But put me in front of a class and let me talk about our life with spina bifida. I don’t even need my notes! Or PowerPoint slide full of informational and very cute pictures.I’m lucky that I have this opportunity. (I hope everyone knows Milo - my ninja seal)
My mother works for Centennial College in the RPN program (where I have also had a placement – and where I might eventually want to work when I’m sick of hospital life). But through this connection I have been offered various opportunities to talk to classes about spina bifida. I’ve talked to PSW and RPN classes as well as OT/PT assistant classes.And I love it!
I’d do one (or two) every semester if I could. I’d talk to different schools, different classes. Anyone who is interested.I also ask if anyone has heard about spina bifida before, or knows someone who has it. I say it is the leading permanent birth defect in North America. I say that it is what folic acid helps to prevent (very quickly followed by not 100%, but it helps to decrease).
I start of talking about our D-day, how we were told the diagnosis. Then Nick’s birth. I talk about what spina bifida is, as well as hydrocephalus, Chiari, all those other pesky diagnoses. I talk about the surgeries (closure and shunt) what the lesion level might mean to walking, our team, our equipment, what walking aids there are and what we are using. I talk about our family and where we are now.
I answer questions. I hope I’m not too medical or scary. That’s why I like pictures so much.I always have Nick with me; sometimes I have Katheryn with me as well.
I hope the students get something out of it. I hope that if one of them gets a similar D-day (or knows someone) they will think of how great Nick and we are doing and not be afraid.So even with my busy schedule I always make time for these classes. I have ideas to approach other schools – or maybe even my own hospital/doctors about talking. If anyone is interested – please don’t hesitate to contact me
I wish I had a picture here to put with me and Nick talking in front of a class – maybe next time I’ll get someone to take one.