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Stress Snob



About 3 weeks ago,I attended the InKidAble Children's Special Needs Network annual conference. The keynote speaker was Brad Thompson. Brad is married to Karen; they have 2 children; Justin and Hali. Brad's daughter Hali has multiple special needs. Brad spoke on Resilience - Finding the Ability to Bounce Back in the Midst of Chronic Stress.


Brad's ability to use humor and candor was most effective. He shared one day after taking his daughter to school, he saw another parent. The parent appeared to be tired and shared she'd been up for 2 days with a sick child. He then said he thought to himself; lady I've been up every day for 16 years!


By no means was Brad dismissing the feelings of this parent, he just realized that his ability to handle stress was significantly higher. He then deemed himself a stress snob. It was at that time I had an Aha moment. Finally somebody I could relate to, finally somebody that understands, finally somebody that wasn't afraid to say it out loud.


I then thought to myself, Crystal should be a stress snob as well because in my opinion she has earned it. You see, Tootie has infantile spasms every night. So, Crystal stays up with Tootie to make sure she is okay. After watching Tootie overnight, I finally understood why both are always exhausted every morning.


Brad also shared he and Karen often thought about Justin and how Justin was going to have to care for his sister after they were gone. He said they wanted Justin to want to care for Hali out of love not out of duty. He praised Karen for always taking time out of her day to spend time with Justin. In fact, when Justin started dating, a criteria for a prospective girlfriend was their ability to accept and get along with Hali.


Brad also gave us a handout of a labyrinth and asked us to find the end. He said he enjoyed watching the audience work on the puzzle as it proved that we were resilient; when one way didn't work, we tried another.


As I listened to his message, I thought it was not only applicable to a parent of a child with special needs, it was applicable to anyone whose life has been effected physically, cognitively, emotionally, and financially.


I then thought of my friends on StrokeNet. All of your lives were effected by stroke; some more than others. As a caregiver, I cannot imagine how you all must feel. I can only empathize. I wish you all could of heard Brad's message as it was so poignant. I left the chapel feeling so inspired and realized I too am a stress snob and it's okay.


While I would never have chosen for Tootie the challenges she faces every day, had she not suffered 3 strokes, I do believe I would never have met any of you. And I just wanted to let y'all know that I applaud your resilience. You all are an inspiration and a blessing to me; thank you for friendship.


With humility,



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Yolanda, Thanks for the nice feel good post. The snobbery is nothing more than "a matter of fact", we can just do it can't we. Mike

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hey yolanda:


what a great post. I can proudly say my husband is stress snob & I ahave earned me medal by surviving & finding happiness once again after my stroke adversity. well I can understand fully today what does not kill you does make you stronger & I have found so much joy in my another opened window.



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Yoli as usual you are so spot on with your blog. I have never thought of myself as being a stress snob, I simply thought it was the Irish in me saying: "I will not let this overcome me".


Crystal is another truly amazing woman, together you have done so much for Tootie. :You-Rock:


(((Hugs))) for you all from Sue.

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