Tag Archives: Getting Published

I’ve returned, and here’s why!

16 Apr

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After over 2 months, I’m back. However, before I go into why I’ve returned, I thought I’d fill you in on what’s been going on in my life recently.

During the months of January, February, and March, things were rough for me physically. I was in more pain than normal, I was falling more than usual, and it was incredibly frightening. I felt like I had slipped back in time. Despite my initial resistance, I contacted a local doctor in Asheville who deals with CP in adults (which, in some ways, seems like some kind of Mecca). However, I was afraid, understandably. I didn’t know if I wanted to hear what the doctor would have to tell me regarding my disability. I didn’t know if he’d mention surgery or botox. I just knew that I wanted answers, but I was scared to know what they truly were.

Due to my anxiety connected with going to this new doctor, I had my parents come with me as moral support, and I knew they’d want to hear what the doctor had to say anyway. What was the verdict, you ask? Baclofin (an anti-spasticity medication to hopefully lessen the increased spasticity) plus regular physical therapy and pool therapy for a period of 6 weeks. Even though I was happy about the Baclofin since I had never taken an anti-spasticity medication and was interested in how it would affect me, I was much less excited about the physical therapy. I remember leaving the doctor’s office that day in a weird haze. Once I got outside, I started to cry. Physical therapy? Again? Wasn’t 15 years enough? I couldn’t even seem to wrap my head around it. I was scared and for good reason. I had more than a lifetime of memories from physical therapy to write multiple books on the subject, and I wasn’t looking forward to returning…at all. However, after talking it through with my parents and numerous friends, I realized that this was ultimately my decision. If I tried the physical therapy again, and I wasn’t getting anything out of it, I could stop…just like that. With that understanding, I made the decision to go ahead with the physical therapy and the pool therapy. After all, I was in a crazy amount of pain. If there was any chance that physical therapy could help, why not give it a try?

My PT evaluation (before I even started back with PT exercises) felt like stepping back in time. I felt like a kid, walking into a place I knew would result in me being in tears in an hour. My anxiety was sky high, and I was terrified. For my entire life, physical therapy was associated with one feeling: pain. I didn’t understand why I had decided to place myself in that environment again…and willingly at that. The fear came back full force when the physical therapist asked me to bend one of my knees back as far as I could. I have always been incredibly hesitant to bend my knees due to a painful experience during my intense physical therapy following one of my major operations. Therefore, the slight mention that the physical therapist may be planning to “try to get those knees to bend” had me terrified. Though when I left that day, the physical therapist assured me that I was in control and they weren’t there to hurt me, I just looked at her. Up until that point, I had never really had the say-so regarding my physical therapy, mainly because my previous experiences with PT occured when I was still a child and the primary goal was to get me up and moving so that I could be as independent as possible.

As the weeks went on, so did the physical therapy and the pool therapy. I also continued to take the Baclofin. I started to like the pool therapy, simply because it was a less intense version of physical therapy. Therefore, I felt like I could actually relax. The first regular PT session following the first evaluation wasn’t enjoyable like the pool therapy though. The exercises I was asked to do gave me flashbacks to previous physical therapy sessions in my past, and it was incredibly overwhelming. At one point. I even started to have an anxiety attack. I couldn’t seem to get the feeling of pain out of my head, though I wasn’t in pain during the present moment. It just felt close. The rest of the day following the PT session in which I had the panic attack was rough. I cried off an on throughout the day, and painful memories from my past PT didn’t seem to want to leave me alone. Though I was incredibly anxious to return to PT following that rough day, I did. I explained how the previous PT session deeply affected me and caused me to be really upset. Thankfully, the physical therapist responded well to my anxiety and told me that she’d find other stretches I could do that wouldn’t cause me so much emotional stress.

Last week, the 6 weeks of physical therapy and pool therapy came to end. Though I was glad that the physical therapy had provided me with some exercises to implement into my current workout, I was happy to be done. I was happy to actually get discharged from physical therapy. I’m also still continuing to take the Baclofin, the anti-spasticity medication. Though I haven’t seen immediate changes, I have noticed that I haven’t fallen in a number of weeks, which is huge since I was falling multiple times a week prior to starting the PT, pool therapy, and Baclofin. So that’s where I am as of now, taking it one day at a time.

