Thursday, August 27, 2009

Choosing Rehab...



The other day I received this letter from Adam, which he has given me permission to share with you. Since then I have contacted the Brain Injury Society where he lives and found him the names of 3 rehabilitation hospitals that can help him and a hyperbaric oxygen center close to where he lives. I've also blended and reprinted the information that I gathered, while doing this search, to help guide him in his choice - CLICK HERE. I'll keep you posted on new developments and hopefully bring you some photos too.

I hope that his story will help spur you on to find some rehab if you're considering it. These are some steps to help you get started:

  1. contact your local Association or Society (cancer, brain injury etc) - you can often find them by Googling them
  2. email them and ask for a list of facilities in your area that could help you
  3. follow my RBY guide.

I know that when I took these steps, nearly 25 years ago now, I was in pretty bad shape, like Adam. When you're in that place you feel desperate and alone. But with hard work - which I was willing to do and I can see Adam is willing to do too - miracles happen. I pray that when Adam gets out of rehab we can meet up and dance together! Good luck Adam... If you want to wish him luck too, please add your wishes with the 'comment' button. Or EMAIL ME and I will pass on your wishes to him. Thank you!

Hello, My name is Adam Rogers. And I am going to tell you a strange, but very true story. And ask you for some help.

Five years back, Sept. 23, 2003 to be exact, I was in a near fatal motorcycle accident. And I was not speeding or wasted. I do not remember it, or any of the two years prior. So here it sis, in a nutshell.

I was traveling home on my motorcycle to my wife and two children, on highway 1, just outside of Carmel, CA, when I ran into 6, I am told, dead Wild Boar, lying on the highway. Anyway, I was thrown from the motorcycle and sailed through the air. Luckily for me my 30+ years of martial arts training paid off. As I tucked and rolled. The move definitely saved my life. But, as I was thrown ahead of the motorcycle, it caught up to me and hit my head. So I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury.

I was in a coma for 30 days. And in, what I am told is a semi-coma for five months after. I am at home now, but am disabled. I cannot walk. And not because of loss of limbs. As I am very strong and can stand easily. It is a balance issue. As I have none. My doctor says that the nerves in my ‘core’ are damagd.

It is just very difficult. As I am very strong. As at the time of the accident I was a US amatuer middleweight kickboxing champion.

So now I am now begging you for some help. I want to walk. Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful to be alive. Just, not like this. I can’t even wheel myself in my wheel chair. As when I hit, like I said I tucked and rolled. And I landed on my left shoulder. Breaking my left clavicle. I am at the end of my rope. So I am looking for some live in rehab.

I will tell you my thoughts. As I sit here in my wheel chair I cannot sit forward. I try, but cannot. I am sure this is the problem. I canot even use cane. As I am so physically strong that I throw it. And as I said, I broke my left clavicle, so cannot use my left hand or arm. Can you, will you help me? Adam...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hula-Hooping!

I've been slow and infrequent at posting new blogposts - several reasons but no real excuse... I can never get the photos loaded properly? So many things happen every day and it's quicker and easier to Twitter! Which I do too since our last blog - and we've gained over 400 followers since then! Yay! On Sunday I had 3 guests sitting drinking coffee and eating omelettes on my deck - sheer heaven. Martin Guay of Total Biology was here with my good friends Marilyn and Rose. Rose brought her hoop! Rose has used the hoop to recover her health after a long and very nasty bout with cancer - and can do tricks as you can see! And Marilyn amazed everyone - including herself! - by keeping the hoop going for ages - despite severe myelopathy. Her core strength was fabulous - we think because of pilates. Hooping is great for fitness and it improves co-ordination and general stamina and health. Exercise is one of the most important things when you ReBuild - along with everything else! The difference in the quality of life and the speed of healing is huge - I notice immediately if I slack off! Pilates, ball classes, dancing (salsa, bachata and ballroom this week!), HOOPING, hiking up a mountain (small one!) and walking on the beach are just some of what we've been doing between us. Ooooo! I want to add that I've been doing my 'other' exercises too?! Check out this great video of Jack Lalanne, now over 94 and healthy... It makes me cry with laughter, I just love it! Now if I stop here and keep my blogs short they'll be easier to read and easier to post too! With love, Julie

Friday, August 14, 2009

Progress?

