Thursday, October 29, 2015
I couldn't have imagined...wait a minute yes I did!
As I was preparing to leave the VA in late winter, early Spring of 2007, I wrote out a 30 day journal on yellow legal lined paper imagining what my life would be like after I left the VA. Every morning I wrote out a day in my life...It involved working out at a health club, meeting with people to promote my greeting card business in luxurious surroundings and feeling vibrant, healthy, whole and ridiculously alive. It was a life that was in stark contrast to my work as a VA social worker. Now please know that I take incredible pride in the work I did at the VA serving those who served. For almost 20 years I was a fierce advocate for my veterans and their families. I helped veteran's family members say goodbye in the ICU. I helped homeless veterans, veterans caught in the clutches of trauma and addiction, former POW's and blinded veterans.
But I knew that in order to heal myself from my own wounds from the war of my childhood, I needed to imagine a drastic change in my life and in my lifestyle.
Initially I was still in a leg brace, using a wheelchair at times for mobility.
I set aside the dream of working and growing my business as I trained for and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon.
It's been an amazing journey filled with ups and downs and everything in between.
I wrote poetry about how would I reclaim my life and about running unencumbered and free.
Nine years - nine years since I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006 and was told it was a progressive neuromuscular disease and prepare to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair possibly needing a feeding tube and a sleep apnea machine at night.
I made up my mind that would not be my path.
I imagined. I dreamed of a better life.
Nine years and it is all coming into physical manifestation.
While I am not building my own business, I am a critical part of the team at Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC as Communications and Public Relations Director and Executive Assistant to Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal.
There is growth and expansion and so much excitement! We are going to be able to change the way trauma is healed!
This is the scene that greets me when I walk into the lobby of the Seaport Boston Hotel where Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC is located on the Plaza Level inside WaveHealth:
I cross train in the pool at WaveHealth:
I went from this at my retirement party at the VA in May of 2007 and this photo in December 2007:
To this in 2015:
From a leg brace and a wheelchair and a prognosis of a progressive neuromuscular disease to now training for the Bermuda Half Marathon in January? From working at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Boston to the Seaport Boston Hotel? From chronic fatigue and pain to feeling unencumbered and free? And to coming full circle and being able to help and support veterans in a new way partnering with Jeffrey and Spratt Muscular Therapies?
I couldn't have imagined ... oh wait a minute - yes I did.
With deepest gratitude to my bestie Tom for traveling this amazing journey with me and to Jeffrey for helping me to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life taking it back from those who tried to rob me of everything I deserve!