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Elspeth 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 04:20 PM
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I have an aunt who is disbled though Cerebral Palsy. Being born in the 30's in a rural area, education was very limited for her and the doctors in many ways did more harm to her than good.

So, I grew up with an aunt who was different from my other aunts and uncles. And I was blessed for that because I grew up knowing her as my aunt. Knowing that even though she couldn't walk without crutches or have the same mind capabilities she was still my aunt just like my other aunts.

And I am glad my children have grown up with her around so they too can know that just because she can't do some things for herself it doesn't make her less of a person. She is who she is. With her own unique gifts and burdens, just like all of us.

I do wonder sometimes what it is like for her and for others who have challenges that I don't. I am always glad when people share with me, it makes me know them better. And I hope they want to know of my challenges. It's sometimes hard being an odd duck like me.

And Annabelle sweetie, how could we ever not accept you?


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Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
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Annabelle 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 04:22 PM
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Wizard picture him before the accident...accept the way things are now for his sake. After a while you will feel more comfortable around him, it just takes time.


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Elspeth 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 04:26 PM
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Wow wizard, that is hard because when you see him, you're not seeing him but remembering a very traumatic experience. Can you talk to him about it? Or would it be better not to? It seems you need to get past the trauma before you can again connect with this man.
I have a very vivid imagination and I understand completely what you say. It would be hard for me too.
Can you like Annabelle said think of him as he was before and remember those times, some characteristic about him you admire that you can focus on and not on the accident?
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Danann 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (wizardofowls @ May 3 2004, 03:16 PM)
I work with a man who was severely burned at work. He is an electrician, and he was doing some work in an electrical panel box. Apparently he had the tester wires in the wrong holes on his tester. He was okay as long as the wires were in the holes on the panel, but once he pulled them out the electricity arced in his face causing severe burns to his face, chest and hands.

I feel very badly about this, but I have trouble talking to him. Everytime I see him I can still here him screaming in pain and smell the odor of burnt flesh. Any suggestions on how I can overcome this? Doug is very nice and friendly, and hate these feelings I get when he's around. What do I do?

First off, that's a very tough question. Since you were there, and have a memory attached to the situation, it makes it harder. I'd suggest talking to a third party about the feelings, getting them out, and then seeing if you can talk to Doug. The other thing to do is keep eye contact and pay close attention to what he is saying, and not let your eyes stray too much.

If he were in the recovery phase still you could ask him how he's feeling, but if it was several years back that might be an awkward question. Just know this, just because there are some scars there, he's no different than how he was. He's gone through something harsh and tramatic, but he's survived.

When I was mauled by a Saint Bernard of all things, it was hard for me to go back to school and face everyone with 20 stitches in my nose, but my dad told me something that I'll pass on. "Everyday is a struggle, and everyday brings scars. Some you see, some you don't. There are some people that are even more scarred than you are, you just can't see it. In time the pain and memory will fade, but you'll still have a reminder that you were brave enough to live with those scars and make the best out of them." The scarring has gone down a lot, and I am going to have the last few sanded down here soon so they won't be the spotlight feature on my wedding pictures, but the reminder is there that I did live with the scars, and I am a better person because I have compassion for others in a similar situation, and I know how it feels to be on the other side wondering what to say to someone with a disfigurement. When people get that badly hurt they come out either 1 of 2 ways. So thankful that they made it that the scars don't make them self conscious. Or so self conscious that they are barely step outside the house. Since Doug is back at work, I'd have to guess he's one of the first. Granted he might be slightly sensitive still, but mostly he just wants people to know he is the same Doug he was before the accident.


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Also, for original storys or thoughts from me, check out my blog: Dannah's Blog
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Herrerano 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 05:04 PM
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I was in an explosion several years ago. I have some scars that run from my head down to my waist, mostly on my left side they start at my ear and continue down my neck and arm, across my shoulder and down my back. Most of them have faded out really well and don't stand out too much unless I spend a lot of time out in the sun. On my neck it looks like tiger stripes because of the discolored skin.

I never considered them any sort of disability, but they are sometimes commented on by people. I don't usually mind telling what happened, and sometimes if some of us leave the plant and stop for a few beers that particular subject almost always comes up after about the fourth round.

Sorta hard to say how to deal with someone when you yourself still are living the accident, but I would think that if you consider him a friend and he is not an unreasonable person the best thing to do would be to talk to him about it. I don't think that I would say anything like "I wanna puke everytime I see your face Doug." But in a friendly, non-threatening, honest sort of way. I doubt if you are really that well acquinted with him because if you would have already been out for a few beers the subject would almost certainly already have been broached. We tend to deal with things like that a lot by sort of joking around. Maybe that isn't correct or politically correct, but a latin culture tends to beat around the bush a lot less then an english speaking one. Political correctness does not translate well from one culture to another. Just as an example we had a machinist here that lost a finger in a work accident. One time four of us were sitting in a cantina chewing the fat and solving the problems of the world and he held up his hand with his fingers extended to order another round of four beers. He was the one that cracked up the most when the guy brought three.

