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Posts Tagged ‘learning to adjust’

I got the 10 Years Blues

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Yep, first off, it’s been a while since I wrote here.. sorry about that.

2nd off, the reason I came back. 10 years, it’s really been 10 years. You might be asking what in the world am I prattling on about… the answer to your question could be found here.

If you don’t want to read a 4 year old post, I guess I could give you the skinny.

It was only 6 years when I wrote that post, and while not much has changed, a lot seems to have changed.

So, 10 years ago, I was wheeled into an operating room with promises of returning to “normal” for what that serves as a status quo for me then. Needless to say, that “normal” was never reached. When I woke up, I couldn’t see the details of the room around me, I couldn’t really even see where my parents were sitting at my bed side. It was terrifying, but I felt the need to stay calm for the sake of not freaking my parents out. That’s me, always thinking of everyone else first.

I was told not to worry, things just needed time to adjust, my vision would be back in a couple of weeks. I thought, “Ok, no big deal, I can handle this for a few weeks.”

Well, a few weeks turned into a couple of months, and then I finally got a doctor to tell me the truth no one else wanted to say to an 18 year old girl fresh out of high school. “What vision you have now is all you will ever have, and I can’t promise it won’t get worse over time.”

That was a gut punch that I couldn’t take like nothing happened. I broke down, right there in the doctor office, ugly crying and all. I was just 1 step away from hysteria. I think if I could have talked, I probably would have been hysterical, but thankfully, I had no words, only tears.

What do you say to that? How do you react? Is there a right or wrong thing to say or do? I don’t think so, but I’m a firm believer that everyone deals differently.

One thing that cheered me up and drove me crazy at the same time was people saying to me “You are taking this so well. You don’t even look down about the whole situation, that’s really amazing.”

How could I go around showing the world my devastation? What good would that have done? I had it in my head, the best way to deal with something is to accept it and move on. Something from a distantly remembered Proverb about not being able to change things out of your control… and yeah, this was waaay out of my control.

I felt it inspirational to me that people didn’t notice I was sad, devastated and utterly lost.

I’ll spare you and myself all the bad thoughts I had, and pushed aside because once again, “What good will that do?”. That thought, along with my feeling of responsibility to hold it together for my friends and family probably got me through the 2nd worst time in my life. I say 2nd, because even though I was a small girl when my dad died, that still has to be the worst experience, losing a parent.

I now want to move forward, sharing all the other stuff that’s happened since that fateful day in 2006.

As a result of that day, I realized where I made some less than stellar decisions and put myself on a course to fix that. That course wasn’t probably the best way to deal, but the end result was worth it I think.

As a result of that course, I found the love of my life, the person who completes me and makes me feel like the most special person in the world sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t like star crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet or anything, but that also will probably be the difference in mutual destruction and something that lasts a long, long time. I fell in love with Taylor Scott at a time in my life where that was the last thing I was looking for. Guess it’s true, you always get what you don’t expect when it is least expected.

He’s been my rock, my sounding board, my cheerleader, and most of all my voice of reason. I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my life with.

That’s probably the number 1 thing that has come out of the past 10 years.

Next has been the transitions I’ve experienced, losing some friends, making others. That was a real life lesson that everyone should experience I think. It is hard losing friends, and even harder making new ones. I think I can safely say that after Taylor, my 2 best friends are people I have never met. They exist strictly on the internet and over the phone, but I couldn’t ask for better people to put up with me and my crazy antics. Thanks Randi and Ricardo, you 2 are the best.

Next, in these past 10 years, I have graduated from college 4 times. I have a certificate of basic management skills, an associate degree in liberal arts, a bachelor degree in business administration, and finally a master degree in management/leadership. I even have contemplated my PhD. I think if I tried to do that, my other best friend and the best reader in the state of Texas, Megan, would murder me with just her thoughts! haha

I’ve got great parents, great parents in Taylor’s parents, and a great family on both sides.

