More Than a Teacher, My Latest Role

My dad got out of a nursing home last week (people don’t typically leave those places), and given his age and condition, he could use around the clock help and supervision. So I am wearing the hat of full time caregiver along with my mother and his aide, and I am thankful I can handle all of this!

This new position has required me to practically move back in with my parents (I have not given up my home, though :-), but this is after being on my own since I was 23 years old! My mom doesn’t have the frequent memory lapses, or ask repetitive questions or make repetitive statements like my dad does, but I do administer her medication because she has had more than one slip up, but I will save that for another article.

I am not only an extra set of hands and feet, but an extra pair of eyes, also. I distribute all their medicine, as I already mentioned. I don’t know if this will be a long term thing, but I know I am where I need to be now. One thing I have learned, is that whenever the universe has called you to do something that requires MORE of yourself, do it because if you don’t, you are passing up a chance to make a difference. When you don’t take the opportunity to help, you are the one losing.95CC7B90-376C-48E7-A3AD-7B36DD1AF0F6.png

My dad has general weakness (due to his heart disease) and he’s on oxygen. Interestingly enough, when I watch him and my mom socialize (more like, hear them from my bedroom where I spend most of my time there), it seems like he never left! You can tell they are happy he is finally home, and I am also!

Sometimes in life we have to make sacrifices, and it may not seem right or even comfortable to make the choice to give up so much of our free time, or to change our regular pattern and lifestyle, but keep in mind that Jesus did not come to teach us to be independent, but to depend and rely on one another! 

I have been on my own for so long and have always had an adventurous spirit. I have sought out to get what I can out of life and have tired myself just to make my dreams come alive! I am all about opportunity and freedom. I believe that all too often we put ourselves first, though, and not attend to others. We live in what seems to be a “me me me” culture.

Living with my parents takes me back to my past, and it was imperfect, I didn’t have the best of childhoods. I searched for God a lot before my accident, meaning, I knew he was there, and I strongly felt his presence. But I wanted to understand him better. I knew he was greater than what I was experiencing.

Through my accident, I got to know him, and really saw his love through others. The people who were fighting for my life (my doctors and nurses), family, and friends (who visited) were the ones that helped me during those difficult times! You see, we need each other.

And now is the greatest time to reach out, take yourself outside of your comfort zone, and attend to someone even through a simple phone call or visit. Make a difference!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and 200+ of her very own articles. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area and has been an educator for twenty years. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. She’s worked with numerous children and accumulated many jobs. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

 

Work on Yourself

Are you someone who likes to help other people? Have you ever tried to clean up someone’s mess? I’m a nurturer by nature, but here’s what I’ve learned: you have to take care of yourself first. How do you care for YOU? Pray a simple prayer. Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16). The advocate is the Holy Spirit and He will guide you.workonu

My accident happened at a young age, I kept asking God what to do and all through my twenties continued. He explained every step of the way. For example, I felt Him “nudging” at me to go back to school. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I didn’t know how everyone would react to my wheelchair.

But many students were warm and friendly. I knew I would get through the year. I was able to graduate on time with everyone in my grade. Taking care of you also begins with your health. You have to rest, eat right, and exercise. I put myself on an exercise plan, and I notice that my tasks have improved! I’m sharper and faster. When you nourish your body, you nourish your brain too.

Be an example!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

NO Exercise is Detrimental

Writer’s conference – California, USA

Today I’d like to write about exercise and how important it is for all of us. I’m constantly working on exercise in hopes of reaching my long term walking goals. I go to the gym, use the treadmill, elliptical, arm, back, and leg weight machines. I keep notes on my cell phone to record number of minutes, repetitions, and time.

Doctors say we only need thirty minutes a day of walking, jogging, or some other form of activity to maintain health. However, in order to build muscle, improve drastically, or attain a specific goal it is good to be on a workout regimen. I walk with crutches after a bad accident that left me paralyzed as a teen.

I have taken physical therapy into my own hands because often times in physical therapy, I have found that my best interests were not at the forefront. Therapists often quoted science in response to my hopes, and they put limitations on my dreams of walking based on my injuries. The beauty about having faith is that when you do, you are able to defy science!

