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Hi Bill,
I like your ideas for topics to discuss.

One thought I have relates to the idea of sharing inspirational stories & experiences.

Recently, I've been working to not take myself too seriously, and to be able to have a sense of humor about the unique challenges that come with low-vision.

I've hesitated to fully-embrace this approach, however, feeling that others may misinterpret a good-natured sense of humor as a green-light for being disrespectful.

Also, I was thinking others with disabilities can be at different stages of coping or acceptance, and may not react well to such an approach.

I truly appreciate thoughts or feedback others may have.

Thanks,
Erich

Hi Erich,

Thanks for stopping by.

I like your idea of sharing inspirational stories & experiences. Learning more about each other we can then learn from each others experiences and possibly save time and frustration trying to figure out something on our own.

Luckily I have not had many people be disrespectful to me, besides by email at times when asking for help. I think this might be because of the thought you noted “others with disabilities can be at different stages of coping or acceptance". My thoughts were these responses I received by simply asking a question might be because the person might have other issues around coping or acceptance? Just a thought. If this is the case I hope they can read our information, join in and receive our help. If I was misinterpreting the messages, I will have to do better at understanding others. I sure have room to grow and learn.

One other time I can remember someone being disrespectful to me is when I went on a walk one day. I walked down to the corner where I live. I heard footsteps coming towards me. I stopped to listen and faced the direction of the footsteps. I called "hello", "hello" to see if who ever was coming towards me would say something so I would know someone was out there. They never said anything. I heard the footsteps stop just in front of me. I said "hello", but no answer still. I could smell the breath of some person standing very close to my face. Then they walked away without saying anything. I thought that was pretty rude.

Thanks again Erich for stopping by. Hope to hear from others and yourself again to get more great ideas.

Bill Tipton

Contributing Author,

Global Dialogue Center
http://www.globaldialoguecenter.com/


You are remarkable, Bill, for your transparency and openness concerning your disability. In the year 2000, I began a journey into the world of the disabled. It had started with pain and numbness due to carpal tunnel, but nerve tests showed that my keyboarding over 30 years had damaged the nerves in my entire arms, to my spinal column. After carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel surgery bilaterry, I developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy, commonly called RSD or chronic pain syndrome.

I have burning pain in both arms, which is relentless. It has affected every aspect of my life, from sleeping habits to eating habits,to how I actually get my work done. I went from a very active lifestyle, caring for others, to a sedentary lifestyle with others who care for me. I went from being a person who has one cold per year, to a person who visits doctors on a weekly basis, has an implanted spinal stimulator and takes multiple medications.

People ask me how I keep going, some people tell me that I'm an inspiration to them. The truth is, I just try to live my life each day, moment to moment. There are days when I feel hopeless, there are days that are greater than any I ever had before. I have tried to learn where to maintain my focus, and to hope in the future: the future technology, the future scientific and medical advances; and not let today blind me. I think many days of the old song that said "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." I remind myself of the story of Adam and Eve, when they find themselves banished from Paradise. And Life goes on. It's a different life, but it takes both rain and sunshine for growth.

So I decide and choose each day to live as an explorer, a pioneer. I decide to lift my head, and my heart follows. I decide to be a blessing to other people's lives. I decide to face my fears.

Old friends and family tell me that I am a better person. I hope that's true.

Hi Barbara,

Thanks so much for letting us get the chance to get to know you. We both started our lives’ as disabled people around the same time. You said your’s started around year 2000. My journey started on May 26, 1999.

It makes me feel sad to hear about such pain you go through in both arms, and all the other major discomforts and challenges you have had to deal with.

It does make me happy that you have a great attitude despite all of these discomforts and challenges. One example is when you say” I just try to live my life each day, moment to moment. There are days when I feel hopeless and there are days that are greater than any I ever had before. “

We can all learn from this approach. Too often, at least for me, if I think too long at the negative things that have happened to me and my current situation, I might forget to think about all the good things in life that still happen. If I really had to think about it and talk truthfully, I have had my most joyous and fulfilling times since I have lost my vision. At the same time there are days when things are not good. This is not to say if given the chance to get my sight back I would not take it. I would take my sight back any time.

I can sure relate to " that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." I cannot do many things now that I could when I could see, and the things I can still do seem to be more difficult at times. But even with loss of sight or any other disability if a person has the attitude you talked about above, even with challenges, you can have fun and enjoy life.

Also you mentioned about being an explorer. That makes me think about my backpacking days when I could see. I to want to be an explorer again and go backpacking once again.

Barbara, by posting your message you are a blessing to other people for sure. Others with similar challenges might have hope now they might not have had until you were courageous enough to share yourself with us.

Hope others will benefit as much as I did to hear your story and get to know you.

Does anyone else have anything they would like to share? Look forward to hearing from you.


Bill Tipton
Contributing Author,
Global Dialogue Center
http://www.globaldialoguecenter.com/

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