So, while it does suck to be blind some days, and it even can be so frustrating that it makes me feel like I have steam coming out of my ears. I just have to remember all the good and it makes me feel a little bit better. You have to give a little to get a little, and I think I gave my eyesight for everything I have now. I’ll tell you this, and it made shock you all. I would do that trade every day of the week and twice on Sundays! 🙂

It really breaks my heart and exasperates me when people say “I don’t know how you do it. I think I would never recover from that.” or my personal favorite, “If I had lost my sight like that, I probably would have killed myself. My life would have been over.” That last one makes me grind my teeth, and really just makes me mad.

I have so much to be thankful for, and I can’t deny that I probably wouldn’t have any of it had it not been for a fateful day in May in 2006.

I have a job now, a fantastic boyfriend, family and friends. I couldn’t ask for more, that would just be greedy.

Next time something has you down, or you want to comment on someone else’s disadvantage, think about all the possibilities for good that could have or did come from that tradgedy or misfortune.

Not everything bad ends badly. Life is what you make it, and why not make your stay here as fun and enjoyable as possible?

I know I’m going to try, depression and anxiety be damned!

One thing hasn’t changed, I still think of others before myself, and I don’t think that is a bad thing. I think that’s a sign of good raising and good parents.

Ok, so that’s all I got. This has been therapeutic, and I’m moderately less sad than I was when I started writing.

Thanks for reading this far if you made it!

Leave a comment, or catch me on Twitter!

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Dear God, I’m not Job!

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

*warning*
** This blog post is approximately 2,186 words or somewhere to close to 10 pages in MS Word… read at your own risk**
I titled this post “Dear God, I’m not Job!” for a reason. Today I found out that I have yet another condition to contend with within my body. I have hypothyroidism.

Before I get into that, let me give those of you not familiar with JOB and/or the bible story a summary…

Job is the bee’s knees. Really. He’s blameless and upright, and he has kids, a wife, land, and a bunch of sheep. Doesn’t get much better than that. Up in the heavens, God brags to the divine assembly about Job. Lo and behold, Satan comes out and challenges God on Job’s goodness. This can’t end well.

Back to the story. Satan tells God that, sure, Job loves God now, but takes away his earthly possessions and his children, and he will dump God in a New York minute. God agrees to the challenge, and Satan unleashes a force that kills all of Job’s family except his wife, kills his servants, and reduces his homes to dust. Ouch.

But guess what? Job remains loyal. He refuses to denounce God. Take that, Satan. God gets to back to bragging and Satan sets up another challenge. This time, God lets Satan give Job a nasty rash, boils, and blisters all over his body.

Now Job becomes a much less happy camper. After all, he was loyal to God, and look what happened. He doesn’t renounce God, but he does insist that he deserves some kind of explanation—wouldn’t you want one? His buddies Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have an answer: it’s his fault. Hmmm.

Job isn’t quite satisfied with that explanation. Just in the nick of time, Elihu pops in to tell Job that he may not have sinned, but he still has no right to question his fate. After all, God’s universe is still endowed with immortal power. Bottom line: suck it up.

After much fretting and many speeches, God finally shows up. Why? For a scolding. Where was Job on the day the universe was created? Where was Job when God was designing the architecture of the seas and the continents? Where was Job when God invented Arrested Development?

Needless to say, Job feels a little humbled and acknowledges that, as a mere mortal, he can’t possibly understand everything in an immortally ruled universe. Taking Elihu’s advice, Job goes back to his day job, and eventually God gives him double what he had at the outset. Job lives to a ripe old age, and both God and Satan fade into the shadows.

