Researchers from The University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation are doing a research project on women’s health and disability. They are interested in connecting with women with physical disabilities living in Lyon County. We are helping spread the word to women in our community!

The researchers want to hear from you and get your opinion about important areas of your health as a woman. They will travel to Emporia, Kansas to host a focus group of 8 to 10 women. Women in this study will receive $25 as a thanks for their time.

If you are between 18 and 50 years old and have some limitation in your mobility for at least 6 months and need some help with either personal care and/or routine needs, like everyday chores or going to the store you may be eligible.

To learn more about the study and see if you qualify, you can contact the researchers in three different ways.

  1. Call them at 734-763-0430
  2. Email them at kreschme@umich.edu
  3. Write them at Women’s Health and Disability Study, c/o Jodi Kreschmer 325 E. Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 300, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108.
  4. Or if you wish, the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) would be happy to send your -name and contact information to the researchers with your permission. Just call or email Beth Burnett and her phone number is 785-528-3105 and email is bethc@rcilinc.org at RCIL and let them know.

Women’s Health (PDF Flier)

“Part of Me, Not all of Me”

Categorized: Well Being

Summer is here!

Categorized: Well Being

 

 

Although it has felt like summer since winter, it seems, it is now official!  What are you going to do for summer?  I came up with some of my favorite things to do in summer time and some new ideas I’m going to add to my list.

1. Go for a walk

2. Run through a sprinkler

3. Build sand castles at the beach

4. Take a road trip

5. Enjoy summer foods: watermelon, BBQ, homemade popsicles and lemonade

6. Catch fireflies (lighting bugs)

7. Draw pictures with sidewalk chalk

8. Go fishing

9. Go to a carnival

10. Go to a baseball game

11. Go on a boat ride

12. Make giant bubbles

13. Have a picnic

14. Go camping (even if just in the back yard)

15. Go on a nature hike

16. Plant a garden

17. Go to a farmer’s market

18. Go to a zoo

19. Go to an amusement park

20. Have an outdoor movie night

21. Go to a museum/nature center

22. Take photographs of “summer”

23. Play mini golf (putt-putt)

24. Go to an outdoor concert

25. Make a scrapbook of all your summers of fun

Enjoy your summer and make sure to wear sun protection such as sun glasses, hats and sunscreen.

 

When growing up it seems like kids always made fun of other kids who were “different” than “the norm.” Whether it was kids who: were overweight, dressed in different fashions, wore glasses, etc.

Now that I’m a parent and my son is starting school and sports I worry not only about what kind of social interactions he’s having but also about his safety. How does a parent address safety issues in sports without making his/her child a “target” for bullies?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, every 13 minutes an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury. 40% of sports eye injuries occur in children between 11-14 years-old. And according to Prevent Blindness America 90% of all eye injuries are preventable with proper eyewear. Another fact for you, 21% of traumatic brain injuries among United States children and adolescents are from you guessed it, sports.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love sports and I do not believe eliminating sports is the answer to these injuries. I believe the answer is for parents to teach our children that protective eyewear and helmets aren’t dorky, goofy and especially aren’t stupid. We as parents have to teach our children that bicycle helmets are cool and we must teach by example. (Remember we are still at risk for injury.) The more people who wear protective eyewear and helmets the less “different” it will become. When you tell your son/daughter to put on his/her shin guards for soccer he/she may ask you why. You simply say, “To protect your shins.” When you hand him/her protective eyewear and he/she wants to know why he/she has to wear it you simply say, “It’s to protect your eyes.” We want to protect our children from as much as possible and if I’m protecting my son from a bruise on his shin shouldn’t I be protecting his eyes and brain?

Remember… “The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is” – Charles Schwab But, it will always be worth it!

Thanks for the Hassle!

Categorized: Well Being

I know it isn’t Thanksgiving anymore, but I was just thinking about eye health and it made me realize I take so many things for granted.  (I think about eye health a lot since studying to become an Orientation and Mobility Specialist.) Here is a list of every day hassles that I’m thankful for!

Eye doctor appointment… “I have to go to the eye doctor once a year, and he blows that air in my eye, I have to wear glasses and my contacts are so expensive”. Why can’t I just be happy that I have insurance that allows me to go to the eye doctor?  Or that my vision is correctable with contacts or glasses.