It’s amazing how good I feel, and I am improving on my own. I can complete activities that I couldn’t do before, and I have more energy throughout the day! Things that would take longer to complete are faster now. I recommend exercise for everyone. It keeps us healthy, and I look forward to it. I never miss an appointment!

God never gives up on us, we must not give up on ourselves. I believe all things are possible because I have witnessed it in my own life.

The holidays are approaching…

It is bitter sweet.

Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. My favorite holidays. But my heart will be heavy this season. I would like to ask all of you, my readers and supporters, for your prayers please. Things are not exactly the way they were before. Nor are they as good as they were last year. Not that they were the greatest then. I have watched my parents age. And they need my help now more than ever. My father’s health has declined this last month. I’ve watched his memory slip quite frequently in just a matter of weeks. Luckily, he still knows my name and is still aware of many things. I am thankful for that. He just has these periods of confusion, a little too often. The doctor says it is the early onset of Dementia. With his other health issues, I hate to see him hurting so much. We are trying to manage that. My mother is not getting any younger.

That’s life I guess. It has its ups and downs, and I am trying to accept all of this. I feel a sense of grief. Not only because my parents are growing older. But for other reasons as well, and this article would be too long if I listed all of the other reasons here. So I am asking for your prayers please. Please pray for my health, strength, and abilities. Please pray that I continue to be guided and led by the Lord.

He has guided me my whole life. Without Him I am lost. Without Him I am nothing. Without Him I can’t function. The older I get the more I realize it.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

 

 

A bit of health advice

Does someone you love suffer from a chronic illness? I’m sure you know at least one person that does. What are some common diseases? Cancer, diabetes, and heart disease only name a few.

How about you? Have you ever gone through something really difficult like this? I sure hope not. It is hard to watch someone you care for go through an illness too.

Besides my accident happening in 1994, my father was diagnosed with lung disease in 2009 (and has had many hospital visits). My mother suffered from a serious illness in 2007.

However, unlike my dad she has not been in and out of the hospital so much. Watching your parents grow old is not easy, and watching their memory lapse can be upsetting.

So I wanted to give a few health tips, and a little research on this topic in case you or your elderly parent could use a little advice.

  • “The best way to increase muscle mass and increase your oxygen intake is through exercise. The faster your metabolic rate, the easier it is to increase your energy and burn calories,” says HealthCoachTraining.
  • Research shows that walking on a regular basis reduces the occurrence of memory loss one would typically experience with age.
  • A study at the University of Kentucky showed that people who expressed more positive emotions, including gratitude lived up to ten years longer than those who expressed fewer positive emotions.

Doctors say only twenty minutes of exercise per day is sufficient. Getting your fitness in does not have to be a huge task. Walking for a little bit, riding a bicycle, or doing daily morning stretches would all be a great way to begin!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Suffering and Joy are interchangeable!

Life is hard enough. Imagine you could not walk? Imagine you could not move? Better yet, don’t imagine. It’s one of the worst things that could happen to you. Don’t imagine. It happened to me. I was hit by a car while crossing the street on my way to school, at only sixteen.

Paralysis is eye opening. Paralysis is real. Paralysis is undesirable, a nightmare to say in the least. I’ve woken up before and thought this was all a dream, more than once. Then I see my crutches on the wall, my wheelchair in the corner–tucked in my closet, as far away as possible. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, not really.

There is loss in life. Loss of friendships, relationships, divorce, accidents! Accidents, a Spinal Cord Injury— it can take everything but your life.

I was pretty. I was popular. I returned to school in a wheelchair my senior year. When everyone was excited for prom and spring break, I was learning to be disabled. There are things we live through only by God’s grace. And only God has kept me.

At sixteen I was healing, but how would life be in a wheelchair? Our home was not handicapped accessible.  I knew when the dust settled the visits would lesson. The calls would start to fade. During my stay in the hospital, I would pick up my pencil with a flashlight in the dark at night and write letters addressed to God. I know he heard me.

I finished high school on time, even though I missed most of my junior year. I still made it to prom. My real friends stayed and I made new ones. I learned to drive, went to college, worked, and even walked! I’m walking everywhere with two forearm crutches, and learning how to walk with one cane. I’m still not walking as good as I’d like, but it’s better than using a wheelchair. I still have faith.

Thank God he replaces suffering with joy!

“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” John 16:20

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5