part two….traveling home

my son, zach, wears leg braces. the person in front of him has leaned all the way back. this kid has nowhere to put his legs. so who is to blame?  the person in front of him that has no idea he wears leg braces? the airline?  should zach say something to the woman in front of him? i am sure he doesn’t want his mother to fight his battles for him and that woman has every right to lean her chair all the way back.

my questions to you are… when should people with disabilities advocate for themselves and at what point should companies, such as an airline, take responsibility that there are people whose disability aren’t always visible.

should handicap seating be available on an airplane? as a consumer you can pay more for “comfort seating”. “comfort seats” are seats with more leg room. what if all those seats are taken at the time you purchased your ticket as is what happened to us. i ask these questions because i cannot believe or understand that in the year 2017, people with disabilities are still fighting to be recognized as consumers. buses, and trains and subways all have handicap seating. why does an airplane not offer handicap seating? i actually went and asked the flight attendant this question. he basically told me “there are no handicap specific seats” he mentioned the “comfort seats” as well as the “emergency exit seats”. he then remembered that it is against the law for a person with a handicap to sit in the “emergency exit” seats. so I’m guessing that unless you pay for a first class seat or a “comfort seat” you are (excuse my language) shit out of luck. he also asked me “what do i consider to be a handicap” and “why am i asking this question?”.  i was taken aback by this question. i have to explain to him what i consider to be a handicap? i must admit it made me a little angry to have to answer to him what i consider to be a handicap. is it fair to even ask that question? when you apply for a handicap sticker for your car, you must prove your handicap. i absolutely understand that. should people with disabilities have to carry around a badge or identification to prove they have a disability?

imagine this—you wear leg braces (which keep your feet at an 90 degree angle). you are on a plane and the person in front of you leans all the way back. now you cannot move your legs at all. you are sitting upright in a seat, knees bent at a 90 degree angle as well as your feet because of the leg braces. you have to sit like this for a minimum of 3 hours. how comfortable does that sound to you? try that without leg braces and let me know how you make out. as well as being uncomfortable think of how unsafe this is. how good do you think this is for your circulation? how many times have you heard of people getting blood clots in their legs because they don’t move enough on a plane? how safe is that for a person with a physical disability?

when will companies and manufacturers realize that 20% of our society has some sort of disability? that means 1 in 5 people have a disability. do they realize that they are missing out on a billion dollars of consumer spending a year? how have they not tapped into this market?

as i am writing this i am getting angrier and angrier. my son does have a handicap sticker for his car and do you know how many times he has been asked (by adults), “why are you parking in that spot?” “do you know that is a handicap spot?”. why should zach have to deal with this at all? when he wears long pants you cannot see that he wears leg braces. why should zach have to explain at all?

this is what zach deals with on a day to day basis. something has to change. we must advocate for our children everyday. we must fight discrimination when we see it. we must change the perception of people with disabilities. i cannot do this alone. i am just one mother. i need your help. copy and paste this blog and put it on your facebook page. pass it along and maybe one day soon we will see change begin to happen.

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part one…traveling to florida

traveling on an airplane is not fun anymore. i am on my way to florida to surprise my father in law for his 75th birthday!!!  let me tell you a little about my flight on the way down.

i am an average sized woman (take this to mean whatever you perceive it to mean). my seatbelt is so tight that i feel like a balloon that is about to burst. now, i know that i am not a size 4 but i also know that i am not morbidly obese either. i don’t want to ask for a seatbelt extender because honestly i think it would be too big but for the love of average sized people everywhere, can’t they make a seatbelt that fits average sized people? i have never had this issue before and i know that i have not gained weight. i guess not all seatbelt are created equal.

let’s talk about average sized women. the average size woman is between a size 12 and a size 16. i know, i know most of you consider that plus size but guess what…….it is not!!! lets just say that i am within that range. why on earth would airlines not have seatbelt to fit the average size woman? what exactly are we trying to say to women? if you’re not below a size 10, you can’t fly comfortably? what if a pregnant woman is on board? should she sit in a seat that literally feels as if the baby is going to shoot out of her?

