Category Archives: Disability fears

Fourth of July a Celebration of transition?

On the Fourth of July we celebrate a transition, the founding of our nation. Starting with a Declaration of Independence in 1776 our nation struggled for 29 years. In that time they fought two wars and founded the nation twice. Yes twice did you forget the Articles of Confederation?

We often think that a momentous event like the founding of this great nation happened over night. Yet the Bombs burst over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. Lest you try to correct my math, the war of 1812 ended in 1815, so we had not really fried ourselves from the yoke of colonial powers until then.

Enough history I really want to talk about change and transition.

What is the difference between a change and a Transition?

Changes happen all the time. We change close and think nothing of it. Yes we might ponder our decision and even regret it later. We rarely lose sleep over what we wear. Our founders might have Declared Independence and gone home, but they didn’t. They   pledged themselves to a transition. With that they were committed to a struggle.

Transitions involve struggle.В As young children we struggled to learn to put on our clothes. Our Parents celebrated when we mastered that task. We had made a transition towards adulthood.

Yet every parent recalls times when their child refused to put on their clothes. The child wanted the attention or something they had lost. Usually this happens when the parent is already running late.

The tendency to revert to the past is natural. Parents know that when a child regresses the child is stressed about something. It may just be the stress of a growth spurt, but it can also be about other matters.

When we find ourselves uncertain we revert to what has worked in the past. When I could no longer see to read, I welcomed education. I went to a School for the Blind. There I learned to use a screen reader to work with computers.

I used that knowledge to seek jobs. That search did not open doors. And I sought more education. I got a Masters in Public Health. That degree made me better suited to administrate medicine. Here the MD hindered me. Every time they saw the MD they either considered me overqualified or wanted me to do patient care. I love working with people, but I don’t want to hurt them. My limited eye sight stopped me again.

I was still “Lost in the Jungle” phase of a transition. Transitions have three phases; the Ending, Lost in the Jungle, and a New Beginning.

On the Fourth of July we celebrate all three phases of our nation’s transition from colony to nation. Those who wanted to live in a colony went to Canada. Those who stayed had to figure out who they would be. President Washington put down the “Whiskey Rebellion”. Finally we had to assert ourselves against England and France in the War of 1812. Since then we have been treated as an equal among nations.

Among ourselves we continue to define who we want to be. We fought The Civil War and the news continues to suggest internal conflict. In face our politicians argue about what they dream for our nation. Every election cycle that is one of the messages they try to tell voters.

Shane and Transitions occur in our Personal Lives

I have told you how the change in my eye sight forced me into a transition that has taken years.

Seeing how I and others struggle when a disability hits, would make others fear a disability. I have learned a lot about transitioning thru a disability. As a Disability Coach, I seek to make others journey in the Jungle easier.

On July 15th I will host a webinar explaining the process of transitioning from “Abel bodied to ABLE”

In this Webinar I will talk about the transition process. We start by focusing upon the loss, but find ourselves “Lost in a Jungle”. The old ways don’t work and we need new resources and direction. When we find that direction we start on a “New Beginning”. Yes a New Adventure awaits you when you find yourself no longer “Able Bodied”. Now you can be ABLE.

In the Webinar We will do some exercises to recognize amour losses and celebrate our past successes? Then we will start the journey into our “new beginnings”. If you want to learn more and sign up go to

If you know others who might benefit from this webinar share this blog with them.

What secrets have you found for transitioning to a “New Beginning” after a change in your health?

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

“Does he take sugar in his coffee?”

“No Irish whiskey,” you might reply for yourself. How would that sit with a server who asked such a question? After all, He treated you as if a child!

Do we want to be treated as children?

Of course not. We want to be treated as anyone else. We might need some special assistance with a special type of task. Blind people benefit from others “Lending their eyes”.

I often ask my wife, “Can I borrow your eyes?”

This often happens when I am on the web and want to sign up for something. They have these anti-spam systems that ask you to, “Type the letter you see in the box below”. Often my wife struggles to read them, too. The “Audio capture” fairs little better. We both have old ears that don’t always hear clearly. My wife and I have learned to dance around our disabilities.

I haven’t danced with many other people, have you?

Getting to know the moves or needs of others can be difficult. I struggle to read bus numbers. Seeing these strangers will tell me the number. Some times that leads to a pleasant exchange.

“Thank you”

“Which bus are you waiting for?”

“The four” is my usual answer.

