Author Archive Robin

A Ribbon Of Hope

It is a ribbon of hope to many,

While creating awareness to others who do not know.

Comprised of shunt tubing for all to see,

Neatly tied, bound,

It illustrates a part of the Hydrocephalus journey.

I carry my ribbon of hope.

A symbol of strength, courage, bravery,

pain, hardships, and challenges,

The ribbon of hope gives homage to you and me.

The roaring headaches, nausea, dizziness, just to name a few,

Leaves patients in limbo of possible hospital stays and surgery.

Frustration and sadness may creep inside,

Which does not make you any less strong, courageous, or brave.

You may find yourself asking, why me?

For it is ok, Hydrocephalus is not easy.

I carry my ribbon of hope. 

With Hydrocephalus, I lost my eyesight,

More complex it made my diagnosis be,

I carry my ribbon of hope with all of my might.

Every step taken, every goal conquered,

It shows that in a midnight sky,

There are bright shining stars,

A representation of us moving by.

I carry my ribbon of hope.

Happy Hydrocephalus Awareness Month!

World Of Depression

    It is no surprise that we are living in an always changing world that is leaving long-lasting marks on people; some positive, and others not. As a result of the changes that may not be so positive, there can be a negative impact to a person’s emotional health, such as depression. Although in some instances, depression can be genetic, there is a lot that is acquired. 

    Whether genetic or acquired, the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed depression to be the leading cause for disability across the world. Specifically, the organization found that about 300,000,000 people are living with depression; a condition that can have emotional and physical implications. Hopelessness, sadness, fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep, isolation, just to name a few, are some symptoms that are accompanied with depression. Not to mention, untreated depression has been linked to substance use and heart disease. For depression, there are a few types of treatment that a person can choose from; medication and/or counseling. 

    It is highly recommended that when diagnosed with depression that a person do one or both of the available treatments mentioned. However, according to WHO, nearly half of the reported 300,000,000 people impacted by depression, are not getting the help they need.

    April 7, 2017 was World Health Day, to which the theme was depression. The motto, “LET’s Talk,” was supposed to create dialogue around mental illness, while erasing the stigma. The more you talk about something, the more you understand it. Knowledge equals understanding, which opens the doors to acceptance. So, how are you going to walk the talk about depression?

America Says…

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt 

    Fear, what is it? It is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous. For many, the unknown is dangerous… Not knowing what to expect. Fear can cause a person to think of the worst case scenario, thus causing the fight or flight response. When it comes to the unknown, one fear that exists pertains to a person’s health. Living in an individualistic, able bodied society, it can be unfathomable to get sick or have a disability. It is hard for them to imagine living their life any differently. 

    In 2012/2013, a study was conducted, where Americans were surveyed on their biggest fear. The poll concluded that Americans feared becoming blind more than having a massive heart attack. Can you believe that? Many Americans would rather have their life in danger than be without their eyesight. Years later, in 20016, the perception did not changed. 

    According to Research America, who conducted a national online poll, 88% out of over 2,000 respondents, found good eyesight vital to overall health. In comparison to other disabilities, such as hearing, memory, or amputation, Americans ranked the fear of losing their eyesight equal to or worse than them. Could this fear be due to the fact that we live in such a visual society, and not having access to that information can be daunting? I am not sure, but what I do know is that there needs to be more awareness surrounding the lives of those with disabilities. Sure, I didn’t ask to be blind, but I also don’t think it is the end of the world. You learn to adapt. You learn different techniques to carry out the same daily tasks you completed before the acquired disability. So, lets broaden the scope before acting. To read the study in it’s entirety, Visit the Journal of JAMA Ophthalmology.   

Disability Does Not Mean Inability

Your ability is unique to you,

whatever your talents may be,

know that you can accomplish what you set your mind to.

Disability does not mean inability.

When the waves of doubt come rushing to shore,

be ready for the difficulty that lies ahead,

while telling yourself,

I will make it through, as I have before.

Disability does not mean inability.

The feelings of dispair, 

the tears of hopelessness,

will blow on by, in a night’s air.

Disability does not mean inability.

When the current subsides,

when the calmness sets,

Take a deep breath because you have survived the ride.

Disability does not mean inability. 

It takes one step to move forward towards your goal. Try not to be stagnant.