In 2013, my life was forever changed when I suddenly became ill and began passing out randomly and losing control of my own body. I went from being an Active Duty Airman to being completely reliant on my family and a wheelchair. It took a few months for doctors to figure out I had developed an autonomic disorder called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I learned that many of the functions in my body that are supposed to be automatic no longer work properly. When I stand up, my body no longer properly compensates for gravity and adjusts the way my blood flows. When I stand for more than 10 minutes my blood begins to pool in my extremities, my heart goes into overdrive trying to compensate, and I begin to lose blood flow to my brain, which causes me to randomly pass out. Needless to say, I became very limited on what I could do every day. This condition was a huge adjustment for me. I turned to art and crafting as a way to cope. I began knitting while I was in and out of the hospital. Once I was forced into an early retirement by the Air Force, I realized I needed to find a job I could do that was meaningful, but I could do from home. I still had to find a way to support my family and keep my mind busy.
Unfortunately, in 2015 my condition worsened and I began requiring the use of a wheelchair. It took me a while to admit to my doctors I needed one, but I was so glad I finally did. This chair has given me my life back! I cried with joy the day I got it. This chair meant I can go out with my family for all day functions. I could go on that shopping trip to multiple stores with the girls again. I could live outside my house again and not have to worry. I didn’t realize I had begun isolating myself.
Those who know me, know I love color, I love laughter, and I love life. I had turned my back on these things when I got sick. My wheelchair made me realize I needed these things back in my life to make myself heal mentally. Well once I got my wheelchair the first thing I wanted to do was “pimp my ride.” I found all kinds of accessories for my chair, but nothing fun, nothing loud, nothing colorful. Everything was black! I refuse to hide because I have a wheelchair. This chair gave me wings and allowed me to fly, why not rejoice in its blessing. I realized if I wanted fun and color, I needed to make my own products. This was the birth of Warrior Angel Creations. I am one of the lucky ones. After I learned what was wrong, I was able to get treatments, therapies and learn what I needed to change in my life to be able to start to walk again. I no longer require the use of my wheelchair everyday. I still need it, but not as much. I am forever grateful for my chair and how it has changed my perspective on my life. I am constantly learning how to be a better person because of the challenges becoming sick has taught me. I will never get better, I will never be the old me. I will be the new me, a better me, a stronger me because I have embraced and learned from this entire experience and seen what doors it has opened.
I have been making wheelchair products for a few years now and absolutely love what I do. I am constantly being asked to expand and make other items. I am spreading my wings once again and have created Warrior Angel Expressions. here you see my more creative side. There is a lot more offered on this page. My heart will always be my wheelchair line on Etsy, but I hope you enjoy the part of my soul I am starting to share through Warrior Angel Expressions. You never know what you will find here :)