However, the main reason I’m back doesn’t have to do with physical therapy or being in pain. I’m back because a week ago I received news that the post I wrote last May for Holstee is going to be included IN A BOOK. Though I’ve been published numerous times before (online and in newspapers), there is something so incredibly about the idea of being published IN A BOOK. The My Life Book is still in its early stages, so I don’t have any information about when the book will be published, but I will definitely keep all of you posted. The interesting part is that when I was informed that my story would be included in the book, the suggestion to edit the article since it has been almost a year since it was published was thrown onto the table. I’m somewhat torn, however. A lot has definitely happened in the last year, and since the article I wrote for Holstee involves talking about how I’m writing my memoir of living with CP, it would make sense to include the struggles I’ve been dealing with most recently. However, I also know that it could be hard to limit all of the explanation to just one article. Decisions, decisions. Either way, things are looking up!

Now, what’s being going on with all of YOU? Two months doesn’t seem like too long, but it’s felt like an eternity. Either way, I am so happy to be back!

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Published Again: The Holstee Site, My Life, is now live!

9 May

Last week I wrote a post about how I wrote a piece for the Holstee site, My Life, about how the Holstee Manifesto has impacted my life: Getting Published For The Third Time?! I’m excited to announce that the My Life site has officially gone live, so all of you can now go read the piece that I wrote for them!

My piece can be found here. All of the pieces written for the site are categorized under Travel, People, Wellness, Work, or Passion. My piece was placed under Wellness, which I feel like fits since I talk about my CP and how the Holstee Manifesto has given me the push I need to continue writing my memoir/share my story with the world. Anyway, last night I spent a good amount of time on the My Life site reading other people’s’ stories, and if you have the time, you should read a few more other than mine.

It’s amazing how people can be in completely different phases in life and having their own unique life story and still be able to say that they were touched by this inspirational poster, the Holstee Manifesto. If anything, the people who wrote the stories for the site have all been impacted by the poster. Whether it has meant discovering their passion, realizing they aren’t enjoying the life they are currently living, or finally deciding to follow their dreams….it’s words that helping them come to that conclusion. I don’t know about you, but I find that really, really cool!

Anyway, check out the piece I wrote for My Life, pass it on to others who you think might enjoy it, and most of all, give me YOUR thoughts on it. I always love hearing what my fellow bloggers and writers have to say.

Find ALL of the stories here, including mine: My Life.

Getting Published For The Third Time?!

30 Apr

A little over two weeks ago, I wrote a Photo Friday post about the Holstee Manifesto poster and the fact that it has impacted my life, which can be read here. Four days later, I received a blog comment from Mary Shouvlin, a member of the Holstee team. She mentioned that Holstee is putting together a website that is made up of people’s’ stories of how the poster has impacted their life, and she asked me to include my story and a photo of myself to include on the website when it goes live.

I was truly shocked at this amazing opportunity. Since beginning blogging, I never imagined that it could be such a wonderful way to connect with people and allow my writing to be recognized by so many people. The same day I received the blog comment from Mary, I sent her my story. I was so excited to finally get “published” again that I simply couldn’t wait even a day to express how the Holstee Manifesto has impacted my life.

When I interned with the Columbia Star newspaper in January of 2009, I had 2 articles published. The first is basically my life story, and the article that I’m most proud of. The second, a commentary, was an article I wrote as if I was the SC Superintendent of Education. Though the second article wasn’t as personal, it taught me how to research a topic that I’d need to write about, which is much different from researching a topic that you’ve got to write a paper on for school. Anyway, both of the articles that I wrote for the Columbia star can be found here. It was an amazing feeling when I was first published. There’s something magical about seeing my words in print and being recognized for them.

Even though what I’ve written for the Holstee site won’t be in print, it will still be connected with my name, and it’ll still be “published” since my name will be connected to what I’ve written, which will also include the picture of me that is on my “About Me” page on this blog. Anyway, I’m excited to be published for a third time, and I will be sure to let all of you know when the site goes live so that you can read what I’ve written.

For information on how you can write your own story on how the Holstee Manifesto has impacted you, go here.