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Contents

   Prelude
   My Story
   Describing Blue
   Silently Screaming
   Talk About "It"
   What If...
   Feeding Your Spirit
   Nutrition and Movement
   Loneliness
   Resistance
   Dealing with Failure
   Feeling Fragile
   Doing it Differently
   Watching for Miracles
   For Family and Friends
   Going Beyond
   My wish For You
   Recommended Authors

 

Welcome to Chasing-Normal.com
 

What would you do if you or a loved one woke up tomorrow with a disability? How would you cope if you couldnít do what you loved best in your spare time? How would you know what to do if someone you loved needed your emotional support following the on-set of a new disability?

These questions are quite fear provoking and yet very real.  Given that we have soldiers coming home daily with permanent disabilities, these questions are multiplying exponentially in our country.

Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and for Those Who Love Them provides a type of map and answers these questions and more. In this book Dinah Chaudoir Federer discusses "Talking about the ĎBig ITí", "Silently Screaming"-dealing with fear, "Feeding Your Spirit", "Releasing Resistance" and other easy to follow topics. Itís written conversationally rather than formally to make it less threatening.

Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and for Those Who Love Them is meant to help the newly disabled especially, and their families calm down, get centered and take their individual journey one step at a time. As she says in her book, becoming disabled is like being dropped in the middle of a foreign country and told to find your way home. Chasing Normal is meant to act as a compass on this often overwhelming path.

If you do a topic search youíll see there are plenty of textbooks discussing the "issues", there are many written by parents, and there are some personal stories. Dinah's experience can tell you that the "average Joe" in crisis will not read a textbook. Concentration flies out the window when youíre terrified. Further, this same "Joe" wonít care about a parentís theory or even othersí stories unless thereís some good, simple advice. Chasing Normal: A Guide for the Newly Disabled and for Those Who Love Them will do this without adding to their overwhelm.

Dinah has worked in the field of rehabilitation for 20 years, and is currently a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the disabled.  She was born with Charkot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), an inherited neurological condition that affects the nerves and weakens the muscles in the extremities, forcing her to walk with crutches. At age 35, she was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia, which causes intense electrical shock-type pain in the nose, lips, and eyes.  Consequently, she has unique insight into the experiences of those who grow up with a disability as well as what people go thru when they acquire a disability later in life.

As a disabled adult herself, her on-going message is blunt and hopeful: THERE IS LIFE AFTER DISABILITY AND IT DOESNíT HAVE TO SUCK!!
 

 

"I believe that we, the
   disabled, need to stop
   chasing normal,
   celebrate who we are
   and who we are
   becoming and help
   each other as we go."


   "If you feel angry,
   scared, nervous,
   depressed.... I can tell
   you that you're
   completely normal and
   it's okay."

  Dinah Chaudoir Federer