Estelle Cullinane

From: Estelle Cullinane [mailto:ejcull.ac1@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2013
To: tom@walkingwithataxia.com
Subject: website inquiry

Hello

I was diagnosed with Ataxia after a ‘closed head injury’….bruising on the brain….severe brain tissue damage. My life changed on that day not on the day I was diagnosed. I walked like a drunk from the brain trauma onwards, had all the head injury symptoms, weakness all areas, unsteady gait.

But I went out and bought a bike and as long as I sat on the seat and did not walk but peddle, you would not notice I was ataxic. That was at 56yrs old and now at 69yrs old I am still riding a bike of sorts….and skii along quite fast using two walking sticks with round hard rubber plates at bottom ends.

In fact, I had the power to lay down and take it from that rascal ataxia or commit myself to bettering my life after ataxia with exercise. I think I have the mindset of a sportsman in actual fact. I am geared to long distance walks and long distance bike riding. I am in love with ENDURANCE not speed.

I am still clumsy no doubt but I am doing what my parents and uncles and aunts at 69yrs of age would never consider to attempt……without ataxia in their lives. I use therapeutic ‘music therapy’ when walking for smoother movement and beats help me to lift my feet and not trip. I also use magnetic therapy while sleeping which does magic for my muscles and a sound sleep. Chewing gum gives facial muscles a exercise routine which has improved my speech, jaw strength when eating, and better movement of face, smile, grin – I am more photogenic now dare I add.

Your webpage is a gold mine for me with ataxia.

Thanks…. thanks….thanks. Estelle. ejcull.ac1@gmail.com

Estelle Cullinane 2Estelle-Anzac March 2013Estelle's Garden Pursuits (1)Estelle Cullinane

I would like to share with you that I have accessed over months Logotherapy founded by a Dr Viktor Frankl who was three years confined in concentration camps during WWII and who lost his family to the gas chambers.

His therapy expounds his viewpoint that there is meaning to life in spite of what we have been through or are going through and life has value and purpose even in our sufferings. He wrote a book called Mans Search for Meaning free online download in pdf or epub format readable on Tablets, ipads, smartphones and computers.

I had an ear for Dr Frankl as he experienced extreme suffering himself and I had suffered multiple assaults to my head over many years in domestic violence resulting in a ataxia diagnosis. I felt very bitter about losing my physical abilities in this way but months of counselling with a face to face Logotherapists has turned my life back up the right way. I also access Logotherapy free Online Counselling.

I am now an active advocate against domestic violence and an active advocate for Logotherapy. Dr Frankl died in 1997 but his therapy lives on in its effectiveness. Accessing his little book was a turning point in my life. I would recommend Dr Frankl’s life’s work to yourself and others. He is my hero. Suffering has the potential to create giants.

I have endeavoured to keep my garden work going over the years wherever I have lived and it is darn good exercise, manouvering, climbing around, bending, digging, walking and then I can enjoy the results with my senses.

From the beginning of my garden work regime after the closed head injury that followed on with ataxia symptoms, I used childrens’ size gardening tools, wooden handle and steel components….quite strong and durable, as I found adult size tools were too heavy for me to handle any longer. My walker is very helpful with gardening and especially my two walking sticks as they steady me. {childrens’ rake, hoe, shovel}. I have been quite unstoppable since the acquired ataxia.

Estelle.