A-Z Disability Challenge | K : Why Kids Should Be Educated About The Various Types Of Disabilities

When I was busy coming up with the letters and their themes, I was a little worried whether it would be a good idea to basically talk about children and how they view people with disabilities twice. After discussing it with my mom, she pretty much convinced me that it would be interesting to speak up on different ages, because as I’ve found out over the years, children under the ages of 5 are curious of their surroundings but they want to learn about everything! Kids in that are higher in age and in school may hang out with friends that can influence them to bully other kids. So, this is what we will be talking about on today’s post!

I remember when I was in grade school, we were all in separate classes for all of our subjects. The only time you basically got to see the other students was at lunch and recess. I knew at the time that there was one other kid with a disability, we never saw each other but only on the occasional field trips and grandparent’s programs. That was it! So, I was hardly ever around somebody that was remotely like me, until I had my surgeries in 2002.

The reason why I bring this up is because throughout my entire time in elementary school, I was basically taught to be like everyone else. I never really experienced any bullying although there was one girl who didn’t like me, but we were at least civil with each other. Anyways, I grew up actually hating to be around other kids with disabilities, because they acted differently than me and my friends–now of course, I feel horrible thinking that way but that was my mindset back then; I wasn’t like them but yet I was!

You can never really tell what a kid thinks about things unless they tell you, but when they don’t ask you questions, they will almost go through life not knowing the real answers. They will begin to seek them through their friends, and you hope that everything those kids have been taught are saying good things but unfortunately not all children are being told that having a disability of any kind can be a beautiful thing. Instead they are fearful by what they don’t understand and relying on that information to others.

I always wished that there were more motivational speakers that came to schools with a variety of disabilities. Unfortunately, I also worry if this were to happen, if they would appericate it because I know everytime we had people come in and talk with us, it would literally go in one ear and out in the other. However, there is that small chance that a few kids that enjoy learning about everything, so it could be a positive experience as well!

I think it would be useful for these youngsters to see a plethora of differences in their bodies, we are not going to look like athletes or supermodels, and it’s important to remember that at any age!

I had a thought the other night about this subject. For some reason, all of the speakers that came to talk to us were all adults. What if kids saw teenagers or someone in their early 20’s? If I saw more women and talking about her disability, I wonder if that would have made a difference because I didn’t learn how to love myself until two years after I graduated from high school altogether. It really sucks to know that not only .did I have to be away from my classmates and watch X-Men: First Class to feel like I can love being the way that I am!

When you were in school, how did you view the speakers that came to talk about the aftermath of drunk-driving or their disabilities? Do you think there should be more people talking about other topics that could be helpful to children as they continue to get older?

A-Z Disability Challenge | J : Just Watch Me

Hello.

I don’t think people will ever understand the importance of this phrase. It is like Nike’s motto, but it’s more straight forward. Whenever you say it that means you already know you’re going to do it, there’s no use of trying to talk you out of it. While the other is telling you to do something, you’re still liable to think about it and see whether or not if you need to do it.

For people with various types of disabilities, this is like embed into their brains. It’s definitely been into my head for what feels like forever. There is nothing like proving people wrong, and I always strive for that opportunity to look at someone and not necessarily say it to their faces, “do not underestimate me.” It’s the most amazing rush, as it’s second to being an adrenaline junkie, which a lot of us will put the two together and that is usually a recipe for both excitement and disaster, but we normally don’t go looking for that other part!

I think a lot of people can learn from people with disabilities, especially if they have a physical disability. We tend to push ourselves harder, because it’s not all about proving others wrong, we’re also trying to prove us wrong too. Our bodies get weaker the older we become because that’s part of life, but sometimes once we realize we’re missing out on something or losing an ability that helps us to do things can help build up our strength within and we try to change it for the better!

Here is something to keep in mind:

There is one thing that I need to speak up about first, we do have our limitations like everybody else. Sometimes those limits need to be tested of course, but it’s all about patience. Nothing you do will come to you overnight. If you’re like me, you’ll be up all night trying to come up other ways to complete something! I do not like to throw in the towel as some people would say but if none of my plans work, there is no shame in letting go. This is a harsh thing to think about, because we as humans hardly ever want to accept defeat, and when it comes to disabled people, it certainly feels like the universe is letting us down. If something is not working out for you, you can either think of it in another perspective or you have to leave it in peace.