Anyways, so yeah, I feel like Job. Let’s start off with my dad, killed in a car crash in 1994. Ok, I sort have dealt with that, almost 20 years after the fact. Then mom remarries… sounds fabulous doesn’t it? Except for that part where my life and family turns into a Jerry Springer show waiting to happen. My sister (step) loves the boys a little too much, and soon enough becomes a mommy before she graduates high school. Soon before the first baby was born, she was married to the baby’s father. Then almost a year later to the date, a 2nd baby comes along. I am 1 proud auntie! I love kids! I spoil them and love them and babysit for my sister all the time.
Then she divorces hubby #1, after he works his tail off to support her “lifestyle” that she thinks she needs to live, because she found a new boyfriend… soon after that she’s prego again. Baby #3!! Not complaining too much, once again I love kids!
Hubby #2 not that bright, but I can deal… I mean, he’s not my husband. So, that’s where she is now, and she’s happy, so more power to her.

Next we talk about my “brother” (step). I use the term brother loosely because I really don’t like him, not in the least. He is a cracked out, thieving, low life excuse of a person. He’s so far into drugs, he doesn’t know which way is up. Everyone has tried to help him, and he just doesn’t want to change. So, yeah, he breaks my step-dad (from here on out dad)’s heart. All he wants is his 1 son to do something with his life and not die early from a drug over dose. This is not likely to happen, given the transaction over Christmas… that’s a whole nother story in itself!

Anyways, I was a normal kid for the most part… I have had my medical and other types of issues along the way, but for the most part I have been pretty normal over the first 18 years of my life. I was a sickly child, always needing antibiotics, this procedure here, that doctor there… but hey I made it. Anyways, so went through my life being pretty cool with things… until 2006, the New Year after my 18th birthday. That’s when things really just hit the fan.

So, I guess it was February when I started to show serious signs of what I now know as hydrocephalus… have a Webpage about that.
At the time no one knew what was wrong with me; I must have had the flu… for 2 months…
Well, then my vision started to black out, I ran over lots of stuff and tore up 2 vehicles in the process. It is a wonder I did not seriously injure myself. So, yeah, that happened the 2nd semester of my senior year of high school. Then one of my favorite people dies in a tragic swimming accident. He was babysitting some kids; the little girl left her toy in the lake where they were swimming. He went to get it, got caught in a trot line… and drowned. For those unfamiliar with a trot line, have this .
I finally was able to find out my real problem sometime in May of 2006. I was directed to a neurosurgeon; I had my first shunt system put in, and was out of the hospital the day of my high school graduation.

Next we move to August of that year…
Another of my friends, actually, I jokingly called him my “favorite mechanic” because he did his best to fix my vehicles when I ran over everything so I wouldn’t have to tell my mom. Well, he was killed in a car accident, less than a mile from my house and about 5-10 minutes before my mother and I came up on the scene. I was traumatized to say the least. My neighbor, had been the one driving, and he was unharmed. Both of his passengers had been thrown from the truck despite seatbelts. One boy ended up with a punctured lung and some broken ribs, and my “favorite mechanic” had died from a broken neck.

Then I decided that I was 18 almost 19, it was time for me to try this whole moving out thing. I moved in with my boyfriend then of 5 almost 6 years. We rented a house with his sister and her boyfriend. That could’ve been my best and worst decision yet. Best because I got a full view of what I was getting into, worst because he beat the crap out of me before I left.

I was young and foolish, and accepted his marriage proposal without uttering a word to anyone about the abuse. I mean, I threatened him with a kitchen knife, and it wasn’t as bad as it had been… but once I moved to Austin for my blind rehab program, I realized that things would never be the same between us… and I had to get out.

I took precautions when I ended things with him, like making sure all of the appropriate staff knew to not let anyone know I was there and if someone came asking for me to clear it with me before telling them where I was.

