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October 2002

Change Is Inevitable

My body is telling me things. I had a few stones removed from my bladder this month. I guess it comes with the territory of living as a quadriplegic and having a tube inserted every five hours to relieve my bladder. I try to pump my fluids, but 8 glasses a day? That’s hard work. I could have an in-dwelling unit but I would rather not. So I’ll continue to monitor input and output and take care of my body.

I had to say goodbye to a variety of organizations that I led and was a part of for so many years. This did not sit well with some of those I left behind. But up to ten years with all three, they needed to grow without me. I have made and will continue to carry on many wonderful relationships. But with my departure, now others can be leaders. Growth is good for everyone.

Change is good. But it never happens at a time that is perfect for everyone. Changes can be good for you when you make them for yourself. Don’t live for someone else. Live for you. When you take care of you and do what’s best for you and your situation, you can then be of true service to others. When we live a lie, we are deceiving ourselves. If someone wants you do something that you don’t want to, ponder their reasoning. Do they really have your best interest or are they hoping that by influencing your choices it will better their situation. Take care of YOU!

Let’s face it, if everything stayed the same, this world would be pretty freak’n boring. My problem is that I wish life was fair. But it isn’t. As people who are surviving paralysis, strokes and other medical challenges our lives are plagued with problems. But if it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would have never met my husband. So my change in abilities has yielded a wonderful thing, among many others.

I have been blessed with ongoing public speaking opportunities. Along the way, some of my attendants, seeing me in action have become almost jealous of my success; never mind that my body is no longer my own and that my life is a major pain in the butt-din ski. They just see what they want to.

I love the quote by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a philosopher (1844-1900) who said, "The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly." When we live to the fullest of our abilities, we seem almost untouchable by those who don’t. Yes, bad things happen but make the best of it. And those who can’t handle those of us who are truly happy aren’t people we should be around any way! So find out what makes you happy and GO FOR IT!

Katie Rodriguez Banister works with audiences to embrace diversity
through motivational speaking and disability education.

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PO Box 220751
St. Louis, MO 63122