Five 5 days ago - I was lying here on my bed - where I am right now - wondering how the heck I could turn what I'm spending hours doing into a supporting, full-time (or part-time) real employment? So my baby son - who's 19 years old now! - handed me a tissue and told me to start twittering. Shut up and start twittering. Now! I had no idea what he meant. But I trusted him. So I tried. Slowly - and not so slowly - the wheels began to turn and I started to get more visitors... It's working.

And any bits of advice from anyone reading this - as to how I could start to change this 'good idea, Julie' into 'Yes! This idea rocks!" - please email and share them. I'd love to hear from you.


I have a sneaking feeling that rebuilding people is very much like rebuilding your business... Including a business online? And rebuilding and building are pretty much the same? Here's a picture of my friend Dom helping me twitter!

If that's true, then sharing what we know and supporting each other is what this is all about... In all kinds of ways.

So I guess the next move is to do more of the same. Daily. And to see if I can get photos of everyone who helps me, laying on my bed?! Yay!!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Take Step After Step, Even In The Dark...


I want to tell you about something that I'm thinking - and wondering if you agree or not?! It doesn't seem to be about how bad we are (in terms of hurt after some kind of trauma). It seems to be more about if we want to put in enough of the right sort of effort to make a change. Do we want to walk. Want to get better. A friend of mine who had cancer hated those words - and they may be BS... I don't know.

It's not easy. Sometimes we all have real, real, real horrible days. I had those days and still do sometimes. But overall, we just have to keep going. And if we do, even though we often can't see the daily progress, it is there. Progress happens. We have to keep taking step after step, even in the dark... In the early stages Pilates is the best form of exercise I found - and I tried everything. Pilates and walking - on flat ground and then on uneven ground, such as the grass in the park or the beach. A pilates class is the best but there is a DVD here which is very useful to practice with - just click on the photo or HERE.

I was quite excited to notice something last night... I went to a salsa dance club. Five years ago, the dancing seemed too fast for me to do. Way too fast. I took lessons - tons of lessons - and then slowly, after about a year, the dancing seemed to slow down and I could do it. Magical! I had a great couple of years. There's a good DVD of salsa lessons here - click on the photo above or HERE...

Then I had this other accident almost 3 years ago - just a minor car accident and whiplash. I didn't go dancing at all for over a year and when I did, it was just incredibly fast again and there was no way I could do it. I was so upset. I went several times (just in case I'd been wrong?!) and every time it was way too fast. I still took lessons, although all of the progress I'd made before had just disappeared and I had to start from scratch. First I was too dizzy to spin at all. Then, slowly I could spin just once now and again...

Last night, finally, I noticed the dancing seemed to be a tiny bit slower again! Gingerly I tried, with a partner I knew from lessons - thank you Joe. I found I could manage a little. At last! It had been 3 whole years and a ton of lessons since I was able to dance. I was over the moon!

Stamina is something else and is still a problem for me - I used to be able to work full time and do 3 lessons a week plus go out dancing - and more. For a long while - over a year - I was able to do nothing other than rehab in the hospital. Slowly I added walks on the beach and kept up my vitamin schedule. Now I'm working just part-time and can only manage one lesson a week and the odd evening out. But that's better then a year ago and I think it still getting better - I just can't always see it. I have to take my own advice and be patient and keep trying too!

I guess what I'm saying is this: if you keep trying then slowly - very slowly - things will come into focus again. They will slow down, as it were. It's not easy to keep going when you think you see impossibility around you. But somehow you have to keep going. Eventually the impossible may become possible.

Have a lovely sunny day, with a hug, Julie

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Double - no, Triple - Celebration!

HAPPY BLOGGERS DAY!