the seat belt was only issue number 1. as i am looking for my seat on this flying tube of people with a ton of carry on luggage, i get to my seat. i have a window seat. the man in the middle seat has his tray table down and is busy on his computer. the plane is not fully boarded, he knows it is a full flight, why on earth would you set yourself up to be completely asked to pack up and get up so the person in the window seat can sit down? did he actually think he had his own row? so i sit down put my headphones on and start to tune out everyone around me. have you ever heard of the man spread? it is when a man sits down and completely spreads his legs wide open. as most of you know airlines have made it basically impossible to sit comfortably on a plane. seats are so close to each other in every direction that it is pretty impossible to move. so here i am sitting next to mr spread legs man with my legs pushed to the window side of the plane. i forgot to mention that he is hogging the arm rests on both sides of him. my right arm is cramping up so badly. I’m lifting my arm over my head, I’m shaking my arm to get feeling back into it. nothing is really working. as i have mentioned before, i am an average sized woman. just picture in your head what the scene might look like… tight seatbelt and mr spread legs man, and my right arm flying over my head and my legs pressed against the window side of the plane. it kind of looks like a really strange yoga posture.

The point of this blog post brings me to mindfulness.

noun
1.
the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source

People come in all shapes, sizes colors , etc., there are people always around you whether it be on the sidewalk, bus airplane even a public restroom. How much does it take to be mindful of each other?

as we enter in this time of uncertainty and a new president, i hope that everyone takes a moment to realize we interact with one another everyday. being mindful of each other should happen (cramp in arm!!! pain!!!) naturally but unfortunately it often does not. take a look around you. what do you see? i see people. big people, small people, tall people, short people,disabled people,( you get the point) all beautiful in their own way. so mr computer leg spread man and airline people how about some mindfulness of the people around you and your customers?

We are about to land so before I shut my computer down, one final question….How the heck do I get this cramp out of my arm???????

 

shhh….listen

your side lost. our side won. grow up and get over it. accept it. fake news. real news. liberal media. conservative media. blah blah blah. what is happening to our county?what happened to having conversations and agreeing to disagree? when did it become o.k. to insult your friends and family and get so down right nasty that relationships have ended over this? i have seen friends go after each other on Facebook and over the dinner table and what makes it worse is the utter lack of disrespect for each others views. so is this what we want to teach our children?

my son has a physical disability. he has charcot marie tooth (cmt for short). i have been told that trump never mocked a disabled reporter and that it is a myth and there are videos to prove this. whether he mocked a disabled reporter or not, does the way trump behaved during that encounter give him a pass to mock people in general ? i guess i am having a hard time understanding this. people have told me that is the way trump uses his hands when he is trying to make a point about someone else. as an example i was told that he used the same gestures while speaking about ted cruz? what is the difference?  when did mocking anyone become acceptable? by the way, the person who informed me of this has charcot marie tooth. he kept saying to me that i don’t have my facts straight and went on to insult my thoughts on the subject. how can two people watch the exact same thing but see  it in such different ways?

what bothers me the most about this entire election and transition period is the hate, anger and defisiveness that i have witnessed between people. the utter disregard for each other as human beings. every single one of us want to be able to feed our family and raise our children and live in peace. life hasn’t been easy for many of us but we must LISTEN to each other. we must have a dialogue that does not include hate, and name calling and insults but instead really listen to what the other is saying. paying attention to each other is the only way things will begin to change. that change may be slow in coming but if we are not mindful of each others opinions,  i believe that change will never happen.

so how do we as a society of human beings accomplish this change? i do not have the answer. i am just a mom who is trying to raise two kids to be tolerant,and inclusive but at the same time know that not everyone is going to have the same viewpoints as them and that is what makes the world go around. we must respect each other for our differences because if we don’t where does that leave us?

in regards to president-elect trump….we may have a difference of opinion as to the direction he wants to take our country, but we MUST give him a chance but we DO NOT HAVE to give him a pass on his behavior. we may disagree with his vision for our country and in two years we can vote in the midterm election and make our voices heard. we live in a democracy. that is what is so great about the country we live in.

 

 

menopause….they should have warned us!

how come no one warns us women about menopause?? i remember being in school and learning about when girls get their periods and where babies come from. how come no one warned us about menopause?

i used to think your period just ended one day. presto, chango and boom you are done. but noooo!!!!!  it can last as long as 10 years before you have gone through your changes. i first started waking up with my clothes soaking wet in my 40’s. i was like “YES!”, I’m going through menopause! nope, that was just the beginning. they call it peri-menopause.

Perimenopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier.

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, this drop in estrogen speeds up. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.

