Saturday, September 22, 2018

You Have A Say

Allison Jonergin
Guest Blogger

Being chronically ill is like being confined to a hamster wheel. Your only options are thrusting forward with maximum momentum or sliding backward with a conscious lack of urgency. Some days you want to slump back into bed, opting out of the fight the day will require of you. Throw in anxiety and depression, and your will is not your own anymore. You have a say, but yours isn’t the only one.

Guest Blogging
Sometimes, rest is exactly what your body needs, but your mind needs you to act decisively, to choose life. As anyone with a chronic illness can tell you, living isn’t a passive process. You’re either fighting your illness or fighting yourself. Choose carefully.

There’s no handbook explaining how to deal with the reality of being chronically ill, day in and day out. The sooner you realize this life is going to be a never-ending campaign, the better.

In the beginning, you’re drowning in symptoms and appointments. You’re logging food intolerances and sleep patterns and trying to keep from falling apart. But soon, there is a calm, a peaceful place draped in sorrow.

Welcome to hell: breakfast is a pile of pills washed down with dissolvable probiotics stirred in water. Kidding. Well, kind of. You see, this is the part where things get better, because you’re fighting for yourself. Why? Because you’ve been to hell, and you’ve clawed your way back. Hell is where the darkness wins. Your anxiety convinces you there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that it’s not worth fighting toward making tomorrow a better day. But it is, because you’re fighting for your life. In the quiet of hopelessness, let your battle cry rise up in your heart, louder than your anxiety and depression.

In the haze clouding the likelihood that you’ll climb out of bed and face the day, lies your greatest power: decision. Loose the grips you have on fear and decide to live for your future, because unfortunately, you’re probably going to have one.

In the realm of chronic illness, one must grapple with the taunting overshadowing promise of viability. Your chronic illnesses won’t kill you, but they’ll sure make you wish they would. Despair is a sneaky devil, taking root in your deepest fears, latching onto your insecurities, your vulnerability, your shame. It gives voice to the quiet doubts you hold in secret, acting like an incubator of thoughts that disarm you of the weapons you need to fight each day you are tasked with completing.

Don’t show up to a gunfight with a knife. Bring your bazooka. Prioritize sleep. Exercise consistently (yes, especially when it hurts). Take your medicine. Eat. Visit your doctors regularly. Resist the urge to self-destruct.
You can feel sad, but don’t gorge on comfort foods that will leave you reeling in pain. You can rest, but don’t forfeit your exercise routine because you’re going through a bad flare. It hurts, but the only way it will hurt less tomorrow is if you overcome today. Each day you forfeit, the climb back to normalcy steepens. That’s worth remembering, because there are days when normalcy doesn’t seem worth the battle. You’re wrong. Normalcy is where happiness lives. Gratitude and joy fill your heart, even as your stomach rumbles. Confidence animates you, even when your limbs are stiff and sore. Smiling comes more naturally than grimacing.

Decide: Are you going to live for making today less unbearable or for making tomorrow more bearable?

You may know the diagnoses, but fight the temptation to believe the crystal ball has revealed every truth.

You have a say.

Allison Jonergin is a SUNY Plattsburgh alumna and North Country native. She has fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and endometriosis. She also deals with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and migraines.


This is part of a monthly series of guest blogs. Each month NCCI will choose up to 2 submitted blog posts from North Country writers on disability-related topics. This is a paid opportunity. Click here for more information.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media.

You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

New content is added every day.

This week - September 15-21, 2018:

Lindsay Miller, ALCU Blog - September 4, 2018

The “Money Follows The Person” program needs to be renewed by Congress. This article explores why it’s so important, and what needs to be done to keep the program going.

Stephanie Torreno, Rooted In Rights - September 17, 2018

A home care user explains why aides need to be paid better.

s.e. smith, - September 20, 2018

This piece ties together several popular misconceptions about waste and laziness that impact how disabled people are treated in American culture.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bowling Fundraiser Raffle Prizes

Winz N' Pinz with North Country Center for Independence

Raffle Prize Baskets!

Take a look at the beautiful raffle prizes we will be giving out at NCCI's First Annual "Winz N' Pinz" bowling fundraiser. The event will be Saturday, September 29, 2018, from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM at North Bowl Lanes in Plattsburgh, New York.