When I lost the ability to get myself onto my bed or couch by myself, it was the worst feeling in the world because to me, that was my main thing I could do if I wanted to get out of my floor or room in general. It does continue to hurt (mentally) every once in a while, and in the last few years my parents have been losing their strength in being able to lift me off the floor, and that means I am not able to do anything on the floor like I used to. I don’t like to accept something I can no longer accomplish on my own, but I am able to look at it in a different way, because now that we’ve moved into our new house, I am getting out of my room a lot more because there is so much space between rooms. Being able to move around in my wheelchairs is as good as scooting, plus there’s a lot less pain in my back and hips too!

How are you with proving people wrong with your limited abilities? What is your mindset whenever you cannot do something that you’ve worked so hard to finish?

Depression | One Year On

Howdy!

It’s crazy to think that it’s been a WHOLE year already, for not only the presence of my nephew but asking for help to deal with my depression! I almost had forgotten about it, but something on Pinterest one afternoon, made me realize that it could be a good idea if I talked about my mental health and give you an update on all of that.

Do not let the shadows of your past darken the doorstep of your future. Forgive and let go.

Overall, I think I’ve been doing really good. I am always going to have my ups and downs in my life but for the most part I am feeling great! However, I feel like I would be lying to you if I didn’t mention that I am afraid of going into July and August. Since I have so many negative memories of getting through both of those months that I automatically feel panic at the thought of them coming soon. I am trying to really keep positive though, but sometimes I just can’t help it, those visions are on a loop at the end of summer. 

This year has a lot of different meanings, between my blog’s 8th birthday, Nolan’s first birthday,  and celebrating 10 years as a blogger in October. I have had a lot of plans this year and the fact that I’ve had quite a few months with little as two posts in roughly 31 days has been somewhat frightening. I have been trying to let it go and so far that’s been working out great because I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get things finished. I’ve been feeling somewhat zen ever since I accepted it. I’ve also been enjoying telling myself that you don’t have to set things up if you don’t want to right now. 

That’s one thing that I think my antidepressants have been helping me out with the most, keeping everything straight without branching off into a million different directions. I’ve always wanted to adopt a healthier state of mind, because my brain goes a hundred miles away with different things and it gets to the point where I get really angry with myself over being lazy but I think it is a good thing to slow down, watch a little TV and just chill out for a while.

My anxiety has taken a hint, and calmed down a lot in some unexpected ways, like for example, we weren’t expecting it to help out was my fear over the nail clippers. I have always been afraid of these damn things since I was little, but I haven’t been sweating like crazy or attempting to pull my fingers away of my mother’s grip as much so that has been probably the biggest surprise of all! I have surprised myself with how much I trust myself and others when it comes to certain things, like feeling I am going to fall because again I have had a serious fear of heights all of my life, but now I am so chill. It’s nuts!

I am better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

Despite the fact that things are going really good lately, unfortunately, these pills are not a cure-all. I wish they were, because I have a couple more issues that I wish would go away in less than a year. I’ve been trying to find some ways to distract myself along the way so that I don’t give in so easily and sometimes that works, but then again it doesn’t. Thankfully I am a patient person and I love to learn to work things out better for me, so hopefully I’ll be able to get through some of these other things on my own. 

So, yeah this is my life one year on after accepting the help that I needed for my mental health and maybe come back to blogging full time again, because honestly I really miss it a lot! 

Have you ever decided to take anything for your mental heath, whether it be anxiety, depression, OCD, etc? How long  did it take for you to see some results? 

A-Z Disability Challenge | I : The Real Definition of the Word “Inspiration”

Hello!

Today we will talking about a rather touchy subject, and that is the word “inspiration” when it is used to describe a person with a disability. I’d also like to say a warning before we continue on with the post because I tend to get a little angry with this topic, but only for that it’s super important to show others that because we have disabilities that we do not strive to be an inspiration to anyone. So, I’m hoping you’ll understand where I’m coming from as a person and be able to respect that.

So let’s start with the definition of the word, and I used the first thing that popped up on Google for this.

A person or thing that inspires.”