After the night sweats, the hot flashes started. i would have yelling fights with my family and friends to make it cooler. my husband would sleep with the blanket wrapped around him as if he was in a cocoon and i was barely dressed, sleeping with the air conditioner on and the window open. by the way it was the dead of winter. there would be ten inches of snow outside but in my house i felt as if i was on the sun (literally, on the sun). my poor family had no idea what was coming their way next.

the mood swings!! one minute I’m all about love and peace  and the next thing i know, i want to rip someones head off. it could be their voice, their breathing or just their being near me and i would fill up with this rage inside me. Why didn’t anyone warn women about this? or better yet, how come no one warned MEN about this? my husband doesn’t get it. he doesn’t understand that my hormones have declared war on me. he thinks i just nag and that i have lost my mind. which now brings me to irritability. thats another glorious sign of menopause. HOW COME NO ONE WARNED US ABOUT THIS? loud chewing-irritating. dog licking themselves-irritating. husbands voice-irritating. anyone breathing loud-irritating. EVERYTHING-IRRITATING!!!!

don’t get me wrong, not everyday is like this. it usually begins right before we are about to get our periods, BOOM!!!! Rationality goes out the window. but don’t worry, all this last approximately 10 years! no biggie!

ummm…did i mention that our bodies start to change? its as if an alien has taken over our entire being. all of a sudden my stomach is huge and bloated all the time. my skin is getting thinner ( cruel joke because you start gaining weight in the strangest places) but at least your skin is thinner. skin is dryer (along with everything else). again, what do men go through? womenapause? nope! they get the wrath of having to deal with us. hahaha what a brilliant cycle of life it is. women get all the physical and emotional stuff and men have to put up with it!

this is the “list” of emotional changes women experience while undergoing “the change” (sounds like a bad horror movie)–irritability, anxiety, fatigue, lack of motivation, aggressiveness, difficulty concentrating, mood swings and tension. WHOA, thats some list!

here are some ways to help us women handle these symptoms — exercise and eat healthy, find a self calming skill to practice such as yoga and meditation, avoid tranquilizers and alcohol, engage in a creative outlet that fosters a sense of achievement, stay connected with your family and community and nurture friendships. — my source is webmd.

webmd says all of these symptoms are temporary. you are finally done with menopause when you have not gotten your period for a year. that means if you go 11 months without a period and then you get it, you have to go another full year without getting another period. is this some cruel joke a man came up with to punish us for the 10+ years we have put them through hell? healthline.com says some women go though menopause with no symptoms at all. ok, i hate those women.

well ladies (and gentlemen) that was my menopause 101 lesson. everything we are going through is perfectly normal. it does vary from woman to woman. and it does at some point come to an end!!! i personally like my wine and tequila so i have not given up drinking completely. i don’t eat healthy or exercise as much as i should. i do the best i can. thats all we as women as can do. and last but not least — if your husband or significant other haven’t left you yet, they are a keeper!!! at least for now!! so cheers to us women and our glorious and miraculous bodies!

 

helicopter, over protective parenting or somewhere in between parenting…….

having kids is tough. no matter how old they are. my kids are 17 and 21. they are both graduating this year. one is going out into the real world and the other is going away to college. how on earth am i going to be able to protect them from…ummmm, EVERYTHING? after watching what happened at the ohio state university today, i realized i don’t want my children leaving the house. my daughter is a penn state senior and just left to go back there after break. the ohio state university is actually my sons first choice of colleges. he has been a buckeye since he was 5. his room is scarlet and grey. todays event was like a double whammy to my gut.  zach is going to go to a community college near home and sam only has 1 semester left and then she is back home and never leaving again!!!! thats it!! thats the answer! that is how i feel but that is not the reality of whats going to happen.

hel·i·cop·ter par·ent
nouninformal
plural noun: helicopter parents
a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.
“some college officials see all this as the behavior of an overindulged generation, raised by helicopter parents and lacking in resilience”

The definition of overprotective parenting
Though there is no formal definition for overprotective parenting, it generally shares the following key traits:

A) Overprotection aims to address or alleviate a parent’s anxieties rather than those that come from the child.

B) It places restrictions based on what might happen rather than what is reasonable to expect. It’s driven by a fear of experiencing hurtful things.

C) It attempts to shield a child from any and all unpleasant experiences or hardships.

D) Overprotective parents view negative experiences as an evil rather than a character builder that could make a child stronger.

