May 11, 2005
May 4, 2005
(First-year medical student Tim Cordes listens as second-year student Megan Neuman describes the nerves and tissues of a human shoulder during anatomy class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. In December, Cordes, who is blind, graduated near the top of his class)
Many barriers to overcome
In a world where skeptics always seem to be saying, stop, this isn’t something a blind person should be doing, it was one more barrier overcome. There are only a handful of blind doctors in this country. But Cordes makes it clear he could not have joined this elite club alone....... http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7318398/
What an amazing story! I needed some good news, what about you? ;-)
May 2, 2005
Last night I watched "Riding the Bus with My Sister", a Hallmark tv movie and feel good tear jerker that will send the "normal" world their seasonal dose of "Thank God, that isn't me" or "Poor poor woman, I feel her pain". Spare me. My reality doesn't end with credits and a good cry.
Andie Mc Dowell played a harried career photographer that is forced to reconcile with her developmentally delayed sister, played by Rosie O'Donell, after the death of their father. After watching this, I have a renewed respect for Rosie, she played this role without creating a characture or dramatic theatrical overkill. Andie's performance reminds me of my own struggle to deal with the cruel side of society. The side that still throws the word "RETARDED" around as a joke.
When I chose to have my daughter at 31, I would have never believed at the time I would wind up with a child whose existence would so challenged. People can be so cruel, even family will distance themselves out of ignorance or from being uncomfortable around someone "different". Coming to grips with the isolation and stunted sociability has caused me to seek other forms of reaching out to those that I can commiserate with, as well as "typical" parents dealing with the same daily childhood issues.
The reality checks for me come on a daily, if not on an hourly basis. I have chosen not to write much about her. not out of embarassment, but out of frustration. I spend alot of time defending her diagnoses. Mental retardation and Cerebral Palsy are quite a 1-2 punch and my patience with the uneducated and ignorant comments, stares and atittudes wears thinner on some days more than others. When I see children stare, sometimes I take the opportunity to introduce Lil Sepia and give them age appropriate info on her "differences" as well as what they may have in common. The parents I hope will teach their child about disability and sensitivity.
Here is a previous post on my take on societal perceptions of the handicapped.
Speaking of that, one of the best books I have read on this topic is "Differences in Common", by Marilyn Trainer. She captures the struggle, with an unflinching look, at the truths of parenting her son with Down's syndrome.
Differences in Common
As her mom, I can only hope that I will be able to give her the best of what she NEEDS, most of what she WANTS and pray that society will acknowledge we all have "differences in common".
Who knows, maybe GOD's sense of humor is that WE are the ones who are really "special" and THEY are angels living on earth laughing at US.
I just wonder. ;-)