I doubt if any of that helps much in that particular situation, but the short answer is the only way to deal with that sort of feeling is talk to him and start out by telling him you are glad he recovered from the accident and let it progress from there.

Just as an interesting side note considering what sort of terminology to use y'all might consider that sometimes, despite their origen, words are just words. In Spanish the word for some one with a physical impairment is invalido, it comes from the same word that it looks like it comes from and I suppose if someone wanted to be sensitive about it they could be. But it is just a word and is commonly used and I have never heard any sort of discussion concerning its use.

It refers only to that physical condition and has nothing to do with the person himself. The people who are invalidos always have a name. Most appreciate it if someone tries to help them, if they can do it themselves they will usually say so and at that point the best thing is to say something like, "no problem, have a nice day".

Leo :cool.gif


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Ita erat quando hic adveni.

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunatley it kills all its pupils. - Hector Berlioz

"No matter where you go, there you are." - R. Young




íVistÚ! íTe lo dijÚ!
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Annabelle 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 05:14 PM
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One of the reason's I'D RATHER my friends know about my hearing problem (as I was telling a friend) how about if I met a guy and he said" babe let's have se* ", I might hear "I'm having my cat fixed". Now to people who can hear this sounds so different you will not be able to understand. But some sounds are more pronounced than others so I'd hear something completely different.
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PoniesRGr8 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 05:21 PM
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I was born with Cerebral Palsy, and although I appreciate assistance, such as when someone holds a door for me, etc., I like to be as independent as possible and try not to let my disability get in the way of how I live my life biggrin.gif

~*Sarah*~
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Knightly Knight 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 05:28 PM
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Ok Two Cents from the old Knight
My Dad has a severe limp. One leg is much shorter and and thinner than the rest.
So what did he do for a living? He stood on his legs cuttting hair. Being a barber had to be terrible because his left leg caused pain when he stood on it. If a man came to the shop in a wheelchair Dad would help him IF he wanted help. My Dad could have gone on governmental disabiliby but refused saying, As long as I can stand, I can work.

When I wake up tired and dont want to work I can think of Dad and just get up.
The only day he didnt go to work was because he went to the hospital the night before. Yep hes still alive, and retired

So I try to meet people where they are, give them as much help as they need, I try not to allow people to use me. I hope this is where people will meet me, at my need. I think watching Dad was a good thing for me.


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If Jimmy cracked corn and no one cares, Why is there a song about it?
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gettin-away 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 07:30 PM
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I have an brother who is three years older then I am. He deals with being Hydrocephalic (fluid on the brain) and because of this he is mentally and physically impaired. When I was young I volunteered one summer at our local Easter Seal Camp. Dennis (my brother) was a "camper" there along with many of his friends. The zest to embrace life here was incredible. I learned more from being here then I have being anywhere else. And this proved important for me later in my life. My daughter was born three months premature. She weighed only two pounds at birth. And she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and I was told she also had severe mental impairments. Her first year of "regular" school was with other children with severe disabilities. As her first year of school went by I saw her progress begin to slow down. I was able (with much hard work) to get her mainstreamed into the public school. In the beginning I was told she would not finish school.....twelve years later she proved everyone wrong by graduating with high honors. She was also the Homecoming Queen of her school. The first time a girl with a disability was ever chosen by this school. Two years later she was crowned Miss Hibernia of our community (Flint, Michigan). She rode in a green limo and oversaw the St. Patrick's Day Mass and the party afterwards. She is now a 4.0 college student soon to be a special education teacher. Being the sibling and the father of two incredible individuals has given me the opportunity to watch how others react. Some of the things I have seen have been horrible. Imitating the way my brother or daughter walked behind their backs to making fun of my brothers slower speech. But I have also seen people go out of their way just to be a friend. And that's the most important thing to do....be a friend.

One thing I always told my daughter as she grew up was to watch others. Everyone struggles with something. Some people have trouble seeing, some hearing, others with math or english and some have trouble walking.....but inside they are all the same. She has always treated everyone the same and she has always won there trust and acceptance.

Back in January, I started this thread
http://www.celticradio.net/php/forums/inde...?showtopic=2529
We all face obstacles.....everyone of us. And several people shared on this thread their own personal stories. Maybe it's time to bump it back up the list.

The last couple of years I have been working on a book about what my daughter and I have gone through. This is how I have ended it for now.