E) Overprotective parents harbor the view that children are fragile flowers who might shatter into a million pieces should something bad happen.

when is a parent being “over protective” vs “helicopter parenting?  i don’t consider myself either one of these things.  i consider myself somewhere in the middle. when my kids started driving all i wanted to do was follow them wherever they went. when i left my daughter in her dorm room that first day, i wanted to call her as soon as we got into the car to see if she was ok. but i did not do any of those things, and it was so hard for me not to. i let them be. i give them what they consider to be “unsolicited” advice.

when they are little and just starting to walk, we had to let them fall. how else were they going to learn to get up on their own? isn’t that what we have to do as they get older? i guess i come from a different perspective. when you have a child that is disabled in any way, all you want to do is keep them home in a bubble. keep them away from stares, and mimicking and being made fun of. the truth of the matter is that….. WE CANT.  nor should we.  sometimes zach would yell at me that I’m being mean and unsympathetic to the way he felt. the truth is that i was dying inside but sugar coating things isn’t going to help him in the future. he is going to have to deal with a lot of different things that other people don’t deal with because of his disability. he needs to know the truth. i want my children to know there are people out there that are going to say bad things to them, they are going to stare at them for whatever reason, they aren’t going to get the job or school they want. that is life!!  how my children react to that is my job as a parent.

so whether you are a “helicopter parent”, “overprotective parent” or “somewhere in the middle parent”, here is my unsolicited advice….. do what you think is best but know that your children mimic your behavior. i have experienced it first hand with my own children. i have seen the stares, and heard the laughter meant for my son. if i have seen and heard them, I’m sure zach has too. he has watched how i have reacted in those situations.  i try to lead by example. i am not going to lie. it has been very difficult not to stoop down to their level. but i honestly believe that in the long run it is better for your child. they will grow up to be strong, kind and empathic adults…..at least i hope so.

i voted today……

today is election day and i voted. i took my son zach with me. i was emotional on so many different levels while voting.

i was not born in this country. i was born in brazil and came here when i was 5 years old. my parents were born in eastern europe and my sister was born in israel. my children are the first ones in my family to be born in this country. voting today had a very different feel to me compared to voting in the past. my father was a holocaust survivor. yes i said my father. i still have the star of david he had to wear on his clothes to differentiate him from non jews.

listening to donald trump saying he was going to build a wall and ban people from entering this country was so disheartening to me. substitute the word muslim for jew, catholic, hindu, woman or anything else and imagine how it would feel to be that person. my family knew first hand what it was like to live in a walled city  (jewish ghetto). to show identification (papers) to go get food or work. how can we in 2016 allow this prejudice and hate?  it astounds me that so much hate for others exist, but i guess it should not. when people are angry and feel hopeless they look to anyone that they think will help them. my mother felt that way when my father died and left her a single mother of two daughters. my mother never went to school past the 8th grade because of the war. she was in this country for 5 years when my father suddenly died. she did the only thing she knew how to do…she went and cleaned houses.  i used to be so embarrassed as a child growing up that my mother was a cleaning lady. as i got older i realized what a strong and courageous woman she was.  i am so proud of my mother as i cast my vote for the first woman to run for president in our country.

as you may know i am also the mom of a son with a physical disability. when trump mimicked a disabled reporter i felt sick to my stomach. i really could not believe what i was seeing. it made me so angry and so sad. i saw the look on my sons face as he watched this man make fun of someone with a disability. instead of getting angry and breaking my television i decided to talk to my son about it. i told him that unfortunately  he will encounter this type of hate in his life and the way to deal with it is to hold his head high and know how greatly loved he is. i really did not know what else to say to him.

i voted for hillary clinton today. she too is not the “perfect” candidate but i cannot in good conscious endorse a man that hates so much. i don’t want to hear about emails, pay for play….none of that will ever be worse to me than demeaning women, excluding people, and building walls and having pure hate in their heart. to me “love trumps hate” and “i’m with her” for my daughter, my son, and all of the strong women that have proceeded me and will follow me.

