My family, musings and life in the turtle pond

Posts tagged ‘me’

why are wheelchairs so expensive!

Just a random aside, I guess. I was given a wheelchair to use by the hospital. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful. But it’s too limiting for what I need. I am a very active person. And the chair is so heavy and difficult to maneuver that it’s slowing me way down. It is so big and clunky that it’s hard to transport. Its just hard to manage. And too heavey when I’m alone. It would be absolutely perfect if I didn’t go out a lot, or worked in a job where I wasn’t actually moving much.

But I teach preschool. I go out with friends, and I absolutely LOVE to ballroom dance. I need a chair that allows me to do that.

I found the ideal one. but there’s a catch. to have it adapted to what I need would cost almost $3,000. i don’t have that to spend. Not on a chair anyhow. But I was looking at others that might work and even the “cheap” ones are over $1000. WHY?

Long time, no blog

And yes, here is a good reason. I have been exhausted by health challenges and work and kids and life, that siitting down to write just hasn’t happened! oops!

I don’t fit in pretty boxes!

I hate paperwork. And yes, I do mean hate, even though that’s a very strong word. I don’t like it because of the boxes that I have to fit into. I never know which ones to fill in in most cases. Sometimes I have to pick the closest answer. Why do we have to categorize ourselves into boxes for other people? Do others really need to know every detail of what they think we are?

For a start, race/ethnic background. Race in and of itself is a made up term, since we are all human. Then there is the ethnic background. I come from one that doesn’t exist. After all, there is no group of Native Americans. There are 450+ different nations who co-exist within the United States.

So now we move on to sex/gender. there are always two choices, Male and Female. But that doesn’t cover a fairly large number of people who are genetically both. Nor does it take into consideration people who “gender flip” depending on the situation. And of course, this leads to “married, single, divorced” . Sometimes none of the above apply. And other options don’t always fit in either.

From there we move to Housing. Rent or own?  Or the other options, like Living in nursing home,halfway house or community center, or homeless, living in a hotel,car, shelter or friend’s couches.

And the lists go on and on! And the boxes get more and more ambiguous. trying harder and harder to pinpoint exactly what the person answering is.

That is the true problem. Most people aren’t just one thing. They don’t fit neatly into little boxes. More and more of us have problems with identifying all the mixes we have. Mixed-race really doesn’t cover it. And they NEVER provide all the possible combinations of mix we are. Bi-racial doesn’t work for people with three or more “races”. Sometimes it’s just easier to pick the race you look the most like and claim that. Other times there are a few groups that come close.

This is why I develop a sense of humor about it. If its a fill in the blank option I will sometimes develop a sarcasting sense of humor and actually put human on the form. Or I’ll put the term I think apply to me most. Border lander.   A border lander is a person on the outskirts. They are part of more than one group,standing on the border,where they have a foot on either side, so to speak. Border landers don’t fit in any group really. None of their sides may truly accept them. And they need to survive caught between catagories, and literally outside the boxes.

Better today

I’m not stiff and sore and the world’s stopped tilting. there’s a plus. Still worried about yesterdays class. But ya know what, it’s over, and I can’t change it.

Please tell me today is over!!!!!

SF Bernal Heights

Image via Wikipedia

Today is not my day. not even  close. So I am going to give up and go to bed. It has been nothing but disaster after disaster and its gotten to the point that I am starting to have seizures and vertigo.

It started when I was supposed to go on a field trip. Well, here’s the thing. I am not supposed to go on field trips where I am not with an instructor. The instructor, however doesn’t seem to be aware of this. Its a hazard with my disability to be out without a staff member from my building. I am considered a fall risk.There is a reason that I live in special disabled housing!

so anyway, they didn’t want me going out, because I wasn’t going to school. And they delayed me until I was going to be late. A few minutes only though, so I wasn’t really stressing .I showed them the assignment on line and they gave me the community cell phone. (I’ll get back to the cell phone issue later)

But then I had a seizure on the bus. And after that, I got lost. I did eventually find the library, 10 minutes after everyone left!!! Not that I can blame them. It was great that they waited an hour. (An hour where I was wandering around 3 blocks away. ) Also, If I had ever heard the phone ringing I would have known my group was also trying to find me. Another problem with that…The person who left the message didn’t leave a call back number, so I had to call back all 28 numbers on the missed call list to find her. And of course after waiting for an hour they were fed up with me. I told them I’d make it up and explain to the instructor.

