Every morning I wake up and I do not know how the day will begin. God will bless me either way. My migraine, the left hemisphere damage, the trigeminal neuralgia, the aphasia are just some of the neurological disorders that hinder the neurons in my brain.
I could stop and give up but I have learned with support from Shepherd Center Hospital, GA and Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Kentucky, that I do not have to give up. All I have to do each day is to accomplish my task of getting better. By no means was my life perfect when I was a Project Manager. But, my self–esteem was there before my injury.
And now my illness had taken that away from me. There was no accident, no singular point of change, but many mistakes have been made. Nobody likes to hear that, especially me as an experienced engineer and scientist, but in the world of medicine there is room for error and when errors are made patients and their families are on the receiving end.
What would make me feel better? I hated the label disabled; I hated the horrible pain that is on my right hemisphere. I hated the blue glasses from the eye sensitivity; I hated the changes in my body and my voice; I hated not being able pass some of the easiest cognitive tests that were given to me. I had lost my freedom and asked God: WHY?
With counseling, I found a path again. I was encouraged by all my doctors to pursue this newly found creative side that I did not know existed. I could have never thought of decorating or designing jewelry. I loved numbers, analysis and quantitative data. Most of all, I loved seeing projects complete and my clients happy.
I was realizing that my brain has changed and so should I. In my moment of affliction, I found potential that I never even imagined existed. I realized that I can create something that isn’t just numbers. I felt good about it. I wanted to use this gift to help others!
It hasn’t been easy. A lot of people make jewelry. And everyone thinks their jewelry is the best; and that jewelry will bring them a fortune. I do not want GEMASSIST® logo to be associated with that. I want to make beautiful pieces that will be both functional and meaningful. Jewelry that will symbolize the struggles that thousands of people have to go through every day.
Every piece of jewelry with GEMASSIST® logo sold means money donated by the GEMASSIST® Brain Awareness Foundation to people in need. People who are less fortunate than I am; people who need more treatment or who cannot afford the necessary treatment. Most importantly, I want the GEMASSIST® logo to free people of social stigma and remove ignorance surrounding neurological illnesses.
Over 2.5 million Americans are diagnosed with various brain and spinal disorders every year and I am just one of them. There are thousands of people who are abandoned because of their illness, thousands of people who have it worse than I do and are left alone because they’re different.
It is difficult without support. It is difficult without people knowing that my glasses are to help my eyes and relax them. It is difficult to educate your family, friends and the public that my disability doesn’t mean I am worthless; I am just as human as you are, and I can contribute to the good of society.
- Deborah Marie Krupp