Update: Why I’ve been MIA, Excited about This Blog’s first Video!

Sorry I’ve been MIA and haven’t posted in two weeks. As you know, I work a full-time job. And I spend half my “free time” getting sick or being tired or being in pain or all of the above. But I love writing this blog and meeting other warriors fighting different illnesses from fibro to MS to lupus and more. Thank you for sharing your lives with me. For the past month, I’ve been editing a 30-min interview I did with my aunt (a cancer survivor twice over) on my family’s journey of hope over colon and breast cancer, autoimmune disease, Myasthenia Gravis, PCOS, and other fun things.

Thankful the Innovative Disability Accommodations at Apple Store

I’ve attended seven trainings on iMovie all in the month of August. (Please be patient: I’m not Scorcese so this is my first rodeo.) I’ve learned so many cool things from adding music to interspersing photos. But most importantly, Apple has taught me to be grateful for the disability accommodations there are in this world. I often find myself (justifiably) upset that too many institutions (restaurants, stores, shopping malls) are not disability accessible.

2 Flights of Stairs I had to Climb to attend a Birthday 2 weeks ago

After all, it’s been over twenty years since the first President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law!

Saying “Thank You” Helps Us Carry the Burden of Chronic Illness

Now, if you’ve ever had a training session at Apple, you know the furniture consists of backless stools and high tables (high for people with chronic illnesses, anyway). The first time I came for a training session they pulled out something I’ve never seen before-a small table pulls out from a larger wooden table. (See picture-my yellow purse is on the smaller table.)

Apple’s “Special Table”-Table within a Table

And they got plastic chairs with backs from their storage for me. However, on two Saturdays , the place was packed with elementary school children who were learning to edit videos so we were not able to use the “special table” because it was located where the workshops were. When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see they already had a plastic table with chairs set up for me! With all the time I’ve spent at Apple, the attendants know me by name. I’ve made it a point to thank them for making accommodations. The life of a chronically ill person is hard whether or not you carry a cane like I do. It’s hard to climb the steps of the train everyday. It’s hard when friends invite you to restaurants and you have to climb two flights of stairs just to join the celebrant’s birthday. It’s hard when the elevator’s busted at work. But if we want the world to be more disability accessible, we have to thank the people who make our lives a little easier. The stranger who opens the heavy door for you at the mall or the friend who carries your purse so you have the strength to go for a walk together. They make our lives better. Showing gratitude also improves our outlook-it makes us realize things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Let’s Stay Connected: Website Comments and Twitter

If you leave a comment on this blog, I will respond (probably not the same day) but rest assured, I will respond both on this website and via email. Also I’ve just joined Twitter–my handle is @JessicaGimeno. I tweet inspirational quotes, my favorite beauty products, advances in science, and updates to this blog.

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno

JessicaGimeno

Hi, I have five illnesses--bipolar disorder, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular autoimmune disease), polycystic ovarian syndrome, asthma, and psoriasis. Most of the organs in my body are affected. I'm dedicated to being a stylist for sick women. As someone who has experienced changes in my appearance due to my 12 meds (including Prednisone), I know how hard it can be when your face and body change overnight. (In fact, because of treatment, between 2008 to 2010, I went from a size 0 to a size 10. While I lost the weight, there are permanent changes in my face and body, which I've grown to appreciate.) My blog will also help women deal with other issues like surviving chronic pain and fatigue. Healthy people can also use this blog as a window into what life with illness is like. Let this website be a place where we can draw strength from each other despite our illnesses and find solutions to our everyday challenges!

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