: Me too. It should be along shortly.” Little do they know that I just checked the schedule on my phone? Still the technology won’t tell me which of the three busses that just pulled up is the four. I must rely on my eyes or others for that.

Back to the server who didn’t know how to approach a blind person. What can you do besides making the server feel bad? Naturally we want to defend our honor. We trade insult for insult. We stand up for ourselves.

Does that get us better service? Probably not. How might we get respect?

I usually tell the host, “I will need some help with the menu,” as I make my white cane obvious.

When the server arrives I say, “I will need some help with the menu. What are the specials?” This keeps the relationship respectful and I retain some control.

Besides setting the tone of the relationship what might we do?

Several years ago a national convention of blind people came to town. As a board member of the local chapter, we prepared to hotel for their arrival. A week before the event we met with staff and went over the arrangement. Since many of our members have guide dogs, those special needs needed to be addressed. Lots of dog urine on the sidewalk would not be good for business. A special site was assigned for dogs to relieve themselves, and staff instructed on how do direct guide dog users to it.

Crossing busy streets causes problems as well. Guide dogs help but not all of us can work with them. You might have noticed beeping at some intersections. This comes from Accessible Pedestrian signals. Organizations of blind persons have worked with governments and engineers to create these. The newest ones will tell you when it is safe to cross which street. Imagine walking across a street only to realize it was the wrong one, especially several blocks later?

I have covered three ways to be assertive yet respectful.

  1. Self-advocacy
  2. Education of others, and
  3. Collaborating with local government.

Can you recall examples of other ways to prevent, “Does he take sugar?”

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Host of the upcoming podcast: Recipes for Lemonade; thrive thru Disability

You shouldn’t survive

Don’t survive, thrive!

Thriving is what we all want to do, so why don’t we focus our efforts on that instead of just surviving?

If you were thriving what would that feel like? How would thriving look?

When I think of thriving I find myself smiling. My mood is happy and full of energy. Things come to me easily and I can write this blog with ease. Even after the long winter and current hay fever season. I find it easy to do things. Several projects are in the works. I reach out to others readily and with excitement.

I no longer depend upon my wife to shop for me. I for weeks needed to

Shop for many things but found it so easy to put them off or forget them all together. Now feel free and go with ease and confidence. When I need help I ask for it. I usually get it with a smile and am grateful for all the help I get.

What can you do to Thrive, instead of Just Survive?

First thing I did was to realize that I had been struggling. February is usually my Low Month. It certainly was this year. I had let the cold weather that started in December get to me. I stayed in a lot and felt sad. Now I am forcing myself to get out and be with others.

Second thing I did was act. Once I was aware of my low mood, I took action. I made it a point to be in contact with others.В Two people with whom I Skype and I have started planning for a project. I have also gotten out to some meetings.

Thirdly, I let myself be accountable. By working together with other people I made myself accountable to them. I agreed to find the technology so we could do this online project. After several attempts, I now am able to do, record and edit interviews. They willВ В be podcasted shortly

Fourth, I believed that things would get better. Summer comes even to the frozen Midwest, and we could do this project.

Fifth, I found ways to laugh. I am often quick to see a pun. On a recent Sunday, Our Choir director put out some cards with some jokes on them. I could not help coming up with others.

Question: What is the difference between a Musician and Lock Smith?

Answer: their keys.

Question: where do musicians sit?

Answer: in musical chairs.

6. I allowed myself to dream m. I now aspire to do things. Recently I found a course to teach me how to blog on other sites. I am doing interviews for podcasts. They will appear in two forums, one for the blind community, and the other as stories of how disability changed people for the better. I will say more about that in the future.

This, my friends is the ABLE Coaching model (aspire, Believe, Laugh and love life, enjoy the journey). I will write more about ABLE Coaching in future blogs.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Author of the forthcoming book, “Recipes for Lemonade (Thriving thru Disability): Dr. Dave’s personal recipe”

PS, as all ways feel free to share this blog. Comments are welcomed on the website or Facebook.

You are gifted!

Yes you have gifts. You are gifted with gifts but you may not realize just what gifts you have to share with the world. You need to develop them. Most of us marvel at the skill of the “gifted” athletes at the recent Olympics. Yet, with all their gifts it was often stated that each of them has spent 10,000 hours in training. That is the equivalent of working full time for five years to achieve the level of skill we saw in the Olympics.

