Another Chapter

So my high school graduation ceremony was last night. I have to say it went beautifully. It was really nerve racking coming outside to see several bleachers full of friends, family and teachers. I almost died. I was fully able to picture myself falling flat on my face. Luckily, I didn’t.

I was deeply embarrassed halfway through the award part of the ceremony because I realized I wasn’t going to get an award. The few that I thought I would get ended up going to other people. So I stopped listening to the awards, and then guess what? I was called up to accept the Heather Rebeka Lodge Award that is awarded to a graduate student who worked hard and will be attending college in the fall despite obstacles. The obstacles they were talking about was the two surgeries I had last year that put me behind my classmates. Had I not taken co-op, I would be short two credits and I would not have graduated. Thanks to co-op, I was able to earn 2 extra credits and graduate with my classmates. I was award $200 which I put in the bank today.

Unfortunately thanks to co-oping all day, I missed out on having a social life. Most of my classmates enjoyed their last year of high school by attending several parties, going to school functions and just enjoying the high school life. I missed out on that. I was busy working. I missed out on one of the classmates finding a mouse in their pants, I missed out on several awesome get-togethers. I didn’t go prom camping, and I didn’t go to any of the Blue Jays games the popular kids put together because I wasn’t sure if I would feel weird or not.

The class valedictorian made me think about all the stuff I missed out on by giving her beautiful speech. I now feel guilty for assuming I would have a horrible year way back in September, because I could have made it better. Instead of making time for my old friends, I accepted the fact that they had changed. Ya, maybe a couple of them changed for the worst but I still could have joined in on the antics every once in a while. I could have made the new people to my old circle of friends feel included, I should have made my own friendships with them instead of assuming I had been replaced in that circle of friends. I should have skipped more classes, laughed more, attended more parties, gone to more school dances, and enjoyed it while I still could.

I sat through the Graduating Class Slideshow a bunch of people put together and almost started to cry. I missed out on knowing a lot of people. I was only in the slideshow twice myself, and I could have been in there more. Had I given myself the chance to fit in. I suppose you could say that I decided I was above silly high school antics, and in believing so I missed out on what could have been a really fun time of my life.

throwing hats

But that chapter of my life is over now, I have accepted my diploma from high school and in the fall I will be attending college. I’ve got everything set up; the cheques in the mail to secure my spot in the Social Service Worker Program and my first and last months rent has been paid for my apartment. I’ll be attending a Welcome Day in late July, and I’ll bring in all the stuff I need to get set up with Disability Services.

The tuition payment was supposed to be due today, but yesterday my dad and I drove up the college to explain our situation. The money had not come in yet; we were still waiting for the government to release it. They understood, and have given me until Friday of next week. Luckily, the money came in yesterday evening and the college will definietly have it by next Friday. My mom is planning on running it up Tuesday (since Monday is a holiday).

So everyone, I am no longer a high school student.

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Not Hungry

I don’t know what it is about the summer, but I never seem to need to eat a lot during the day when its hot. I like eating smaller things throughout the day. Instead of bigger, heavier meals I feel like salads and fruit.

I have decided I am going to eat better and exercise some, because I am apparently very lazy. I suppose I could get myself in shape, but that will be hard since I seem to lack energy 99.9% of the time. I’m thinking maybe if I was in better shape I would have more energy? Or if I ate better? Who knows. I just want to have more energy and I want to try anything that could possibly work.

Maybe I’ll go for a walk after I write this post. I have to mail a letter to Mandy anyway, and I’m sick of being online. I’ve been online since I got home at like 4pm. Something is wrong with that picture, I know. I’ve been busy exploring my college website, busy trying to figure out how to use my student emailing account. On July 23rd I am going to the Welcome Day, and I’ll find out more about Disability Services. The letter finally came in the mail from my old doctor from Sick Kids regarding the documention on my disorder we asked for months ago. So I will finally get that business out of the way.

Wednesday I start working with a developmentally disabled boy. We are going to the mall and catching a movie. This summer I’m going to work with him and get him familiar with taking public buses, also I’m going to take him on a tour of the college he wants to go to. My sister works in the Student Services office and could probably help me out with that one.

And this Thursday is my high school graduation ceremony. A few hours of listening to other people accept awards and I can boogy on out of high school forever! I am thinking about attending the after party for a couple of hours with my boyfriend, just to say goodbye to the people I have gone to school with for the past 6 years.

