Today's blog is from Stacy Gillett, the executive director of The Arc of King County. She shares her personal thoughts about institutions for people with developmental disabilities. A recent invest...
The Arc of Greater Cleveland shared a link.
Breakfast may fuel your morning, but the right lunch will keep you going through afternoon meetings, hitting the gym and picking the kids up after work.
I’m in the hospital right now. I don’t like it here and can’t wait to get out. Like you, I have a rare neuromuscular disease that has made me very weak my whole life. When I was a young child, I was in the hospital all the time. There are so many things about it that I don’t like. I don’t like nurses sticking needles in my arms and hands. I don’t like the painful physical therapy. I don’t like them connecting me to tubes that are supposed to help me breathe better.
I’ve been in the hospital this time for seven weeks and I probably won’t be getting out for a while. Something bad happened in my brain called a stroke. And the next day, I actually died for four minutes until the doctors could bring me back to life. I’m so happy they did because I love my life!
When I was born, doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t live past the age of 15. But now I’m 51 years old! I have always been weak and skinny with no muscle strength, but people are always amazed at what I’ve been able to do. I have three kids who are ages 23, 21 and 18. Despite the fact that I can barely move my arms, I can drive my van. I travel around the country and the world, telling people about the fact that they have the inner strength to do anything they set their heart and mind on. I have written three books and been on television a whole lot of times. One time, over a million people saw a documentary film about my life. (I can send you a copy if you like.)
When I get out of the hospital this time, my life will be different. Now I have to live with a little sack in my tummy and I get fed through a tube. I will still be able to eat, but the tube will make sure I get enough food. I also have a new hole in my neck called a tracheotomy which will help me breathe. But I don’t mind these new problems. As long as I get to live, laugh and love for many years to come, I will be happy. I look forward to meeting you someday soon.
“The Strength Coach”
PS. If you want to read more about my life, check out my website and Facebook page. http://www.thestrengthcoach.com/ and www.facebook.com/thestrengthcoach
Image Descriptions: 1) Greg in the mid-1970s riding a horse at MDA summer camp. A counselor sits behind him and holds Greg's waist to keep him balanced. 2) Greg sits in his power wheelchair on stage in a business suit. His fist is raised as he gives a motivational speech to a large audience (not pictured). 3) Greg and his son, a college football player, are shown together on the football field. 4) Greg sits in his power wheelchair at his laptop while in his hospital room. He's eating ice chips. His tracheotomy tube is visible and there are hospital monitors in the background. Greg has a bright smile on his face in all of the pictures.