The synonyms include “influence and muse” and the first things that came to mind after seeing these two words were: art and blogging. An artist can have a muse or multiple of them for he/she to find a sense of creativity that might be lacking for a piece. Now anybody that is using a platform to promote a product is a Influencer, whether they are a blogger or YouTuber, that is the term that’s generally used online. These are real and true ways to describe a person, but it says nothing for people with disabilities, because there isn’t a word for us. We don’t fit in that box and that is the one thing we’re perfectly fine with too!

For us, it’s all about adaptability. We’ve had to find ways to figure out how to do things on our own without any help. If we want to be independent this is what we have to do in order to achieve that way of life.

Unfortunately, it’s usually the little things that gives us the most praise. For me, it was always my art or being able to grab things in various sizes with my feet. When I was in school, I did enjoy the attention I was getting in art class, but once I got into middle school, if you had the talent you were basically taught to seek out perfection, and whenever I couldn’t get there in the same amount of time as my peers, it really hurt me mentally. It actually took about three or four years after I graduated just to feel comfortable to do art again, mostly painting, and I never enjoyed doing that in school so that worked out well!

When it comes to doing things with my feet out in public, it always a depends on my mood, sometimes I don’t care who sees what I can do, but there are also times where I can sense somebody is watching me. Now I don’t mind children or elderly people staring at me or asking questions, but it’s everybody in between that annoys the crap out of me because that’s when I usually hear the word often. As much as I’d like to look at them and say, “I’m not here to inspire or motive you!” I usually give them a nod or smile to them because I know they’re not doing it to hurt my feelings, but when you’ve heard it pretty much your whole life, it’s the least compliment you’d ever want to receive, okay?

So what can you say when you’re standing or watching next to someone who has a disability that you find fascinating? Honestly, there isn’t the perfect solution to this, but my advice is you could smile at them. A simple smile to a person usually makes them happy, so if you notice something a person is doing that’s “inspirational” just give them a smile as a way to say “what you are doing is absolutely amazing!” This will make that person feel so much better, because you’re not focusing all of that unwanted attention on them for something that they had to learn to do at some point in their lives.

I hope you enjoyed this post and take my advice the next time you’re around a person with a disability. Please be respectful to one another, that’s all you really need to do! 🙂

 

 

Vloggers That I Love | #3

Howdy!

Today I am going back to a short-lived series I created back in 2015, it was called “Vloggers That I Love” as it was a play on another series I did for my favorite bloggers at the moment. Unfortunately, I haven’t been wanting to read anything but I have been watching tons of new YouTube channels lately, so I thought that you would like to know who has grabbed my attention the most and maybe even watch them too!


Hannah Witton | disability, geek, sex & relationship


I don’t really remember how I discovered Hannah’s channel. I saw a video floating around on Twitter of somebody’s favorite disabled YouTubers and I think I watched two of them all the way through and I’m pretty sure that’s how I found her.

One of the things that I enjoy when I watch her videos, is how real she is to her audience. I think the best way to show you what I mean, is featuring the video where she explains her Stoma. I was very shocked on the fact that she was willing to show basically the whole world an exposed area on her lower stomach where her colon is located, to show us how she takes care of it day and night. Even though that was my initial reaction, I was honestly very impressed on how brave she is on doing that in the first place. She likes to talk about Crohn’s disease a lot. She helps spread awareness of it and isn’t afraid to talk about other disabilities on her channel either!

She is sex positive, which means she does discuss her sexuality very freely on her channel. I’ve noticed in the last few years that I would like to talk about sex and relationships not only on here, but in general. I’ve always believed that I am influenced by an 80 year old woman that makes me keep those topics as far away as possible, but I am slowly breaking away from that and trying to find ways to be more open to speak on about sex and relationships in my own way. I feel like she is helping me find that confidence to finally talk about some of these taboo subjects out loud.

The last thing that I felt I needed to mention is that she is a true geek. She loves to play video games with her boyfriend and friends. Whenever she talks about her monthly favorites, there are times where she’ll discuss about the games she’s been playing the most or books she’s been reading lately. So, she isn’t overwhelming you with her disability or talking about sexual things, she has a lot of other interests and that she is as “normal” as everybody else.


Jessica Kellgren-Fozard | disability, history, LBGTQ & vintage fashion 


Since I’m going in alphabetical order apparently, I think I should mention that I found Jessica the same way as Hannah. Actually, I think Jessica helped me find her but I can’t remember, the best thing is that I found them and enjoyed them so much that I still watch their videos!

