Resume Challenges

Writing up a resume with a history of disability is a tough one. I’ve literally been working months on rewriting and developing my resume and learning to deal with online platforms like Linkedin and Indeed, both of which have automated arranger’s that do not work for me. I am getting there. I feel I am two thirds of the way there. My wording needs to be more verb than noun, right now its more noun than verb. I’ve sought the help of friends over career centers for critique of my resume reincarnations. I went the career center route first and was pulled in twenty directions without assistance on my resume. Which, was what I most needed help with, given the challenges I have to present myself in a way on paper that will get me an interview, that is where I need help. Once in the interview, I’m not worried, presenting and selling are what I am best at.

To make it more difficult is the fact that I have a lot of experience and many skills that have been honed over the years of my life, but many not in the usual sense. I have many blank spots in my work history, not just the last disabled reasons. Starting with seven years as a feature dancer in an industry that one can’t mention on a resume or in an interview. I’m saying it here, stupidly probably, because I’m sick of constant omission. I had worked my way up to the top of that line, it was a better deal then. Kicked out of school in the 7th grade, I got my GED at the age of 33 in 1996 with a 6th grade education and didn’t need to study for it, I took it and passed. I worked as a Mental Health Technician on a locked crisis psych unit at a community hospital for seven years. In a time when you didn’t need a degree, it was heavy duty on the job training. It was a college education in and of itself, but I have no paper that says I can do the job.

I stayed home to raise my son in 1994 moving to Quebec in 1998. Aside from little part time jobs, I have no paid work history here till 2001. But, during this time, I founded and incorporated a 501c3 non profit, multifaceted, four-day festival that in its third year attracted 4,000 campers and attendees and became solvent. I created a successful seminar that involved two languages, two countries and speakers from New York, Quebec, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and New Brunswick, in the middle of no where Fort Kent, ME and revived a three day Convention. All events were successes, all events asked me to stay on or recreate them. The festival, started in 1995, is still running today. The other events were one time events. I have orchestrated many fundraisers, concerts, and dinners. But, all of them were unpaid, non profit events to support and promote a sober way of life. “Sober way of life” events vs “Drunk way of life” events, which one do you think I could easily put on my resume.

In 2001 I went to work at MBNA America, which has since closed its doors in the US and sold out to Bank of America. When I worked for them, they were the third largest credit card issuer in the world. They sold credit cards for over 300 businesses, institutions, banks, clubs, stores, etc. They were the first bank to do so. I worked as a telemarketer for them, three years. I was a sales coach and was frequently listened to by others struggling to sell certain cards or at all, to learn from my approach. My strongest cards were the cards for lawyers and the high end Quantum Card for the elite. I never once missed my commission. Then, I got sick in 2004.

On temporary disability,  after having an operation and hoping the two lesions I had in the brain were because of a compression on the neck that had been fixed, I set to work going to school to give my self more options for work. At this time I was a single mother of two ages five and fourteen. The plan was to go for a Bachelors in Business Sciences with a minor in writing to back up my organizing events experience and become a professional for profit event organizer.  I made it half way, with a 3.76 GPA, of which all of my business and writing classes were 4.0. I loved every minute of it, starting out the way I have in life, it was a dream come true, I loved school, always have. I had a bad MS attack cognitively and that knocked me out. But, I did successfully complete 64 credits, but I can’t get my transcripts. I was forced to file a bankruptcy on the government loans. I recently learned that one small one was over looked and nine years later has tripled. Till that’s paid off, I can’t get the transcripts, which would be nice to have, because they show my marks. Suffice it to say, I can’t pay that off till I have a job. That was 2009.

Several years to recuperate and then an attempt to build up my 26-year skill in jewelry making into a business. I opened an Etsy shop, organized and built up enough product for shows and entered the Fire Mountain Gems international contest against some of the best beaders in the world and won Gold. I was building and doing very well, but was progressively getting worse from MS and couldn’t keep it up. I took down the Etsy shop, I declined invitations to enter other contests and stopped the shows.

