By Kim Stagliano
The autism community is full of warrior Moms and Dads who will always put that oxygen mask on their children first - and then probably put one onto your child as they themselves turn blue and gasp for air.
Did you read this on Facebook? "We're wishing NAA President Wendy Fournier well as she continues to recover from a heart attack last Sunday."
That's right. The not-even-50-year-old-female President of The National Autism Association, herself a Warrior mom to a daughter on the spectrum, suffered a heart attack. And she came close to death.
This is a wake up call for all of us to start becoming "selfish" and take care of ourselves. If we spent one quarter the time on our own "therapy" and food choices that we spend on our kids' needs we could make a difference in our well being.
One of my favorite singers is Stevie Nicks who sings, "But time makes you bolder even children get older and I'm getting older too." I turned 49 in December. My oldest is 18 and my baby is 12. I'm plenty bold - and I'm sure you are too. But I'm also getting O-L-D. I don't mind the gray hairs zigzagging through my curls. The lines around my eyes don't phase me in the least. The year on the calendar does scare me though - because I only have so much time on earth to care for my girls.
I write a column in Autism File magazine, whose current issue features the special, "Autism and Fitness Getting Healthy Having Fun." I wrote about how I have started taking kickboxing, karate and Okinawan weapons classes. My goal is to earn my black belt and my AARP card in the same year. Not so I can enter the Mrs. Connecticut pageant, but to have the endurance and strength to take care of my girls for as long as they need me. And we all know what that means. Autism File also ran a "Caregiver SOS 10 Tips for keeping track of your own health."
What are you doing to take care of yourself?
Join us in wishing Wendy a speedy recovery. KS