 

why now……

recently many people have been coming up to me and saying “i see your posting more about charcot marie tooth on Facebook. why now?”

i have a few answers to that question–

  1. i have been going through my own health issues for the past 3 years and i feel as if i have awoken from a fog.
  2. i always have posted things on Facebook about charcot marie tooth but i decided that since  september was cmt awareness month i would post something everyday and i have never stopped since then
  3. i have found something i am very passionate about (mid life crisis sort of thing i guess lol)
  4. i want to teach my children that hard work, persistence and tenacity  really does make a difference
  5. I’m trying my hand at this social media stuff and I’m finding that i enjoy it
  6. and most importantly i want to raise much needed awareness and funds for a terrible disease that has affected my son.
  7.  and, why not now???

as a stay at home mom for the past 19 some odd years, my kids are getting older and i find myself with a lot of time on my hands. i know this the fork in the road of life that many moms face at some point. my time at that “road” has arrived. i have worked many part time jobs as my children were growing up. i have tried many “hobbies” also.  what i realized was that nothing was keeping my interest and i was getting bored very easily. i have always wanted to LOVE what i do. i didn’t want to get another part time office job that i would get bored with.

having gone through open heart surgery and breast cancer for the past 3 years has changed me in indescribable ways. i have become  less patient with the (excuse my language) bull#$&@ in life. i don’t know if that is such a good thing lol!! i really have realized that one must live life everyday to the fullest because life can change on a dime. but the thing that has really, really stuck with me is that life goes very fast. you wake up one day and your children are graduating high school and college and all you have left is YOU. yes family and friends are there but YOU are the only one that must find ways to make your days count. you are the only one that can control which road you take.

a wise woman named robin roberts (yes good morning america, robin roberts!) always says “make your mess your message”. that is what i have decided to do. take everything that i have been through the last couple of years and help people.  it has taken me 50something years to realize this. i know i have so much more to learn and experience as i get older but i am so excited to travel on that road!!!

 

i hope you follow me and help me in my journey!!!

#inclusion #cmtmama #endcmt #cmtstrong. if you would like to donate, please go to http://www.cmtusa.org/donate/cmtmamaruthkorowitz/.

i would also love any feedback on topics you would like for me to discuss on my blog!!!!!

 

being different…..

zach is your  “typical” 17-year-old boy in every way except that he wears leg braces and does not have full function of his hands. lately things have begun to bother him about having charcot marie tooth. he can only drive his own car. it is adapted so that he controls the gas and breaks with his hands along with a few other tweaks. he asked me last week if he could move my car from the sidewalk to the driveway. i said no. my car is not adapted for him. he became very angry and frustrated with my answer. he has realized that as much as he can do anything, he cannot.

at an age where kids like to drive their parents “nice” car, he can’t. no big deal right? to him it is a big deal. i can tell him that he should be thankful that he can drive a car and that we are fortunate to be in a position to outfit his car for him. he doesn’t care. in his eyes he is different than other kids and will never be able to just get in a car and drive. he will always have to adapt things to make it work for him. why isn’t our society more aware of people with a different ability? why is it in 2016 we are still fighting to get paid as much as an able bodied person? why aren’t there more accessible entry ways? how about opening a can of soda? zach has to compensate for everything that people take for granted.  someone the other day asked me “how does he tie his sneakers”? i had to think about that for a second. he finds a way to do it.

in an age of self driving cars and phones where you can see someone on the other end, we are very antiquated with what is available to differently abled people. we have come a long way but we have so much farther to go. being a mother of a person with a physical disability, i also take things for granted. i don’t realize how hard it must be for zach to type on a computer or open a door. all door knobs are round. he cannot open his hand. wow, right?

20% of our country is made up of people with an intellectual or physical disability. thats a lot of people. i don’t want this post to come off as preachy. i just want to make people aware of this. I’m just a mom trying to make a better place for my kids. i have the means and ways to do this. many people don’t. making ones car adaptable to them should not cost a fortune, but it does. wearing legs braces should not cost someone 2 months salary. that is insane. i don’t want to hear about obamacare and health insurance. it is not about that. it is about quality of life.  yes quality of life. zach should not be frustrated because all shirts have buttons and he can’t button his shirt. make shirts that are adaptable to him.

i started this blog to try and make a difference for my child and other people like him. awareness brings about change. lets change the perception of people with disabilities.

#cmtmama #endcmt #charcotmarietooth #cmtausa.org

 

 

 

 

my breast cancer story….

On Dec 25, 2013 I found out I had breast cancer as I was speaking to my cardiologist about what heart valve I should get. I was having an aortic valve replacement that day. By the way, I picked the bovine valve. At that time, I really couldn’t deal with my breast cancer diagnosis because I was being wheeled into the operating room. Fast forward to a year later and here I am in the same hospital now being wheeled in to surgery for a double mastectomy.