I’m just so frustrated!!!!!!! I try not to complain most of the time. and I try not to question “why me?” because all that ever does is take a lot of energy that I can’t afford to waste anymore. But I sometimes wonder about the assumtions people make and if not being able to meet with my group will hurt me. First is the assumption that all students can go on field trips. And the assumption that we all have cell phones. Or that we all have computer access when they make classes Tech enhanced. I mean, there were no accomodations made  for this trip. No one checked that I was allowed to go, arranged transportation, got me a helper to come with me,made sure I had a phone and the numbers of my group.So will they hold it against me that I was physically unable to do what they asked? Oh well. Now I know how to find Bernal Heights.

I am upset because I missed out on a fun project because my stupid health is failing, and I can’t do the things I want. I am worried that my grade will be affected by something I had no control over. Sometimes I just want my terminal illness to go away!! I just want to do the same things that everyone I know are able to do. I want to be a real city college student, not a make-a -wish. I want to live in real housing and be a good mom to my kids. I wish they were in a real building, not a community living center thats a step above a shelter, barely.

And because of the seizures I am getting a horrible headache. Actually, I had to stop this entry and start again after a break.I was actually crying, that’s how frustrated I got. I rarely get that upset. And it is already taking a physical toll on me. I have a few minutes to get myself together enough so that my kids don’t see me hurting again. They’ve seen enough trauma.

Fun with Aphasia

Because of my head injury I sometimes have an awful time with words. Sometimes I am reading English, but it might as well be classical Greek. Sometimes its the wrong word or a word that isn’t even close. My poor kids have learned that when I ask for something, for example a spoon, it is usually a good idea to grab several other things as well, in case I was using the wrong word and it wasn’t really a spoon that I wanted. Sometimes, I can’t even find any word, and come to a dead stop mid sentence. other times I will stutter, stumble, do a Porky Pig impersonation or start a sentence right in the middle, because that is the part I remember. I have written some really interesting “free Election” reflection papers, and once wrote an Aardvark plan instead of an action plan. It changed my Curriculum assingment to something so strange that I can’t even remember what it was. I only remember that my instructor pointed out that computers have spell checks. Actually, that doesn’t always help. If  I spell the wrong word correctly, it won’t help me.

Here are some of my stranger Aphasic moments.

“That’s a cute Zebra, Davi.” “Mama, it a tiger. and I’m Isaac.”

Discussing our families on the first day of class at city college. (I think I really confuzzled that particular  teacher for the entire semester.) “I have 6 spoons” I meant kids.    Teacher, “huh” Me, “ummm you know, the like,the,uh things people have in their families.” Teacher “You mean children? ” Me: “Yeah”

On a call to my partner. “All 6 cars slept with me because of the storms.”  Ry. “wasn’t it crowded, with 6 cars? where did the kids sleep?” =P

For some reason I seem to like the words spoon and Aardvark, but have a dreadful time with children, child, or kids. Interesting, since I work in with infants and toddlers!

Welcome to the Turtle pond

Welcome to the turtle pond. This is where I talk about my family, friends and the issues that are important to me. although this is done in journal format, I welcome comments. Some posts are specifically to open much needed dialogue. All I ask is that you keep it clean,and no personal attacks.

First a brief intro.My name isTurtle. It is a Native American name given because my family wanted their preemie, drug addicted medically fragile baby to have the traits of the turtle. They wanted me to be strong,healthy, unsinkable, nurturing and a compassionate leader or teacher. Considering my life, they missed the mark, just a bit. =) And yes, I am Native American. I have Nez Perce blood enough to count. (12/16, the other 4/16 being from my gram-ma)

I am a Mama, a life partner, a woman that wants to be active, even when my body isn’t working properly. I was in a major accident in 2007, and only got out of hospital last December. I live in a shelter/community building for people with terminal illness and their family. I am a Border lander(mixed race),human,artist and musician. I have a lot to say, but don’t always say it well. because of my brain damage I can’t filter well. If it’s on my mind, its out my mouth.(and also on my paper,if I happen to be writing.) I am also a person who wants to understand the world,or as close as I can. I want to share my opinions with others, but I also want to learn other people’s points of view.

This project started when I decided to journal after getting out of hospital and starting at City College of San Francisco. I decided that a lot of my issues may be other people’s issues,too. So I am in the process of transferring my old handwritten journal to this blog. For a while, it may be a little disjointed as writings from last January get mixed with posts from today or yesterday. But that’

Flag of the Nez Perce Tribe

Image via Wikipedia

s the way this turtle brain works!

Sometimes I’ll be serious, sometimes I’ll be funny, sometimes there will just be funny quotes from the kids or an event at school or work.

So come on in and test the waters of the turtle pond.Trust me, the water’s fine =)

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