You might say I don’t have a gift. Yet each of us has the ability to do something that someone else can’t. Many bright and talented people can’t stand to do repetitive tasks. I got bored driving cross country, especially on the interstates. I would often create fantasies to keep from falling asleep. I am glad I don’t drive for a living.

Ask yourself these questions, what do you dislike doing? What can’t you do that you have to rely on others to do?” then turn them around, “What do you like to do that others don’t? What can you do that others can’t?” Answering these four questions will help you identify your gifts and the gifts you want in others.

Being gifted is not enough to be noted for a talent. I know an excellent Jazz performer. He has played some professionally, but doesn’t. He found the smoky bars and clubs unhealthy. He hated the traveling and odd hours. It was not good for his family. He sought another line of work.

Many of you may have noted that my writing is sporadic. In February and March, I let other things keep me from the computer. To make these blogs helpful for you, I will have to find ways to write regularly.

You may also have noted that I am better with ideas than with putting them on paper. There are words I keep misspelling.В I need to use a spellchecker and proof read the result. Even then I miss many obvious mistakes. I enlist the aid of a proofreader. That proof reader has a gift that I value. They can see mistakes that I miss. In fact I have a program so I can dictate the blog and not have to type it. The program makes fewer typing mistakes than I do.

Once you identify your gift and develop it you need to focus it to some goal. What do you value in this world? What do you want to see happen in the next five years? Then how can you use your gift to make that happen. If your gift is in organizing things many groups need people to keep record and organize their files.В Who is seeking to do what you want to see happen. Approach them and see how you might work together. В You can become an important part of the team.

Martin Luther King led the civil Rights movement. He could not have done it without others to show up and March. Others drove cars to bring supplies to the marchers. Still others cooked and arranged housing for the marchers when they came from out of town. Great things happen because many people join together to make them happen. The glory may go to a few, but they were able to organize many others to make it happen.

I would love to hear what your gifts are, and how you have used them.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Can you do this?

What adult has not been asked that question by a child? The child has discovered a new ability and thinks it is neat.В Sometimes it is something simple like standing on one foot other times it takes more effort like rubbing your stomach while patting your head. If you are older like me you might want to see if you still can do these.

Over our lifetimes we learn and unlearn many things. If I tried to do much of the math I did in college, I would need to review. Other subjects like the social sciences; I am better versed in because I continue to read in those areas. I also majored in the math based field of Chemistry, but don’t work in that area.

The process of learning and the unlearning things starts in childhood. Neuroscience has found that beginning in early childhood our brains continually rewire themselves. Since, our brains grow until we are about twenty-five the unlearning is not noticeable until later in life.В Yet if you observe how a child throws a ball, you notice that that skill changes. Their body changes, so they have new abilities. They change their throw to take advantage of those new abilities.

In the early adult years there is so much to learn or relearn. Usually we do what we saw adults do. Take for example in a marriage. The way we interact with our partners repeats the patterns we experienced in our homes. this often causes conflict when our partner does not do as expected.В Knowing this most couples negotiate this. Sometimes they need help to break out of undesired patterns, Many Life Coaches focus their efforts in this area.

Later in life lost abilities begin to be noticeable. As an athlete you notice this earlier, with peak ability usually before age 30, sometimes in our teens. For most of us our careers peak later on. Yet at some point all of us realize that we need to step aside and let younger people shine. As an athlete becomes a coach, workers become mentors.

What happens next? In the work place we eventually become “Redundant”. This happens early for many because of many factors. The technology can change. Surgery went through a major change when the laparoscope was introduced. Surgeries that required a week or more in the hospital can be done without overnight stays. Yet, the use of the laparoscope is not easy and must be maintained. This need to relearn applies to all of us.

Older adults did not grow up with computers. Yes they have been around longer than I have, but not in the common place of today. I recently got upset with some older adults that cannot enter data into a computer or access it when they need to.

What skills have you mastered as an adult? Are there skills that you had as a child that are obsolete?В Have you or a friend had to learn a new job? That is a major effort, but often done.

So, what do you want to do when you grow up?

We ask that of children, yet is that not an appropriate question for all of us? You may have dreamed a life history as a child. Now what does that dream look like? Have you fallen in so many ways so many times that you no longer dream?В Why is that? Have you decided to just follow the path of others?В Why should we resign ourselves to be followers?

