Rushville Republican

Health

June 4, 2013

Woman taunted as a teenager

RUSHVILLE — My featured person this week agreed to be interviewed only under condition of anonymity.

“Janet” was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect the National Institutes of Health defines as “involving (the) incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, and/or their protective coverings.” Spina bifida originates in the womb, has widely ranging severity, and nearly all forms include some mobility or physical disability.

“I was ambulatory (in some way) until about eight years ago,” said 53-year-old Janet. “But for years until then I was experiencing increasing mobility difficulties. I went from walking using ankle-foot orthoses to using a cane, and then to a walker before going to a wheelchair.”

Her high school years were toughest. She said, “Those years are challenging for anyone, but for people with disabilities they are more so. Kids teased me. They wouldn’t include me in social activities. I was the social outcast of my high school. Because of my distinctive walk, I looked like I waddled like a duck. I would hear “waddle, waddle” or “quack quack” when I walked by other students. I had a thick skin, though. I’d ignore them and go on, or stare at them like they were crazy.”

In part what made her into the person she is today was her parents, who had the same expectations for her as for her siblings. Her parents expected her to be independent, go to college, live on her own, and become employed. Janet ended up earning a master’s degree and becoming a rehabilitation counselor to help other people with disabilities find work.

However, her life changed radically eight years ago after fighting bacterial meningitis, after which she became unable to work and started using a wheelchair. Today, she’s the youngest person in a retirement community. She often feels “landlocked” because of a lack of interaction with people her age and the high cost of transportation, which makes accessing community opportunities problematic. She spends much of her time reading books and interacting with others on the Internet.

In part, her experiences with spina bifida have made her into a better person. She said, “Because of having it, I think I can tolerate differences in people, perhaps more so than others. I am certainly more patient with people. I also tend to have more of an optimistic outlook on life than many people I know.”

Contact: danieljvance.com Sponsored by Palmer Bus Service and LittleGiantFudge.com.

1
Text Only
Health
  • MHS First Year Program guides parents INDIANAPOLIS (July 21, 2014/Coles Marketing Communications) – Managed Health Services’ (MHS) First Year of Life Program is offering parents guidance through all the medical milestones needed to keep their babies healthy and thriving.The First Year of

    July 22, 2014

  • hea-rv071814-magic show Youth Volunteer of the Year made for a Magical Night The Rush Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Seed Circle recently held a Family Fun Night featuring magician Rusty Ammerman. He held the audience captive as he performed magic trick after trick. His comedy, timing, audience participation and incredible ma

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Schoolhouse Partners publishes directory of biomedical and health care grants WEST LAFAYETTE — Officials in the biomedical and health care sectors can use a newly published directory from a Purdue Research Park affiliate to find grant opportunities and funding for research, faculty development, internships, assistantships, sch

    July 22, 2014

  • Tips for choosing a doctor A referral from another physician or family and friends is a first step in choosing a doctor, but specialists advise doing some research to finalize your choice.Some tips:• The insured typically look in-network. Some insurers are starting to score th

    July 22, 2014

  • Smoking Philippine leader OKs cigarette warnings MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, a known smoker, has signed a law requiring tobacco companies to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs in a country where tens of thousands of people die every year from toba

    July 22, 2014

  • hea-rv071514-mental health pic Broken mental health system taxes Howard County jail Editor's note: People suffering from mental illness commit fewer than 4 percent of all violent crimes. But state cuts in mental health funding have limited opportunities for treatment before some people wind up on the wrong side of the law. Today, th

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • THINKING ABOUT HEALTH Quiz of the day: Will next year's insurance rates go up or down? It’s now the silly season for insurance rates with government agencies, consulting groups, and the media all speculating about next year’s premiums. Will your insurance premiums go up or down this fall? Never before have I seen such intense interest

    July 15, 2014

  • hea rv 070814 Seed Circle Logo RMHF Seed Circle brings the magic The Rush Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Seed Circle has been in existence just shy of two years. Ladies from all backgrounds, ages, and interests have come together to learn about Rush Memorial Hospital and the RMH Foundation. The group meets every o

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indiana hospitals applaud submission of HIP 2.0 plan for federal approval INDIANAPOLIS – When it comes to access to quality health care, no Hoosier deserves to fall through gaps in the state’s coverage system. This is why the Indiana Hospital Association urges the federal CMS agency to quickly approve the new HIP 2.0 Healt

    July 8, 2014

  • Purdue-designed tool helps guide brain cancer surgery WEST LAFAYETTE — A tool to help brain surgeons test and more precisely remove cancerous tissue was successfully used during surgery, according to a Purdue University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital study.The Purdue-designed tool sprays a microscopic

    July 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.