the rest in balance:
--Don't try to give it up. Instead, do it consciously and take notes! Schedule a 45-minute "worry time" for yourself every day. If a worry pops up at another time, write it down for review during your next worry period.
--Clarify what is fact and what is emotion. Hint: Facts are in the present tense. ("Dad seems tired and is coughing a lot.") Emotional concerns often have a "future" component involving a problem that might happen ("What if it's lung cancer?")
--Create a strategy for action. Unproductive fears are usually based in uncertainty. Create a list of action steps to answer the unknowns. ("Look up the symptoms of lung cancer. Find out how many risk factors he has. Make an appointment with the doctor.")
--Write out a balanced perspective. While completing the action steps, your mind is unlikely to just "let go" of the worries. For each worry, write down evidence in its support, and evidence against it. For instance, "Dad spent the afternoon in bed today. Then again, just last week he played a full round of golf with his buddies, and no coughing." When the worry
reappears, you can respond to it with this alternative, fact-based thought."
Click here for link to article...
The definitions of disabled and disability continue to be very gray and unclear. Many people have a disability; some sort of impairment. The disabled term continues to confound us. In the strictest definition, you are disabled if your disability prevents you from participation in a 'normal' activity.
- Failing vision prevents you from seeing well.
- Loss of legs prevents you from walking.
- Lung problems inhibit ability to breath.
These are disabilities.
However, with adaptations:
- Glasses to clear vision
- Prosthetics or a wheelchair to move around [ambulate]
- Oxygen tank for improved breathing
Are you disabled?
I use a bunch of gadgets [adaptive equipment] to perform most tasks during my daily routines. Admittedly, I am now guilty of taking them for granted. Of course, if my grandson hides one or it breaks, action stops. Here is my list of equipment used daily:
That's during a typical day. Technology and creativity help me to maintain my
independence. The old saying, "Where there's a will, there's a way." works very well for those of us with challenges / special needs.
Our 3.5 year old grandson spent the weekend in our home. It is just amazing to watch his body work. He never thinks how to move or concerns himself with balance; he just goes and everything works as it was designed. How awesome are bodies are!
Even when we have challenges due to a physical problem, we have the ability to compensate for loss or changes. Couple that with desire, determination and perseverance, our body / brain combination can accomplish great things.
In spite of loss, difficulty and challenge, we have been blessed to have such a great Creator design our bodies. Remember to say thank you [sorry, still in grandpa mode; say please and thank you].
I have heard and read many opinions about the universal handicap symbol. Unless the person has an artsy / graphic background, most of the complaints I hear are from people who do not have mobility related disabilities. Their point being that is not representative of the majority of the disabled population. It lumps everyone into the wheelchair user category. This was reinforced by an author about hidden disabilities. The writer made the point that a capital 'D' might be better.
My research shows that the International Symbol of Access was chosen by Rehabilitation International, a federation of 145 organizations in 82 countries that conducts programs to
assist people with disabilities work for prevention, rehabilitation and integration. In 1968, the design by Susan Koefoed was chosen and is still used today.
The designation, International Symbol of Access, helps to give a better perception of what the symbol accomplishes. It's not only about designating a parking place, vehicle or bathroom; it's about plainly marking access routes and approaches, too. This symbol is never confused with any other symbol. It's easy to spot. It works. However, perhaps something like this update is in order:
There is such a thing as a hidden disability. Conditions that people must deal with that can be quite debilitating but are not easy to recognize. In fact, the list includes most injuries or illnesses that effect internal organs such as the brain, ears, eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, nerves, chronic pain, etc.. Just because you don't use a wheelchair or a walker doesn't mean you don't struggle with some type of challenge to get through the day.
For many people, if you're not using some kind of adaptive equipment, you must be OK. I'll bet that in many circumstances, it would be more valid and credible to be a quadriplegic in a motorized wheelchair than a person who has cognitive challenges due to a traumatic brain injury or stroke. How could you have a disability, you look fine.
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, any person with a disability is entitled to civil rights. The price, especially for the folks in the hidden disabilities group, is the stigma that will inevitably fall in their laps when they have to announce that even though you can't see it, they have a problem that requires a special approach for a solution.
As I have written many times, being successful at living when you have a disability is knowing all you can about your condition and then discovering all the techniques you can use to accommodate those limitations. Even according to the Dirty Harry Callahan [a Clint Eastwood character], "A man's got to know his limitations." [or woman]. Once you know them, work around them; be creative, get help, figure out a way.
Success is a very personal, individualized concept. For me, it definitely fluctuates depending on how I feel physically and emotionally.
I just saw this image today and pirated it from desicomments.com created by Modest Jasdeep.
I just loved the perspective the artist used [and the artwork]. How are you measuring your success today?
I have had a number of discussions recently with people about chronic pain. Now, I realize that part of this is due to the age of my peer group [50+]. That itself sends up the first flag. As we age, those gremlins work their way in and begin to hammer, drill, poke and prod. Lots of parts just start to hurt. Probably due in part to how poorly we treated ourselves when it didn't matter; partly due to our bodies deteriorating due to age.
We know it's gonna happen. So, the second flag raised is what to do about it? We know that prescription pain drugs are given out like jelly beans at Easter. Do people realize that they just mask the pain and do nothing to get to the cause? Of course, for many of these chronic pain ailments, there is no fix. If that's the case, dosage of the medication is important. If you have serious pain and take enough medication to feel no pain, you're probably drooling on your toes and can't remember your name. These drugs should be used at a level where you have pain but can still function, [take the edge off].
True, intense chronic pain does push people to do anything to feel better. Surgery, drugs, pain programs, chiropractors, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, aromatherapy, ice packs, heat wraps, etc. My first experience with chronic pain was during a discussion with a co-worker. Her husband committed suicide because he couldn't take it any longer. That seemed extreme until I experienced true, intense chronic pain. I understood after that.
If you know someone who is disabled or you are disabled yourself, there really are normal days. A normal day is when you go about your daily activities, everything goes as planned, there are no problems; everything just seems to operate smoothly.
It's seems to be a challenge for a person who is observing the normal day to understand how it could possibly be normal. Usually, that's because they see the disability and how it can create barriers. They might not see a person enjoying the ball game or picnic because of a walker, wheelchair, adaptive van, different speech, etc..
I guess a normal day is different for everyone. Who decided what normal is, anyway?
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