I worked for Suzie Q’s Beads, Buttons and Bijoux for 2 years, 2013 to 2015. I did well at her store. Here I sold high end costume jewelry, jewelry making supplies and taught patrons basic jewelry technique. I worked 11 to 15 hours per week. Suzie downsized and then closed her shop and I was let go. That one hurt, I very much loved working there and worked with a great team of people. Suzie told me that I was the best sales person she’d ever hired or known.

I have presented successfully in one form or another for non profit causes, my own art work, credit cards and services and a sober way of life for decades. I am a starter upper, I have vision for business and I am tenacious. I have overcome and healed a broken childhood, an alcohol problem (26 years sober), quit smoking, and most recently, put MS into remission and am reversing damage via the Wahls Protocol, which really does work. I am thoroughly trained in crisis intervention including giving Mental Health Status Exams, Intake, admissions, and suicide watches. I am proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point, Desk Top Publishing, and am becoming proficient in Excel. I am well versed in online platforms such as Word Press, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. I am a research hound, strong writer, and I can type 60 words a minute. I am 55 with a disease that most know as “unrecoverable” and complicating matters further I have mostly my word on my skills having no degrees and no certificates to prove it.

I do have many professional friends who will give me references.  My aerobics and gym Instructors, who watched first hand my transformation right before their eyes, will also give me references. One suggested I get certified and coach others, but after looking into it, its $1,200.00. Again, need a job to get a job.

Anyway, who wants to hire me?!

Line on up, I’m dying to hear from you…..have I got a deal for you!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-and-woman-handshake-567633/

A discussion about three major autoimmune diets.

I’m excited to share a podcast that I was invited to participant in to represent the Wahls Protocol and my experience utilizing it. Podcast: https://dinosaursdonkeysandms.com/2018/03/13/dizzycast-ep-3-a-dietary-dizzy/

The podcast introduces the diets for MS (really all autoimmune illnesses will benefit from these diets). They are The Wahls Protocol, Dr. Swank’s and Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS). The podcast was conducted by Heather of “Dinosaurs, Donkeys and MS” Blog. Heather is from England, has MS and follows the OMS diet. Her blog has been voted one of the best 50 MS blogs worldwide. My interview is first, followed by interviews with Jen, Robert, and Heather on their experiences with Swank and OMS (the latter being a variation that has roots in the Swank diet). All in all, I think it was an excellent introduction to these three methods. I appreciate Heather’s inclusion of the Wahls Protocol, even though she follows OMS. I was thrilled to take part in it. I believe it is important to offer information on all these methods and the Autoimmune Wellness’ method (AIP). No one during this interview touched on AIP, but it is equally as good as the others, in the vein of Dr. Wahls. I did talk about Dr. Ashton Embry’s work being the roots of Dr. Wahls’ Protocol. And, important to remember is that all of these diets owe their beginnings to Dr. Swank, who realized a connection between MS and diet in the 1950’s.

Because I believe that there is more than one way to skin a cat, I have looked into each of these till I found the one that suited me best, which for me was the Wahls Protocol, others may fare better on Dr. Swanks, OMS, MS hope’s, or AIP. I heartily encourage anyone considering pursuing one of these, to look at them all, which is why I have links to each on my page research, websites and books   You’ll find that there are similarities between all these, feel free to research each with an open mind. I hope that you’ll take the time to listen and pass it on. If you care too, I’d love to hear what you thought.

 

Bonne Sante

If nothing changes, nothing changes

Change is not easy. It usually means the adoption of foreign ideas and concepts along with emotional and physical adaptations that take reasonable time to accept and implement. I often refer to my experience of quitting smoking because it parallel’s well with what and why I am doing the Wahls Protocol. My father was a jazz musician who played accordion. He was a product of a time when most people were smoking. Born in 1933, he began smoking at the age of nine. I grew up watching him chain smoke non filter Camels. He went through four packs a day, not an exaggeration. His two fingers that held the cigarette had permanent tobacco stains. You could hear the sound of him opening and closing his Zippo lighter every ten minutes, “Ka-ching”. Most people had ashtrays in their homes, even if they didn’t smoke, for guests who did. Smoking was expected and allowed almost everywhere. My father said often that it was his right to smoke. Even when it was killing him with Emphysema, he died at age 62 in 1996. A painful, long drawn out twenty-five year illness, the last fifteen in particular…..just like his father before him, who passed at age 60 from the same thing. I heard stories of my grandfather in the hospital under an oxygen tent, lifting his tent off so he could smoke his cigarettes in his hospital room. We think of that now and we think how ridiculous that was.