Getting a parking spot towards the back of the parking lot…  Shouldn’t I be thankful instead that I am able to walk to the door from this horrible spot instead of cussing out the jerk who took up two spots?

Elevator too full…  Again, shouldn’t I be thankful that I am able to take the stairs.  Yes, I may be out of breath when I get to the next floor but I made it.

Two cashiers in the whole store…  I should be thankful that I am able to stand in line and wait to pay for my items.

Dinner is late… Why am I not happy just to be able to eat a home cooked meal?  Or the fact that I was able to choose what I wanted for dinner.

Slow driver in front of me… I drive my car to work five days a week and I usually have at least one reason why it is a pain. Whether it is the slow driver in front of me, the school bus stopping to pick up kids, or just I’m running late I should still be thankful that I have a car that is reliable and that I have a job!

My mother always giving me advice… I feel like my mom is always telling me how I should live my life.  But shouldn’t I just be thankful that she cares?  Or that she is still alive to give me that advice?

Monthly loan payment… Shouldn’t I be thankful that I went to college instead of whining about the payment every month?

Shower water doesn’t stay cold… Shouldn’t I be thankful that I have a working shower and that the water is hot for at least a few minutes?

Potty training… My son is learning to use the potty and this can be messy and annoying at times.  But shouldn’t I be happy that he is starting to catch on, that he is able to communicate with me to let me know when he needs to go?

And I’m sure I could think of many more.  I know I’m still going to complain about some of these things (most likely the slow driver!) but on the other hand I think I’ll appreciate them much more.  What “hassles” are you thankful for?

Qualities of a True Friend

Categorized: Well Being

Lately, I’ve felt like things have been really good.  I’ve had a few problems here and there but nothing horrible.  When I do have a problem, I like to talk to my friends about it and see what they think.  This is what I’ve noticed a real friend will do:

Listen! Real friends will listen to the whole story before they open their mouths!  They will not judge your first sentence or stop listening when they hear something they don’t like.

Tell Stories! They will give you a story of something similar that happened to them.  It won’t be the exact thing that you are going through, but they are trying to comfort you by saying I went through “A” so you can get through “1.”

Give consequences/benefits! They will give you the facts of what will happen if you do what you are thinking about doing, whether it is the consequences or the benefits.  They will most likely give you the consequences because you probably already know the benefits of your choice.

Offer other options! They will list other options for you.  They are showing you there is more to life than what you know.  They will have resources or help you find resources that you didn’t know about.

Allow you to make your choice! They will let you make your decision. True friends will not make a decision for you or even “help” you make your decision.  They will give you their thoughts when you asked for them then they’ll sit back and watch.

Not say “I told you so”! Once you’ve made your decision a true friends will never come back and say “I told you so” or “You should have done what I said.”  True friends will pick you up, dust you off and give you advice if you ask for it.  They will be your friend no matter how many decisions you make that they wouldn’t have made.

This true friend I speak of does exist!  I am lucky enough to have a couple!  Keep this in mind when you are looking for real friends in your life.  And also keep it in mind for the type of friend you want to be!

Fill your bucket

Categorized: Well Being

Yesterday we had an all staff holiday party. I really enjoy events such as this because I can talk face-to-face to my co-workers that I don’t see on a daily basis. Yesterday, our Executive Director, Chad Wilkins, and our Direct of Independent Living, Rosie Cooper, did a presentation on the book, How Full is Your Bucket?The presentation was based on Tom Rath’s book, which is focused on the concept that if you have positive interactions it adds to your “bucket” and negative interactions take away from your “bucket”. I thought this presentation was fabulous! They asked us to write down all of our positive interactions from the previous day on green water drops and all of our negative interactions on yellow ladles (to represent dipping from our bucket). I did and ended up with nine positive and five negatives and a feeling that the day was just an “okay day.” Others had between six positive and no negatives to six negatives and no positives.

I mentioned to the group that I think the time of day the negatives occurred would also determine how you felt about the overall day. If your negative interaction happened first thing in the morning and you had five positives after that, maybe you ended the day feeling great. Whereas, if you had five positive interactions, but as you were going home you had a negative interaction, your day could have seemed horrible.

Chad and Rosie also mentioned that it takes five positive interactions to overcome one negative one. I think this is very important to making sure your “bucket” is full and makes complete sense as a good way to live your life. Please keep this in mind as you are having interactions with people this week and really try to make sure your bucket (and those of the people around you) is full!