Monday, May 21, 2012

My prom days

Our local high school held their prom over the weekend. It got me remembering back to my prom in 1994. It sounds like quite a bit of time ago but in my memory - not so much.

When I went to high school, inclusion wasn't so popular. It was in its starting years, and I was eager to be included. I think my personality is outgoing by nature but shy due to my speech and involuntary movements. When I'm greeted by acceptance or even patience, the true me comes out.

In high school, I was shy, at first. Being the only one in a big, metal looking, clunky wheelchair with a tray and laptop didn't help. I also had an aide that students thought was my mom. Not good. I did take journalism and the teacher allowed me to publish an article about me and cerebral palsy to set the record straight.

The true me definitely came out the end of freshman year when I entered myself in the school talent show. I danced on the floor to Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones to show that I could get out of my chair and was just a girl.

By the senior prom time, I had a steady boyfriend. He went to Perkiomen Valley and we were in the same grade. We met in the day that modems were popular with bulletin boards. I guess we had one of the first online romances. We only lived twenty minutes apart and saw each other every weekend. And probably like most high school romances, talked on the phone way too much and thought we'd live happily ever after. First love!

We decided to go to my senior prom. My mom took me to dress shop. I didn't want anything poofy because it wouldn't look right in a wheelchair. Dress shopping isn't easy because of changing and moving in small spaces. I picked a short, pinky fuchsia dress. I got it at the first store we went to and it was perfect.

That day was our AP English exam. We were so mad that we had prom on the same day of such an important test. My sister did my hair and make up. My mom and sister helped get me dressed. We did this at my grandmothers because she had a beautiful landscape for pictures.

I was nervous and excited. Eric wanted to take me in his Dad's nice car so my dad was nice enough to follow behind transporting my motorized chair. For some reason, I remember feeling embarrassed when Eric fed me but. I have no idea why.

Of course, I love to dance but he didn't. I would leave to dance and come back to our table to try to convince him to dance. I think I managed to pull one dance out of him where he stood me to dance a slow song.

All in all, I had a really good time and glad I didn't let CP hold me back. I can't believe in about 10-12 years we will be getting Laura ready for her prom!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My new dentist

Last week was busy, busy, busy! On Monday, I finally saw a dentist after two years. I know - bad me. Not to say all my excuses but basically my last dental visit went horrible. It left me in pain for two years but I didn't want to try a new dentist because I didn't want to be more damaged.

Basically I couldn't really chew on the right side of my mouth because the gum was being crushed every time I bit down. The bad dentist claimed I had a cavity(I now doubt I did) and claimed she gave me a root canal. My friend recommended a dentist to me, and I was able to get in a week later.

I could tell the new dentist was reluctant. I have cerebral palsy and it makes me move especially when I try not to. I explained the pain, and he hung with me trying to figure it out. I used all my strength to stay still during the x rays. My attendant even sat on my legs. He did different tests and finally figured it out. The other dentist gave me a bad filling causing gum irritation. He couldn't believe I dealt with it for two years.

He was cautious to do the filling but when he heard I taught myself to text, he said if I could do that, we could do it. He talked to me like a coach to an athlete and slowly but surely he did it. He also decided to do my cleaning and no cavities. He said that there wasn't a root canal on that other tooth either.

Now I can eat meat again and am happy.

Laura was with us. I let her bring the iPad and she played kindergarten math the whole time. She was also my cheerleader.

The dental assistant was nice but obviously had no clue that people with disabilities do more than watch tv. She asked me, "Was it hard with her having that?" I honestly didn't know she meant CP. I thought she meant the iPad. But it dawned on me and I educated her on the joys of CP in 2012.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Joys of motherhood: Happy Mother's Day

Sometimes you know why God created you. I am blessed to say that God let me know in my heart as a young child what my most valuable strengths are: being a mom and being a teacher. Both of these are challenging yet fun and full of joy.

I'm not going to pretend that Laura is the most perfect child because no one is perfect. On Tuesday, she had a pretty big tantrum over clothes that led me to physically put her on my lap and take her on my wheelchair to the van so she wouldn't miss school. However, these tantrums are not common. She lost TV for a week and that has hit home to her.

With that said, she is a remarkable child. On Wednesday afternoon, she sat in her room for almost an hour making crafts for me for Mother's Day. She was so excited and said, "I do love you, you know!!" Followed by a big hug and kiss. She makes me melt.

On Friday, her pre school had a Mother's Day celebration. When she woke up, she asked me if she could give me a card because she made two. How could I say no? So she ran in her hidden stash in her room (she hid a gift in the secret stash that her and Jeff got me on Thursday afternoon) and came running out with a card.

She cried at first because the tape came off. I calmed her and explained how to fix it. She made a book. It said I love Mom with assorted pictures etc. it was adorable.

At the school event, my heart almost exploded with pride. She sang loud and cute with her class. My attendant videoed it all with my iPhone. I loved her smile and the excitement when she saw me come in the class.

Through the year, the kids in Laura's class have gotten used to me but they still had questions. After the performance, they served refreshments. Laura sat next to Liam and I noticed them talking intently. Then Laura turned to me and asked, "Mom, can you explain why you can't walk?"

I thought it was so cute that she asked for my help. I talked to Liam until he seemed satisfied and they started playing Power Rangers.

On May 23, Laura graduates pre school. I don't know how my heart will stand the cuteness and bitter sweet reality of time. Happy Mother's Day! One of the best jobs ever!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Missing teeth and TSA

I know I haven't written in a few weeks. Like most Moms, I need two of me. One that can devote time to writing and career stuff, and one that can devote time to the house, Laura and Jeff. But that won't happen so I'll just do the best that I can with who I am.

Laura has lost two teeth now. The first one was during lunch before going to Florida. I had tears in my eyes simply because she's my baby. It's exciting to see her grow and at the same, hard to see her grow.

We did go to Florida for a week to visit my brother. I can't stand flying because the thought of an accident is terrifying. However, I don't hate it enough not to go anywhere.

Since I'm in a wheelchair, I need to get a TSA pat down. TSA pat downs have been on the news lots because people feel they are inappropriate and unjust. I, on the other hand, think they are necessary. The moment terrorists figure out people with wheelchairs might not have proper screening, they will use it to their advantage.

I don't like the pat downs though. Jeff hates seeing them handle me and just about touching my private areas. In Philadelphia, they were combing through my hair and taking samples of my hands. Some are more extreme than others. I just want the flight to be as safe as possible.

We arrived safe and sound. The flight was delayed though and delayed even more when the GPS on the plane needed tweaking. We like to fly Southwest. The prices and baggage prices are reasonable. They always put us on first. Laura is very good at travel. She loves to fly and entertains herself with a leapster, iPod and a doll. She did ask me quite frequently if we were there yet. The flight was just short 3 hours.

The week went by fast. I was apprehensive because we were staying at Andy and Kristi's house instead of a hotel. However, all was fine. Laura swam everyday, was helpful & polite, gets a long great with my brother and Kristi.

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