Lessons Learned From My Neighborhood

Single person reflecting their community

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Six years ago 1/3 of my neighboring residents were living on public housing. The poverty rate here is twice the poverty rate of the rest of Los Angeles county. In 2009 the LA times listed my communities median household income as $49k. The community is listed as a 2.5 out of 10 in safety.

So what does this have to do with my dizziness? I believe environments shape our realities. The culture radiates off us and often times we reflect the culture. I spend so much time indoors with this condition. However, if dizziness permits, I partake in a daily walk. On my daily walk poverty is visible. Yet, people don’t seem to allow the poverty to affect them.

I have lived here for 8 months but some of my family members have lived here for 40+ years. When I walk my neighborhood I see shopping carts overturned on unkept lawns, broken up sidewalks and streets, battered homes looking abandoned. Yet, I managed to find a lesson today when walking. A community that has so little is still able to radiate with so much pride. I will gladly be reflective of my community and learn from it’s teachings. Dizziness has taken so much from me, but with lesson’s learned from the neighborhood, I will continue to radiate with pride!

Much Love,
Marissa

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Chiropractor Extraordinaire:

Gordon Grannis, D.C.

 

Books mentioned:

Painless Writing by Jeffrey Strausser

Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott

 

Much Love,
Marissa

Janet Jackson Really Understood The Meaning Of “Control”

If you have not heard the song “Control” by Janet Jackson please take time to listen to this great song!

I’m finally starting to understand why living with dizziness has been so life altering.  This condition has taken away my control. I no longer have dominion over my life. Dizziness has dominated my every waking moment for the last six years. Loosing control has manifested into stagnation. Dizziness and myself are in a power struggle. To live successfully with this condition, requires that we are one step ahead. How can we win this power struggle? We must find situations in our lives where we take our control back!

Aspects of my life I am going to take back:

My Thoughts: I often times catastrophize my life experiences. When dizziness keeps me from partaking in an event I often wallow in sorrow. I breathe life into the negative afterthoughts.

My Health: There is no excuse for me to be 40 lbs overweight (at the time of this post I have 23 lbs left to loose!). I can blame it on my  inability to exercise to Taebo but that isn’t being transparent. I eat candy, cookies, ice-cream, cupcakes, etc. with reckless abandonment.

My Time:  Being chronically dizzy 24 hours a day you start to believe you have to surrender your life to this condition. Precious moments of my life have been wasted being frozen with fear. What am I going to do? How will I support myself? How can I live a life with this condition? Will my fiance leave me because I am dizzy? Will I have a roof over my head? Funny thing is none of these crazy thoughts have manifested. My fiance is by my side,  I am living with this condition, I have a roof over my head, and I am actively searching for ways to support myself.

Once I start taking back precious segments of my life I won’t be so focused on micromanaging the things I can’t control! I won’t be so concerned with yelling at my fiance for the way he drives. I won’t be nervous when I am asked to go to dinner with my family. I will go to a movie a not be terrified of the unknown.
Dizziness, you may have won the battle, but you will not win the war!

Much love,
Marissa

How Do I Pull Myself Up Without Bootstraps?

As previously mentioned I have sought help from vocational rehabilitation hoping to attain skills to get me back into the workforce.

“It takes money to make money,” and I am completely sold on the idea.  It has been a blessing working with health practitioners willing to place me on payment plans for medical services.  I have been blessed to have a frugal sister that has shown me how to dress on a dime.  I am blessed to have another sister that does my hair for free. I have been blessed to have a supportive fiance that takes me to my medical appointments. I have been blessed that my supportive family was willing to take me in so I could have a roof over my head.

Image: Daniel St.Pierre / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Despite my current blessings I am still unsure how to pull myself up without bootstraps? To learn a  new skill set often requires monetary funding. Vocational rehabilitation has afforded me the ability to take classes online in web design. However, there are additional books and software  outside of my classes that are essential to add to my web design kit . I hate to ask for handouts so I have been considering asking various companies to allow me to review their software and products in exchange for honest reviews. If you have any additional ideas please do not hesitate to share your thoughts.

Much Love,
Marissa

Getting To Know Your Community (Update)

Image of people forming a community Image: xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I want to quickly express my opinion on communities. I think they are a great resource. However, often times people are venting their frustration, insecurities and fears. It is important that we don’t get caught up in these emotions. I believe part of living successfully with this condition is remaining one step ahead of it. If we allow ourselves to wallow in our sorrow for too long that can be dangerous.