I often marvel at the ages of many people in the news.В Many of them seem to be younger and then when their age slips into the news, I was off by a decade or more. В I think I sell myself short. There is a lot of time left to accomplish things.

What are your dreams?

As All Ways, Dream Big,

Coach Dr. Dave

The Old Gray Mare

Sometimes I feel like that, “Old Gray Mare”, not what I used to be.  I know I have done lots in my life, but I often think of myself as being about 30, never mind that my sons are both over that age.  Then I realize that there are many things I did not know when I was 30.

While some might try to put a positive spin on getting older by saying things like, “Older, but Wiser,” I am not always sure of the latter part. I just pitched an idea for disability coaching product, at a conference and it bombed. Only one or two people out of a room of about 250 liked it.  However, they were really enthusiastic.

Over these holidays we see many people we have not seen for some time. They too are not what they used to be. Children are bigger and more mature. Their parents too have changed. They seem more capable of doing their adult tasks. Some adults may be stepping aside and letting others do the work. Is the family gathering still hosted by the parents of the clan?  Then there are those who should have stepped aside and don’t. The cook that forgets to turn on the oven. The dropped food or forgotten name. These we try to overlook but can’t.

As we change is it for the better or worse? Perhaps, it just is.

As we pause to reflect in this hectic time of year may we find what really matters, our love for each other.

What are your thoughts on how people grow and change?

As Al Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Disability Monster, Are you like a tit on a Boar Hog?

Sometimes we all feel as useful as Tits on a Boar Hog. Boars are males of the pig family. Thus they have no need for tits, but they still have them. Nature put them there as part of the package of being a pig. Then, did nothing with them.  They are sort of unused potential.

I am sure there was a time when my wife would have wished I could breast feed our son.  When he woke up in the middle of the night, I could check on him. I could change a dirty diaper or adjust his blankets and cuddle him, but often he just wanted to breast feed.  My wife was specially equipped for that task.

There are other times I am sure my wife feels I am no more useful than those Tits on a Boar Hog.  After I stopped driving, that chore fell to her.  We inherited a cabin that is several hours drive from our home. It used to be one long day’s drive. We used to escape on Friday evening and spend the night a few hours into the drive.  The next day we would spell each other at the wheel. Now she gets it all.  I try to find ways to amuse her and make it less boring. She has at times invited a friend to share the driving.

Today’s near miss

Today we almost had to eat my disaster.  I like to cook. We like to eat pancakes together.  Usually she will mix that batter while I set the table, make the coffee and fry the bacon. A few weeks ago I found a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes in the Christian Science Monitor.

I also like pumpkin pies. I have learned how to bake them from fresh pumpkin. I take the left over Jack o’ Lantern and cook it down. Then I scoop it out and blenderize it. We have pumpkin puree in the freezer and fridge.

Today, my wife slept in. I got impatient and after my third cup of coffee decided to make those pumpkin pancakes. Most of the ingredients I could easily identify. Sugar and Flour are obvious. When my wife awoke she found me rummaging through the spice cabinet.  Straining to read labels and sniffing likely candidates can get you only so far. My wife’s eyes to the rescue! Pepper pancakes anyone?

The pancakes turned out to be good and filling.

I have not always been so willing to let others help me. In fact I might have said, “Let me do it myself!” That attitude would drive a wedge between us. It might have given her ammunition to throw back at me.

Disability Monster what are you trying to do, heal a marriage that has at times been near the breaking point? I thought you were my enemy, stealing what I had. Now you are giving me something I had longed for but not realized.

Disability Monster, are your trying to be my friend?


Do you have a Disability Monster in your life? Do you know someone who has one? Feel free to comment below or share this with friends.

As All Ways, Seek Joy

Coach …Dr. Dave

Author of the forthcoming book, “Recipes for Lemonade (thriving through disability): Dr. Dave’s Personal Story”

Learn more about how to Dance with a Disability Monster at Dancing with Monsters

PS. It you don’t want to miss any of these blogs, sign up to the right of this post. You will also get additional content in my newsletter announcing each blog.

Disability Monsters can steal our Paddles, leaving us “UP the Creek without a Paddle

When our disability Monster appears we can often find ourselves, “Up the Creek without a Paddle: We are still in the stream and canoe, but the Disability Monster has stolen our Paddle.  This is fine while the stream of our life is calm, but the stream is flowing. Where is it taking us?