My mother who also was a heavy smoker, managed to quit in the seventies. As young children in the sixties, my brother and I had candies in the shape of white cigarettes in a “pack” box. We held the cigarette candies between our fingers like we saw our parents and pretended we were smoking, sucking in and blowing out imaginary smoke, then we’d tap our cigarettes on the edge of the imaginary ashtray. So, its no surprise that I started smoking when I was eleven in 1973. Marlboro’s, I loved Marlboro’s. They were apart of my identity. I always had a pack of red and white Marlboro’s with me everywhere I went. The first time I experienced a public restaurant that had a “No smoking” sign in the window was in 1983. It was a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop in Western Massachusetts. I’d never heard of them and I was incensed that I couldn’t smoke inside. That was unheard of, “Who do they think they are?”, I exclaimed. I refused to go in and waited outside while my friends had their ice creams. Fast forward to 1992, the hospital I worked in went no smoking on July 4th, Independence Day, now that was maddening. I spent the last three years freely smoking cigarettes out on the floor at the nurses desk. In the mean time, my father, long on oxygen, was getting sicker and sicker. At night when I slept, my feet were cold, and I felt bad in the morning. It became obvious that I had to do something about my smoking and I was furious about it.

It took me the next three years, stopping and starting before I finally quit for good in 1996, not long after my father’s death. That year, we lost five close friends and my father to smoking related illnesses, lung cancer, Emphysema and throat cancer. Five of us, together, supported each other to quit. Three of us stayed stopped. After my diagnosis’ of MS and a compression on my spinal cord that would result in an immanent surgery, I picked cigarettes up again after nine years of not smoking in 2004. I thought, I’ll just smoke for a short time, just to get through this. Feeling like an idiot buying cigarettes at the store the first time and lighting up at home, to have my 14 year old son catch me, calling me, “Puffer!” It was no longer acceptable to be a smoker anymore and I was very embarrassed to be seen smoking and even more embarrassed to smell like a smoker and it had become horribly expensive too.

I couldn’t smoke for a short time, my habit came back full force, only this time it was harder to quit. Cigarettes were different. They had more addictive chemicals added to them, they burned faster too. It seemed no sooner had I lit up, that the cigarette had a long ash already. I spent the next five years starting and stopping till I finally became willing to go to any lengths and stopped for good. This time around though, it took a whole year to be rid of the obsession to smoke as compared to the first time I quit in 1996, just one month for the obsessive cravings to dissipate then.

Suffice it say, that profiteers will do anything to make money. Fillers, chemicals, sugars, and whatever else, inundate our food source, like the increase in addictive fillers in cigarettes. Commercials assault our senses with melted cheese pizza’s, snacks and sweets beckoning us to be hungry, setting off cravings. Illness is rampant these days in a day and age when it should be the opposite. There have been no cures for much of anything in decades. How is that, when we eradicated polio, mumps, scarlet fever, and other childhood illnesses in the 50’s and 60’s. My father is deaf in one ear from his bout with polio. We have drugs that cost tens of thousands of dollars that only manage symptoms and poorly so. That then, need other drugs to combat the side effects, one leading to the next, leading to the next. If you replace all this with cigarettes, it is no less insane and just as outrageous. And like cigarettes, it is just as hard to change eating habits in a culture that, largely, still accepts this as the norm.

Change is hard, but I want my life back and for that, I’ll learn to eat healthy, untainted whole foods, that unfortunately includes wheat products. There is nothing wrong with wheat, the problem is what we’ve done to it in the last one hundred years that is the problem. Watch, “What’s with Wheat” on Netflix to learn what I am referring too. All I know, is ever since I stopped eating sugar, gluten, dairy and began eating six to nine cups of fresh, mostly organic vegetables everyday, I’m healing at a profound rate. Just like smoking, a few people had to make an unpopular stand against it. So, thank you Ben and Jerry’s and anyone else who had that courage.