For example: When I first started looking into dizziness communities I would see comments such as this… ” I had a terrible time at Walmart! I will never go back!”.  Since dizziness breads fear I found myself avoiding Walmart. Now that may sound silly but it became my reality. So, if you are new to dizzy groups keep this in mind. Use them as a positive resource and don’t allow yourself to be caught up!

On a side note: I am starting a Facebook community, this community will focus on providing work related resources.

 

Much Love,
Marissa

 

Seeking Alternative Treatments To Improve Quality Of Life

As I have mentioned in previous blogs the HMO’s have given up on me. I was granted disability and they assume that I will waste away on the system. For the last year I have sought “alternative treatments” searching to improve my quality of life.  The experiences have been a blessing and an eye opener.  The word alternative can be interchanged with the word expensive. When insurance doesn’t cover “alternative treatments” cost can skyrocket. At this current time I am spending close to 70 percent of my disability check on “alternative treatment’s”.

 

Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Alternative Specialist Sought:

Chiropractic Care

TMJ Care

Acupuncture

“Natural” Doctor specializing in nutrition and supplements

Overall I have had positive experiences with alternative treatments. However, I suggest you heavily research the specialty and specialist. I have met alternative specialist that promise to “heal you”. You are then trapped into purchasing expensive supplements and  paying for astronomical office visits. Also, trust yourself. I recently was seeing an alternative doctor and after leaving the visit I had a negative feeling. I elected to trust myself and not return. If you ever need chiropractic or TMJ care in the Southern California area please contact me at marissa@abledis.com I have some excellent recommendations.

Much love,
Marissa

The Daunting Disability Process

It’s a daunting process to apply for disability.  The burden is placed on the individual to prove they are disabled.  You must gather medical documentation and be reviewed by assigned medical doctors. In my particular case I was reviewed by three independent doctors.  Once your health and mental status have been combed over they hand down the decision.  I believe the baffling nature of my condition and the overwhelming amount of medical records didn’t leave much room for debate. It was a very scary time for me and I dread the medical reviews I have to face.

Image: Rawich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here are some tips that helped me get through the process:

1. Be organized: I can not stress the importance of organization. You are going to be dealing with a mountain of paperwork. You do not want to delay the process or forget to include important documentation because your paperwork is in disarray.

2. Request your medical records: I found it helpful to have my medical records in my possession. I have seen several specialist and my medical records were spread throughout various hospitals and departments within hospitals. Also I was able to go through my records and recall events I had forgotten or appointments where I was too sick to recall details.

3. Ask for help:  The process can be daunting. I had to take it in stages. Don’t hesitate to ask a family member or friend to assist you. At times we often feel embarrassed or prideful and refuse to ask for help.  I have learned through this process to let go and let others assist me.

Much love,
Marissa

Why Is It So Dark In Here?

Quick blog post today. I may start posting restaurant reviews on my blog. My fiance and I are planning to have a celebratory dinner with our parents. One concern with chronic dizziness is finding a well-lit restaurant not overwhelmingly noisy.

Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Side note:  Is ambiance in a restaurant really that important? Why do restaurants have to be so dark? I personally enjoy seeing my company:) If  you have any suggestions in the Los Angeles/ San Fernando/Burbank/Pasadena areas please don’t hesitate to comment.

I Feel Like My Priorities… All Mixed Up!

I have been reflecting upon my latest blog entry. I listed 10 limitations and found it interesting that I also listed 10 advantages. I was unwilling to have the disadvantages out-way my advantages.  I believe this is testament to my inner spirit. That inner spirit has been manifesting into willpower. I have this incredible drive to not allow this condition to rob me of the dreams I once dreamed.

Before the condition the top priority in my life was work. I spent countless hours working. I was young and energetic and I had a solid career. Everything else in my life such as health, family, friends,  and even myself became secondary. I was able to pour all of this innate drive into work. I was excelling and believed I was destined to have a successful career.

 

 

 

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So what happens when you are forced to create new priorities yet have the same ambitions? Since being stripped of my top priority, work, how do I learn to prioritize and focus my energies on the life areas I neglected? Maybe it’s time to place the “everything else” at the top of my agenda.

I admittedly believe that if I somehow get back into the workforce I am regaining what I once lost. However, I am failing to use this drive to focus on the things I never lost, my family and myself!

Vocational Rehabilitation or Bust

I strongly believe finding resources limited the number of dark days this condition presents. The HMO medical community and my employer had given up on me but I had sense enough not to give up on myself. I figured there had to be a way for me to actively participant in the workforce in some capacity. I have a capable mind and an unyielding spirit.  These qualities allowed me the ability to get out and explore my options. Maybe there was a person or organization that would be willing to give me some guidance? In comes Vocational Rehabilitation…

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