Happy Canada Day (July 1st) and Independence Day (July 4th) - and may I also declare this (Jul 7th) Bloggers Day...

My hat is off to all the bloggers out there. It's tough to find the time to actually go and be part of celebrations, photograph them, download your pictures, photoshop them, write a blog and upload your finished photos.

When I started my blog, I only allowed 5 - 10 minutes every day to do it! Ha! It takes over an hour sometimes - so I now have a new appreciation of all the blogs I read.

I had another realization the other day too: one of my favourite bloggers didn't blog and I felt a loss? I was a bit surprised because I had always wondered what the real value was (to be honest) and did I really want to know what was going on for everybody? But. Turns out I do! It's become a very integral part of me. I have several blogs and update emails (as I call them) delivered to my inbox every day. And although on busy days I only read the subject line, on others I open and read bits and pieces that are relevant to me to grab my attention. It's become an important part of my
everyday life and my personal ReBuilding.

And I miss you - them (my blogs!) - when they're not there.

So Happy Blogging Day!

And sincere thanks to the policeman who allowed us to park so we could see the fireworks from the car - disability is much easier to bear when officials use a sense of fairness together with the rules... And rooves of cars are so much more friendly than wheelchairs!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Last Day On The Road...


Today we drove through extremes of scenery - from arid desert-like hills with salt bushes and great chasms - to the alpine, twisting roads of the Fraser Canyon. We passed gold mining rivers and dusty towns that had come and gone with the gold rush. We passed tourist attractions and run down roadside stops - including one totally over-the-top Elvis themed cafe run by a very unhappy man... Somehow we missed Hope, where we intended to stop for a while and drove on to Chilliwack. Neither of us were ready to end our holiday and enter the so-called civilized world... We stopped and Marilyn soothed her angst with a fabulous camera. I bought a part for my GPS and a teeshirt. Eventually we could delay it no longer and drove the last few miles. Our week had been great and after we polished up the motorhome and left it in my friend's field, we bought some of the delicious Blackberry Wine - the one that goes so well with white chocolate fudge - to tide us over until the next trip.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thursday

I woke up late and took a coffee and chair over to the lakeside. The mosquitos swarmed me but I tried to ignore them and drink in the serenity all around me. Suddenly, above the trickling and lapping sound of the lake, I could hear slow, deep rolls of distant thunder.
We were in a valley with steep, rolling mountains covered in blackened pine-beetled trees as far as the eye could see.

Earlier we had seen a bear, calmly eating grass and I imagined the forests around me teaming with wildlife that I couldn’t see.
It took us an hour to wash ourselves and last nights dishes and to get our rig ready for the road. Just as we we
re about to leave there was a violent crack of thunder and huge drops of rain started to fall. As we drove away, everything had turned grey, little rivulets formed and the sound of thunder and rain on the metal roof of the motorhome sank both Marilyn and I into a kind of reverie.

Wednesday

After polishing and cleaning up and filling the camper with water – and sharing a fabulous brunch with Allan, we were on the road again, feeling satisfied – even exuberant - about our trip. We left Prince George and drove through rusted brown forests destroyed by the pine beetle – Julie had not realized how serious the pine beetle problem was. We were saddened to see thousands upon thousands of acres of devastation.

Next stop Barkerville. What we hadn’t realized was that this historic gold-mining town had closed at least 3 hours before we arrived. There were chains on the gates – but a guardian angel appeared and agreed to give us a personal tour in his trusty pickup. It was such a treat to wander through the deserted streets – without tourists it was so much easier to imagine life as it was when the town was built in 1858. The very first town in BC. I was thrilled to find a library and even more thrilled to sit inside and check out the dusty exhibits.





















We found another beautiful spot by the side of the road next to a huge lake without a house in site.
This time I entertained Julie with stories of bears who were clever enough to open doors. Good thing we have a fierce guard dog who barks at her own tail! After three hours of swatting mosquitos, we fell asleep.

