A-Z Disability Challenge | W : Wheelchairs

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It is extremely difficult for me to talk about wheelchairs. Last year, the big contervesory was about the death of Stephan Hawking was announced, an artist made this beautiful drawing of him coming out of his wheelchair and basically walking up to heaven. As a disabled woman, I was very conflicted with this, but it wasn’t for the picture per se. It was because I felt like I had to choose between what I’ve always been taught and agreeing with the rest of the disability community.

The big deal wasn’t necessarily about the drawing itself, it was more about how a disabled person relies on their wheelchair to do things, like simple tasks around the house and/or getting out and having drinks with friends. However, everything just exploded into this chaotic thing that I really did not want to be part of at that time. Honestly, I still didn’t want to talk about it again on here, but I am on the letter “W” and there wasn’t anything else I could talk about other than this.

So, I’ll just say that my wheelchair doesn’t give me freedom. There it’s out and I can separate myself from the crap I’ve been feeling all this time.

I do think it allows me to do tasks better but I still feel stuck whenever I am in it. I really feel I am limited in both varieties of wheelchairs, as I’m either too short or too bulky! I have yet to find the perfect fit. Maybe this is what regular woman deal with picking out new heels! The second point I would like to get across is, it’s also all about your state of mind. I think after so long, you adapt to every different setting, and wheelchairs are a part of this too. You might get to do new or lose some beloved challenges while figuring out your surroundings.

Again, I have conflicting feelings about my freedom. I know I can never get away from my limitations. I say this not a sad note though, I like being able to test them anyways. I think this is really healthy! My family might not always agree with that statement, but you know. Honestly I would lastly like to say, I will believe what I want to. I have been doing pretty good on several other subjects throughout the years, I can add this onto the never ending list too! Even if that means keeping it in for a year and a half until I can find a clean way to discuss it on here, that’s what I’ll do.

If you’re in a wheelchair, whether that is full or part time, what are your thoughts on your freedom to be able do all the things you want to do? 

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A-Z Disability Challenge | U : Unconditional Love + Support

One thing that is equally important to a disabled person’s life is having unconditional love and support from their family and friends. I have always had a large group of people in my corner and as blessed as I am with all of this love, I also know that there are others like me who don’t have anybody there for them.

I have been very lucky to have loving parents that believed in me, even as a baby! They are the ones that stopped the doctors at Riley’s, when I was a few months old, to operate on me to make me look ‘normal’ when there was a small chance it wouldn’t help me. They just let me figure things out on my own. Even if that meant, I used my feet for everything and was a wheelchair bound for the rest of my life. I have never given my parents much credit to this decision because it was a risk not knowing how this little girl would be able to do things for herself. Thankfully, I did learn things on my own or with some help from other family members/physical therapists.

I wasn’t aware of how other young teens or adults with various disabilities lived without this kind of love, until I was a senior in high school.

I wish the emotions I was experiencing had sunk in as I feel like it would have helped me understand loads what everyone in my family was trying to relay to me about their worries of me living on a college campus. Now I get why they were so concerned and agree that I was not ready for that kind of commitment. However, when my mom started working at a nursing home that had residents with various levels of mental disabilities, and the stories of some of them being left at the door with trash bags full of clothes and other stuff, really broke my heart!

I do understand that some people cannot handle some traits that certain people produce but you don’t give up on your family like that. A friend of mine has a daughter who is autistic. I have never met her, but have been around other children with autism in the past. So, I am familiar with their quirks and I give kudos to the parents out there dealing with a child like this, but I’ve heard of autistic kids being left behind or being killed because the families just cannot deal with them anymore. Those are always the worst to see online, but when you feel like you’re at your wits end, what is really your next step?

So, I have a questions to my fellow disabled readers out there, did you have a good support behind you growing up? Or were you basically left to be your own hero? If you said “yes” to that, how do begin to trust others that they’re not going to abandon you at the end?

A-Z Disability Challenge | S : Sexaulity

WARNING: This mentions mature sexual content. If you are not comfortable in reading about this, I highly suggest you click the “x” button on the top right. This is an educational but personal post that I will NOT apologize for, it is very important for others with disabilities. Please respect what I have to say, and enjoy. Thank you!

Oh boy!

I think talking about disability and sex are very taboo topics. I should know considering it took my mom and I a fairly long time to even start having discussions about it. When it came to my sister, I feel like it wasn’t that bad and yes, I was there for the majority of that talk. For me though, I knew what sex was (I always have), but there were things that I couldn’t get my head around. Ha ha! Blondie was roughly 15 or 16 years old when she received the talk whereas I was 19 or 21! I feel like at that those ages, you should be somewhat of a pro when it comes to knowing things and of course having sex!

