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Navigating Life

Abilities Are Greater Than Disabilities

Anything is possible. I don't have disabilities, I have abilities to do things differently. I have been in a wheelchair for 19 years due to a car accident which occurred when returning from my sister's wedding. I was a restrained passenger when the driver, my father, fell asleep. He and the other passengers, my mother and daughter, walked away with minor injuries. I was airlifted to the University of Michigan Hospital as a high functioning C7 with use of my hands. Three months later, after combating a variety of hospital born diseases, I was discharged as a C5 quadriplegic, barely able to shrug my shoulders. While in the hospital I made the conscious decision not to allow my paralysis to destroy my life or that of my family. I refused to accept the "normal" protocol for a C5 quadriplegic, believing that "normal" is a setting on a washing machine and not a lifestyle.

Navigating life

My children, then ages six and eight, needed a mother and I refused to relinquish this role. I wrote a book, Behind the Curtain, to share my story and experiences when dealing with attorneys, insurance claim adjusters, hospital bureaucracy and home healthcare providers. Becoming my own best advocate, I learned that no does not mean no, it means negotiate. Using unconventional tactics I found pathways to navigate the bureaucracy. Behind the Curtain also recounts my experiences of moving to a Caribbean island, dancing with a Russian dissident, and skiing the Rocky Mountains. I have had the privilege of attending two high school graduations, one college graduation and my daughter's wedding. Believing that my abilities are greater than my disabilities, I have moved forward in unimaginable directions in my journey in a wheelchair. I am an inspirational speaker on navigating life and turning roadblocks into scenic detours.

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The life of Nancy Blose is divided into two segments; before accident and after accident. Before June 22, 1997 I was a participant in the rat race. Employed full-time as an administrative assistant to the vice president at Kelly Service's headquarters, shuttling two children between early morning daycare, school and extra curricular activities and responsible for household requirements that accompany adulthood. My life changed in a second. Returning home from my sister's wedding, my father fell asleep while driving 75 mph. When he awoke, he overcorrected the steering, propelling my Jeep into a rollover – five times. In that moment I became paralyzed. After three months in the hospital and surviving multiple medical complications and surgeries, I was discharged as a quadriplegic only able to shrug my shoulders. Making a promise to myself that if I lived, regardless of the loss of my physical being, I would live each day with purpose and gratitude.   I choose to greet each morning as a gift with infinite possibilities.

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Nancy Blose

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Navigating Life

Anything is possible. I don't have disabilities, I have abilities to do things differently. I have been in a wheelchair for 19 years due to