Wednesday, February 28, 2007

11TH GRADE (FALL 90-SPRING 91)

After having such an awesome summer it was time to return to school. I enjoyed going back to school so I could see my friends one a regular basis. Even though I did not have a big abundance of true friends I had lots of acquaintances. One of the biggest things for me was that I was going to be an upperclassmen! Me a junior, I could not believe it. This meant I could go off campus for lunch. Tonya got a car that summer so her and I would always go to Taco Mayo, Carl’s Coney Island, Sonic, McD’s, or Arby’s. We would usually meet some friends there to eat. As the school year began walking to and from class wore me out quicker than before. I was not used to walking that much because I would mostly stay close to home during the summer. Of course it did seem to get a little easier the more that time went on (FYI, my high school was not wheelchair accessible in case you forgot). Like always I would set up my classes so I would not have to travel far. During this time I started having two people to help me walk. One person on each side to hold on to. I cannot remember who started it but I would get piggyback rides sometimes from the cute boys! You heard no complaints here! To be honest I think they did it just so they could get out of class early, but I didn't care because I was getting piggyback rides from cute boys!

I was enrolled in the same business class that my brother was when he found out that FA was a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I was also excited to be able to participate in the fundraiser for MD they were having that year. The club that was affiliated with the class was DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). Every year they would hold a state wide competition in Oklahoma City. It was on a weekend and would be about business opportunities and politics. They held several different competitions throughout the weekend. One of them was for public speaking. Because I was in speech class and had gotten an award everyone wanted me to go represent in the public speaking category. I was nervous about going for none of my good friends were in that class and going to go, but I had agreed to go. The topic of my speech was to be about leadership, but writing the speech was the farthest thing from my mind. I was all worried about who my roommate was going to be in the hotel room, wondering about getting in and out of the shower, if things would be easy for me to be able to do my normal routine, and who would help me with the small things. I ended up borrowing a couple of dresses to wear during the weekend from Tonya. Then I only had a few dresses that I would wear to church on Sunday mornings. I had an extremely difficult decision to make. I knew what I had to do. Since I would be wearing dresses/dress shoes for the weekend it would be so much easier to bring my wheelchair. This was the first time that my classmates saw me in the wheelchair. I was so afraid they would look at me differently and not want to be near me. I was so afraid of what other people thought of me so much it would put a haze on who I really was. As usual I was the only physically disabled person there. Everything ended up being okay. Everyone excepted the wheelchair, and some even liked sitting in it and trying to pop wheelies! My classmates were helpful when asked. I still had issues with asking for help. In my mind I appeared more disabled when I would ask. So I tried to do things all on my own. Instead of trying to take a shower and fall or something I just would wash up at the sink using soap and a wash cloth. To avoid having anyone see me make a fool of myself I would spend and lot of my down time by myself. I do remember spending some time with several girls in one of their rooms singing at the top of our lungs to “Hotel California” on the radio. I ended up getting third place on my speech! I was exstatic considering my focus had not been completely on the speech. All in all I had a good time. It was stressful for me and was glad to be home, but was glad I did it.

Did you ever take an overnight trip with a class from school? Did anything crazy happen? Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S

Thursday, February 22, 2007

BRINGING HOME THE BACON AND DESIGNER LABELS!!!

What a hilarious and wonderful summer this was for me. Summer camp was great as usual and then getting a puppy, what could be next? My friend Tonya and her sister worked for a survey company in the mall, and told me they would help me get a part-time job there. To think someone would want a drunken person to represent their company was hard for me to imagine. So I didn't hold my breath, but I thought how cool would it be to work in the Mall. So I put in my application, and J Lo and behold they hired me. Tonya and her sister would let me bum a ride with them when they worked as well. I always used my wheelchair. It made things easier on me, and thought of it more as an asset to use it. Even though the sadness didn’t go away. Tonya and her sister were those ladys that you would run from in the Mall so you wouldn’t have to participate in those silly surveys! Sometimes they would just ask them questions, and sometimes the company would offer money to try a product. A product like cookies, crackers, diapers, deodorant, and even tampons! Folks will try anything for money. Especially when you are at the mall. I was hired to be the holler back girl! So the folks would try the product out for a week or two, then I would call them and ask them questions about it to see if they liked it. Even about the tampons! Can you imagine? So I would sit in a cubicle in the back room by myself usually and just call away! It was okay, but sometimes my voice would throw the folks off, and frustrate me. Thinking I was a little girl and was going to ask them if there refrigerator was running? Embarrassing when I had to ask the ladies if the tampon leaked a lot, a little, or not at all!! I even had some ladies hang up on me. I ended up not calling for those type of products. I told my supervisor that there was not enough maturity in my voice to call back on some things. She agreed, and was more selective when she would give me stuff. The best thing about the job was the money!! Even though it was only minimum-wage and part-time I thought I was rich. I would sometimes have my parents drop me off early so I could purchase those designer labels that my mom would not get me because of the price. I also learned to be frugal with my money and save it up. Making the dollar made me learn the meaning of it.

