I've told you a little bit about myself but there's alot that you don't know. This page, like me, is a work in progress. Hopefully the stories that I share on this page will be inspirational, motivating and empowering.
For starters, I was the first child to receive a prosthesis as a baby from the Shriners Hospitals for Children in my hometown area. My parents were visionaries... they wanted the best for me at a period in time when there were few resources. Although they had many questions -and there were few definitive answers- they pushed forward and advocated. When the hospital system agreed to let me have a prosthesis before the age of five years old, my parents viewed it as a privilege and an opportunity.
Now, I've mentioned that I am the first of six children born to my parents. Although it must have been scarey for my young mother, I tell people that the evidence is such that she must not have been THAT afraid- she went on to bear five more children! All kidding aside, I grew up in a loving home with a strong ethic based on honesty, hard work doing one's best. And the same rules applied to all of us.
For me, that meant wearing my prosthesis and not being allowed to say "I can't" -especially too quickly! I remember many battles... with me crying, pulling at the harness and saying I didn't want to wear it. But my parents persevered and they were a united front. None of us could get away with 'splitting' them to divide and conquer. I remember hearing the story that when I was very young I would throw away my prosthesis in the trash. In those days, we had a furnace in the basement, and it was the habit of my father to dump the day's trash in the incinerator for burning.One particular night, I had thrown away my prosthesis and the wastebasket was dumped into the furnace. I must admit that to this day, I remember sitting on the bottom step of the basement stairs and watching as my Dad opened the top of the furnace. The tongues of fire were huge and crackling. My Dad unbent a wire coat hanger and dug through the contents of the burning trash... stopping only when he had resurrected the prosthesis from the licking flames. It was a long time ago... but I still remember the realization I had that this artificial arm was important enough for my father to risk injury to salvage. If it was important to him, it should be important to me.
That is a huge lesson for a child of only 3 or 4 years of age. It is why to this day, as an occupational therapist and even as a mother, I can say honestly that I understand that children know what feels good, they do not know what is good for them.
Such is today's 'nugget': have a vision and be strong to persevere to see it through; knowing that the journey need not 'feel' good all of the time, in order to be successful.