I think Jessica is a very unique YouTuber for so many reasons. The first time I ever watched one of her videos, I was sort of memorized because firstly her fashion sense. She loves vintage fashion, so much she literally dresses up in 1950’s clothes! Her red hair is curled perfectly and she apparently doesn’t own a pair of trousers at all! She lives in boldly patterned but cute dresses and red lipstick. It was amazing! However, it’s not just her style that is “old” she is like me and also love history! Whenever she discusses history, they are usually very informative, which is what I find kind of interesting since she is deaf, she talks on her videos and she is surprisingly clear in the way she speaks to her audience, but whenever she goes into these historicity figures is crazy, but in a good way! You literally forget that she is wearing hearing aids at all! 

I need to point out that Jessica isn’t just deaf, she has a somewhat long list of other things “wrong” with her. They are Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsies and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. Personally, I am still learning about them through her videos but there is a specific video that you can learn more about it on her channel!

Lastly, she loves to talk about the LBGTQ+ community. She is married to her wife Claudia of two years I think. They have two puppies, Tilly and Walter. Claudia does join in her videos from time to time. She also helps her photography on her Instagram and YouTube channel, but really they seem to have an awesome relationship and they are really funny together too!

I hope you enjoy these two ladies and their channels if you check them out. If you know of any other disability vlogger that you think I would like, please send them my way I would love to see what their life is all about as well! 

Do you like to watch people on YouTube, recording parts of their daily life? Who is your favorite?  

A-Z Disability Challenge | H : Asking For Help

Yes, I am going to try to get back to my A-Z Disability Challenge! I have been kicking myself for not doing it for so long but I think I am finally ready to start on it again. If you have missed any of the other letters, I have them at the bottom of this post so you can check them out afterwards.

This week I will be talking about the notion of asking for help. Although it is a fairly popular topic of other disability bloggers and YouTubers out there, I think it’s a good idea to have many pieces out there for people of different generations in multiple point of views to help people learn more about what they should do if they ever found themselves in a situation where they want to help, but are not sure on what to say or do at the time.

I will be firstly talking about why a disabled person will probably never ask for help. It’s honestly a mixture of things, I think the most important reason is because we don’t want to look weak. We actually love doing things for ourselves. Every ounce of independence we get, we relish in it for as long as possible. However, the day it runs out, it is a heartbreaking day. For example, after I had my back surgeries in 2002, I wasn’t able to jump back into my regular physical therapy, we did a lot of moving around and my body wasn’t used to all of that yet. Our main objective for me to learn consisted of how to transfer from wheelchair to couch, chairs and toilet. I finally re-learned how to transfer again two years after I recovered. Unfortunately I never learned how to get on my bed by myself, which was probably the biggest blow out of the whole thing. I can scoot down off, but I do not have the strength to pull myself back up anymore.

If you were raised like me, you basically had full rein on what you could do, and it made you feel “normal” for once. We love to challenge ourselves in our daily lives. and being able to learn something new is the biggest drug we can seek out. Unfortunately, some of these challenges can be more complicated with some of our limited movements. So, we can sometimes be slower than not only we would like, but for other people too. I’ve realized in the recent years is that our families are usually the ones that have the lowest points of patience of the bunch for some odd reason! They don’t like to see us struggling, especially our fathers, so they want to “help” us. What they don’t know is that they’re doing more harm, as it is better for us to learn how to complete a task than leaving it for someone else.

I do understand the reason why people feel like they should help us. Even though you should always ask that person if you can lend a hand, we will try our hardest to make sure to let you know we don’t need you. Something you may not know is that we have a huge sense of pride within ourselves. Giving up on anything that lets us be like everybody else is the worst thing possible ever. So, when we can’t finish what we started, we will reluctantly ask for help. We will not be very happy with ourselves, but at that time it will be something that needed to happen.

I have always had a difficult time accepting help. One thing that I despise is when someone close to me will automatically do something for me, when they know I can clearly do it. I love trying to find new things to do with my feet, nothing really makes more happy in life than discovering new ways to do ordinary tasks around the house or out in public, but it does make people nervous, they think I’m going to get hurt, so they try to dodge that obstacle as fast as they can and yes, it is very annoying but you have to let it go and hope for the next time. You have to realize your patience is not the same as others so in a way, I think both sides need to keep that in mind when it comes to these things. It also ultimately depends on them on if they can learn to grow to trust you with the various tasks you know or learn later in life..