Matt Embry’s documentary Living Proof is an example of standing up to several such Leviathans, one of which is the MS Society, which has long been tainted by pharmaceutical companies. This is the letter put out by the US MS Society in reference to Matt’s documentary:

Below is a message that was sent to all the National Multiple Sclerosis self-help groups in the United States of America about our award winning documentary ‘Living Proof’:

……………………….

As you are aware, filmmaker Matt Embry is promoting his film around the United States. At this time, we ask that you please refrain from promoting via your Self-Help group.

The National MS Society is a trusted and reliable source of information and resources for people affected by multiple sclerosis. We continue to be here as a supportive partner for each person affected by MS. The Society has not yet reviewed the film and therefore not promoting it. The National MS Society only promotes or endorses content – information, sources, video, film, etc. – after a thorough review of the material, including scientific or clinical review where needed. We only endorse content that is aligned with our strategic plan, including our research strategy that engages leading MS experts around the globe.

Please continue to connect with me with any questions on promoting any third party events. Also, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I appreciate your dedication, commitment, and support to the MS community and this request.

Enjoy your day!

Christy A Bomba, MPA CTRS
Manager, Program Implementation and Engagement
National MS Society

Phone: 989-2xx-xxx4
Fax: 989-3xx-xxx3

Includer, Arranger, Woo, Positivity, Communication

JOIN THE MOVEMENT®
Consider a gift to the Society (and get a tax benefit!) Learn more about the ways you can give.
1-800-344-4867 (Information and Referral)”

 

Note: to see the comments to this click on Matt Embry’s name. Well worth the time to read.

After premiering to sold-out crowds and standing ovations at the Toronto International Film Festival, LIVING PROOF will hit theatres across the United States and Canada beginning February 1, 2018. Take a stand for patients, take control of autoimmune disease. Visit www.SeeLivingProof.com to find a screening near you.

 

Bonne Sante

Stick with the winners

I am forever seeking people who work at and are successful in bettering themselves. Whether it is to be drug and alcohol free, smoke free, spiritually fit, physically fit, or healthy from MS. Whatever it is that I must face and work to be rid of, I seek out winners in that specific issue. Right now in regards to the Dr. Wahls Protocol and my journey to heal MS, I pay attention to those who have successfully followed a healthy lifestyle and put their illness in reverse. When I see this, I watch, learn, listen and do what they are doing. If I want what they have, then I need to do what they do. What I don’t do is put them up on a pedestal or make them different from me by comparing with statements like this, “Oh, they are special and I could never be like that.” or, “They have it easier and they have money, so its easier for them”. These are nothing but excuses to quit. This is what I utilize when I get negative. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I love that psalm from the Bible. It has gotten me through all kinds of situations that I was terrified of and didn’t feel I was capable of doing, deserving of having or good enough to be included in. I’ll give an example.

I have had the opportunity to go to college, but at one time I had a seventh grade education. I got my G.E.D. at age 33 and went to college at 43. I am a recovered alcoholic and sobered up when I was 28, 26 years ago. Several years into my recovery at age 32, I was inspired to start a sober festival, very much like a “soberstock”. Six months into the footwork for this I spotted a three day grant writing course in a Daniel Webster College brochure that didn’t require a high school diploma to attend. Our mission was going to need funds and backers. Going to that course was scary for me. I hadn’t been in a classroom since I was in the 7th grade. That grade I was suspended six times, missed 83 days of school and got straight F’s. I guess, technically, that means I had a 6th grade education.

