Do you remember being in school and what it felt like to get back reports from the teacher that were all marked up with red ink?  Spelling mistakes and poor grammar highlighted.  At first, I would scan through the paper not reading the comments but trying to see how much “red” was on the pages. That would tell me how well or how poorly I had done.

The above photo is an example of a report coming back from our doctor.

If you suffer from one of the conditions above, my guess is you that know how it feels to be told that you are not who you think you were….suddenly you have a disease!

I personally suffer from 7 of the conditions. Not all of them have interrupted the flow of my life but I can say that each time I received the news, it hit me hard.

Every month or so I have a student coming up to tell me that their doctor has told them that they have “xyz.”  I can see the look of sadness in their eyes. Some have cried. At times I have cried with them. Depending on the disease and the severity sometimes they have to stop exercising with me and in many cases, their doctor has told them that the exercise has prevented the condition from being worse and that the prescription is more exercise!

No matter what the case, my message is always the same. ” You must listen to your body. When something feels wrong, you stop. You are the boss of you in my class and whatever your doctor or physiotherapist says is more important than anything you hear come out of my mouth.”

I then do my best to help them to forget their condition for an hour. We all need a break from worry and this is how I help my students.

I know what it is like to walk around worrying about hurting myself further by doing something to aggravate one of my many ailments.  Geeze it sucks to be worried all the time!!!  I am sure you can relate, so when we are altogether in class, I am smiling, telling jokes, playing music of many era’s to get your mind off of the disease and on to how wonderful you are.

Please remember that as you are fighting the condition, you “ARE NOT THE DISEASE.”

Yes, you have had to make adjustments. Yes, it has been hard but deep inside, you are still YOU.   Do not become the disease. Do not let it rob you and the rest of the world of your identity. The disease is just a tiny bit of you.

I actually have said that my disease has been the “best worst thing” to happen to me as it has helped me to help others with similar conditions. I am now more sensitive. I listen more intently and I am using my skills to try to make someone else’s day a bit brighter.

This has helped me to heal and I know that it can help you as well.  So whether you just found out or you have been struggling for awhile, you are an amazing person with huge potential while you are on this earth. True joy lies in helping others. Get busy!!

Have a great day everyone.