Archive August 2019
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Spinal Cord Injury Awareness MonthSpinal Cord Injury Awareness Month
By: Elizabeth Kumar, Communications Manager
I remember the day well when my life changed in an instant. I was home for Thanksgiving Break after parent teacher conferences in 2004. I was only 24 years old and was a full-time classroom teacher. My parents convinced me not to drive home that night because I looked like I wasn’t feeling well. It was also getting kind of dark outside and my parents were a little overprotective like most parents. Luckily, I was home because what started off as a full blown migraine led to sharp pins and needles in my legs and finally my life changed forever. I slide down my bed trying to get up and the last movement, which I remember vividly, was lifting my right leg ever so slightly with intense effort. Instantly I was paralyzed from the chest down. My mother was a night nurse and my father was sound asleep. I tried calling for him but he did not get up. I decided to call my mother at work. She said to call 911 and tell them to bring me to her hospital which was out of the way for the ambulance but they kindly took me there. It took my father a little while to realize I really couldn’t move. My first thought was, how I am supposed to go back to work. I didn’t have any tears for at least two weeks after my paralysis. Each year I celebrate this day. You may ask why celebrate such as day. I say everyone goes through something in their lives that makes them stronger and hopefully a better person. I celebrate my accomplishments since that day in 2004.
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The Adventures of Living with a Disability, Episode IVThe Adventures of Living with a Disability, Episode IV
By: Brad Miles ECNV Board President
Like the Star Wars saga, the storytelling begins somewhere in the middle.
I remember one of my summer jobs as a teen getting fired after I had been there a week.
The job was not a good fit. I worked in a hospital laundry. It was hot humid and also cold.
I could have predicted I would be fired the first day. This happened when I had my hands in my pockets keeping them warm because they were cold. My manager told me to take them out. I hindsight, he only wanted to see if my hands were clean and groomed because I was handling hospital laundry. They were clean and well groomed but cold.
I hated the job because I got sick when I went to work and was exposed to humidity and cold. I was born with an Autoinflammatory condition that I inherited from my father. It is like an autoimmune condition. I flare up with different triggers like cold. It affects me in different ways. Simply said, I feel aweful when I have a flare.
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