It’s Time To Come Clean

I feel like I have been living a double life. Majority of those on my personal Facebook page have no clue I am living with a disability. I couldn’t take it any longer. It was time for me to come clean!

“Majority of you are unaware that I have been suffering from a disabling balance disorder. Six, almost seven years ago my balance started failing me. I began experiencing intermittent dizziness and then one day I woke up with full blown vertigo, I have never been the same. The etiology of the condition is unknown. Check out the day in a life living with this condition.

The crazy thing is I look 100 percent “normal,” yet I am really struggling inside. I have been silent about what is going on for several reasons, mainly fear and embarrassment. However, as I grow to accept what has happened I want to live more openly about what I am going through. I can’t be my authentic self and not speak my truth. So I want to apologize for missing birthday’s, events, visits, graduations, and much more. I apologize for not being honest with you and allowing a chance for dialogue and support. I want to thank babe for always being by my side and helping me get through this! Much love, Marissa ”

Much love,
Marissa

 

Career Longevity and Job Markets In The Disability World

My vocational rehabilitation counselor impressed upon me the importance of career longevity. We tossed around career opportunities in medical transcription, medical billing, and web design. She was not necessarily interested in the particular career, rather the longevity of the career. The goal was to investigate and uncover both good and bad notables within the career field.

Here are some examples of careers explored:

Medical Transcription

1. Outsourcing
2. Doctors are using electronic medical records and dictation software is improving
3. The industry is competitive and saturated due to lack of continuous work.

My counselor had spoken to a minimum of 10 hospitals and was actively searching for work for other client’s. Based on information available we elected to eliminate medical transcription as a viable career option.

Photo Restoration (resorting old photographs)

*With this new found information in hand I was prepared to carry out my own analysis

1. “anything commodifiable can be outsourced”
2. Unable to find a presence of jobs on the internet
3. I reached out to individuals in the industry and the sentiment was that photo restoration work is not as available as it was 5-10 years ago.

I reached out to the photo restoration community and gathered valuable information.  A wonderful gentleman in the photo restoration industry, Eric Basir , was willing to answer my industry questions. He was kind enough to offer job industry advice and helped me with a photo restoration question. You may find this information helpful.

Watch live streaming video from photografix at livestream.com

 Eric answers my questions at 37:25.

 

How to predict longevity and research the job market?:

Job Market Research:
* Research current job listings that interests you. It was suggested I write down all of the jobs I was interested in. I was to create two columns on a separate sheet of paper. One column should list jobs I can do now,and the other column, jobs I would like to do if training was available.

*After I highlighted my desired jobs, I moved onto career longevity.

Carrer Longevity:
* Research your desired industry. Inquire about required skills, education, salary, and benefits. Don’t be afraid to ask an employer in the industry if they are currently hiring and if they plan to hire in the future.

Final thoughts:

I will continue to explorer career paths. The opportunities have been bleak, however, I am relying on progressive technology and job culture offering more legitimate work from home opportunities.

 

Much love,
Marissa

Beware of Work From Home Scams

As I delve into learning new skills, examining work from home career’s, I am disturbed. I can across a website called Rat Race Rebellion, founded by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren of Staffcentrix, LLC.  On the website they advertise a scam-o-meter. The current scam ratio is listed as 60:1. Sixty scams for every one legitimate job lead. It’s is a landmine out there. There has to be a better way!

Much love,
Marissa

 

Walking With The Aid Of Trekking Poles

I have been encouraged by medical practitioners and family members to get out and walk. I realize the tremendous health and psychological benefits attained from walking. However, what happens when your vestibular (balance) system makes walking a challenge? A compromised balance system leads to imbalance, stumbling, disorientation, muscle weakness, etc.

Taking my first steps:
After the first vertigo spell the ER doctor encouraged me to start walking as soon as possible. My first attempt at walking after the spell was clumsy, weak and unsteady. The walk around the block felt like a mile, I held onto a family member for dear life.

How I felt emotionally:
It was a terrifying experience. Once anxiety and fear set in, it became difficult convincing myself to take a stroll.

Months and years go by:
Over time I found myself resistant to walking long distances and my overall health began to suffer. There had to be a safe way for me to walk around the block! I then set out determined to find the ideal walking apparatus.

Searching the internet:
I looked into canes, crutches, walkers, rolling walkers, rollators, etc. Beside not being ascetically pleasing, they were not practical for walking down the sidewalk in my neighborhood. I needed something sturdy that allowed for equal distribution of my weight, and freedom to move my arms and legs.

My million dollar idea:
I thought I had a million dollar idea on my hands. I could cut the tops off two canes and replace the tops with sturdy handle bars!  With my million dollar idea in mind, I set out for another internet search. With each Google search result return, I quickly realized my millions were slipping away. According to Wikipedia, the idea of a trekking poles (sticks) has been around since the early 1900’s.

“Trekking poles (also known as hiking poles, hiking sticks or walking poles) are a common hiking accessory used to assist walkers with their rhythm and provide stability on rough terrain.”

Trekking poles to the rescue:
My family was open to the idea of trekking poles but no one had never seen or used them. I was blessed at Christmas receiving a pair of trekking poles from my fiance. I have been using the poles for 8 months and they have been a blessing.

