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s a person ages, unexpected life changes can occur from accidents or health related issues. It happened to me when I was 55 years old, rheumatoid arthritis changed my life. I made the poor choice of denying that arthritis was serious and didn’t seek medical treatment while in its early stages. I lived with sore joints, morning stiffness, fatigue and pain which steadily increased in intensity. I thought it would pass and that I could beat it. One morning, I couldn’t get out of bed and hit rock bottom. I went to see a doctor, accepted treatment and followed up with a rheumatologist. Both the primary care physician and the rheumatologist recommended medical retirement and disability with instructions to take my medications, rest, and recover. Six months’ later, depression became a problem, I talked about it with my doctor who treated it with antidepressant medications. Mentally, I avoided contact with people because I felt useless and was feeling shame for not being employed. During this lonely time, I discovered the joy of writing screen plays and started dreaming about making television documentaries and films. Writing took me into a world of my choosing, a place to inhabit, to experiment with ideas, and have no fear of failure. It felt good.

After a year and a half of retirement, I responded favorable to heavy medications. The doctors talked to me about my interests and where to go from here. I told them about the desire to write for television and film. They recommended attending college and retrain into a field of study that would fit my physical profile. I made a positive choice by seeking counseling with the New Mexico Voca-

tional Rehabilitation Office who assisted with the registration process and helped me enroll at Eastern New Mexico University. I followed up with a call to my friend Don Criss, who works for KENWTV at Eastern New Mexico University. Don invited me to tour the studio and spent time with me, explaining the details about broadcast television, producing television shows, filmmaking and

Choices Magazine - Issue 16  

The Successful Living Issue!

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