Monday - D-Day (day of the conference)

At 7am Allan had the coffee on and wordlessly we went through all the usual morning rituals. Both of us had a whole swarm of butterflies in our stomachs! Just minutes before our presentation, we learned that the Mac can’t just plug into the projector and we needed a special connector. ‘Beyond Hope’s’ wonderful IT men – thank you Roy and Nathan – went out shopping for us and all was well that ended so very well.

As I was sitting frozen – and zombie-like – knowing that everything that could be going wrong seemed to be happening. Julie sneaked out of the room and discovered that the IT people brought back the wrong connector. The presentation was only 15 minutes away… After a few more technical disasters attended to by our heroic IT guys and a last-minute room change, Julie and I began our session. The next hour and a half passed in a blur and we were left with the glowing feeling that our talk had been well received.

The rest of the conference was fantastic – it was neat being able to put a face to some of the names I’ve only read about. We also got to visit the Chief Librarian’s corn snake, Darth Slitherous, who resides in the children’s area and feasts on a diet of weekly mouse.
The next day felt like a huge hangover – despite which we were at the conference by 11 o’clock so that we could enjoy some of the other sessions including a fabulous yoga session.

Sunday

I woke up at 5 am to watch the sunrise. I sat enthralled looking at the birds on a wire and ducks playing.














The RV b
ehaved today. So did we! We took our time driving through sleepy little, pine-beetle infested towns in the interior and periodically sun-bathing by the side of the road.

Eventually we arrived in Prince George where my friend Allan welcomed us with open arms. We parked behind his house - the RV had become my second home and we still slept in it. However we did spend hours in Allan’s amazing massage chair. Comfort camping at its best!

We had a minor technical glitch the night before the presentation. After backing up the Mac, my presentation disappeared. I was beside myself with worry – and Julie’s calm demeanor made me even more furious. Eventually we found my presentation in the “Time Machine” – I love PCs!

Saturday

Waking up this morning was a slow process and it didn’t happen until 10:30am. After peeking through the curtains, I realized we were only 10 feet away from the edge of a ravine! And sure enough, there was the waterfall we heard the night before. Somehow, the scary monsters and angry rapids of the night before had turned into tranquil, moss-covered trees and gentle running waters. Having a disability presents numerous challenges – part of me wanted to climb rocks and explore our surroundings - the other part of me realized that myelopathy makes it difficult for me even to walk.

However, I pushed limits and pre-conceived ideas firmly out of my mind and climbed the darn rocks. What a great start to the day.

When we finally filled up with the elusive propane and bought a few groceries, we were serenaded by a live, three piece band playing “When the Saints come marching in” – fabulous! The day was full of small adventures. We started our pilgrimage of local libraries at the Yale Public Library, which turned out to be a great little place attached to the elementary school - and only open 3 days a week (we lucked out in that one of the days was today).

Julie conquered her fear of heights by dangling hundreds of feet above the boiling waters of Hells Gate just outside of Boston Bar, BC. And I laid down on a suspension bridge made of strong, steel mesh with the rushing waters just below me. I have been testing my limits today walking up and down slopes and standing for long periods of time at a museum about salmon spawning in the Fraser River.















The terrain beyond Hope is spectacular. We began our journey surrounded by alpine mountains and the awe-inspiring Fraser canyon.
Slowly the hills became less jagged and steep (the RV – or Julie – was relieved) and there were valleys, some of them quite desert like. I discovered that Julie is obsessed with trains – we stopped, watched and filmed 4 huge trains, each with more than 100 carriages – all within the space of an hour. We drove to an odd little town called 100-Mile-House, where we spent the night on a lakefront next to a racetrack.

Video of Marilyn on the bridge.

Click here to see Julie watching the trains.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 2 - Roadtrip to Beyond Hope...

Day 2 – Friday June 5, 2009

Happy 19th birthday Thomas! ReBuildingYou’s talented systems executive becomes an adult!

Julie and I woke up to the sound of a donkey braying – after all, it is spring and love is in the air (men looking for sex are damn noisy!).