One of things that Arthrogryposis has basically taken away from me, is my ability to pleasure myself. I can’t mastrubate like other women. I have asked questions about this to a group of women who also have my condition and they’ve been helping me figure out alternatives. I also don’t think I’ve had a proper orgasm, but as I have been told, it takes a lot to get that far apparently! If you have a disability and worry about your lack of sexual experience, you know what I’m talking about, because you feel like you’re missing out on something that everyone is doing. You just feel lost in your own body and you don’t really know how to resolve this issue as a whole.

Honestly, I am afraid of having sex. As much as it excites me, because let’s be real here I watch porn and read erotica novels, and I response in the right ways, it’s the physicality that terrifies me I guess! I mean, I can barely get through a couple of seconds when I have to put vaginal cream inside my vagina, because you have to use a syringe and it makes me feel really uncomfortable – half it is because a parent has to do, mostly it’s my mom! This might be the other reason why I am semi okay with never been on a date! I’ve never had to really think about what happens afterwards; once I cross that line, how am I going to feel? I know it’ll hurt, but how much?

Last week, I watched Nikki Glaser’s Netflix comedy special Bangin‘ and oh my gosh, it was freaking hilarious! I am usually not a fan of sexual humor but the whole thing was funny! It was also shocking that she was talking about things that I have been thinking about for years! She starts off discussing blow jobs and I’ll tell you, I will NOT do that for as long as I live! What is funny though is that, it was the first sexual thing I ever knew about even before realizing it was a real thing! I still have no idea how I figured it out too. That’s still a mystery to us!

This has probably been the most freeing post out of all the other letter challenges! The reason why I felt like I needed to write about it, is because I know I am not the only one who feel like this! I think it takes a lot of guts to speak up about your sex life, and I just wanted to break out a little more because I am usually very reserved in my posts but I thought it was time to loosen up a bit.

How old were you when you received the sex talk with your parents? Now what about you had sex for the first time? Have you felt like you’ve been left out of the party of what everybody in your age group is doing in their lives?

A-Z Disability Challenge | R : The “R” Word

When it comes to society, words can be popular among the different generations. In the 1960-70’s, the thing was “groovy” at least, I think it was! I’m basing this off what I saw on Scooby-Doo! Currently the word that everybody uses is “bougie” which I still haven’t learned how to use or figured out what it even means! This isn’t the first time this has happened so don’t feel so bad for me.

Usually the “in” words are innocent like this, but some are not. What everybody doesn’t understand is that there is a medical term that is running around causing havoc among the disability community. Something tells me that may already know what it is, but for those who don’t, it the “r” word. Retard in all forms.

It is sad reality when a word like this has the power to degrade so many people at one time without anyone’s knowledge. This is one of the issues of today’s society is that it’s become so popular that these young kids probably don’t even know what it actually means, much less care about it anyways! The adults are even worse, because sometimes it’s like a cuss word they say on a daily basis and can’t stop themselves from saying it. However, these reasons are even good excuses for anyone that has some sort of disability.

I wasn’t too familiar of the meaning or the history of it when I first started to notice it around. I’m not for sure how I found out about it, that memory has been stripped away, but I remember the impact was big, because I am a huge advocate to erase it from the public.

For a time, both my mom and sister said the word a lot. My mom is a nurse, so it was used to describe a few of her patients, whereas my sister was a teenager and it would just fly out of her mouth left and right. The fact that I was able to be enough inspiration (there’s another word I hate!) to get them to stop using it for good. My sister has even been telling other people around the two of us to not say it either and sometimes we get good response, so that’s a positive sign!

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll ever go away completely. It’ll still show up on films and the medical world will probably still continue to use it, but hopefully with this post maybe you’ll understand that even though something is in that you have to follow suit. You don’t. There are tons of others that can take its place. You can be popular in another crowd, and even respect people like me with not speaking about it again. Do you think you can do this?

A-Z Disability Challenge | P : The Perks of Being Disabled

Hello!

When I came up with this topic, I really wanted to get through all of the misconceptions of what it is to be a disabled person, and attempt to explain that this life is not as fun as it can be portrayed on TV or even online for some people.

Are there any perks at all?

This question is sort of tough to answer because I think it differs between the ages and how extreme one’s disabilities are compared to the average person.

As a child, I really relished on the special attention of others. When I was in the second grade, I was what you call the “teacher’s pet” because of the favoritism that was on display by my teacher and I. At the time, I wasn’t going to basically ‘fight back’ because I was eating it up so much that I remember when our teacher was taking everybody on a restroom break, she picked me up and carried me so I could hang out with everyone in the hallway. The look on everybody’s faces told me that they were a bit jealous of this affection, although nobody ever said anything to my face.

