Hello blogger friends and welcome. Here is another post for the Redefining Disability Challenge started by Rose B. Fischer. If you click on the image to the left, you can see exactly what it’s all about and feel free to join. Answer as many of the 52 questions as you like, or the ones that pertain to you. There is no time limit. Answer them in one post, one a day, a week, or whatever fits your needs.
I’m going to spread the questions out over the remainder of the year since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer question(s) 22.
22. What would you tell someone who has recently been diagnosed with your disabilities or disabilities that you are familiar with? That’s a tough one. I know, because nothing anyone said to me when I was coherent enough to understand what was going on, made me feel any better.
It was as if I had to go through all five stages of the grieving process to get to where I am today. I would tell people they would most likely experience something similar.
Denial – Refusing to believe the diagnosis is true; there must be some mistake.
Anger – Expect it. Even now I have moments of anger, but nothing compared to what I first felt.
Bargaining – I tried a lot of this with God for a good three years during recovery. I pled all the time. ‘If you’ll just make me whole again and let me get back to EMS, I promise I’ll be a better EMT, person, friend… You name it, and I tried to bargain for it.
Depression – This went hand in hand with the bargaining. I still suffer from depression, but it’s mostly under control. I pray a lot, meditate, and focus on the things I still CAN do. I would tell anyone suffering depression after being diagnosed with a chronic illness or major medical incident to PLEASE get help if they feel too overwhelmed and helpless.
Sometimes family and friends aren’t enough. There is no shame in seeking professional help. Almost five years post-bleed and I still see my neuro-psychologist and psychiatrist. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Why? When all is said and done, I want to feel BETTER.
Acceptance – This took the longest for me. I know that everyone is different and processes their emotions and circumstances their own way. The only thing I can say to survivors is that eventually it can get better. Accepting the changes will come. Although I accept the ‘new’ me limitations and all. I’m still striving toward a better outcome: Fewer deficits, a sharper, more focused mind, and a chance to return to the workplace as a contributing member of society.
Most important, never give up on yourself. The body is an amazing creation. You have the power within you to make positive strides. Remember that.