Julie spent the morning pulling weeds, while I made myself comfortable with a book on a wooden swing under a shady oak tree. We took a picnic lunch to the beach and I tested my walking powers on the pebbly beach. Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Our goal that evening was to reach Hope – and, really, we needed to leave right away… However, it was just too tempting to have a FAR INFRARED sauna and a long shower in Karen’s executive suite before we left. We drank glasses of ionized water and learned just how much better – and cheaper – this is for us compared to Evian (or wine).

Nine o’clock found us on the road - and excited to be on our way after a great day. There were a few technical glitches with the RV – something about propane, duel fuel, a leaky water tank, gauges that didn’t work, a broken GPS holder-thingy and an airlock. Not to mention that we are both directionally challenged at night and had a hard time finding east! Somehow we made it to Hope – by 1:00 am!

Just as we limped into Hope (we were dangerously low on propane) the engine sputtered, refused to switch to gasoline and died. This was not a good place to stop – on a bend, with the threat of a semi whisking around the corner at any moment.

At that moment, I panicked while Julie stayed calm and finished making our curry. Apparently the engine just needed a ‘little time’. Luckily after we were happily fed, the RV started (thank you god!). However, two miles up the road the engine died for a second time – we weren’t sure why? Everything was pitch black and we couldn’t even see the stars. We were in the middle of the forest with huge pines on either side – in the background we could hear the angry rush of a waterfall and rapids (too close for comfort). We were tired… We needed to rest.

This time I stayed calm and started telling Julie about the Highway of Tears story. Then – being in an RV – I got into my pajamas, brushed my teeth and went straight to sleep. Julie spent the next two hours scared out of her wits, with an axe beside her bed (I had the pepper spray!). As I drifted off to sleep, a wolf was howling in the background and questions about my sanity did cross my mind...

Julie and I have embarked on a strange and wonderful adventure. We are travelling to Prince George in an RV to present at the Beyond Hope library conference. Our session is called “ReBuilding Health from the Ground Up” based on the best example of ‘grass roots’ health information we know – our website www.ReBuildingYou.

Let me backtrack and tell you a little about myself. I am the new creative director of ReBuildingYou.com and a passionate librarian and advocate. And as you probably know, Julie is a counsellor and founder of ReBuildingYou and we are traveling up to Prince George to present our brand new model of consumer health information – a system that will focus on the lived experiences of clients.

Roadtrip! Prince George Library's conference, 'Beyond Hope'

Day 1 – Thursday June 4, 2009

Julie and I decide to take leave of our senses – and Victoria – and drive to Prince George in a 1982 RV (we are not sure if the brakes work and there seems to be a hole in the water tank). Is this decision in any way a result of Julie’s brain injury? No! Not one bit. We both have learned that in order to make life truly worth living it’s really necessary to push boundaries and take chances. This sounds like one of those times?

The ferry trip was almost too easy. Our first stop was just over the U.S. border at a beautiful retreat in Point Roberts, owned by Karen Stanwood and offering luxurious hospitality just one hour south of Vancouver. Midnight found us sitting on lawnchairs, in waist-high grass with a glass of chardonnay, gazing at the full moon.


Julie and I have embarked on a strange and wonderful adventure. We are travelling to Prince George in an RV to present at the Beyond Hope library conference. Our session is called “ReBuilding Health from the Ground Up” based on the best example of ‘grass roots’ health information we know – our website www.ReBuildingYou.

Let me backtrack and tell you a little about myself. I am the new creative director of ReBuildingYou.com and a passionate librarian and advocate. And as you probably know, Julie is a counsellor and founder of ReBuildingYou and we are traveling up to Prince George to present our brand new model of consumer health information – a system that will focus on the lived experiences of clients.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love and the Courage to Grow - or ReBuild


On the heels of the article about bullying - and images of hate and unhappiness in homes, schools, camps, police stations everywhere and countless other places - comes this week's article about love. Love and the courage to grow.

