And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

And For a Moment I Forgot

I have adjusted to using a wheelchair, but there are few moments when it does not register to me as something foreign or imposed upon me. While I appreciate greatly the mobility it offers me, I still have so many fresh and often stinging memories of my independent mobility and my love for being in motion on my own. It does not yet feel like a natural part of me, but rather still like a somewhat awkward contraption of metal and vinyl. Today was different. For a few moments I completely forgot that this was not natural, that this was not how my body has always moved, and I felt free and joyful in motion. We had a family lunch today at a nearby restaurant, but we arrived about 10 minutes too early, as our reservations were for just when the restaurant opened. So I was hanging out in my chair in the parking lot with my family, and as I started wheeling towards the more sheltered area of the building to escape the wind (I had decided to wear a skirt - bad planning), I noticed my wheelchair was acting weird. It was almost skipping when I pushed it. Finally I realized my Dad was walking behind me and stepping on my wheel every time I pushed. Without a thought I spun around and began to chase him around the parking lot. I was racing, I was turning, I was weaving in and out of obstacles and laughing hysterically. He tried to escape by darting between my stepmom's truck and a post, thinking I would not make it through, but I navigated without any problems and almost caught up. Then the wind kicked up when I was facing the wrong direction and my skirt flew up into my face. Good news: I had on thick purple tights so nothing was revealed. Bad news:I had on thick purple tights and my skirt flew up in my face. I could not stop laughing and neither could he. Finally I surrendered and spun on my wheels, tossing my tangled mess of windblown curls with as much attitude as I could muster with my laughter and promising revenge. I swear running over his foot when we went into the restaurant WAS an accident, just a happy coincidental accident. But as I chased him and we laughed in the fall wind, I forgot that the wheelchair was foreign to me, I forgot to hate the fact that I "should" be running, I forgot to long for the free movement I used to know and reveled in the freedom and movement that I captured in my chair. I forgot that I am different, that I am dealing with more medical issues that JAMA, that in just one short year my life has radically changed and I lost myself in the sheer joy of the moment. What used to be did not matter and what may happen was not a worry, and for a moment I forgot it all.

gotta love a Dad like that...I am so glad you had some moments that felt like
"almost normal"
I know you are not happy about the chair and your use of it-- but I am glad that you got to have joy in the moment!

That kind of adaptation represents the wonderful power of a (healthy) brain.


Heard about your blog from Barbara at Therextras. A close friend of mine, mother of three young children, who also has found herself unexpectedly in a wheelchair is frequently seen playing tag or chase down her steep driveway. She is a mad woman in it. After reading your post, I can also guess it gives her a sense of freedom. I love the picture on your blog and your saying. So true!

Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

Blog Info

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Wild Olive

Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst

Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies

* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.