I only did this job for three summers, and it was only part time. It gave me something to do, and gave me a little extra money to play with. Thanks so much to Tonya and Shannon for all their help. The last summer I worked there (I was 18) I ended up meeting two of the gentleman I “called back” over the phone. One of them I went with on a lunch date. Nothing major happened, we went to a little Italian place. He was a very nice guy, bit we weren't meant for each other. Don’t even think we spoke after that (normal occurrence for me). I do not remember his name, but I do remember he had thick, shiny dark hair. The other guy worked for the pro soccer team that my parents and I would go to see every home game in Okla. I love soccer! The guy and I just talked and found out that we were at the same place at the same time, and so we met. Nothing major he was nice.

That was my first job now tell me about yours? Thanks for taking the time to read,
Miss S

Thursday, February 15, 2007

THUMPER 5/31/90 - 1/11/06




I had to mention my pride and joy for 15 1/2 years. I do not have a scanner/digital camera right now, but had this pic taken of him.

After Spanky died my parents were like exne on having any more pet's. One day while my mom, my aunt, and I were sitting outside in our backyard drinking tea and basking in the sun a few folks from my youth group came over for a visitation (personal invitation to come back to church) to see my brother. This guy (Sean) I had a major crush on was one of them! He was the same guy in the previous post who gave me his Bible to rest my head on. (This crush started in Middle School. In art class I drew his name out of macaroni, it was so cheesy I got the blues!!! LOL) As we were all in the backyard there were several little poodles next door that were outside. Sean asked me if I liked poodles. I said yes and that the dog we had lost several years ago (Spanky) was one of their brothers. He told me that he could get me a poodle for free. He said his mom breeds poodles. I looked at my mom with excitement, and gave her those begging eyes. She said she would have to talk it over with my dad first. For some teenage crush reason I thought it would bring the two of us closer by him giving me the dog. After much discussing, and pleading with my parents they said yes. I was so happy.

A litter was born at the end of May so we scheduled to come near the end of July to pick one out. It just happened to fall during the time I was recuperating again from knocking my knee cap out of socket. So I was in my wheelchair at the time with a knee brace on. I did not feel I was looking my best for Sean, but what ever I was getting a puppy! As we went to her house she brought out about eight puppies for me to choose from. The minute I saw Thumper I knew he was the one I wanted. He had an apricot color on his ears and down the middle of his back, he was the runt, the smallest one of the bunch and very energetic. Mom and dad saw this little chocolate colored poodle and fell in love with him. Knowing Mom and Dad would be doing most of the physical care taking I gave in, and we took the chocolate poodle home. After several days of being with us he did not seem he felt well. So we called the breeder, and took him back for observation. She said it was going to take a little while for him to perk up without his mother. She says It’s rare but some puppies do that, but he is okay. I was already attached to him. We named him critter. I understood that he needed to go spend some more time with his mother. She asked if I wanted to try another one and immediately without question I wanted the apricot one. So dad took me, and I never got out of the car.

On the way home I was holding him and we were thinking of names, but could not come up with any. A day or so later as he was in the front yard taking care of his business he went to throw up dirt using his back legs (their way of wiping). I am so glad us humans have other techniques like toilet paper! It was the cutest thing I ever seen because his legs were so short that he would just thump on the ground. It was then I said "look its thumper!" And that is how he got his name. (And my screenname!)

