Ellie was born March 4th, 2015. In my gut, I knew something was wrong throughout my whole pregnancy. It didn’t matter that ultrasounds had showed she had a heart defect. It didn’t matter they showed she had clinodactyly, or slightly thickened neuchal skin fold or thickened skin over her nasal bone. None of this did anything but make my pregnancy more stressful and my marriage more frustrating. My husband didn’t have this gut feeling. He didn’t have this insane urge to make everything in life perfect to prepare for disaster. People say these tests help ease your mind so you know what to expect when your baby is born. Well, it’s just not true, at least not for me. I didn’t want to know these things. I wanted to celebrate my pregnancy and that I was growing and nourishing a new life the best that I knew how. I wanted to appreciate my husband for all he does instead of be angry at all he isn’t doing. As it turns out, there was something wrong, but most likely it had nothing (for the most part) to do with all the soft markers on ultrasound photos.
People often tell me that Luke and I are doing a great job raising our children given their disabilities. This is extremely insulting as a parent. My children are special as are all children. My children are not different, but they are children with unique needs as well as abilities. People ask how we have managed to raise respectful well behaved kids given their conditions and ours. We are a special family, not because of special needs, but because of a special love. I believe that having a disability or illness can make you appreciate every blessing in life more than before, and we all need to count our blessings. I also believe children are life’s biggest blessing and greatest teachers. Children are born innocent, without expectations, without hate, and without entitlement. You need very few things to raise empowered children and none of these things cost any money. You need love, determination, patience, and most importantly the ability to express your feelings. These things apply to all children! We have plans of raising Olivia with the same techniques as we have with both of our older daughters who happen to have special needs. Read more
Warning: This post contains information about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing. Rates of abuse are higher among those living with disabilities. In an effort to raise awareness about this very serious issue, Jessie has written a special series on sexual abuse that will be published over the coming months.
Sexual abuse remains the number one underreported crime in our country for a myriad of reasons. I will break down the main causes as to why this heinous crime remains unreported. Read more
I got the call at the end of my daughter’s second week of her freshman year in college. She told me that her feet and legs had been going numb. Knowing my daughter doesn’t complain when she’s hurt or sick, and that she is very independent, I knew something was not right. Read more
I used that title sarcastically. I’m not feeling too festive these days. Prescribing wheelchairs and other complex DME for my clients just keeps getting harder and harder. Read more
Holiday shopping means holiday crowds full of insanely bitter people who are willing to fight to the death over that last Barbie or Batman Lego set. What should be a fun time has turned into a battle of the strongest. The stores become so crowded that if you’re living with a wheelchair it can be nearly impossible to get through the masses of people to reach what you want or need. Of course we all want the lowest prices possible, but oh my it went from Good Friday to Black Friday for a reason, and that reason is crazy people. We do not do stores that day if we are able to avoid them in any way possible. The traffic is terrible and the lines in the stores are even worse. Read more
My name is Lisa Zietlow. I just turned 34 years old. I have a “typical” 6-year-old son named Kaiden and a “non-typical” 18-month-old son named Easton. Read more
Warning: This post contains detailed information about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing. Rates of abuse are higher among those living with disabilities. In an effort to raise awareness about this very serious issue, Jessie has written a special series on sexual abuse that will be published over the coming months.
Sexual abuse and rape are gaining a lot of attention with this election. I have decided as a mental health professional who has spent the majority of my career working with sex abuse survivors to write a series of articles dedicated to this extremely important topic. It is time to discuss this issue with the release of tapes and women coming forward saying they were groped and kissed against their will and men responding it’s “locker room talk”. It’s not locker room talk. It is the sexual abuse of a human being and it is being treated as if it means nothing. Read more