Linda Planque does more than make the best of her situation; she has created a life full of beauty and joy. And she works to inspire others who also live with serious illness or are differently abled. Creating this life has not been easy as she has lived with a host of chronic illnesses for more than 30 years. Despite the adversities, she makes her life work, and work well, through a powerful determination to find pathways to peace. One of those paths led to Housecall Providers Primary Care.
Several years ago, transportation to and from medical appointments was increasing Linda’s risk of falls and other injuries and taxing her ability to get the medical care she needed. Linda’s doctor told her that moving to a long-term care home would likely be necessary.
That’s when Linda found Housecall Providers.
Linda’s various conditions cannot be fixed, she said. “And for a while there, I thought it meant a death sentence. There are so many scary words. But once you get past them, it just means your life is going to be different: There will be things I’m not going to be able to do, and there will be things that I can’t control.”
She has engaged with services in addition to Housecall Providers. She kept working to get housing assistance through the Section 8 program and now lives in a beautiful little cottage where she delights in watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren play. After finding caregiver assistance through Aging and Disability Services, she has hired wonderful caregivers to help with things she needs to be independent.
Each of these assembled supports come together to make her life work. And now she shares her experiences and inspiration to support others with similar health challenges by managing Facebook groups focused on rare and hard to understand diseases.
It was important for her to accept that being differently abled didn’t mean that she can’t be useful. She says, “That is the biggest thing people get in their head. ‘Now I’m disabled, I can’t do anything anymore.’ You can still have compassion and understanding, especially for people who are going through similar things.”
Members of her Facebook groups have expressed their gratitude for her support in countless ways, including sending Linda beautiful handmade quilts. “We’re all just working together to make a better world when you get right down to it,” she says modestly. “It matters to hear that your disease does not define you.”
Her Housecall Providers care team helps Linda maintain that attitude. She takes on a peaceful, faraway expression as she recounts visits from Spiritual Counselor Dean Yamamoto, “We have tea, and he remembers all my family members. He asks me how my kids are by name. He doesn’t dwell on what is bad. He shares what is good and helps me acknowledge those things I can’t change so I can focus on what is good.”
After singing the praises for the other members of her Housecall Providers primary care team, she ends with, “Everybody there is reassuring. And really, that’s what people need most, I think.”
Living and coping with serious chronic illnesses can be challenging in ways that many cannot imagine. But Linda’s life is centered around so much more than her condition. Her resiliency is fed by the beauty she sees all around her, the support she gets from her family and care team, and the sense of purpose from lighting the way for others who are on their own health care journey.
Linda says that you can’t fight things you can’t change, but you can change how you view them. For those battling serious chronic illness, she is a shining example of how to deal with adversity through a life rooted in gratitude and service to others.