Facing your past is not easy. It requires great courage.

But the rewards are great. Freedom. Confidence. Trust - trust in others because of trust in yourself.

This man, Tupac Shakur, who is a shining hero for so many of our youth, had the courage to face his own past and to try and help others who were walking in his shoes. His beautiful book of rap poetry The Rose That Grew From Concrete is well worth a read.

The following poem is an example of the amazing goodies that arrive in email inboxes sometimes! Check it out...

Loved…

The path to healing is one which leads into discomfort

There is no easy way to open old wounds without allowing them to bleed

And pain is so often the price of awareness, wisdom and love

Warriors may choose to walk alone - experiencing life’s dramas with power and fortitude

Crying in silence and dying in isolation

They become the heroes – the glorified

But rarely the loved

Love comes in sharing, watching, feeling and allowing my pain to mix with yours

It is in these shared experiences I find my strength to face life’s dramas with faith and confidence

For I am not alone

Your tears have become my strength, my courage to let go of my own

I treasure the tears we have share just as I treasure our joy

It leads me down my path less afraid to bleed

Taking the steps to healing – not dying in isolation

No hero

Worn and torn and LOVED!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Put a Stop to Bullying

Recently I've been reminded again recently of how commonplace bullying is. After all bullying is just taking advantage - and using whatever we need to do that - to get our own way. And as humans are naturally motivated to fulfill their own needs and urges, it's not too much of a stretch to see how bullying can sneak in...

There is so much bullying around us: kids who bully other kids at school; a parent who bullies the other parent - which their kids see and learn and often feel the brunt of; parents who bully children and kids who bully their parents; teachers who bully students; employers bullying employees; POLICE BULLYING teenagers. The list is almost endless. Put an end to hate and refuse to stand by and watch a bully abuse others - anywhere... Even if it's 'not your concern' gently and quietly take a stand and witness fairness and justice. Bullies shy away from an audience...

This week, among several other kinds of abuse, I heard a sad - and very, very familiar - story about police bullying. I can imagine the frustrations involved in policing young folk, particularly young guys. But please, Mr Policeman, you were a young person too once. If we can show respect, compassion - and of course justice - to our youth, society will reap the benefits in spades when these young people become adults.

And now the article:

Bullying. Recognizing it is the first step...
-the first of many articles by my mother and I!!

If there is anything about us that is 'different' - or sometimes just ‘new' - there's a good chance that someone will find that reason enough to bully and tease. Particularly if that potential bully is insecure, deep down, themselves...

Of course the disabled - and particularly the newly disabled - can be ripe targets of bullying. They are often dependent and/or young and/or particularly trusting. I was intrigued when I read this article from a very special woman in her seventh decade, reflecting on a subject that has touched her life - and in turn has touched so many lives. I admire her being willing to share her experiences with us all and have the hope that somehow her story will help all of us become a little more aware of this insidious behaviour. If you know of someone who is suffering bullying, please get help - call your local police, child help line or local social services. When the bullying has physically stopped, let a COUNSELLOR show you how to heal the emotional damage...

This is what my very special guest has to say...

"Sadly, many of us go have to go through a form of bullying it seems just to survive our daily lives. It can even start in school when we are very young - and how hurtful it can be. It can make a person reluctant to make decisions in the future for fear that they may be made to look silly or maybe come up against another bully. As I know only too well... A lifetime of hurt and baggage before we even graduate childhood.

Bullying within a marriage is completely unforgivable - because the bully is someone you've given your heart to. In fact sometimes a young person or even a small child can also experience that kind of behaviour from parents or siblings at home... The very people and place we need more than anything to be our safe haven.

Unfortunately, there are deep undercurrents of patterns at work here. Someone who is the victim of bullying as a child may, despite promising themselves that they would never bully anyone, end up an unwitting bully. And so the pattern continues. One fairly sure way of breaking this chain is through education and self-development through counselling. Very powerful...