Now that we have this part out of the way, I feel like I need to say that having an aide (or personal assistant as I’ve heard some bloggers say in the past) isn’t the funnest thing in the world. I’ve loved the people that have taken care of me throughout my time in school, I still keep in touch with a few of them, but I’ve only really appreciated what they did after I had graduated. Of course, there were some issues in the past, but the one that plays out the most was after Christmas break when I was in the sixth grade, I suddenly had a new one. I only had 2 replacements and they were each a surprise. Once all of my friends realized my previous aide was gone, a lot of them were more upset at the fact that they weren’t going to be with me anymore.

My nana and I talked about this a few years later about why this happened. She’s the one who made the statement that maybe it wasn’t the outcome they were angry about, rather than they saw her as a friend. Out of all of the people that took care of me. I had one woman who was in her late 20’s. So, everything that my nana was making a lot of sense because she allowed them to get away with a lot of stuff because she might’ve wanted to be accepted among the rest of the class too, the majority of the other aides I was around would say something either to them or the teacher. I would always feel extremely guilty because if it wasn’t for my disability, they wouldn’t be in the room and could get away with the things they were doing behind our teacher’s back.

Having an aide looks fun at first, but after a while, some things get old. I’m not saying the people that I was with for eight hours, five days a week were elderly, I’m just saying as I continued to get older, I was looking for more independence but protection at the same time. and when you feel like you’re not getting as much as what you feel like you should be, plays with you a little. The one thing that made it worse was when you feel powerless in your situation because I viewed myself as a ‘normal’ person, never someone with a disability, despite driving a wheelchair around in the halls at top speed! I craved to have some space between the two that I feel like I could never achieve unfortunately.

Now that I’ve been out of school for close to 10 years, I have grown to love my body as a disabled woman. I think being away from my friends and of course crushes was a great thing for me because I wasn’t putting myself through all of that pressure to being someone I’m not. Personally, I don’t have any perks of being disabled; I struggle to do things, yes, but I don’t see the things I do as a perk nor having to ask for help for small things, I would rather learn how to do them by myself. So, my way of thinking has changed drastically over the years but I think this process has been a successful one!

If you have a disability of any kind, how do you feel about the perks? do you agree or disagree with what I had to say above? When did you realize your views on the matter changed?

Halloween Decor | Everything Is Under $100

Howdy!

I am such a lover of autumn, it is my favorite time of the year to go shopping for decor, the second being is Christmas of course! I just love the different colors of reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees around town, but I also enjoy seeing the impressive Halloween displays in front yards. I am a fan of the tacky bright orange with the Charlie Brown eyes and mouth, but I also love the gore-y decorations some people are brave enough to show off on their neighbors too.

Right now, we currently don’t have a porch on our house so we can’t necessarily have any pumpkins on display, although I think we could get by with putting a couple at the base of the stairs. The cats would enjoy them but I think people would miss them at night and really hurt themselves because they were in the way. So, as another way to talk about ways of decorating, I figured this was the only way to go.

Below I will be giving you eight items that I found on Walmart’s website to help spice up your home a little with some ghoul-y cheer!

There were two things that I wanted to make sure I put on this post and they are everything will be under $100, I honestly tried to keep it about half of that but I kept finding cute things that were higher, so I caved a bit! I also thought it was smart to give you a subtle fall and some Thanksgiving options along with some spooky stuff too! I am going to talk about two items from each section, but if you’d like to check out the whole group, underneath the banner above are the links with their prices to each one. I want to apologize if any of them say they are “out of stock” at the time you go to check them out. None were like that when I created the post.

Thanksgiving Cream Pumpkins

I have always loved the faux white pumpkins, but I’ve always wanted to use the normal orange ones to do any of our crafts. As I’ve gotten older I’ve sort of realized how smart my nana and I would have been to use the fake pumpkins to decorate, because let’s face it we would have them forever! We could have put them in many places throughout the house instead of putting them outside in the cold!

Another reason why I love these pumpkins is because you can have them for the entire fall season. If you can find it in a neutral color like this, your house can look very chic but still have the full inspiration of everything autumn brings too. Walmart also has them in a light shade of green and dusty blue! These were my favorites though because I liked the way they looked, they were different!

Mustard Chevron Fleece Throw Blanket

I have been watching a lot of different YouTube videos lately and I’ve seen almost everyone talk about having a mustard colored blanket and at first, I didn’t understand all of the hype over it but then I thought it was the perfect color to continue my sunflower theme for my room. It wasn’t too bright or light of a hue and that’s what I’ve been interested in for the past few months. I also enjoy the little fringe at the sides because it reminds me of a blanket I had as a child, but ultimately I love fleece blankets so it really doesn’t matter what the color or little additions are on it, if it’s fleece I will pretty much love it to pieces!