I have this entire week off, and the Canada day weekend as well. There are some things I have to do, like buy a new bathing suit even though I’m broke. I can’t go to Wilderness Weekends without a bathing suit, especially if we are going to spend an entire day at the beach swimming. I suppose I don’t really need one, I could go into the water in shorts and a t-shirt, but I would rather have a bathing suit.

I also think I’m going to start walking more. Walking down the drive way, down the street, around the block. Its a lot of walking, I live out in the middle of no where.

I’m gonna start walking now, and maybe I can talk my parents into buying fresh fruit.

Batteries

I hate those nights when you can’t sleep, even though you are exhausted. I can’t seem to get my brain to stop thinking so I can sleep, I’ve been thinking so much that I gave myself a headache. There is just so much going on right now, so many thoughts and worries and concerns.

One of my concerns is that MHE really is making me crazy. Maybe it isn’t the chronic pain, but maybe its the always feeling like your uncapable of doing more. You push and push your body until it breaks but it still doesn’t feel good enough because other people are doing more without straining themselves.

I have tried my hardest to not be lazy, even though my energy gets used up very easily. I drain energy fast, I am definitely not an Energizer Bunny. If I was a battery, I would be the cheap dollar store one that drained after 5 minutes of use. I am so sick of never having enough energy to do everything I want. I want to do everything they can. I want to be able to lift heavier things and work all day without being in so much pain and without being so exhausted.

How do you break out of this constant layer of self-doubt and judgement? I critize myself more then other people critize me, I know that…I just can’t stop it. I don’t know how.

I should think about planning another surgery; should think about writing down the aches and pains and telling the New Doctor about them. Maybe he could fix them so I have more energy and strength, but I doubt it. It seems like with every surgery and each passing year I loose more energy and strength, and I didn’t have a lot to begin with. I’m worried about my bones fusing, I don’t know what that would feel like and my left ankle has been locking up for the past year and a half now. I’m not sure why, and I’m worried it could be because of fusing.

I worry about a lot of things. I wish I could learn how to relax.

Not Gonna Lie

My first ever Wilderness Weekend was this weekend. My head is still pounding. Needless to say, I am glad its over. It didn’t go bad presay, I mean for the members at least. They seemed to have fun, so did everyone else. It was me who didn’t have a lot of fun.

It wasn’t the sleeping on the ground, that wasn’t too bad actually. Dad picked me up a rather expensive self inflatable mattress that allowed me to get a couple hours of sleep. I was still pretty worn out though – its hard work. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be such long, difficult days. Feeding 30 people and making sure they are all happy is hard, especially when two board members are there judging us.

Also, other volunteers don’t listen to me. Nobody really does. I got a lot of questions as to why I’m a Summer Student. One of the volunteers (who happens to be dating one of my co-workers) even made a casual “joke” about the difference between “working and getting paid.” It seems like the entire weekend was a joke on my behalf. Jessica isn’t good at this, or she’s not doing that.

What really irritates me is the fact that we are understanding of our members needs and limits, but not volunteers. I was a volunteer, and I am now a staff. People still don’t understand that I have a medical condition that limits my mobility and affects my strength. It may appear that I am being lazy, but I’m not. I work as hard as my body will let me, and as much as I would hate to admit it, its not as hard as other people can work. I find people got annoyed with me because I couldn’t help load the van and I wasn’t much help with taking down the dining shelter. They should know. They should understand. But they don’t.

If you have MHE, then you know that if you have it “bad enough”, then working is hard. As I’ve previously mentioned, MHE affects your mobility and limits your strength, so working is difficult. I work at a place were I’m on my feet running around all day long. It’s recreational stuff, programming and what not. It’s hard, especially when you have volunteers who are lazy and don’t want to help out even though they can. It’s harder still when nobody listens to you because they don’t hold a lot of respect for you because they think you too are lazy and not working hard enough.

I don’t know how much longer I can take being dictated to and bossed around by people who are at the same level of position as I am. I don’t give a pooh about them “being there longer” or “being older” then I am. Sunrise is supposed to be a happy place where nobody judges. Volunteers do nothing but judge. Actually, so do most co-workers and board members.

Three more camping weekends, then one more week long camping trip.

First Day!

Very shortly I will be leaving for work…since there is a club night tonight I get to go in later. I was hoping to spend the morning hanging out with my boyfriend, but his dad needed him to help with moving an organ piano.

