My physical difference means that I require help with some aspect every part of daily living, whether it be eating, showering or using the restroom. I am going to be blatantly honest with you right now: I have wonderful parents who have done a ridiculous amount for me over the years, but my Personal Support Workers (PSWs) – the people who help me with daily life in addition to my parents keep me sane – and I don’t think it would be wrong of me to tell you that they keep my parents sane, too. My Personal Support Workers become my peers, my dearest friends, they laugh with me, they keep my secrets, they are patient about things that my parents are not simply because they do not have to deal with them 24/7. They enrich my life countless ways, and directly or indirectly do so for my parents as well.
This is probably obvious, but each of my PSWs is skilled at different aspects of my care. Some are physically stronger than others, some are great at doing my hair, some are good at thinking of new ideas to make caring for me easier. Here is another thing that may indeed surprise you about my PSWs: while the majority of them were involved in the field of differences before meeting me, this was not the case with everyone. One of my wonderful girls in IL desires to design sinks for a living, another came to me as an English major. While I will say that working with me has sparked their interests in the field of differences and/or health care, the point here is that they came to me with an entirely different set of skills and interests, and both are not only fabulous friends to me, but they were amazing PSWs, too.
Why am I telling you this as part of a BB Squared blog post? To point out that similar to my personal life, BB Squared does not want to work off of the ideas of only Jill, Aaron, and myself. We want other people in the “differences community” to tell us their thoughts and ideas. Also, we want people who have never heard of differences to speak up. I know we addressed this in our “About” page, but I just wanted to open 2012 by saying it again. We can’t do this on our own, we don’t want to. We are just starting out, so if you have ideas we may not be able to use them right away, but we will acknowledge and appreciate them certainly. And honestly, I’m not just talking about big ideas, I’m talking little ideas, too. What should we blog about? Do you know cool blogs we should read? Cool people we should know about? Tell us! We look forward to hearing from you because – as the title of this posts suggests – any help is a gift.