Wherever bullying takes place, particularly if the bully is someone we have given our love and trust to, the victim loses their self-confidence. They have no idea what the day will bring - sometimes a good day but always the doubt that maybe this day they will be punished either physically or mentally. So never quite sure what the day will bring for them and never being able to enjoy the feeling of ease, safety and peace - which I wish with all my heart for everyone.

Sometimes victims feel that everything is his/her fault. They will even make excuses for the bully. With adult victims friends and family might try to persuade them that this bullying behaviour must not be allowed to continue but often the victim cannot see, stand up to or change the bullying. After a while the victim becomes unable to make normal every day decisions for fear of making a mistake which will 'rock the boat'. I've often heard this feeling described as ‘walking on eggshells' - a horrible way to live a life. For me, freedom of speech is one of the most basic Human Rights and yet so many of us don't really enjoy it.

Getting away from a situation like this is not easy, especially when there are children involved. Emotionally it's very likely that you've become unsure about exactly what's happening and where ‘right' begins and ‘wrong' ends. Physically you may be dependent on the bully for your daily life - most bullies can also be very loving and generous - when they choose. And of course the ‘weaker' among us - typically the disabled, sick, elderly and children - are especially at risk of becoming a victim.

Abuse and bullying are slowly becoming more the focus of attention - for which I am so thankful. I hope that one day they will be regarded as seriously as drug addiction or alcoholism. As a society we need to put in place more - and more acceptable - alternatives for our care so that we aren't so dependent on these bullies. The sooner the victims are released from these unbearable situations, the better. A leopard cannot change its spots - unless it really wants to and is willing to work hard on self-development with a counsellor or other health professional.

More often than not, these rotten situations get worse, not better."

Anonymous...

Of course these bullies were almost always the victims of other bullies themselves at some point in their lives. That's the rub... And the tragic pattern. They desperately need society to take a stand and help them to overcome their own pasts and at the same time to help their victims... Who they often love. And who, at the very least, are those of us who are for some reason dependent on them.

I challenge our society to provide a real alternative in the way of income, social supports and the opportunity for the most disabled among us to work, take a real part in life and to be able to contribute our skills and so rise above this sad behaviour... And above all, today, I challenge the police to root out bullying from within their ranks and to show decent and fair treatment to everyone they come in contact with.

If you have a comment, opinion or story, we would love to read and share it... Either with your name or anonymously.

With love, Julie

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Silent Revolution

Spring is round the corner! My good friend Marilyn and I have just put together a grant with amazing potential - and planted a tiny garden with daffodils, together with sweet smelling lillies and colourful tulips and pansies. Time is flying by - as usual... Although, to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel as though I have spent so many years 'on hold' and now I am better, I have to run fast to catch up. Today I sang with my choir - I am so proud to be a part of them. I will wrestle with technology and aim to put a video or audio clip on my blog (I might have done it...). Our choir is One Human Family and our aim is social justice... Through music and one song at a time. I am also deepening my understanding of counselling with Mahmud Nestman and Trust Oriented Therapy - and someone very special sent me this writing... Which seemed to sum up so much. I hope you enjoy it:

THE SILENT REVOLUTION
-anonymous


On the surface of the world - right now - there is war and violence and things seem dark.

Loved ones hurt us with harsh words and unacceptance. Society can be a cold place for anyone who's 'different' in any way

But calmly and quietly, at the same time, hearts are opening underground.

An inner revolution is taking place and the lucky among us are being called to a higher light.

It is a silent revolution. Changing us from within - from the inside out. From the ground up.

A Global operation. A Spiritual Conspiracy.

There are sleeper cells in every person - and every nation - on the planet. You won't see us on T.V.

You won't read about us in the newspaper and you won't hear about us on radio.

We don't seek any glory. We don't usually wear uniform. We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.

Most of us work anonymously. We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of the world.

In families, communities, cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.

You could pass us on the street and not even notice. We go undercover. We remain behind the scenes.

It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit - simply that the work gets done.

Some call us the Conscious Army...