I’m hoping the club night is a success, it all depends on how good myself and the other summer student I am doing this can work together. I’m sure it will turn out fine though.

This weekend is going to be so busy for me. I’ve yet to test out the inflatable mattresses we have in the garage! I can’t sleep unless I’m comfortable, so getting comfortable on the solid ground is going to be a challenge! I hope our inflatable mattresses don’t have any holes in them, that would suck. I don’t think we have the time or money to go out and buy a new one.

Set up crew will leave for the campsite Friday morning, and I will stay behind to supervise the going ons on the bus. I will collect med forms and basically sign people in. Its a heavy responsibility because of the med forms aren’t collected or someone has forgotten very important medication, then I’ll most likely be to blame. But its ok, I can handle the heat! Med forms are pretty straight forward!

What I am worried about is the activities for this weekend. Since we (the summer students) got a rough draft of an activity plan finished, we haven’t really focused on the finer details. When I get to work today I’m going to look through the beach bins (bins we bring to the beach full of beach stuff) to see if we have any buckets for the sand castle building contest and the beach relay. I’ve also never been to a Wilderness Weekend so I’m not too sure how they work, I just hear little things from co-workers. I am new to Wilderness Weekends. Last year, I had that double whammy of surgeries and really couldn’t have gone, I would have been more of a burden then a help. The first year I started volunteering I didn’t even hear about Wilderness Weekends. They weren’t really…advertised. So it should be an adventure!

My to-do list is growing more each day, but I’m glad about it. For too long I had nothing good to do with my time and I was bored out of my mind! I’m the kind of person who can’t not do something. I used to love being alone because then I could do whatever I wanted – that usually consisted of going online or reading a really good book. I still like doing those things, but I dislike being alone. I’m a weirdo.

Any who, I don’t know if I’ll be able to update again until Monday after the camping trip (I’m sort of stressed for time) but my next update should be pretty interesting…what with it being about how my body likes camping and all that (I can predict where this is going.)

Pushing Forward

Have you ever had one of those weekends so full of ups and downs it felt like you were a part of a really bad soap opera that over dramatized everything? Ya. I just had one of those weekends.

Friday was a good day for me; it was my birthday, how could it have sucked? I spent it with my family and got cool presents. Saturday was a pretty decent day, I took the Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Course through work and learned a lot of valuable things. I also helped set up the dinning shelters for camp to see if we had all the pieces. Sunday was a completely different story. I was planning on going for the perfect birthday weekend where nothing goes wrong and you’re just generally happy to have reached the age of 18. I am still generally happy about being alive, but I’m completely bummed out at the same time.

Early on Sunday morning, Father’s Day, my beloved dog passed away. Shadow had been a part of our family for 8 years, and saying goodbye was so difficult. He was a major part of our lives, and I already miss every little thing about him. I miss him coming into the kitchen to bug me for a slice of cheese every time I opened the refrigerator, I miss him barking loudly every time I come home, I miss him sighing from boredom when my mom and I are on the computers instead of paying him attention, and I miss seeing him waiting at the top of the drive when we come home. That’s just a quick list of things I miss about him, the things I notice more now that he’s gone. The only good thing I have to say on that matter was that it was a quick death. I’m assuming his heart gave out as my Dad saw him in Kate’s room breathing rather heavily and tried to get him to come upstairs but he wouldn’t. Dad then went upstairs to put on a pot of coffee and by the time he came back down to check on Shadow, he had moved to the part of the hallway in front of my bedroom door and my parent’s bedroom door and died.

So Sunday really sucked for me. I was in bed completely out of sorts. I know he was a dog and to a lot of people who wouldn’t understand, there are worse things that could happen – and I am sure that’s true. But keep in mind that Shadow was a very important part of our family. He was one of us. I’m going to miss him a lot.

Monday afternoon I finally made my way down to my grandparents house. I was supposed to go on the Sunday but I didn’t feel up to it. Papa’s health seems ok; he’s progressing at the expected speed of someone who has just had triple bypass surgery. He seems depressed though, but I read online and have been told that its related to having heart surgery and it will pass when he starts feeling like his normal self. I agree with that. Papa has always been the kind of man who has to keep busy, or else he feels useless. Plus there isn’t a lot for him to do around the house.

