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Wrecked: From bad to good.

Prompted by a blog post by Jeff Goin’s in promotion for his new book that will be coming out. It made me think.

How has my life been wrecked and turned out good? Three years ago I woke with no ability to breathe properly and severe joint pain. I sounded like a moose and I felt about ninety years old. It took two in half years to discover what caused my subglottic stenosis. I have a rare and complicated Vasculitis disease called GPA (Granulomatosis with Polyangitis). I know a mouth full to say. I sometimes feel like an episode on House, but despite the pain, frustration of working with doctors who look at me more like a science experience than an actual person, I have grown a lot. The ways my illness changed me for the better, I know that probably sounds so Buddha like, is in the way I view things around me. Examples: I have deal with teams of doctors and the last time I did was in December 2011 and with no voice to let myself be heard. I had to write everything done. I realized with that experience that working in collaboration is a real skill that is learned and no one is born with it. It takes going outside your ego to actually listen and work with others and that includes in one’s own family. At this time I had no voice, my thorax was broken because of the surgery and I could not communicate in the normal verbal way that everyone else does. I had to hand write things down. Let me tell you, it is slower and it is the easiest way to irritate people, simply because the person reading it has to slow down and be mindful of what is being said. It used a different part of the brain then what is normally used.

Another important way it has changed my life for the better is in the way I have connected with those around me. I have learned in the importance of being precise not only with writing but in also how I talk to others in my TEAM. My TEAM includes: family, friends, doctors, nurses, and anyone who is able to aide me on my quest for health. Despite what is the normal thinking of the world that we are all individuals who stand alone, bullet proof, and we don’t have to rely on anyone. That simply is not reality. The truth is yes, we are individuals, but we are all connected. We need others to succeed in life, we do not stand alone. Whether is a spouse, a friend, a boss, a co-worker, doctors, nurses, or even a neighbor we are connected. After my first long period of time in the hospital where I had no voice, I started realizing there are more like me, individuals who are not capable to communicate in the world in such a way that they can be understood, so I started using mine. I volunteer for Family Challenge, which is a camp for parents who are dealing with children who have challenging behaviors such as RAD, PTSD, Bi-polar, or Autism. We help parents, especially mothers with tools to help them become even better moms. We also offer them a chance to have a break so rejuvenate themselves. I also am a committee member for Living Ministries an organization that help the homeless, low income families, and other organizations help others who need it. My own experience without have a voice and being heard has changed how I treat others and I am becoming a better listener.

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