Katrina Gossett

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Today was the last day of the 2014 MDA Clinical Conference. On my drive home, I took stock of everything I felt after these four days in the Windy City. I was more than a little exhausted after all the presentations, lively discussions, and new connections. But more than that, I left the conference feeling excited and even emboldened. For four days, the MDA had brought together some of the best and the brightest in the field, and I had an opportunity to learn from them… and sometimes to teach them as well. This conference provided updates to health professionals as well as families...
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
This afternoon I learned all the latest tricks of the trade for my favorite hobby: breathing. The MDA Clinical Conference had a hands-on session where I could try out all the new fancy options and the tried and true ones to keep my airways open. I felt like a kid in a candy shop thinking about what I would do the next time I’m fighting a cold. The first sweet thing I checked out was the Metaneb, which is a new breathing treatment that delivers positive pressure and oscillation to move out that junk that likes to take up residence in our lungs. Right now, it’s only available in...
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
…About dating and sexuality for people with neuromuscular conditions. That was the message I heard today from Dr. Carol Gill PhD, who presented on the lack of discussion surrounding people with disabilities and sexuality. Everybody on the panel agreed that people with disabilities want the same things out of life, including out of their relationships. Unfortunately, there are a few barriers in the way for many. But worry not, Dr. Gill gave a few suggestions to allow us, like Miley Cyrus, to come in like a wrecking ball. One of the barriers she discussed include a lack of sex education...
Monday, March 17, 2014
The first panel session I went to today was about a topic I have not explored much: genetic testing. I was diagnosed when I was 13 months old and I haven't really thought much about testing since. (I didn't really think about it much then either since I was a baby, but I digress.) Even though I haven't thought about the importance and implications of genetic testing, it may one day be very important to me and to those in my family, as we think about having children of our own. So I decided to listen in. Genetic testing is at a crossroads. The professionals on the panel talked about...
Sunday, March 16, 2014
I'm surrounded by doctors and I'm actually excited about it! I'm attending the 2014 MDA Clinical Conference where MDA clinicians and other health professionals are learning the newest and shiniest information about the treatment of neuromuscular diseases. The conference started with a talk by Dr. Charles Thornton, who talked about the future of treatment of neuromuscular diseases and the exciting advances in pharmaceutical agents that he sees on the horizon. He talked about researchers having found the chinks in the armor of neuromuscular diseases and his belief that treatments are on...
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
2013 – It sounded like an unlucky year. After all, many architects skip the 13th floor to avoid bad luck. But if we had skipped 2013, I know that I would have missed out on a lot of exciting changes in my life. 2013 was a year of excitement and firsts for me in my work, play, and dating. I am in my fourth year at my firm, and my practice is developing in new and interesting ways. This year I had my first full-length trial and cross-examined my first witness. I am also taking a leadership role on several cases. It is truly gratifying to be trusted by the people I work with and by my...
Friday, November 15, 2013
November is National Caregivers Month, so I thought I would write about some of the most important people in my life, the people that allow me to be independent. I live with a roommate and my three dogs in a downtown condo. I live independently, but this does not mean I don't need help. I cannot open the fridge or microwave on my own, let alone pull on my skinny jeans by myself, but with my team supporting me I can live the life any independent young adult would desire. I have a group of young women that assist me every morning and night with getting ready, getting food, and getting to...
Friday, October 11, 2013
I'm an attorney. I use a wheelchair. Many times in my life one of those facts surprises people. When I meet people out and about at the mall or walking downtown, often they assume that my disability has limited me in my achievements. Sometimes, they assume that I have a mental disability in addition to my physical disability. Whenever someone treats me like I am incapable of communicating or thinking, I make sure to let them know early in the conversation that I am an attorney, so that I can hopefully break through those stereotypes and really talk to them. Usually this works, and...
Friday, February 8, 2013
I recently started a new hobby that is quickly becoming a passion of mine — improv comedy! I took a couple of classes at Comedy Sportz last year and fell in love (with the art, not my teacher). I love the thrill of being in front of the audience, not knowing what anyone is going to say next. I'm in my zone delivering one-liners or Shakespearean asides. It's exciting to be able to step into any character — one sporting wheels or not. In improv, the rule isn't "No you can't" but "Yes … and." When I'm up there performing, my disability fades into the background, and I can be a toddler game-...
Friday, January 25, 2013
A lot of people have been discussing what independence means to them. I thought I would throw my hat in the ring since I have a unique yet all too common experience for the MDA community — I am an independent woman … one who needs help with just about every physical task. When I left for college three hours north of my family, I knew I would have to take on the role of a lifetime, Ms. Independence, in short order. I had to hire a full staff of attendants to help with everything from getting me ready to cleaning my dorm room. I hired students and occasionally fired students. I...
Friday, October 26, 2012
Have you been working hard day after day for as long as you can remember? What you need is a vacation. Unfortunately, planning vacations can be pretty scary for people with neuromuscular diseases. Well, fear no more, I found the answer — cruises! Two years ago, I went on a six-day cruise to the Caribbean with my family. Last month, I went on another weeklong cruise with my roommate and family. I had the time of my life on both trips. I participated in every activity, and I never felt left out because I use a wheelchair. I was able to find wheelchair-accessible tours or activities at every...
Friday, June 15, 2012
I am a sucker for romantic comedies. I love when the guy meets the perfect girl but doesn’t recognize it because her hair is in a pony tail, and she has a thick pair of glasses ... But by the end of the movie she’s lost the scrunchie and gotten disposable contacts and he’s making that inevitable end-of-movie speech that always makes me melt. But the other day as I was looking through my extensive Freddie Prinze Jr./Hugh Grant collection, I noticed something — none of the “perfect” girls in those movies uses a wheelchair. Come to think of it, when was the last time a guy noticed that I was...