Disability Monsters can be sneaky slowly robbing us of our abilities. For me this was my initial experience. Over the many years between when my glaucoma was diagnosed and when I finally had to make changes, it slowly stole my peripheral vision.  For this reason it made me legally blind before I knew it.

Then my Disability Monster got serious. I took a medication for another illness. An Illness that if I had not been cured might be now threatening my life. As I started the medication a cloud descended over my world. I found myself looking into a foggy world. It was my choice to risk it being permanent. I already had to learn to live as a blind man. Fortunately, I am “high functioning” and my disability Monster has left me able to do much as before.

Disability Monsters do not always choose times when we can focus only on them.  We need to do other things in life. Often the Disability Monster strikes by making it impossible to work. Yet, we have to find a way to pay our bills.  Families may need us to be there for them. They may not be able to meet our new needs. . Marriages end when one partner is forced to seek what a new mate can provide.  That leaves us “High and Dry, without that Paddle” or person.

We all know that the stream of life has rapids as well as calm stretches.  In those calm times we can dip our hands in the water and maneuver the canoe. When the rapids come we need a good paddle. Many such rapids lie in our stream of life. New bosses and coworkers, illness in the family, our kids moving out and many other events serve as rapids in our stream of life.  We know the stream’s course. We do not know how rough they will be. We do know we will need that paddle. How will we get safely through those rapids?

Realizing that Rapids lie ahead we panic

The rapids in our life’s stream have upset others. We see others try to negotiate these rapids and some have to swim for their lives! Without our trusted paddle how can we stay afloat?

When we have a “Life Partner” we are not alone in that canoe. Let’s hope their paddle is good. We will need to be sure that we are ready for the next rapid. We need to adjust so the stronger paddler and best paddle is in the stern. Changing positions in a canoe is tricky. Most do the over –under method. Literally one person passes under the other as they move from front to back and back to front. It is easy to tip the canoe and swamp it.  Can the former “bread winner” stay home and the homemaker find our bread? I took up the challenge of washing dishes and doing the laundry. However, my relationship with the kids had suffered over the years. Teenagers need to be able to rely upon their parents.  They are learning to paddle their canoes and negotiate the rapids of adolescence.

How else might we prepare for our next rapid?  Few people have experiences with persons with disabilities.  As a physician I had cared for a few blind persons. I had seen some people with white canes. However, I had not really KNOWN them. They have struggles unique to their disability.

At least those with physical disabilities are obviously challenged. . My white cane tells people why I can’t read signs. What about a person who is depressed, or has heart disease, or dementia?  How can we see the whole person?

What has been your experience when a Disability Monster steals your paddle, or the paddle of others?

In future blogs I will explore this more and then explore ways to keep our canoes afloat and moving with new paddles. If you know anyone who might like to share their journey or just join us, tell them about this blog.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Author of the forthcoming book, “Recipes for Lemonade (thriving through Disability): Dr. Dave’s Personal Recipe”

Disability Interventions: the workplace

The workplace is very stressful. I never realized how stressful my job had been until recently. There is always the fear of not performing as well as others expect. When you become aware that you might not continue to perform well, it is very stressful. It is also stressful when a friend or coworker is not performing as well as you had come to expect. This can be a very delicate topic whether the disability monster is yours or somebody else’s.

Office politics is always a difficult subject. You have friends. You have coworkers, and you have people who seem hostile. They all have demands upon them. These demands may be formal, as are those of your supervisor. Or they may be informal such as trying to meet the expectations of someone else. When you discover a disability monster lurking, Whom do you turn to? Who do you trust??

Close friends and confidants may have no experience with a disability. Many people are uneasy around people with obvious disabilities. I have several friends who use guide dogs to replace their eyesight. People often try to pet the dogs. If the dogs weren’t working this would be appropriate. However, it distracts the dog while it is working. It makes it difficult for the dog user to know what is going on. They prefer you ask before trying to pet their dog. If you are uncertain how a friend or other coworker would respond in similar situations, what would you do?