We all loved playing with him. He had a toy steak that when we would throw he would go get it then wanted you to chase him to get it back. He also loved pulling off your socks! Sometimes when he would come in from outside it was like he had gotten in to some loco weed! He would run around really fast and in circles. My dad would always say "He is just a funny guy, I wonder what he is thinking?" Thumper learned quickly that mom was his go to if he wanted anything. She was always giving him tablescraps. Ice cream was his favorite! He was a mama’s boy no doubt, and his throne was with her at the foot of the recliner. Anytime I moved he would stay w/ my parents. He would moan and act anxious if she were not there. He was a yapper and would bark at anyone that was not my mom, dad, bro, or I. There was only one exception, he never barked at my grandma (dads mom). We always used to say that he was my dog, born on my brothers birthday, and sleeped with my parents! He was not a big fan of being held. My mom could hold him the longest without him squirming. My dad would do it just to aggrevate him! He used to freak out at the thought of me holding him. My parents said he could probably sense the unsteadiness in my hands. We think he might have gotten claustrophobic from when he was born. Maybe the other puppies squeezed him. I am not sure it is a guess. When he was 14 he ended up having all of his teeth pulled except for 8 of them. His tongue would hang out of the side of his mouth. Gene Simmons had some competition during this time! He was no longer able to control his tongue and eat right. So we would hand feed him, and he was picky. Yes that we includes uncoordinated me. Can you just imagine that one! He would devour Chick-Fil-A nuggets from anyone’s hands though! That's my boy is all I am saying! He got that from me, I love me some Chick-fil-A as well! As time grew closer to his passing he began having troubles holding his bladder. Now I think he may have had troubles but he knew where he was making his deposits, because he would barricade me in with his poop! If I went anywhere I would roll over it. I have been there and done that, and having poop in your wheelchair wheels is no fun. So I would just sit there till someone came home. He was like having a kid or part of the family, and letting him go was so extremely hard on us all. My mom told me that her and my dad both cried themselves to sleep that night. I still find myself thinking of him and getting teary eyed. For example, typing this post has not made for a dry eye!

My parents are both saying exne on getting any more pets, but my moms knees get weak and her eyes light up when she sees another dog.

Do you have a pet story you would like to share? Thanks for taking the time to read,
Miss S

Saturday, February 10, 2007

CAN U SAY 'EMBARISSING'???

At the end of May I turned 16 (1990). My brother and I never had parties growing up, but my grandma (dads mom) would always make us a cake, and we would get gifts from the immediate fam. As we got older we would just have a Twinkie, and put a candle in it while the fam would sing to us. Also, we would normally get money for our day to spend on what we wanted. So with money in my hands from the birthday, and from making A’s on my report card (we got a dollar per A!) My cousin Syl and I went shopping at the mall.

My wheelchair had come in that I ordered, so I decided I would use it at the mall, since there would be a lot of traveling. Going anywhere with Syl was great. She had a way of making me feel like I was no different. That is what helped so much for me to be comfortable taking my wheelchair. Beside that it was an awesome candy apple red color, and Syl's Mom wrote my name in calligraphy on the back!

Syl and I had been in the mall for several hours, and was yet to find a piece of clothing to try on. So we stopped at the food court to quench our thirst on a Chick-fil-A soda. We ended up getting a big gulp and sharing it. I am not a big drinker (alcohol or any other kind) but I was thirsty. It did not take long for us to finish the drink. The mall was going to be closing soon, and I had to go to the restroom. So off we went, but on the way there with this outfit hanging in the window and being to cute. It was just my luck that we have traveled every store in the mall and did not find a single outfit to try on except when the mall was ready to close. Not to mention that we were on a mission to make it to the bathroom. But I really liked this outfit. So I had an all important decision to make. I could go to the bathroom, or hold it and go try on the outfit. Syl told me that if I felt I could hold it that we would stop at a station when we left. I was going to her house to stay the night, and she did not live near the mall. I felt as though I could hold it even though I had to go pretty bad. So into the store we went (the store will remain nameless, and the reason you will see) grabbing the outfit, and heading for the dressing room. We had 10 minutes to do this, and anyone who knows me knows it will take more than 10 minutes. With Syl's help I knew I could do it. The pants was the first thing I tried on. They were long, black, with a stirrup style. I was surprised how easy that was to get on. Now comes the top. It was made to look like you had on two blouses. There was material sewn in to the sleeves, bottom, and top of the blouse giving it the layered look. Because the top of the shirt was sewn together so well it was tight getting it on over my head. I lost my balance as it went pitch dark from the shirt being pushed over my head several times with force because it was so tight! I fell against the wall. I hit hard the wall hard, and know the people next to us in the dressing room had to have heard it. I have a tendency at times to laugh when nothing is wrong. I was not hurt, so I began to laugh. Syl quietly told me to be quiet because the people in the next room would get suspicious of what we were doing in there. The visual that took place as I thought of what the people were picturing as they heard the noise on the wall from my head hitting it, and the laughter from the room made me laugh even more. At that moment my kidneys decided to release, and go right down the pair of pants I tried on! I was trying so hard to stop it before it became a stream, but it would not stop. The next plan was to get them off without Syl noticing. So I looked in a mirror quickly, and decided that the outfit was not for me (I wonder why?). She took off the shirt, and while she was hanging it back on my hanger I began taking off my pants. I was also afraid she was going to start smelling it (EEEWWW, I know)! I got the pants off in record time, and told her that I could hang the pants backup. So she let me. We left but not before putting back the outfit on the rack. Syl had no clue as to what just happened. I just wanted to leave quickly. As soon as we made it to the parking garage I started laughing at what I did. Another tip about me is that when I am laughing I cannot do anything else. Syl knowing this does not say a word to me until after I am in the car. She started the car, but would not drive off until she knew why I was laughing. Talking about it made me laugh too. It took her a minute to decode what I was saying, but she did. She couldn't hold back her laughter at that point! She was probably scared thinking that I might finish in her car if she didn't hurry!

