Google+ Followers

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Let Me Entertain You - An Introduction

My name is Rain Stickland, but you probably already know at least that much about me. What you may not know is that I'm a 42-year-old woman (at this writing) who is dealing with a temporary, albeit long-term, disability. The biggest reason for my disability being long-term is a diagnostic one. Basically my doctors didn't know what the hell was going on with me. My personal blog, Torrential Rain, carries a highly-detailed description of my journey toward a diagnosis, so I won't present another long-winded explanation here. You can click the highlighted link if you're interested in reading an encapsulated version of that difficult trip. My intention, however, is to delve more thoroughly into those happenings so that readers of this blog will get real information about what goes on medically, physically and emotionally when you're suddenly facing ongoing disability and pain.

There are a great many unpleasant surprises that come along with an unwelcome diagnosis - things your doctor doesn't mention, and probably doesn't even know about. It's not simply the emotional impact of denial and eventual acceptance. Nor is it an easy matter of learning to get around your own home again, a place you're already very familiar with. There is real fear involved with disability. Some of that fear is well-justified, and some of it may seem silly and paranoid. Some of it is only temporary, but some fear will be with you for a very long time.

I'm not a doctor. I'd better say that and get it out of the way. In fact I'm not very well-educated, in a formal sense. I'm what they call self-educated. I'm a writer, producer and business-owner who does a lot of research for reasons both personal and professional. I didn't finish high school, and what post-secondary education I got after-the-fact was related to computer programming, accounting and payroll. I've taken no courses in medical, psychological, pharmaceutical or scientific subjects. However, what I've managed to learn through my own research has helped not only achieve my own diagnoses, but also assisted others in learning about theirs. I've helped people with everything from diabetes and arthritis, to leukemia. I am very, very good at researching and understanding such topics, and then breaking them down into more understandable terminology, and that's one area where I can help my readers a great deal.

Apparently it was Aesop who predated Plato in saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention," and that's something else I can help with. I'm actually an inventor of some interesting pet products, and tend toward a creative mindset, which I've found constantly helpful during my currently disabled state. Admittedly I am far less disabled than many people who might read this. My disability is basically that I'm not really supposed to be walking right now, and I'm in constant pain that exceeds what I felt during childbirth. I have hip tear injuries that get worse the more I use them, and I'm currently awaiting surgery on both hip joints to repair the damage. That being said, pain is a lot more debilitating than is realized by the general public. There are those who cry and run away at a paper cut, and their whole life would collapse if they had to deal with real pain.

Let's face it, though, when a disability is sudden, or we get a sudden diagnosis that we're going to be disabled, our lives do collapse. The way we're living collapses. We're faced with rebuilding our lives in a new and complex structure, in ways we never imagined would be necessary. Young or old, rich or poor, people become disabled all the time for a wide variety of reasons, in a wide variety of ways. Granted, it may be easier to be rich and fully able to outfit your home with whatever you might need to make living a little less difficult. Having money doesn't negate the emotional and psychological impact, however. They just don't have the psychological strain of wondering how the hell they're going to make ends meet because they can't work.

That's another thing I'm going to be talking about in this blog. In many cases there are ways around not being able to work. In my more political, activism-type writing and work, many people consider me to be a left-leaning liberal, and for the most part they'd be right I suppose. There are some areas, though, that I just don't fall under that umbrella, and one of those areas is in the realm of self-sufficiency. Don't get me wrong. There are many, many cases of people sincerely not being able to work in any way at all. I've been there myself, and I'm still there right now to be honest. I can work doing this kind of thing, but because I'm on medications and I've got surgeries coming up with long recovery times, I'm incapable of maintaining a regular schedule. Freelance work where the people I work with are understanding about my situation, is the best I'm able to do.

There's nothing wrong with being on disability when you need it - I'm certainly not in a position to tell people otherwise. My point is that there are a number of people who can work, but it's in a way that's new to them. People who needed their physical bodies to do their jobs, and are now confined to wheelchairs, will have to find a different type of work if they want to be self-sufficient. So, I'm going to talk about potential employment options, including self-employment. That's something I have a fair bit of experience with, which means the help will be real help from a real person who actually knows what they're talking about. I've been there. I've started a number of businesses for myself and others. I've worked as a business consultant, and in the corporate world. Working in accounting, payroll and investment finance gave me a well-rounded education in business, too, including management and supervisory experience.

You're going to get to know me quite well by reading this blog, I guarantee it. You're also going to learn pretty quickly that you'll get quality information from me as we go along. I do my research, and I'm constantly learning. The more I learn, the more helpful you're going to find me. So, there's not much point in me continuing to ramble about myself here. You're going to find out soon enough. Please leave your comments and suggestions on my posts so that I can learn from you, too. If you've experience a difficulty, or you've found a solution to one, it's only going to help the other people who read this. I won't get to every subject all at once, but my first few postings are going to range broadly in topic and give an overview of what you're going to see from me in the near future. I look forward to interacting with all of you, and good luck with your own challenges!