A disability intervention: with your disability monster

Most of us with a disability find that both the boss and coworkers are less supportive than we would like. When we finally choose to seek assistance we will need to approach somebody. One way to do this would be as follows:

First, connect with the person in a comfortable place. This might be over some coffee or lunch, where you are not likely to be distracted for a while. Then you’d be sure that person is not upset with something else by making some sort of small talk. Then with both of you being comfortable you can bring up the general issue of what you are struggling with. If you’re having trouble reading presentations that are projected on a screen, you might ask your friend, “is that difficult to see? “ If you’re having trouble hearing, you might ask, “Did you understand what was said? “

In other situations it might be reading reports, concentrating or being easily distracted. In these situations the assistance you would be seeking is more complicated. In my office I was the boss so I could be open with my staff and encouraged them to correct me when I misread something. I had also asked them to write with felt tip pens. These were adaptations that help me perform the job we all depended upon. Many people are not that fortunate. They work with people who don’t care or maybe are openly hostile.

When you’re working in a small organization it often become sort of a family. However many people work in large and impersonal organizations. Large corporations will have people in the human resources department whose job it is to help you perform your own job. I will talk more about how to work with the disability system in future blogs.

A disability intervention in someone else’s disability monster

If a friend or coworker seems to be having trouble this is also a problem. You might approach it much like I suggested when the disability monster was yours. Find a time and place where you are both comfortable. Let both of you settle in, and then bring up the general topic, before talking about a specific incident. You may want to make it clear that this was not the only time you saw the person struggling, and that you want to help. You want to keep that attitude of helpfulness front and center. Most people will try to deny a single incident. They may not be ready to admit it to themselves. There is the potential that they will leave angry. This will hurt. Remember denial and anger are the first steps in the process of dealing with any loss.

As your friend struggles to admit having a problem, you may become the focus of their anger. By reminding yourself that this person is struggling, and trying to care for that person while not taking it personally you can weather the storm. The storm can last for days or longer. You need to be comfortable and feel safe while it blows over. Having chosen to bring up such a difficult subject took courage; continue to have the courage to care.        You are being a real friend.

Please, have the courage to comment and share with those who might benefit from this.

As Always, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave,

Author of the forthcoming book, “recipes for lemonade (thriving through disability): Dr. Dave’s personal recipe”

Disability interventions: coping with family and friends

Disability interventions are always difficult. Family and friends are well meaning, but our relationships with them are complex. We don’t want to scare them, but we need their help. How can we negotiate the changes in our abilities brought by the Disability Monster?

I recently took a friend to the hospital. He had all the signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack. He kept saying over and over again, “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. “

As his friend and a physician I could not live with myself if anything happen to him. His not wanting to be a burden troubles me. I too had not wanted to ask for help as my Disability Monster reared up. As a man and a professional I was to be the leader, the strong one. Yet, there are times we must ask for help.

Friendships are easier to deal with than family relationships, especially with family members with whom we live. They depend on us and us upon them. We have many roles in the family. Others depend upon us to perform those roles. We expect them to perform their roles too. When a spouse cannot pick up the kids after school, it puts that burden on the one who can. Occasional inabilities to perform are roles are expected. We all get ill or have unexpected interruptions and demands.

When one member of a family cannot be depended upon things get complicated. Much has been written about the family dynamics around an alcoholic. Other behaviors can also create similar situations. A physical or mental disability that requires others to provide some sort of special care certainly causes changes in the family.

We often experience this when a family member gets ill. If an elderly family member has a stroke others will come to assist. Then pain has to be dealt with. In the United States our healthcare system can provide some support. When intensive personal care is needed nursing homes are often used. They are impersonal and most people prefer to be at home. Then greater demands are made on the family. Old squabbles come back.

At some time many of us have cared for an ill family member; we know what those demands are. We don’t want to place long-term demands on anyone. When someone had a cold or flu we trusted that they would get better. We could look forward to a return to normal. With a long-term illness we can’t expect the old normal. We don’t like the current situation, and want the burdens to lessen quickly.

When we are the ones making those demands we have many feelings. Like my friend we might feel ashamed and a burden. We can no longer feel proud of whom we are. We often fear abandonment. We know of families who could not cope with someone’s sudden illness. Will this happen to us?

Since we are now the ones who are dependent, we must depend upon the reactions of others. If they cannot meet our new needs how will we get them met? Our self-confidence is being tested. Do we really want to go back and create a totally new life? We know some changes are now necessary.

Do you share your struggles? Do you share your fears? If you do so what will happen? These and other questions swirl in our minds.

In coming blogs I will share some of my experiences and insights. I would love to hear other stories as you or others confronted their disability monster in the context of their family and friends.

As All Ways, Seek Joy,

Coach Dr. Dave

Author of the forthcoming book, “recipes for lemonade (thriving through disability): Dr. Dave’s personal recipe”