MICHAEL FOGLIETTA CONSULTING
Disability Advocate, Coach, Consultant, Public Speaker
I have been disabled since 2003 due to a blood clot bursting (AVM) in the back of my head.
I have gained a wealth of information on the many challenges I faced during my recovery. Dealing with the affects of my surgery were bad enough, but add in having to navigate the numerous insurance challenges, not working, Social Security, relationships, children, and the many other issues made life unbearable.
It was extremely difficult mentally to accept, adapt, adjust, and become a guinea pig to find the best treatments that improve my quality of life. Physicians can only make educated guesses what follow-on treatments will improve your quality of life. It is mentally draining to go through this process which can take years. One pill might land you in the hospital again, or it could improve a symptom. You just never know until you find the right combination of medicines and therapies that will work. It is incredibly disappointing when a medicine does not work. The process took years for me.
In the beginning, I was at the depths of despair. Anger, misery, emptiness, loneliness, and PTSD ruled my life. I was afraid to go anywhere because of how I looked. I looked like an ironing board when I walked because I could not turn my head or walk without aides. I did not see my friends or family for a long time. Being so far away from my daughter was the hardest part. She was on the east coast and I was on the west coast. There was no way I could take care of her in the beginning. I couldn't even take care of myself. She was only a year old so she would not have been much help taking care of me.
Since 2003, there was no point where I decided that I was healed. No date or time that my recovery plateaued, but there were signs of healing as time went by. The healing process has been never ending. After a few years, I could finally turn my head without pain or stiffness, my muscles returned, PTSD was gone, my anger had abated, I was getting out of the house and adjusting to my new life. I had to accept that most of my memories had been erased. In time, I was no longer afraid of dying and began living again. My balance problem, learning disability, my head spinning, memory problems, none of that will ever go away. I was forced to change the way I live and how I do things. In order to keep my food on my fork because of the shakes, I move my head closer to the plate. To keep my head from spinning, I don't turn my head certain ways. Concentrating on how I walk prevents me from falling down. I had to adapt to a new way of taking showers, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, eating, drinking, basically every part of life I had to adapt.
It has been an arduous and painful journey. With every problem, I had to find a solution. And trust me, there were/are many challenges to tackle. To this day, the challenges don't stop. I would not have been able to face these challenges without help. There are resources out there that I never knew existed and I take advantage of these resources when I can. For example, I graduated from college in 2022 with the help of the University. My brain has a lot of trouble with learning languages, I informed my student advisor and I was exempted from the language requirement for my degree. The Disability Resource Center at the University was a tremendous help. The most incredible things happen when you simply ask for help.
I am committed to helping guide and coach my clients as they navigate through challenging times. Life can be challenging so being prepared for the unexpected, AND the expected, will give you the ultimate edge.
My approach to coaching, consulting, and speaking are born from empathy, cultural awareness, reality and my own experience.
By focusing not only your strengths, but also on your weaknesses, you will learn to use them to your advantage which will help you emerge a better version of your previous self. You will learn to accept what has happened in your life and use that knowledge to help you design an exceptional life.
I will give you the tools you will need to navigate the inevitable issues that life will throw your way.
but I have overcome every single obstacle thrown at me.
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