Unfortunately, this was the first one that I found that was “expensive” to me, when I told my mom about it, she made it out to be not so bad. In my defense, I don’t go shopping for bedding stuff too often so our differences in price ranges are pretty prominent. I feel like once it becomes time for Christmas to steal the season’s time in the spotlight, it might go on clearance and that could be the perfect time to purchase it. That’s just my thinking for you today!

Mini Ceramic Halloween Tree

Growing up my grandparents had a lot of these types of trees around their house. My nana would leave them on at all hours and since we were afraid to sleep in that living room, those trees were just enough light to keep us sane through the whole night! Anyways, she also had a pretty white one and my papaw had a smaller one, that now belongs to me because it was always stored on top of the organ desk. I still need to replace the light bauble but I think I’ll have it up this winter!

When I saw this on the website, I immediately became very happy because it still looked like the others but it was just in black, purple and orange–regular Halloween colors! What was funny though is that all of the rage last Christmas were these black Christmas trees, and so I thought this would be as close as I would ever get to having a black tree in my room. However, there was one drawback once I looked at the price! So, again I went with my thought I had about the blanket that maybe after Halloween ends it’ll go up on sale.

Purple Translucent Skull Figurine

Right after I finished my search for the pumpkins, I had to check out the skulls they had too! I figured the type I was looking for were in low supplies, because I don’t really like the creepy looking ones nor do I enjoy the tacky ones that much either. When it comes to skulls, I am quite picky! I prefer both matte, day of the dead and translucent skulls. They did have some cool sugar skulls but when I saw this one with the word “purple” hell, even I knew it was game over!

The only thing I was puzzled about it was that it definitely doesn’t look purple on the picture. To me that is more like hot pink! So, I am hoping this isn’t false advertisement there. After I noticed, I also saw the price of it and I began to wonder on good the quality was, just because it looks gorgeous on the site, doesn’t mean it’ll look really cheap once you get it home. However, it could be a good product and I’m worrying for no reason at all!

What did you think of this little Halloween home decor post? do you have any favorites listed above? How would you rate the decorative items from Walmart?

A-Z Disability Challenge | M : Do You Think You Take Too Much Medication?

This is an interesting post for me because I am very self-cautious about any kind of medication, whether it’s for depression or general pain, I am always afraid that I will become dependent of it. My mom tells me all the time that I am not, but that doesn’t necessarily help my paranoia. If I could get by with taking only Advil I would probably be the happiest, but unfortunately that doesn’t help with the muscle spasms or the really intense pain that it can cause in certain places. So, I am stuck in this mental battle of knowing I am fine with my intake but my brain doesn’t allow me to believe so.

My brilliant papaw was a Pharmacist, he went to school for it and afterwards went into the Korean war, but instead of seeing any action, he was sent to Hawaii to work with the doctors on hand. We were told lots of stories about his time there like how the fresh pineapple tastes better than it does at the store and every once in a while he would tick nana off with bragging on how he had a girlfriend there. Honestly we never really trusted him with that piece of information.

My papaw was one of the smartest people I knew, but he unfortunately had issues with pain, and one of the saddest things about this was the amount of pills and empty bottles he would have stashed around the house because he went back and forth thinking that he wouldn’t have enough or people would steal them. You really feel sorry when an older man feels the need to secretly hide medicine for either reason, because if they are anything like my papaw that after discovering three to four bottles of a random amount of pills in each one, having to be monitored by not only their wife but also their daughter who is a nurse, is very heartbreaking! I know that he absolutely hated that, but he had the last laugh because after he passed away, we continued to find bottles up until the house was sold!

There has been a lot of news about doctors and manufacturers being sued for all of the opioid addicts out there, and I am not sorry for this but instead of putting the blame on the doctors, how about you put it on the addicts. It was their choice to use it to not only harm themselves but cause many issues for patients that do not abuse their medication. My dad is one of those people, he has been on a different set of medicine recently for reasons unknown by his doctor and since then he’s actually been in more pain than I think he’s ever been in his life. He has other ailments that are causing him more trouble as he gets older and it sucks to see such a person want to be in bed or on the couch with various amounts of pillows than outside doing stuff. This mess that has finally come to life has really horrible effects for both sides.

Before I end this post, I would like to say that these are my opinions. If you are an addict or have a family member/best friend that has dealt with addictions over the years, I am sorry for you, but I truly believe that most of the general blame is on the wrong people. Let’s make this clear though, there are crooked physicians out there but some of them are desperately trying to help their patients and if they know them well enough that they understand that they’d never want to jeopardize their medication for a temporary high.

So, have you ever felt like you take too much medicine just to get through? It doesn’t matter if it’s mild or intense amount of pain either. What are your thoughts of the opioid epidemic?