Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Grocery store tales

Going to the grocery store is always an adventure. Not because of buying food, but you never know what you'll encounter. I usually go grocery shopping on Wednesday or Thursday. Whenever we pull in, we never know if we will find a suitable handicapped parking place. Even though the store has an adequate amount of handicapped places, they are often  full of cars without placards or by many hidden disability folks. I'm usually the only one ever in the grocery store with a wheelchair.

Even though I'm pretty well known in the store and my town, I still get the looks. The looks of pity, shame, surprise or questioning. Most of these looks I let go and carry on. I go grocery shopping with my attendant. I handle my grocery list on my lap and she pushes the cart and gets what I need. When my son, Jason, comes - he either walks with us or rides in the cart. It all depends on his mood and behavior. Being two, they both change in a moments notice.

Some of the comments we hear are either so ridiculous or borderline insulting. People automatically assume I'm my attendant's daughter. Or they assume I'm mentally incompetent. When either of the two occur, my attendant and I make it very clear that I'm her boss and directing her. The other week a cashier called me a kid to my attendant even though I sat there telling her what credit card to use.

When Jason comes, no one knows what to do.  He calls me mom a thousand times a store visit, climbs on me, and I talk to him like any mother would. There's no real denying he's my son so people are stuck.  So, they stare or just make comments to him.  I love when people say to him that he is a big helper as he's putting five plus packages of Oreo cookies in the cart at record speed.  Big help getting us fat, I guess.

I understand people mean well and try to do what is best. But sometimes the best thing to do is let people with disabilities just be themselves and carry on daily life. If I inspire you, great, but I really need to buy milk now!!!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Pope on his way to Philadelphia

Pope Francis is on his way to Philadelphia. He will arrive in Philadelphia in 40-45 minutes. Pope Francis will be giving Mass at the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul.  The costs of his whole trip is over $385,000 starting from Cuba.  Pope Francis will be speaking at Independence Hall at 4pm. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Parking lot safety

When I was pregnant with Laura, I took an infant CPR class with my sister.  Even though I knew my physical capabilities weren't exactly there to administer CPR, I wanted to be educated enough that I could help in any way possible if a situation occurred.  I'm glad I did!

The instructor was very good and talked to me about various scenarios.  We discussed how I mainly am on the floor at home and how that in itself could help my child.  I was told that the main cause of a child not breathing was when they eat something off the floor and choke. By me being on the floor, I could see what no one else can and remove it from the child.  Prevention is the first key to safety.

I took his advice seriously. I decided that since I couldn't do all the physical attributes in parenting, I could prevent.  I try to be one step ahead at all times.  Crossing the street is one hazard that I wanted to keep them safe. 

As soon as they both could walk, me and whomever we might be with, taught them to "walk with mommy." This means to hold on to my armrest on my wheelchair and walk with me. If they can't hold on because the armrest is too hot or some other reason, they have to stand close and walk with me.  

To this day, Laura will naturally grab my armrest and walk with me.  She's almost nine. Jason is now very good at it. All I need to say is walk with mommy and he will.  He also reminds himself.

When Laura was younger, she didn't like holding anyone's hand. I like to keep things light and fun so I made up a song to make crossing the street or parking lot fun. It goes "parking lot safety, parking lot safety - we are doing parking lot safety!" It's very simple but makes a serious thing into fun.

How society views people who have cerebral palsy

Have you ever had a day when you forget that you have cerebral palsy? You simply wake up, do your normal routine and don't even think ab...