Click here for the full details and registration information.

Here are photos of the prize baskets, each with a description of what's included:

#1 "Me Time": Basket, Tea Cup and Saucer, Blue Bird Light, 4 Herbal Teas, Candle, Body Lotion, Shower Gel, 'The Secret of Happy Days' Book, Pen, Mini Notebook, Chocolate, Hand Fan, Loofa, Deodorant, Body Powder, and Perfume.

#2 "Home and Garden": Basket, Battery Powered Zen Rock Fountain, 2 Candle Holders, Set of Appetizer Plates, Set of Coasters, 3 Boxes of Seeds- Wildflower Blend, Impatiens, and Shade Mix.

#3 "King Arthur": Cookie Sheet, Parchment Paper, Cook Book, 2 Bags Unbleached Flour, 6 'Essential Goodness' Mixes- Lemon Bar, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bar, Cinnamon Sugar Puff Muffin, and 2 Chocolate Chip Cookie, Dough Cutter and Vietnamese Cinnamon.

#4 "Back to Basics Game Night": Guess Who, Ker Plunk, Connect 4, and Yahtzee. Basket and Card Games- Memory, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Go Fish, Slap Jack, Matching, Skip-Bo Jr., and Two Little Hands Card Holders.

#5 "Cozy Crafts": 5 Handmade Journals, Handmade Dream Catcher, 2 Handmade Bracelets, 1 Handmade Necklace, 1 Handmade Throw Quilt, and Tote Bag.

#6 "Good Vibes": Wicker Box, 3 Reiki Energy Candles, 2 Packs Incense Sticks and Holder, 1 Box Incense Cones and Holder, 2 Dripping Candles, Himalayan Salt Candle Holder, Wire Wrap Necklace from KPaige Wraps, and Terrarium.

#7 "Fall Holidays": Basket, Pioneer Woman 3 Mixing Bowl Set, Pioneer Woman Pie Dish, Pie Cutter, 2 Carving Knives, Pineapple Corer, Straws, Dish Towels, Oven Mitt, Table Cloth, Measuring Spoons, Peach-Pecan Whiskey, Holiday Foods, and Gift Cards.

[Photo coming!]

#8 "Camping Excursion": Basket, 100pk Glow Sticks, Roasting Sticks, Graham Crackers, Bag of Marshmallows, Jar of Marshmallow Fluff, Bag of M&Ms, Fire Lighting Squares, 'So Much S'more to Do' Book, 'Camp Daze' Mad Libs, Adirondack Mountain Club Gift Certificate with Lodging and Camping Brochures.

#9 "Co-op Basket": Local Organic and Unique Products from The North Country Co-op.

#10 "Halloween Happiness": Pumpkin Basket, Halloween/Autumn D├ęcor, and Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze Gift Certificate.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media. You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

New content is added every day.

This week - September 8-14, 2018:

John M. O’Connor, Forbes - September 13, 2018

There’s nothing very new here, but the reasons given are notably realistic and practical.

Edward C. Baig, USA Today - September 10, 2018

“Assistive” technology is quickly becoming just plain “technology.”

Marissa Evans, The Texas Tribune - August 22, 2018

This article about the last huge hurricane in the mainland U.S. feels extra relevant this week, as Florence hits the Southeast.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media.

You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

New content is added every day.

This week - September 1-8, 2018:

Christian McMahon, Rooted In Rights - September 5, 2018

This is always an important topic, not discussed or explored nearly enough, even in the disability community.

Jessica Grono, Cerebral Palsy News Today - September 4, 2018

Addressing another basic quality of life issue.

Kristen Lopez, TV Guide - August 31, 2018

TV Guide looks at a great show, and makes a strong point about casting disabled actors to play disabled characters.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media.

You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:

New content is added every day.

This week - August 25-31, 2018:

NCCI Blog - August 30, 2018

Here is the place on the web with all the information about NCCI’s upcoming bowling fundraiser. You can use it however you need to tell people about the event, and direct them on how to participate. The post includes a link where people can view and download the registration form. Please share widely! One suggestion … add the link to your email signatures from now until the event.