The first day, I asked God for help and marched in. I picked up a folder in a pile of them, then oohed and aahed over the nice pens and paper and tin Daniel Webster College book mark. We sat and the teacher began her monologue. An hour into it, there was a constant reference to “margins” and “fonts”. I stopped her several times to explain what is a margin, what is a font….? Embarrassing. There were four of us taking this course. One was a woman there on behalf of a school district to write a grant for computers for them. A man who was a Social Worker on behalf of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. And a woman on behalf of Camp Heartland to write a grant for children with aids to go to summer camp. And me, for the Half Moon Sober Festival, something no one ever heard of. We hadn’t even had our first event yet. It took everything I had to walk back into that room the next day. When I pulled up, I stepped out of the car and opened up the back door to get my folder. While I did that, I got on one knee like I was searching for something and asked God to help me, saying my favorite saying, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

That day we were instructed to write our grants that night and bring them in the next day. I wrote my grant out and brought it in. I quickly noticed the beautifully typed and clean grants the others created. I looked at my pathetic lined paper, handwritten, chicken scrawl complete with crossed out words and sentences. We were then instructed to grade each other’s work. Thoroughly and completely humiliated, I got through it. But, miracle of miracles, I learned how to write a grant. I found someone with computer skills to set my words to paper carefully following the layout instructions of the grant writing instructor. The first grant we applied for, my proposal got us an invitation as one of only 10 invitees out of many that were denied. Out of that ten, only five would be selected for the grant. This was not a huge grant, but for us it was. Five thousand dollars annually. A fair amount for a small grass roots non profit in 1995. They complimented me on the grant. I was the only one there who wasn’t collecting a pay check from the non profit they were representing.  After a presentation we won the grant and a number of others with that same basic proposal.

My confidence was so bolstered by all of this, that I finally made the decision to go for my G.E.D. Afraid that I was as stupid as I usually felt and was assumed to be, I was amazed when I passed the practice G.E.D with marks in the 80’s and was directed to go ahead and take the test, which I passed. I put that off for ten years out of fear and lack of confidence. Ten years before that, I had an appointment to take the test. But, the day of the test, one hour before, I chickened out. Ten years later, “Higher Powered”, I was doing things and facing things I never could before, all because I thought I had God with me. Feeling empowered and not alone. I find that if what I do serves a purpose, then the doors open up. It doesn’t matter to me what other people believe. Its none of my business, I respect other people’s beliefs. This works for me.

Doors have opened up for me to get well from an incurable disease. Am I being cured by God? Not really. Am I working my %ss off? Yes. Am I doing the footwork, reading the books, following the examples of the “winners” before me? Yes, yes and yes. However,  day in and day out, I turn to a Higher Power for fortitude and strength. Maybe its the belief that I am a woman acting as if a loving, powerful entity is behind her that does it. Who cares what it is, its working!

Speaking of winners, in reference to the Protocol, specifically. I was involved in starting a support group for people with MS. This was just before starting the Protocol. I had a very powerful message from a one time attendee, Matt Embry in remission over 20 years, who spoke of a lifestyle like Dr. Wahls. Dr. Wahls began her research with Matt Embry’s father’s research. I started the Wahls Protocol straight away the very next day. My focus switched to that of wellness. The group’s focus was on the disease. Not where I want to be. I quit the group and joined The Wahls Protocol Facebook group, bought books, and watch for others successful on a natural diet, whether its Wahls’, Swank’s, Emery’s, Jelinek’s, whoever. I am on the look out for examples of success with this diet. I have had bad moments (which I am honest about here), but that’s where my Higher Power comes in.

I read another example of success in my Facebook feed today posted by Matt Embry. I’ll share this interview for you here:

http://www.msdietforwomen.com/living-well-ms-24-years-interview

Very inspiring example!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Gobble Gobble

Note: At the end of this blog is an update from Direct-MS about the documentary Living Proof and new MS research. Be sure to click to the whole blog article and scroll down to read their letter.

Alright, I’m in a slightly better mood today. What I mean by that is that I was frustrated with having to leave level III. I’m worried about back tracking and I am worried about gaining weight. The point of all of this is not about losing weight, however it has been a side effect, a nice side effect. I lost weight when I was on levels I and II also, so I don’t know what I’m worried about. The cost is relatively the same for all levels, it is the lack of flexibility for level III that is the biggest problem. The last two weeks of the month is a financially lean time for me. It requires me to be very creative with what I have on hand. The problem with level III is that the food list is very limited. If I run out of this or that, it leaves me without enough nutrients to keep me out of the Ketosis flu, not pleasant. If I have something I shouldn’t then it kicks me out of Ketosis causing me to readjust again when I get back in ketosis, again the ketosis flu, not pleasant. I have been mostly in ketosis, but I am tired half the time, which means not enough nutrients. This is why I made the decision, for now to go back to level II. If I don’t get the right combination of foods because I simply don’t have them, I won’t be sick and I won’t be tired. Then, when really down with money, I can get by with what is on hand with less consequences. When I am in a better position financially, I’ll definitely revisit level III. And if I find that I regress at all in my healing, then I’ll get right back on level III and figure out a way to make it happen.

