Articles

Exploring the Adirondacks with Mobility Issues

Located in upstate New York, the Adirondack Mountain region offers a wide range of accessible trails, recreational activities and lodging options. Known collectively as the Adirondacks, this area includes a patchwork of public and private lands dotted with backcountry trails, state parks, forest service lands, private homes, lodges and quaint villages. Although many area parks offer some accessible campsites and trails, the shining star for accessibility is John Dillion Park, where all...

Learning Unhealthy Body Image: My Mother's Legacy

My mom is a brilliant woman. She taught me so many wonderful things on purpose. I will always be grateful for the impact these things have had in shaping me. But some of the most powerful lessons came from the things she didn’t intend to teach, the ones I learned by example. Mom sought approval from others often—especially my dad. And I watched. I watched her light up when she received it, and I watched destitution overcome her when she didn’t. I watched self-worth empty out of her...

A Disabilities-Friendly African Safari

Have you ever dreamed about taking an African safari but put it out of your mind because you just assumed safaris were not wheelchair accessible? Well, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure because, believe it or not, there are a large number of safari operators who actually specialize in wheelchair-accessible safaris. Many of these operators have vehicles that you can roll on to and luxury tent accommodations with roll-in showers. Some operators specialize in Kenya and Tanzania,...

Reflections on Overcoming the Diabulimia Eating Disorder

I’d love to be able to tell you that I totally beat diabulimia and never give any thought whatsoever to body weight, calories, or fat grams anymore, but I’d be lying. Truth is, those disapproving little Number Police still show up now and then, and when they do, they use every trick in the book to get inside my head. They seem to have a sixth sense for knowing which door is easiest to break down, and a sixth sense for choosing the worst possible time to hang out on the other side of it—like...

Women and Insomnia

You guessed it—women are more likely than men to have insomnia. At least, they report it more often on surveys. About 11% of women have persistent insomnia that is severe enough that it interferes with their functioning, and many others are simply dissatisfied with their sleep. Some estimates are as high as 61% for the percent of women who have some kind of sleep problem. Why are the rates high in women? Well, perhaps women have greater awareness of their sleep and well-being, and perhaps...

Treating Dystonia with Deep Brain Stimulation

Dystonia is a neurological disorder where certain muscles start to involuntarily contract and spasm. This often results in twisting or repetitive movements and awkward or abnormal postures. Dystonias are often categorized into primary and secondary dystonias. Primary dystonias are either genetic (which means that they run in families) or without identifiable cause. In secondary dystonias, the dystonia results from something else. The causes of secondary dystonias are varied and include...

Reducing the Symptoms of Essential Tremor with Deep Brain Stimulation

What exactly is essential tremor (ET)? Essential tremor is a progressive neurological disorder that causes tremors, generally of both hands, but also the head and voice. It is often confused with Parkinson’s disease, but the tremor in essential tremor is an action tremor, which means that the tremor occurs or is most noticeable when the limb is in use or moving. This is the opposite of the tremor seen in Parkinson’s disease, which is a tremor that is most noticeable when the limbs are relaxed...

Why Is Asking for Help with Work after Illness So Difficult?

You are currently recovering from an illness but you are trying to get back to work, even if it's from bed. If you can’t remember how to do the simplest of things, you need help. If you can’t get around easily on your own, you still need help. If chemotherapy is making you sicker than a dog, you most definitely need help. So, what would stop you from asking for help? Following are the three of the most common reasons given by my clients, either directly or in the unspoken: misplaced identity,...

Getting Back to Work after Illness: Making a Master Planning Schedule

Try to imagine this. What would your business life be like if you were to put the majority of your attention on just one or two important projects a day? Might it be easier to get more done? Would you feel more relaxed if you knew, with a high degree of confidence, that the projects you did not tackle today would be handled later in the week? Would your sense of well-being improve? If you are nodding your head, even tentatively, but have no idea how this is possible, I suggest creating a Master...

The Correlation between Work Stress and Recovery from Illness

The conditions for your illness were not ignited in a vacuum. While you were pursuing your goals, your body was absorbing the impact of all manners of stress: emotional, psychic, mental, and environmental. When chronic stress becomes normal you stop perceiving it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Stress—environmental, psychological, or physical—may not have caused your illness, but you can be sure it either contributed to its eruption or aggravates your symptoms today. Adrenaline,...