Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 6 of Stupidness to be renamed Successfullness

Yeah I'm trying to stay positive.

The ride on the wagon today was pleasurable. Comfortable and easy. Put my hand outside of the confines of the body of the wagon and felt the wind blow through my fingers. It felt freeing.

In other news ...

Apparently I could be the first person to die of the common cold and I'm the only one who knows this.

I learned today that I am not a fan of Enriche Iglesias. At all. Fingernails on a freakin' chalk board.

I'm convinced my nose ran away with the spoon and may never return.

I found out that there is good reason for warnings regarding drowsiness on cold and sinus medication. It was like my eyelids were in a weight lifting competition.

Sometimes I find the people I shadow with at work far more draining than the people I support .... sigh

I love having a 'connection' with someone - I got that today with someone new I am supporting, should be interesting.

I sent out several 'save the date' facebook notices (like 75) and have heard from only 5 people. Apparently I'm not the hippest act in town.

The 5 people that I have heard from are clearly the most important ones that will be there.

I guess I can't be honest about EVERYTHING on here because I just erased my last point.

I'm considering starting to carry a pen and notepad with me to remember my clever observations during the day. That's not too weird, is it? Maybe don't answer that one.

I love getting real e-mail. Seriously the sight of a number beside my 'inbox' gets me all excited. (In a completely ok way).

Did I mentioned that I finished my book the other night when I was up late? I already miss it. I feel like I need to write it a love letter.

I need to get reading another book (shhhhh ... don't tell the other one).

Tonight I plan to sleep throughout the night in it's entirety. I worked another 13 hour day and have a 10 hour day tomorrow, I am determined.

Thoughts in the Night

I am once again up in the night. This time because I just got run over by a truck. It doesn't feel good to get run over by a truck. To top it off I had a Charlie horse a couple of hours into my sleep. Not cool.

I'm glad that when ever I get them I am deeply sleeping (at least initially). Seriously I inevitably end up grabbing whatever part of Wally is closest to me and squeezing it with all of my might. Then immediately begin to sound like I am going into labour.

I'm glad he grabs my hand back and helps me breathe because if it were me I'm probably slug him and tell him to get over it and go back to sleep. Wally's nicer than me a lot of the time. Maybe I should work on that.

On to other things...

I think I know why I haven't' tried to tell you about my work more. It seems like a huge mountain to try to climb in trying to explain stuff. I mean I went to school for 2 years and I feel like it's my job to educate everyone else on the truth about people with disabilities but have no idea where to start. I need to relax and just tell stories. Jesus did a lot of that. I think he was probably on the right track.

Hmmmm... what to tell...

The other day on my facebook one of my 'friends' posted something in their status that read like this: "'I love someone with Down Syndrome' If you know someone with Down Syndrome post this in your status for awareness."

Ok so that wasn't the exact quote but it was along that line. Now, before I went to school I may have done it - you know, to show support, or awareness or something.

But the first thing I thought of when I read it the other day was: 'How does loving a person with a certain disability show awareness for anything? And why the heck is it that big a deal?' I was instantly irritated then quickly reminded myself that the only reason I was bothered, was because I had been educated a tiny bit on people with disabilities. That doesn't mean I know 'all things disability related' but I have definitely had my mind opened up completely by just doing the work that I do.

Did you know that people with disabilities all have feelings/emotions? Whether they know how to communicate with you or not. They also have preferences. Seriously. They know how to pick what movie they want to watch, what pants they would like to wear and what food they'd like to eat. On the odd instance that someone shows no preference it's usually because they cannot communicate it successfully to you, not because they don't have one.

Here are a few examples: BB loves all things Disney, loves them. Owns every Disney movie and also loves Julie Andrews. Why? I really don't know but why do you love what you love? Theo loves Elvis. I mean LOVES Elvis. When I first went into Theo's apartment I was overwhelmed at how much paraphernalia there was about the King of Rock and Roll. I'm sure Theo could have his own museum. Then there's Trudy who likes to be called Bobbie. She has to get her King Kong fix everyday. And not the new King Kong, the old King Kong. I watched it with her yesterday and decided movies had changed a bit since way back when. Everyday.

I remember this being one of the first things I learned. 'They' are regular people with different abilities than me. 'They' are not Down Syndrome or Prader Willi, they are not Fragile X, Obsessive Compulsive, Bipolar, Autistic or any other of the thousands of diagnosis' there are now a days. 'They' are simply people first.

At the beginning of my career, not too long ago, I remember wondering how I would talk to 'them', or what I would do with 'them', how would I react to 'them'. I soon had to lose the 'them' and 'me' mentality. I'm still working on this one.

One of the best things I've ever been able to witness was on my very first day of placement. It was a Wednesday morning at 10 am, but you could have fooled me. Within 15 minutes the little gym in the building I was doing my placement at was filled to the brim with people from different agencies all through out the city - coming with only one thing in mind ... KARAOKE baby!!!

In a matter of a few brief minutes the gym was turned into a night club and I had to seriously wonder if there hadn't been a time warp and it wasn't Friday night at 11pm. Music was up, the dancin' was on, people were ready for their weekly fix. They were ready to grove.

The memory of that day and the many Wednesdays that followed will never leave my mind. It was one of the most valiant displays of life I had ever seen. No mater what the personality seemed to be of the person supported they were lovin' the music. I saw one lady who I later noticed barely said 2 words throughout the day and generally sits in the same spot quiet as a mouse, get up and seriously show some moves. I don't mean just a little arm wave and body sway. I mean this woman was the music.

This experience became a turning point in how I looked at those with different abilities. It was a time I looked forward to every week because I selfishly enjoyed watching others lose all inhibitions and be themselves in joy. I secretly was jealous that they knew how to do this. I had to remind myself that for many of the people there it's the one thing in their lives they are allowed to enjoy without being told how to do so.

At my new place of employment we have our own Karaoke night every other week. It's not big and loud like the one I first enjoyed. It's actually kinda small, with an acoustic feel, but boy can the people that come out have a good time. I always look forward to Joanne's dance moves and Lynn's rendition of 'Blue Suede Shoes'.

It's just regular people having a whole lot of fun. When was the last time you had the time of your life with no inhibitions?

We could stand to learn a thing or two.