Here are previous letters and their links if you want to check them out now!

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita | Building Trust | Be Truthful To Your Children | Dear Disability Community | Events | Treat Your Friends The Way You’d Want To Be Treated | Long Term Goals

Baby’s First Easter!

Howdy!

It has been a really long time since I’ve blogged about a family gathering or in this case, a celebration. I keep wanting to kick myself whenever we babysit Nolan because I have good opportunities to snap a few pictures of whatever he’s doing, so the night before our Easter festivities, I had my mom charge up my camera because it’s been a couple of months since I’ve last used it and I felt like this was a good idea because I’ve been in the middle of something and all of a sudden my camera goes black on me. This way, I knew I would be good for two hours or so, depending on what I think was worthy because that in itself is a totally different story. Since my nephew has become very mobile either when he is in his “car-car” or army crawling on the couch or floor, the booger is fast. and he changes his reactions quickly that I needed a lot of juice in my camera so I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone else for help if it dies on me.

Nolan is at the age where not only does he put everything in his mouth, but he is very aware of things. When it comes to holidays though, I think we all kept going back and forth whether he would be interested in going on a makeshift Easter egg hunt. He loves colors, mostly red, so we figured he’d enjoy that part but there was the fact that they’re somewhat slippery and they can split apart. These are two things that he hasn’t experimented with a lot lately, so there was a slim chance that he could ignore my mom and I’s best efforts to make the living room into a sea of shiny colors!

When they first arrived we basically fell in love with his little outfit and gushed on him about it. Blondie and Brandon looked very nice too, but they didn’t get as much attention as him, which I think they were pretty fine with anyways! Personally, I thought he looked like a little farmer with his overalls, and since the redness in his hair is starting to push through more often, he looked like an Irish farmer! After obsessing over how cute everyone looked, we took some family pictures and surprisingly Nolan actually minded really well. Once he noticed the eggs all around though, he began to lose interest with family pictures pretty quick, but we managed to get everyone together before we released him to check them out.

One year, Blondie and I had to settle for an inside Easter egg hunt and we even did one for Halloween too (only because it rained for four days straight!). We weren’t happy about it at first, but I actually enjoyed it because I was allowed to get on the floor and scoot around to the candy. When we officially decided on this idea I was really pumped to bring it back for him. It’s in a controlled environment and leaves clothes very clean afterwards, or it should. I think Nolan enjoyed himself, that is until somebody tried to take away one egg so he could look for others. He didn’t really like that part, but he was obsessed with the eggs though! He played with them all day long.

Nolan also received a couple of baskets from the Easter Bunny as well! The one that came to his house got him a backpack instead of a basket, because the next day he was to start going to the babysitters and it would be an easy place he could put his toys in, and honestly it’s a freaking adorable idea! The backpack came with a few various sizes of Hot Wheels cars that not only can he enjoy but his daddy and his Aunt Meggie can too! The Easter Bunny came to our house too, and asked his MiMi (my mom) to decorate his basket. Next year he might want to consider asking me instead and you’ll understand in a minute what I mean. He got a very cute soft lamb that says the Jesus’s prayer for children. He was also supposed to have a sippy cup but Pa-Pa apparently couldn’t wait and let him try it out a week in advance. He’s known to do this, I was supposed to receive my first cell phone on my 16th birthday but he couldn’t wait anymore and gave them to us two days prior! He’s a soft-y when he wants to be!

After that, we had lunch, the adults had lasagna but Nolan had half an avocado and almost a whole banana! A couple of weeks ago, he decided that he was done with baby food so now he only drinks formula and people food. My dad has never been happier!

I think he had a lot of fun! I know we all did that’s for sure! Nolan has a lot of energy, and I love playing with him. I swear he gives out that energy everytime he comes over. Everything is innocent in his eyes, he’s not scared of anything, he’s not jaded as we are and I think this is a time to really cherish because as he gets older he’ll lose all of that and fear most things and can be influenced in other directions. We’ll get to all of that in a later  date though, right now let’s focus on these moments.

How was your Easter weekend? What were your traditions growing up? Do you have an alternatives when it comes to a rained out egg hunt? Let me know!