We have all seen someone with a disability. In the everyday rush of our lives we pay them no mind as we go along our way. Maybe it?s the guy at the grocery store, the one who is bagging our groceries, you know, the one that looks slow. Or the girl with Downs Syndrome that wipes the tables at the fast food restaurant up the road. How about the guy in the wheelchair who helps out in the cafeteria by handing out the ketchup and mustard packs to the kids. The little girl that man is holding in his arms. We see them everyday but we manage to look right through them. Over the years I find I am drawn to these people. I?ve learned their names and I?ve shared their smiles. The guy bagging groceries is my friend. I stop to shake his hand and joke with him almost everyday. The girl cleaning the table is doing the job that was waiting for my daughter. She?s always happy to see me. The guy in the school cafeteria is my brother. And the little girl that man is holding in his arms is my daughter. It?s so easy to give a little something to them, a smile, a friendly greeting. But often our first reaction is to step back. Think about their first reaction of you?.you finally make that breakthrough in your life and you approach them. You smile and say ?hello.? They glance at you and quickly look away, their face etched with uncertainty and mistrust. A person is not born with this reaction nor is it normal when you have a disability. It?s a conditioned reaction that takes years to develop. I saw the hurt and pain that my brother and his friends had to endure while growing up. Mandy on the other hand had classmates and peers who were incredibly supportive of her. When she needed their strength they never hesitated to give it. They were there. Now she has crossed a void into a world she wasn?t supposed to. Her disability hasn?t gone away, it never will, but because of these people - family, friends, teachers and even strangers believing in her she learned to believe in herself. She?s gone now, doing her own thing, living her own life and she rarely comes home. Does it hurt? Yes. But her future is fast approaching and she is in a hurry to embrace it. My future has changed again too. I don?t know what is ahead for me and I am struggling again to find out who I am. But I do know that I am tired. Over the years there have been many battles fought, some were won and some were lost. A lot of uncertainties, a future that was always evolving. And now I find myself slipping back more and more into the loner I once was. But, that?s okay. I can rest now and watch more miracles unfold.

God bless us everyone.
gettin-away


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Paradox...Dirty socks...Glacier Rocks...Goldilocks

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Crowned1 
Posted: 03-May-2004, 11:12 PM
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Wow, that is beautiful, gettin-away!
Let us know when you publish your book! wink1.gif


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SOME HAE MEAT AN' CANNA EAT

AND SOME WAD EAT THAT WANT IT

BUT WE HAE MEAT AN' WE CAN EAT

AND SAE THE LORD BE THANKIT.



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gettin-away 
Posted: 04-May-2004, 08:37 PM
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Thanks Crowned1

Hopefully, I will be able to publish this story someday. Maybe a few people will be interested enough to read it. But I wrote it mostly for myself. My daughters mom died when she was only three months old and we have been through some very difficult times. Putting this down has really helped me deal with things. Maybe someday it can help someone else too.

gettin-away
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 04-May-2004, 09:15 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions on how to deal with my feelings about my coworker. Doug is a really nice guy, so for his sake I am trying to work my way through these feelings. Its not easy, but I'll manage. Its been probably 2 years since the accident and it has gotten a little easier in that time, so Im sure given more time Ill get over it. Thanks again!


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SlÓn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba týr mo chridhe. 'S i GÓidhlig cÓnan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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gettin-away 
Posted: 07-May-2004, 10:15 PM
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Just had to add this note.....I just returned home tonight from a special Alumni dinner at my daughter's college. Awards were presented to several distinguished alumni members and also to current students who have received scholarships from the schools alumni. My daughter and another young lady were introduced as two of the highest achievers currently attending her college. The Dean of the Education Department (my daughter is studying to be a teacher) sat next to my daughter and I was able to watch as he described my baby as someone to keep an eye on. His prediction is that before she finishes her student teaching this fall she will be offered a permeant teaching position. And the school that hires here will be very very lucky.

Not bad for a kid who wasn't supposed to finish school.
(Sorry, I just had to brag a little!!)

gettin-away
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 08-May-2004, 09:21 AM
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You have EVERY right to be sooooo proud, gettin-away!
Wonderful news...and though it's your daughter doing so fine give yourself a little pat on your shoulder, too, Daddy! smile.gif


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"Now here's my secret", said the fox, "it is very simple. It is only with ones heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

("The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)


"The soul would have no rainbow, if the eye had no tears."
(Native American Proverb)
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peckery 
Posted: 08-May-2004, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ May 3 2004, 02:48 PM)
I think you need to stop this discussion before you really piss someone off and get a law suite against you or these forums!

I'm gonna sue you for saying that! king.gif
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