So off we went to the Quick-Trip down the street. As we arrived I left my wheelchair in the trunk for it would take too long to assemble, and I still had some business to finish if you know what I am talking about! We go up to the cashier and ask him where his restroom is. He proceeds to tell us that they do not have a public restroom here that it is for employees only. Syl gave him the emergency look mixed with a little deer getting caught in the headlights look, and told him that I was disabled, and really needed to go to the restroom. So to please make an exception. Of course he didn't want to be the bad man who deprived the poor little disabled girl to potty:) So he agreed. After that we had to go by my house so I could change, and then we left. I laugh so hard when I think about this story, and even had a hard time typing it due to laughing!

Moral of this story: Wash everything you buy before wearing it, because you never

know who tried it on or what they did in it!

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S

Thursday, February 01, 2007

MY 10TH GRADE YEAR! 89-90

On a general spectrum 10th grade was okay. It was weird without my sidekick (Kari) around. I felt as though I didn’t have to try as hard at friendships. I automatically belonged just by being in her presence, so that made things different for me. Due to the new found confidence in myself that I got through my amazing friendship with her, my wonderful summer at camp, and that empowering event for MDA that made things easier for me. Yes, my bro was now a senior but we were bro and sis if you get my drift. Physically I did not seem that I really progressed much, and was still stubborn.

As the door had opened up for me the summer before with my speaking engagement I decided to take speech class the following year in school. This was also the first year that speech was offered in my school. Our teacher had informed us that there would be a contest near the end of the semester. It had to be a debatable speech and that we should start preparing for it. This was the first speech contest that our high school had ever been entered into. I wanted to give it a whirl, so me and a few other students signed up. I came home a nervous wreck not knowing what I was going to speak about. I told my parents what I was doing, and my dad goes “hold on a minute”. He goes into his bedroom, and comes out with a bunch of notecards. He said he did this speech in Junior College over abortion, and got a B on it handing me the notecards. I read it and it was really good. It was not pro-life or pro-choice per se it was more like I am going to give you the facts and let you decide which road to take. I read it over several times and every time I read it I liked it even more. Of course I had to do a lot of tweeking to it to make it sound like it was from 1990 and not 1965! I was happy with what I had done. My dad had a Barney Fife look (Andy Griffith Show), held his head high, and often reminded me that it was his speech and that I owe him! So off to the contest I went. Still being stubborn I did not bring a wheelchair and wore a dress with dress shoes! Everyone looked so sophisticated and very smart in their. That was intimidating to me, but I went in there with confidence of knowing I could bring it! Right before it was my turn to go on my palms got sweaty, and the butterflies were in full force in my stomach. When it was my turn I began to speak and all my anxieties went away as I was in my element. We went to an assembly where they gave out the awards. I knew I did well, but did not expect to get an award. There were people that had competed in these kind of contests for a long time, but J Lo and behold it I didn't get first place! It was an awesome feeling. Of course, my dad was strutting around like he was the winner. He couldn’t believe it because he only got a B on it! I told him that is what happens when you leave things up to a female!! LOL

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S