Then, here’s where the story starts to turn around…

I went a little crazy in Austin. I had something to prove to myself and I did… there were still men that wanted me despite my “brokenness” or disability…

So, that abruptly ended when the boy I despised so much turned out to not be so bad after all….
Here’s the full story of how Taylor and I became a couple….
It was April 20, 2007 Taylor and I were not fans of each other… him because I was dating multiple guys and having fun… me because he was a grumpy, stuck up, “bad boy” that just knew how to get under my skin… and I didn’t like it.
The 20th that year happened to fall on a weekend. That weekend, we both were going home to visit our families… Me to east Texas, him to the little town SW of Ft. Worth…. Me on a Greyhound in the dead of night, him in a friend’s car. We both were due back on the 22…
So, on the 22 I come back via Greyhound, just for them to tell me that my luggage has been lost, and if I wait for the next bus coming in, it might be on it. So, I wait…
Still no luggage…
Maybe if I wait for this next bus it will be there, but that is like an hour from now. I realize I will most certainly die of boredom, and who do I call to keep me company at the bus station??

None other than Mr. Taylor “Elvis” himself. He grabs a cab and meets me at the bus station and we talk until the bus shows up… alas, my luggage isn’t on that bus either and the next bus won’t be in until 5 or 6 in the morning and it is now 7 or 8 in the evening.

Taylor and I catch a cab back to our apartments because the Greyhound supervisor assures me that my luggage will be delivered to me the next day. So, we get lost on our way home. The cabbie dropped us off on a street or 2 away from our apartment complex and we are lost.

Somehow, we find our way back, and we get ready to settle in for bed. By this time I realize that “Hey, I kind of like this guy… maybe he’s not too bad after all.” You know the usual girl hormones.

The next day, I am stuck at my apartment waiting for the Greyhound people to deliver my luggage, and Taylor waits with me in my apartment… This is now April 23, 2007 and Taylor and I become an “item” that day… and he we are, almost 7 years later still going! 

Now, that was my silver lining…
So, I end up meeting people when I move to Cleburne with Taylor after our 4 month love affair….
I start college as soon as I move here anxious to do something!

Now, I have been through college a couple of times over. I have an associate of liberal arts, a certificate of basic management skills, a bachelor of business administration, and working on my Master of science (management and leadership)….

I’m on the job hunt but I just can’t seem to stay healthy… my health does its own thing, and most of the time that thing is act poorly.

So, I can handle the hydrocephalus most of the time… now I have these weird non-fluid related headaches… fine, the neurologist I think has fixed those…
I’m also hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) which is probably because I’m fat, but hey, I’ve been told this has a good chance of being congenital…

So, I despite all of that, when I’m properly medicated, I thought I was a pretty active person… or not???

Today I found out I have hypothyroidism, which means that my thyroid doesn’t put out as much of my hormones as it should.
Have this info from the Mayo Clinic.

Basically, it sounds like scary stuff…
How would one get this you might ask?
Well, my prime suspect in the matter falls on my biological father’s mother. She has the same condition, and it is likely that I inherited this “condition”.
So, I want to say thank you, to the woman who wants/wanted nothing to do with me once my father died… thanks for giving me another pill to take… a constant battle with my weight due to lack of hormones, and God only knows what else will happen as time goes on.

So, dear God, I’m not Job… you might already know this since I got real mad at you back in 2006….

So, can I please have a break? I just want to have a normal semester and get through Graduate school relatively unscathed…

Signed,
Me (Amanda Ellen)

Anyways, this is a basic run down…
I’m finding it extremely hard to not be bitter, when I really have the right to be.
So, that’s all,
Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
-Amanda Ellen

P.S.
I wouldn’t change anything leading up to meeting Taylor, he means the world to me!
Sorry for the mushiness! 🙂

Life update and some support please?

Friday, July 26th, 2013

So, here it is another life update type thing. This one is kind of big to me, but not big like life or death or anything. I have decided to quit smoking. I know, those who actually read this thing and know me are probably in shock. Please, come around and join me on the side of reason. I have convinced myself of several reasons on why I should quit smoking and do it post haste.

First of all, it’s just not good for anyone, and since I have been so sickly and surgery prone the last few years, I figure it can’t hurt to see if quitting helps that. Maybe this will rid me of all the stupid sinus infections, the constant fluid fluctuation, and anything else that has been ailing me. Not to mention, I am only hurting myself by smoking because when school stresses me out, it results in me smoking way more than I normally allow myself to have in a single day. So, that’s my first logical thought process.

