A Decade with Physical Disability

Over the last 10 years, I accomplished and overcame the following happy, messy, life moments for which I’m truly proud. I hope others with chronic illness and/or disabilities know that your life has just as much potential for love and fulfillment as anyone else’s.

  1. Ran a half marathon, with no running experience prior to signing up
  2. Got very sick out of nowhere, was in the hospital over 100 times in four years
  3. Persisted, finished my undergraduate degree but missed my graduation because I was in the hospital
  4. Ended a bad relationship
  5. Moved, lived alone for grad school in counseling people with disabilities/illness
  6. Was the 4th woman ever to receive an experimental medical device in a study at the University of Michigan in surgery a week before grad school started
  7. Started grad school, but after five weeks had the courage and ability to set my ego aside and take a semester off for health reasons
  8. Returned to grad school the next term after receiving health treatment in Boston
  9. Kissed my now husband on New Year’s Day 2014
  10. Graduated with my masters degree summa cum laude
  11. Got a great job counseling people with disabilities
  12. Became a fiancé in Vegas
  13. Bought our first home
  14. Adopted Sprinkles and Thor 1 week later. They became besties and loved my then 17 year-old dog Lucy
  15. After having a counseling client deal with an incredibly frustrating and discriminatory experience with the law, signed up for the LSAT on a whim
  16. Took the LSAT 4 days before my wedding
  17. 6/11/16 became a wife
  18. Honeymooned in St. Thomas at the Ritz
  19. Got a scholarship to attend WMU Cooley where I could graduate law school in 2 years (rather than the normal 3)
  20. Met the most amazing friends in law school
  21. Lucy passed away at the age of 20, after 12 happy and healthy years with me
  22. Graduated law school in 2 years magna cum laude
  23. Discovered after some heartbreak that what I was initially told by doctors when I first got sick was true, I would not be able to have my own biological children. After some time and with support from my husband, truly and finally accepted this and moved with joy toward the unknown future
  24. Dealt with a family emergency that was difficult on us all
  25. Faced blatant discrimination when taking the Michigan bar exam
  26. Waited for the bar exam results for three months
  27. Spoke with Governor Whitmer’s Office about the discrimination I faced while taking the bar and advocated for other people with disabilities
  28. Found out I passed the bar exam, was sworn in as a lawyer on my 31st birthday
  29. Moved back to the Ann Arbor area for a great job as a lawyer that utilizes my background in disability on a daily basis
  30. Practiced gratitude every day in one or more ways, felt loved and inspired, challenged myself with goals I never thought possible at the start of this decade. Did it all in physical pain, with constant nausea and fatigue but enjoyed it anyway. Prioritized self-care while not settling for anything less than the future I wanted and deserved. Advocated for people with disabilities for over a decade. Felt fulfilled. Still happy.

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