NCCI Blog - August 29, 2018

The City definitely needs to hear from as many people as possible about the potential problems for people with disabilities of banning plastic straws. Reaching out to our CDPAP consumers could be very worthwhile. Also, other disability agencies, like ARC, may want to weigh in, as quite a few of the people they serve may rely on plastic straws. If we help pass a compromise measure, we will have done better than major cities and companies are doing on this issue, with their blanket bans and vague, lukewarm promises to “consider” the needs of people with disabilities.

Erica Moyes, Running with Crutches - August 23, 2018

This is a good blog post for back to school time, particularly where college students with disabilities are concerned.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bowling Fundraiser

Winz N' Pinz with North Country Center for Independence

NCCI’s First Annual Bowling Fundraiser
“Winz n’ Pinz”
When: September 29, 2018 
At: North Bowl Lanes in Plattsburgh, NY
Registration Starts at 11:00 am and the fun starts at

Ticket prices:

$20 for ages 18+
$15 for players under 18 years old
$80 for teams

Do you know what the exciting thing is about this fundraiser? Well…It does not matter if you are young or old. It does not matter if you have a disability, because bowling is fun and everyone can do it! So, grab your kids, in fact grab your whole family and maybe the person you just met outside and join us for raffles, prizes and a fun filled afternoon!

So here is what we’ve got planned for you:

Winz N’ Pinz with North Country Center for Independence - September 29, 2018 11:30am – 3:00pm - North Bowl Lanes - Raffles, giveaways & more! - For more information call 518-563-9058. Visit NCCI at 80 Sharron Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
First up, we have lane sponsorships: If you have a business and would like to sponsor a lane, the cost is $125 or you can sponsor your own employee or family/friend team for $80. If your sponsored team is the one that wins first place, we will present your business with a framed first place certificate for you to display in your business!

Next up, we have the bowling break down: For individuals and teams, the cost is $20/per person (18 +) and $15/kid (17 & under). This includes two games, the shoe rental, and a ticket for the giveaways. In addition, be one of the first 10 teams or one of the first 40 individuals to register and pay, and you will receive a bonus: a keychain with a bottle opener, bowling ball or a bowling pin pen, a 24-ounce bowling pin water bottle and an extra ticket for the 20-minute giveaway raffle. By bowling with us, you also have a chance at winning any of the prizes listed below: 
If you create a team, the top three teams with the highest two game series will receive:

1st Place:  Each member will receive a $25 gift card to a local restaurant, two movie tickets and 
a Gold medal. Once we have the gift cards, we will upload them to our website and Facebook page.

2nd Place:  Each member will receive a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card and a Silver medal.

3rd Place:  Each member will receive a $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card and a Bronze medal.

If you want to do your own thing and bowl individually, that’s cool too, because we have prizes for you as well! The top two bowlers, in each category, with the highest two game series will receive:

Ages 10 and under — Bundle of age appropriate games

Ages 11 to 17—  $25 iTunes gift card and a Gold Medal

Ages 18 and up— An Amazon 7”, Kindle Fire and a Gold medal

Lastly, we have the giveaways, gift baskets, and raffles: In order to participate with the gift baskets and 50/50 raffle, you must purchase tickets, and they will be drawn randomly throughout the event. Tickets are on sale right now! Ticket packet prices are as follows: 

1 for $1, 6 for $5, 12 for $10 or 26 for $20.

Click here to see our Raffle Gift Baskets!

Tickets for these raffles can be purchased through any staff member either in our office, and of course, during the event. Tickets will be drawn at 3:00pm and you do not need to be present to win. If either of these methods doesn’t work, give us a call – we can accommodate!

Disclaimer: For any of the baskets that have alcohol in them, only 21+ may place tickets for the basket, and only 21+ take the basket. We will ID for any basket with alcohol.

For our 20-minute giveaway, every bowler that registers and pays will receive a ticket to our special giveaway raffle. Tickets will be available at the event for purchase for bowlers. Ticket pricing will follow the same pricing as listed above. We will draw a ticket every 20 minutes and you will have a chance to win a variety of prizes, such as; a hovering soccer ball, a sweatshirt, local maple syrup, local chocolates, gift cards for local businesses and many other wonderful prizes!

For the 50/50 giveaway, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you have questions, shoot us an email or give us a call!

The entire staff of NCCI would like to thank you in advance and we look forward to seeing you all in September!