Papa isn’t feeling up enough to coming to my Commencement on the 28th of June, as the car ride is a long one and he would have to sit outside for a couple hours – he could catch a chill. I don’t want him getting sick over seeing a silly ceremony that is very predictable anyway. He’s seen Shannon’s and Kate’s, he knows how it works. Besides, we will take lots of pictures and he will get to miss all the boring speeches! Lucky guy!

I start work tomorrow, I mean actual work, getting paid for the hours I put in. I got all of my co-op hours on Friday and sent in all of the co-op papers, so I’m now officially done with co-op. I’m an official employee, getting paid. We leave on Friday at 5pm for camp, and won’t get back until 3:30pm on Sunday. For a while, I was just going to get volunteer hours, but luckily my boss decided to put me on the payroll for that. Camp is going to be very hectic and stressful, and it will be good getting paid to sleep on a very hard ground and probably throw my body out of whack. It’s going to be interesting to see how my body reacts to sleeping in a tent, as I’ve never done it before. I’ll have to do it for 3 weekends in a row in July!

Well I’m off to read and get an early sleep, and perhaps think of some alibis for the Murder Mystery Club Night I’m helping run tomorrow.

P.S. I am a little worried that I lost all the readers I had before when I wasn’t posting a lot, so please if you are reading comment me so I know you’re still reading!

I’m getting worse at this!

I am really sorry for the lack of updates as of lately! I just get so busy during my day, and I have honestly not been home lately. I also have trouble finding specific things related to my disorder to talk about…considering my every day life isn’t wrapped around my medical condition. For the most part anyway, I try not to let it control my life and dictate what I can and can’t do – but sometimes it does and then I just have to ignore it!

So much as happened, and I have a lot of updates to share with everyone. I shall have to resort to using bullets!

me & my boyfriend before prom!

  • June 1st was my prom; I have to admit it wasn’t as fun as I was hoping it would be. My legs were killing me from a SYG dance the night before and from the new shoes I was wearing. I did look very nice, if I say so myself.
  • After prom I went to my boyfriend’s trailer with him and his family for the weekend. It was lovely and the weather was beautiful; we went swimming several times. I had far more fun there then I would have had at the camping trip my peers put together. I actually like my boyfriend and his family, so that’s probably why.
  • The end of May/early June was a stressful, scary time. My Papa went to Kingston General Hospital to have Triple Bypass Surgery. He’s home now, and my mom is currently helping my grandma out. Papa seems to be doing very well – thank God – and I hope to visit him soon!
  • Tomorrow if I work 8 hours then I will have completed my required co-op hours to graduate. I will have 660.57 hours. I plan on going in half an hour early too, just to boost the number up.
  • Because I am finishing co-op earlier then to be expected, my boss is allowing me to take Monday and Tuesday off to visit my Papa at his home. He would also allow me to take the Wednesday off, but I promised a co-worker I would help him run a Murder Mystery club night on Wednesday. Thursday I am back at work only I will be getting paid for it! Which is a good thing, considering Thursday I will be doing a lot of work; Friday head out to a provincial park to camp for the weekend with 14 of our recreational members. Its going to be hectic!
  • Because of my medical condition, I am not joining the other Summer Students when they go up to camp a day early to set up. Setting up tents and dinner shelters is too much for my body, so someone else is going up instead. My job will be to stay at the building and collect medication, take attendance when people get on the bus, and basically be in charge of people for the hour long bus ride. I’m positive I can do it, but I’m slightly nervous. It’s a lot of responsibility – especially meds! If I mess up on forms for meds, I will most likely get fired. But no worries! I won’t mess up!
  • My work is offering really interesting courses such as Behaviour Management and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention – free of charge or completely cheap! I attended the Behaviour Management class today and learned a lot about PDD and the particular behaviours and how to stop outbursts from happening, it was awesome!

All those little updates aside, I have something that is burning on my mind and will surely result in lots of posts on this here blog. I’m having a slight conflict with one of the people I work with. I’m trying not to let that cloud my opinion of them, but the amount of “evidence” that is piling up that they just don’t like me is impossible to ignore. Obviously, when you feel as if your co-worker(s) don’t like you, your performance goes down hill. I’m not sure why, but it does. I’m hoping it will blow over and things will change, but I don’t know. I know I shouldn’t let office issues cloud my working ability, so I’m going to try not to. But I have a feeling its going to be an interesting summer.