We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts

We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking: Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Movies ~ Kind words ~ Smiles ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance - Art ~ Social activism ~ Websites - Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness...

We express ourselves in our own unique way, each with our own unique gifts and talents.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

That is the belief that fills our hearts.

We know it's the only way real transformation can take place.
We know that quietly and humbly we all have the power of the oceans combined

Our work is slow and meticulous. Like the formation of a giant mountain, invisible to the naked eye.

And yet with this loving change, entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to come.

Love is the new religion of the 21st century

You don't have to be a highly educated person or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it

Life changing love comes from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings.

Be the change you want to see in the world...

Nobody else can do it for you. We are now recruiting. Perhaps you will join us? Maybe you already have...

All are welcome

The door is open...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We Published Our First Unique Adult Speech Therapy Book!!

Yay! We have finally published our first unique adult speech therapy book - and it is so, so beautiful and professional (thanks Marilyn)!

I am particularly excited because as far as I know (and if you know different I would love to hear from you and perhaps we can help each other?...) this is the first speech therapy book -
"What I Mean Is..." - for higher functioning adults with language challenges.

I'm so excited I don't know where to start!
  • I want to tell you about the book itself...
  • And about how it was written...
  • About how it can be used...
  • And about how quickly and 100% safely you can order it online...
I guess I'll start at the end... Which some would say is typical of me! I wanted to check out the company - www.Lulu.com - that's fulfilling the orders for the book for us and make sure they really are 100% reliable and that your credit card details are totally safe. I have been blown away by their integrity and professionalism - I'm delighted to say... Ordering the book was easy and quick and just over a week later (they sent me 2 emails meantime to let me know where they were in the fulfillment process) I received my book. As you can see it arrived in a cardboard package, firmly sealed inside in a protective bubble. Quick, easy, safe, guaranteed professional in every way...

This book can be used directly by clients with some help from either their own speech therapist, an occupational therapist or other rehabilitation therapist, a nurse or caregiver... If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke, chemobrain or another brain injury and need help expressing yourself fully and with ease, this book is for you. This book works best when there is a non-injured person working with the client - although I admit that I worked on parts of this book in the waiting room with the other brain injured patients in my group!

Hilary Dibben wrote "What I Mean Is" because there was no text book or workbook (other than for young kids) out there to help the thousands of us who can speak... But who are unable to express themselves in a way that is satisfying and meaningful to them. The technical name for us (I am part of this group) is the "higher functioning speech impaired" and we fall through the cracks when it comes to our need for therapy. Yes we can form words and ask for our basic needs. But we can't fully express all the thoughts in our minds. With help we can get better and there is hope that we can live as fully as we did before. We need to re-file and thousands of bits of information that have been exploded everywhere by our brain injuries. This book is the answer we've been waiting for.

"What I Mean Is..." started out as a collection of worksheets and gradually grew from there. The development of this book was completely in step with
  • the needs of the client and
  • what worked.
Simple but brilliant. The perfect book for me, the client - and it works.

I love this book! It's the one - or the contents are similar anyway - as the one I used myself in neuropsych-rehab at my local hospital. I had no idea that I had need of language therapy - I knew deep down that I had difficulties... But everyone else seemed to think I was 'good enough' and I was very happy not to rock the boat and have to admit that, in fact, I was not OK... Before this round of rehab no-one had every suggested that I seek out speech therapy. However as speech therapy was part of this neuropsych-rehab package - and not wanting to miss any potential improvements - I went to my first session with Hilary. Amazing! I had no idea and it was my brain... Here was a woman who knew what was going on inside my head when even I didn't!

The exercises here in "What I Mean Is..." seem simple. In reality they are very powerful. I've always been able to write my thoughts down... Now I can speak my thoughts too. And the best thing of all is that I can
now see clearly what my difficulties are - which is the first step to healing and real improvement. Now I know what it is I need to re-learn. And how to do it.

Words and language is such an incredibly important part of 'me'... Thank you Hilary.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.