Heather Stewart's Musical Motivation Monday

Heatherstewart2Hello there! I’m Heather Stewart. I am from Central New York and one of the proud captains of Rockin’ Weebles: Weebles Kick A.S.
I grew up around A.S. My maternal grandfather had it and I never knew him when he didn’t have it. I could never understand why he couldn’t turn his head. I watched as his frame went from 6’3” to 5’6” due to the fused curvature of his spine. I also watched him continue to laugh, fish, camp, drive, and have a great time with his children and grandchildren.
I grew up very active. I was a state champion baton twirler, a champion dancer, played all kind of sports especially softball and volleyball and was part of a drum corps and the High School Marching Band. As a teen I started having pain but no one knew why so it was brushed off as “growing pains”. Through college the pain was considered an old injury from my various activities. When I went to graduate school I was thought to have chronic fatigue, cancer, blood clots, and etcetera and finally would have to leave school. They were wrong…
When I started having pain and difficulty I made sure all my doctors heard me say Ankylosing Spondylitis when asked about our family medical history. Doctors didn’t test for it nor would they believe it was possible because I am a person of color. Those of Native American/African American decent were said not to have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Years later, after a visit with the area rheumatologist (the very same one that treated my grandfather) I was given a diagnosis. I keep my rheumatologist on his toes presenting him with atypical symptoms and asking about trying different treatments.  Little did I know ,that my aunt also has A.S.
Five years ago I was told I would not be returning to work. Knowing that not working was best for me and agreeing to it are totally different things. It is a daily struggle. I am differently-abled, searching for ways to channel my active mind – floral arrangement, crocheting, scrapbooking, volunteering, singing in a barbershop chorus, camping, reading, spending time with family, playing with my dogs and quilting.  I have to keep moving. I may not be doing it the way I want to or the way everyone else does but I do it differently.
I am a Weeble after all. We wobble but we don’t fall down.
Heather is a Walk Ambassador and the author/coach for our Musical Motivation Monday blog. Make sure to sign up to receive an email when she posts. There’s a box in the upper right hand corner that says, “Subscribe to posts via email”.

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