 

I was diagnosed with stage 0-1 breast cancer. My treatment choices were lumpectomy and radiation five days a week for eight weeks or a double mastectomy. My older sister had breast cancer twice and decided to have lumpectomies both times. I tested negative for the BRCA gene but the geneticist said I have some sort of breast cancer gene because my sister had it twice under the age of 60 and I was only 47 with breast cancer. The chances of me getting breast cancer again were high and it might be more aggressive the next time. I didn’t want to go through the mental agony of every single time I got a mammogram I had to worry “what if they find something”. So I opted for the double mastectomy. I knew it was radical. Some of my friends were trying to talk me into a lumpectomy because of the early stage I was in. One compared it to “if you hurt your hand, would you cut it off?” People say strange things when they are not in your position. My choice was not made lightly. I had a year to think about it. The reason I waited a year was because six months after my heart surgery I developed an abscess in my chest and they had to go back in and remove it. I needed to physically recover from that surgery.

 

I had what is called a Latissimus Dorsi Flap reconstruction. Basically they take skin from my back and reconstruct the breast with it. I was shown pictures and everything was explained to me. Right before I was wheeled into surgery my doctor begins to draw on my body. He is circling this, drawing a line there, putting dashes on my body. I felt like a connect the dot puzzle. There is nothing attractive about standing there having your body drawn on while you are in your not so “sexy” underwear!!!!

 

I am a strong girl. I had open heart surgery. I gave birth twice. Once with no drugs (another story lol). I was not prepared for the amount of pain I was going to be in. I had eight drains coming out of my body, I couldn’t move, and the pain was unbearable even with medication. The next day a nurse told me I had to get up and move around. My surgery wasn’t even 24 hours ago. She told me “sweetie you are going to hate me now but you will love me later”. I cursed at her, I told her I wished she would die. I said any mean thing I could think of. She was right though. I have since apologized to her!!!!

 

It is now almost two years since my mastectomy. I had a few complications along the way, mentally and physically. No one warns you about the physical pain and the depression you might go through after. It has not been any easy road to get to where I am now. I have lost friends over it. I went through dark months. Not everyone will go through what I have been through. Everyone’s experience is different. This was my journey.

 

pity and I’m sorry…..

yes my son has charcot marie tooth disease. yes he was born with it. yes he has to wear leg braces and no i don’t want your pity.

the definition of pity is “a strong feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone, and/or something that causes sadness or disappointment”.

i am neither sad nor disappointed about zach and his having CMT. from the day he was diagnosed with this disease i promised myself i would not feel sorry or pity zach or myself. nothing i could have done would have changed the outcome of his being born with CMT. CMT is usually hereditary. in zach’s case it was a spontaneous mutation. gosh that sounds alien like lol. but thats what happened. my dormant CMT gene and my husbands dormant CMT gene produced a child with CMT. its a little bit more complicated than that, but in a nutshell, thats what happened.

sometimes when i tell someone that my son has a neuromuscular disease and has to wear leg braces, they say “I’m so sorry”. what are you sorry for?  are you sorry that he was not born “perfect”? are you sorry that he has to grow up that way? what exactly are you sorry for?

why does society feel  the need to say “I’m sorry”? do i say I’m sorry if your child has blue eyes? do i say I’m sorry if your child has huge feet?  why does society get so tongue tied when they encounter someone who has a disability? as far as I’m concerned, being different is what makes the world go around. having a “disability” just means zach does things a little differently than others. he drives a car. instead of using his feet, he uses hand controls. zachs uses a computer. but instead of using his fingers he uses his knuckles. he compensates and finds what works for him. i have seen people that use their feet to paint because they have no arms. i have seen people run with no legs. just think how amazing that is!!!

 

unfortunately it is a majority of the “able-bodied” community that insists that having a disability is a terrible thing. don’t think of a disability as being a burden or a sad. i feel that its the feeling of pity and sadness that needs to change. don’t pity zach because he needs help doing things or does things differently. would you pity someone that asks for help getting something off a tall shelf? would you pity someone because they ask for help carrying in groceries?  do you pity me because i am left handed and its primarily a right handed world? being left handed has forced me to do things differently than a right handed person. think about when we were in school. most of the desks were made for righties? you know what I’m talking about!! the table where you slide in to the right and as a lefty you must contort your body around so you can write on the desk!!

i guess what i am trying to say is, instead of pitying zach and my family, look to the positive in our lives, and oh we have so many!!! for example: i don’t need to wake up at 630am anymore to drive zach to school. he drives himself!!!