Today was the United State’s Thanksgiving Day. Always a weird day for me here in Canada. It is my favorite holiday, because its simply about dinner with family and being grateful for each other. That’s how it is in my family, I realize coming from Massachusetts where the pilgrims landed that its about that and then we can add the politics and controversy. But, I am going to keep it very small, it was simply a wonderful day with my family and I miss that and I miss them.

I had an email from Direct-MS today. I will copy and paste here the whole letter, its not super long and has a lot of information of interest to those of us with MS and their families.

The letter:

We would like to thank you for your continued support and to let you know what has been happening with DIRECT- MS over the past year.

 This year our main focus has been on supporting my son’s production of a documentary which examines the challenges of living with MS, and various issues regarding multiple sclerosis therapies, from drugs to diet to CCSVI. The documentary, called Living Proof, was shown at the Toronto and Calgary International Film Festivals and was very well received. It will be publicly available early in 2018 and we will let everyone know how to access it.

 In terms of research, we are currently funding a research project which examines the value of a multi-ingredient supplement for preventing and treating MS in laboratory animals. The first results from this work have been extremely positive and the work will be completed in the first half of 2018. The long-term plan is to organize and fund a Phase I/II clinical trial which tests the effectiveness of the supplement for persons with MS.

 We are currently overhauling our website so that it can be accessed on all platforms from computers to cell phones and is easy to navigate. This work should be completed by year’s end.

Thank you very much for your ongoing and generous support for our efforts which have allowed us to provide persons with MS with reliable, science-based information and to fund highly relevant, research projects. Donating to Direct-MS can be done either through our website by accessing the Donate page under the Home tab or by sending a cheque to Direct-MS, 5119 Brockington Rd NW, Calgary, AB, Canada, T2L 1R7. A receipt for tax purposes will be issued promptly for both Canada and the USA. 95% of all donations goes to charitable purposes. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email (info@direct-ms.org ), phone, or letter if you have any questions.

 All the best, 

 

Ashton Embry

President and Research Director

I looked online in a brief search about this supplement research and could find nothing relevant. However, I do trust this source. They are right here in Calgary and they are above board ethically.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-bird-animal-head-40512/

 

 

Living Proof Toronto International Film Festival Premier

Matt Embry’s Living Proof documentary premiered tonight to the public at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) scheduled at 6:45 pm Eastern time (4:45 pm Mountain time). Below is an interview with Embry at the TIFF tonight before the documentary aired. I weigh a lot of importance on this documentary because I know first hand what this man has done for MS in terms of others and himself. Matt Embry’s profession is film producer. He has made several documentary’s about others, but this is his first with his own journey with MS and his personal quest to answer the seemingly unanswerable regarding the lack of momentum for a cure for not just ms, but all autoimmune illnesses, within the medical industry and major charities and discusses what is moving in that direction. He has traveled the world to interview pockets of success for managing MS. I am anxious to see this documentary.

I’ve said it before that if it weren’t for Matt and his father Dr. Ashton Embry, I wouldn’t know that the Protocol, which is doing such wonders for me, exists. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Matt. I know from the online forums that I frequent for support on my quest, the afflicted and their families all over the world are waiting anxiously to see Living Proof. Embry explains in the interview below that plans are in the works to distribute Living Proof world wide. I am blessed and lucky to be living in the same city as the Embry’s and have my ticket for one of the two showings at the Calgary Film Festival later this month. Click on the link below to see the interview.

Living Proof Interview

 

Bravo! And Bonne Sante!

 

Picture taken from, Toronto International Film Festival show times and to see the Trailer go here: https://www.seelivingproof.com/

Go here for Calgary Film Festival show times: https://www.calgaryfilm.com/films/2017/living-proof