 

Different views of trekking polesExcuse the quality of photos ( working with a free cell phone cam:) )

 

Benefits:

* Stability and balance
* Cork handles ( when my hands sweat it is not an issue, the cork handles are slip-resistant)
*Adjustable length ( I am short and having adjustable settings is essential)
* Wrist straps ( I place my hands within the straps and there is additional support around my wrist)
* Rubber pole tip ( The pair I am currently using has rubber walking tips. If you remove the rubber tip a metal tip is exposed.  I have used the metal tip walking on dirt and rough terrain. )

Final Thoughts:
If there is a will there is a way! There are days when the imbalance and dizziness get the best of me. However, with these trekking poles I can participate in a safe walk. For other dizzy suffers I suggest being prepared for interesting comments made from folks when walking with your sticks. We are used to living with a hidden disability and these sticks definitely bring attention. Here are some interesting comments made when I am walking the neighborhood:

” are you training for the Olympics?” ( I am 5′ nothing and 25 lbs overweight)
” are you practicing skiing? ” ( I have never skied in my life)
” what is that?” ( One mom hit her kid after he yelled this out!)

I really need to start thinking of some creative comebacks. I am learning not to take comments to heart. At first I was rather annoyed, but once again, people are curious. As long as I am walking and getting out of the house I am happy! I am looking forward to trying Nordic walking sticks seeing how they compare. Hope this information is helpful! Don’t be afraid to get out there!

Much love,
Marissa

 

Know your personal strengths so your future career doesn’t suck!

I stumbled upon a YouTube video of entrepreneur Cory Miller- Finding Work That Doesn’t Suck.

I realize, being restricted to working from home limits choices, however, Cory’s thought process is still applicable. I should understand my strengths and tailor my skills to find a career that doesn’t suck. Cory suggested taking two skills test, strenghtsfinder and myers briggs. Here are my results:

 

Jung Career Indicator Results:( I understand it is similar to Myers & Brigs test)

ESFP

slightly expressed extravert
slightly expressed sensing personality
distinctively expressed feeling personality
slightly expressed perceiving personality

-Acting and performance
-Dressmaking and design
-Advertising
-Public Relations Specialist
-Sales/Marketing Specialist
-Fitness & nutrition
-Early Childhood Education
-Fashion Merchandising

 

Strenghtsfinders Results:

-Activator
-Achiever
-Responsibility
-Communication
-Consistency

 

Thoughts on results:

I have a tendency to focus on my weaknesses, it was nice to explore my strengths. I enjoying bringing warmth to those around me. I will share a good laugh and cry with you. I have been told, on more than one occasion, I am overly dramatic. Jobs where I have excelled involved building personal relationships. I have excessive amounts of ideas that flow thorough my brain. I love to be challenged and I welcome responsibility. I have no problems starting projects I believe in.

 

Now what?

With this new found information what work from home career path should I embark upon? I am going to have to really zero in and try to match these strengths with a future career. Much work lies ahead. So, when can I start?  Bring the heat because I can stand this hot kitchen!

 

Much love,
Marissa

 

What Would Gary Vaynerchuk Do? (Update)

How does a guy like Gary Vaynerchuk get a dizzy gal to watch wine library tv?  I can’t drink because of the dizziness;  I already feel tipsy on a daily basis.  Also, I have drank less than a glass of wine in my lifetime pre-dizziness. Yet, I found myself chugging down episodes of wine library tv.

Here are a list of my favorite episodes:

Wine for a Cause-Fighting Breast Cancer with Cleavage Creek Winery-Episode #861.

Budge Brown, founder of Cleavage Creek unfortunately passed away. Please continue to support his legacy and vision of eliminating breast cancer. You may purchase Cleavage Creek Wines via the website.

Lopez de Heredia Tasting with Maria Jose Lopez Part 1- Episode#947


Tasting C.G. Di Arie Wines-Episode #863

Vance Sharp if Sharp Cellars and the Sonoma Sausage Company- Episode #721

Gary’s energy and passion for life is infectious. If dizziness places me in a terrible funk I head over to wine library tv’s past episodes for a pick me up.

I found wine library TV after stumbling across Michael Locke’s  review of  Gary’s book  “Crush It”. I had to find out who this Gary Vaynerchuk was. ( Michael seems like a very generous guy and you should check out his YouTube channel.)

I have tried to imagine what a guy like Gary Vaynerchuk would do if placed in my predicament? What would Gary do if he was forced to have to support himself but was chronically dizzy? If I ever got an opportunity to speak with Gary I would give him the follow scenario:

How would you reinvent, support, and give back living with these restrictions:

1. Unable to drive/travel
2. $25 – $50.00 a month to invest in learning new skills
3. Have to work from home

Is there a way to contribute as well as support myself under these conditions?  I don’t  lack passion or spirit.  I  have to work smarter based on limits and learn how to support myself under constraints. Cheers to hoping I can CRUSH IT!

Much love,
Marissa

Caring For The Caregiver/Caretaker Audio

Play

Excited to be sharing with you podcast #2. This podcast will focus on gratitude for caregivers/caretakers in my life and the lessons they have taught me….

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Much love,
Marissa

Helpful Links To Dizziness Communities and Services

My goal is to provide helpful and useful trusted resources. If you believe your group, organization, or service should be added to this list please do not hesitate to contact me.

finger clicking url address link Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Online Community  Dizziness Support Groups:

The Dizziness Blues: http://www.facebook.com/dizzinessblues

The Dizziness Blues is an active Facebook community: ” For All Those Who Suffer From Chronic Dizziness and know that it’s true what they say… Dizziness Sucks!.”

 

Support Organizations:

VEDA- Vestibular Disorders Association: http://www.vestibular.org

VEDA’s mission statement: “To serve people with vestibular disorders by providing access to information, offering a support network, and elevating awareness of the challenges associated with these disorders.”

 

Podcast:

The People’s Pharmacy: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/06/04/816-balance-disorders/

Podcast 816 focuses on balance disorders.  Guest, Dr. David Kaylie, Medical Director Of The Vestibular Lab at Duke University Medical Center. Interesting podcast on balance disorders. It speaks to various forms of balance disorders.

Much love,
Marissa