Next we have the fact that I am on the job hunt. I know they can’t really discriminate and all that happy crap, but I figure that employers might be more interested in a non-smoker than a smoker. That reasoning has many branches; most of all, most people think it is really unattractive for people to smoke. This means are you really going to want to do business with someone that smells like smoke? Probably not on your first choice.

Next thought process, I will feel cleaner. Yes, that sounds crazy I know, but I won’t stink is what I guess I should say. Everyone I know complains about the smell that wafts around me during and after smoking a cigarette. This will no longer be the case, and I’ll just smell pretty and clean.

Final process, and this probably is just grasping at straws, but maybe, maybe, just maybe, this might ease up some of the extreme dislike my mother-in-law has for me? I know it is probably wishful thinking, but hey, figure it has to count for something? Right?
Plus, with me quitting smoking, our household will be a tobacco free zone since Taylor quit dipping about 8-9 months ago. By me choosing to do this now, I also may be able to avoid temptation because I have no way to go grab some more smokes. I am going at this cold turkey, and the reasoning behind that is more messed up than I care to share. 1 reason would be Chantix is mean, evil, wicked, bad, and nasty on many levels and I am not ready to resort to subjecting myself to that just yet.

So, friends, I hope you are reading… this is the time I really need some moral support. I run out of smokes tomorrow, and I already feel the grumpy trying to come out. I am doing my best to suppress it, and I have 1 of those handy dandy electronic cigarettes, but I would just like to be nondependent on tobacco.

So, I’ll be doing a reverse countdown on Twitter, the number of days I have made it without a lit cigarette, and hopefully that will change to the number of days without nicotine.
That’s the hardest part, getting this crack baby off her nicotine…
Ah well, I apologize for any foul moods that come across electronically for the foreseeable future…

Thank you all for the support!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

P.S.
Oh, I so hope I don’t sound like one of those televangelists sob stories… blarf! hahahaha

Not how I thought things would be now, when I was 16

Monday, January 21st, 2013

So, I saw this prompt on Twitter and it caught my attention. I want to give this a shot.
Here it is:
“When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?”
First of all, when you are a 16 year old girl, your thoughts of the future are very romantic. Not romantic in the lovey dovey sense, but romantic in the true meaning of the word which is to say, you have your “perfect life” planned out.
I cannot say if the same applies to 16 year old boys since I have no experience there. HAHA
So, when I was 16, wow that seems so long ago.
When I was 16, I thought that right about now I would be married, have a college degree, a few kids… and be living happily ever after.
Well, I got part of it right didn’t I?
I mean, I will have my bachelors degree this May. Start grad school in the fall…
I’m not married, I don’t have some fabulous job, and I certainly don’t have any kids as of yet…
But, I tell you I am living somewhat happily ever after in my own little part of the world.
One thing that my 16 year old self never planned on is me typing this entry out while something is talking to me telling me what letter and words I’m inputting into my computer.
My 16 year old self never thought that in 2 years from that point I would be blind.
But you know what, I don’t think I so much mind it most of the time.
Sure, there are times when I get frustrated and say “If I could just see this task would be a hell of a lot easier.” But honestly, I don’t think there are many blind people who don’t say that from time to time…
But thanks to going blind, I have my wonderful guide dog Leah and I have my awesome boyfriend Taylor…
I won’t ever strain my eyes with all my reading because all I have to do is listen to read.
Plus, audio books give each book a sense of being a minature movie.
My text books, well, I can use the “Find” feature where a sighted person can’t use that on their print books.
I mean to say it’s not all bad.
So, 16 year old self.. I know you had big dreams and big hopes…
But don’t worry, we’ll get there, we just have to take a different route.

Well, almost 10 years after turning 16, I have to say that even though things haven’t played out like 16 year old me thought they should, I’m pretty damn happy with who I am, how far I have come, and the prospect of things to come!

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen