disabilities, disabled, Girl Scout cookies, Girl Scouts, Handicaps, Humanity, Kyphosis, medical, Physical Disabilities, Scoliosis, society, Uncategorized

Former Girl Scout: Top Cookie Seller

The Girl Scouts of America promotes character, outdoor activities, good citizenship, and service to others. As a child, I was a girl scout; and one of the top cookie sellers, thank you very much. HAHA! I joined girl scouts when I was in kindergarten. A few weeks into the year, our troop was about to get broken up, because our troop leader was moving or something, so they called a meeting and asked for volunteers to be leader; desperate to keep my friends and me together, I picked my mom’s arm up, and she got stuck being leader. Sorry, Mom for that! I enjoyed girl scouts, it was a fun way to keep up with my friends: we did crafts, went on outings, etc. Since mom was the leader I thought I’d get away with a lot; but, boy was I wrong! If I tried to pull a stunt, like not do an activity, etc., she’d pull me aside and fuss me/correct me. I’m not complaining, I wish she’d have done that more to help me face fears, instead of just doing activities I didn’t want to do due to laziness.

I loved it when it was cookie-selling time; I have always been very competitive and since I don’t have the physical ability to do sports, I do it with stuff like this, or games at the fair/games at Gatti-Land, and now the casino. When it was cookie-selling time, Mom would take the sheet to work, I’d go in the neighborhood, ask family, etc., just like I’d do for school fundraisers; I was very driven to get those prizes! It sure helps when you know almost ¾ of your hometown and you are a social “butterfly”.

In Girl Scouts, they also would have tea parties (I loved the cucumber sandwiches), holiday parties, we once slept over at the church hall, a lot of really fun memories; well, except the campout in the backyard, that was miserable. We got eaten alive by the mosquitos!

In 4th grade, we stopped girl scouts, because mom started working full time, and no one was willing to take over our troop, so it just fell apart. It was kind of sad because it gave me a sense of “normalcy” of a girl’s childhood, but mom always found a new activity for me to keep me entertained.

I sure do miss those days of cookie selling, earning patches, and being competitive; it was those days, I hadn’t realized I was different because I was surrounded by friends who treated me just like everyone else. Girl Scout forever!

Back Braces, Childrens Hospitals, disabilities, disabled, hospitals, Kyphosis, medical, Physical Disabilities, Scoliosis, Shriners Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children

Scoliosis Journey: Becoming a Shriners Patient, back braces, and possible child abuse?

It was on a trip to New Orleans Children’s Hospital for an orthopedic doctor appointment we were stopped by state police for speeding. Never before in dad’s life has he ever gotten off with just a warning. The officer was a Shriner. He gave his business card to my parents and told them about the wonderful work of the Shrine Club, which is free to families. After a few more visits to New Orleans doctor, they decided to get a 2nd opinion. My parents wanted a 2nd opinion because the private physician kept changing his mind about when surgery should be performed. I was starting to pull up. He bounced back & forth as to waiting until after I started to walk or before. They didn’t feel he was confident about what would be best for me. Mom called the local Shrine club; 2 very nice gentlemen came out the following day with paperwork and took pictures of me. Shortly thereafter I became a Shriners Hospital for Children-Shreveport patient. Shrine doctor decided it would be better before I started walking. Why wait? It had to be done anyway. Mom and I went to Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport, LA a few days before surgery. Surgery was done at Christus Shumpert. I had to stay on my back in ICU for a few days. My parents had a room in the hospital with the freedom to come into ICU anytime to see me. The 1st night after surgery, I rolled onto my stomach and got up in crawl position just as mom walked into the room to check on me. I was being monitored in the nurse station. My nurse came running into the room to put me on my back; Even back then, I was such a little rascal and terrifying the nurses! LOL. After a brief time in the hospital, I was discharged with a cast around the torso area. The cast had a hole in the stomach area around the belly button. I complained about itching inside the cast. Dad would vacuum inside the cast using the long nozzle.

Shreveport is about a 3-hour drive from my home. I remember those trips to Shriners Dr. appointments so well because they were so memorable. During these trips, we had a tradition of going to the mall down the road afterward for Lunch at Piccadilly and then shopping; I especially loved going near Christmas time or Valentine, because I could get holiday shopping done.

Since it was a 3-hour drive, we often left my house extremely early; sometimes when I was much smaller: I’d pack a bag the night before and my parents would just load me up while I was still asleep in the morning. I was so small, I could slink down out of sight and change in the backseat of the vehicle. We’d often stop at McDonald’s to get breakfast; which mom and I often split the “Big Breakfast” and if there was time, she’d let me play in the playground for a tiny bit. Upon getting to Shriners Hospital, Mom and I would go sign in, and then I’d run off to go play in the waiting area and, of course, make new friends with other children. As I got into the preteen years, I no longer wanted to play with the pretend kitchen set, and would watch the movie they had on or go on the computer to get on Myspace or whatever; sometimes while waiting, I’d go to the cafeteria area and get popcorn or a cookie or a soda.

Once they called me to the back, we’d go straight to “weighing” and then to X-ray. I remember when I’d get weighed, they would often tease/joke with me because I hadn’t gained much in 6 months and they’d jokingly ask “does your mother feed you?!” To which I would laugh and say “yes, I eat like a horse; it just doesn’t stick to these boney hips!” (I also had really bad stomach problems so everything would pretty much go right through me.) In X-ray, I knew the routine of how they wanted me to stand: Back facing them, arms wrapped around something a metal box thing, feet slightly apart. I always got stickers and a stuffed animal/toy if I behaved in X-ray right away, instead of sometimes being mischievous and acting like I didn’t know the routine. After X-ray, it was to go bring my X-rays to the nurse/doctor meeting lounge area and then go sit up front and wait to be called back to be put in a clinic exam room to see my Dr.; Dr. Richard McCall.

Upon getting placed in a room, there wasn’t much to do in the room and sometimes he would take forever, so I’d go in the hallway and peek into the nurse/doctor lounge and giggle, spying on them while they looked at patients’ x rays, playing peek-a-boo: hiding when they’d look my way; Sometimes, I got caught by the nurses/doctors eyesight, but half the time, they’d just play along. I could always tell which X-ray was mine and I would sometimes go right up behind Dr. McCall while he was looking mine over and I’d point out “that’s mine!” and would trace the curve outline with my finger: He was so patient with me and my fascination; he’d sometimes sit me on his computer chair, and show me where the Scoliosis started and his ideas for future surgery “Once you go through puberty, “ yadda yadda yadda, a plan that never went to full fruition during my Shreveport checkups because my body had waited so long to “go through puberty” and the risk of paralyzing me was too great according to him when they discharged me at 17.5 years of age.

I remember one time, I think it was coming back from a checkup appointment, I for some reason stuck my head under mom’s driver seat of our Ford truck; she had to pull over because I got my head stuck. Why was I such an odd child?

I had to wear a body brace due to my Scoliosis. For those who do not know, bracing is sometimes a treatment for Scoliosis patients. I had to wear my brace from 2 years of age, until 8 years of age, when the doctors decided the bracing wasn’t helping; it might’ve been because I’d “pull a Houdini” and escape out of it. I despised that brace: it was hot, itchy, and so uncomfortable; when I’d take it off, I would scratch my itchy body for like 15 minutes straight. The undershirts for the brace, that were supposed to help, didn’t help that much. The only reason I liked my brace was that I had protection if someone hit me in the stomach area and because I had a place to put all my stickers. The worst part of the brace beside the itchy hotness of it was being molded for a new one. Being molded for a new brace was the worst because they use plaster of Paris or something like that to make them, and when they mold your spine, it gets hot and burns: I only remember being molded for a new one, once; I cried and screamed, throwing a tantrum, saying I hated them, until afterward when I got a toy to cheer me up; I named the doll “Cynthia,” because I was obsessed with Rugrats at the time, and it looked like Angelica’s Cynthia doll.

It didn’t do much good for me, so I was able to discontinue the brace after age 8. I had lots of memories of my brace.

There was a “game” I liked to play with my mom. I called it “Suitcase game” where mom would hold me by the straps of my brace and swing me in the air like I was a suitcase. How anyone never called child protective services, I will never know. Another memory was one of my mom’s favorite memories of me in my brace. They had Velcro straps on the back of it and Mom thought it was out of my reach. This memory shows another factor in my determination. We happened to be going somewhere and I was asleep in my car seat. Mom says I sat up in my car seat, eyes still closed. She says I reached behind myself, undid the Velcro straps, then proceeded to stick my arms into the brace, and push it away from my body; Escaping out of it. She says, before that happened, she would not know how I’d escape out of it because I would be put to bed in it, and when she’d come in the next morning to wake me up, I was out of it. Now she knew; somehow she always discovered any of my secret tricks! I eventually always got busted! HAHA!

I didn’t like my brace because when it was very hot outside, I would sweat and it’d start to itch, but other than that it didn’t bug me that much, except after eating because I always had stomach aches after eating. I did however like it whenever my body would get put in dangerous situations: my brace would’ve protect me: When I fell and knocked out my front teeth, I didn’t hurt my back because I was in my brace; When I had a girl that thought I was a baby doll and would carry me around, she dropped me one day, the only thing that got hurt, was my butt because my back was protected by my brace. Even though I hated it as a child if I had it on maybe I wouldn’t be so achy all the time now. I don’t know, just kind of wish I didn’t have the aches I am having now—Old Age Sucks!    

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new business adventure; Becoming an Avon rep.

As someone with a disability, the future is always uncertain and scary. I have always had doubts and questions about what I could do as a job or career because anytime I get sick or have a pain day and end up in bed, the worry and doubt come in; “How will I work? No one will want to hire if I can never go into work!, How will I function at work with pain if my pain meds knock me on my butt and make me tired?” On and on, the worries come in and circle in my head until I am an emotional, anxious mess. 

That is the beauty of at-home businesses; you can be your boss, control when you work, your work can be done from a mobile device or computer, etc. 

Avon is technically not new to me; my Mom used to sell it when I was in High school and I did help her by promoting them at school. I enjoyed it and I am very social when not in pain, plus I know how to use my social media outlets to my advantage. 

Hopefully, I will have luck with it 🙂 Anyway, if interested in ordering with me here is my website https://www.youravon.com/jcormier

Wish me luck! ❤

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Depression..The silent killer.

It’s officially December and I am not in the Christmas spirit like usual. Usually, I would be going all out with decorations and such, but not this year- maybe lights and that’s it. Due to moving in Jan. We don’t want to have to haul extra stuff than what is needed. Plus, it will be the first Christmas without Mommie, Mr. Mike James, my cousin Racheal Mary Meche, Ms. Nancy Moticka

It has been too much death in one year; not to mention all the other I care about who isn’t around anymore either- My other grandmother (maw), and then one of the most influential women in my life, Mrs. Evelyn Zehner, “Mrs. Z” from Camp we can do. It’s just so hard… I know there are worse people off, but for some reason I just cannot get into the spirit yet this year. Is it because of not decorating much this year, the financial stresses and having to ask mom to loan money for us to buy Christmas gifts until David can find a job? I don’t know. Just tired of always being miserable. I can’t remember the last time I was sincerely happy for more than a few hours.

😥 I don’t know, I just been depressed all day today. Hopefully, I can get out of this funk. Prayers appreciated. I hate it when I get depression.

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Dreamers can dream and dream big

I have lots of interests and lots of dreams. One is to operate a successful food truck (yes, I love to cook and bake). Another is to get my youtube channel going and inspire those also dealing with physical differences and show that nothing is impossible. I also am interested in writing and publishing books (one being my life story, others being books of creative writing works and children’s literature). I also would like to write for childrens tv and movies, especially including characters with different special needs, I’ve also been inspired by seeing the new creations of dolls with special needs and the creation of clothes for children with special needs…I’d like to help do more of that- more special needs included in the toys, and more clothes/costumes for those with special needs, and have my own makeup/accessories line/ clothing line-especially sell shirts that relate to my disabilities of EDS and KyphoScoliosis, etc, but my biggest dream is to open my Own version of a discovery zone type establishment.
Dreamers can dream and dream big.

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Rewrite the stars- Greatest Showman song- relates to my relationship with my fiance’

Last night, I was on my pain meds and as usual the drugs made me a sappy, hormonal, emotional wreck; especially when all they do is make me tired and don’t actually help my pain, and as tired as I am, I cannot get comfy enough to actually go to sleep- which causes me to become irritable, frustrated, and emotional. Warning: Below, is how I feel on those kinds of days. You’ve been warned.

Don’t get me wrong, I do absolutely love my fiance’ and most of the time I cannot absolutely at all fathom my life without him, but on my really bad pain days when I am cooped up in the house on pain meds and can’t stand my own life, I relate to Zendaya’s lyrics of the song.

He is so positive and confident about us, and I am like that girl (because of my age difference and looking like a kid, and my disability- the “mountains,” and “doors can’t walk through”) and what the world thinks. and just waiting for him to realize that it is hopeless and impossible for us to truly be happy together. I am always thinking “he didn’t sign on for all these issues: Me hurting all the time, me lashing out at him because I am hurting and frustrated; because I’m irritable.. How can I expect him to love me when I don’t even love myself?”

Maybe he’ll teach me a thing or two, or maybe if I have such idle time, pay attention to the negativity.
It’s a lot of self-esteem issues and idle time, pain meds causing depression, being bullied from a very young age (5 years old)- it’s hard to escape the “voices” of my past, but I am working hard on it because I do love him and I know he loves me.

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What is Normalcy?

What is normalcy?  Normality is the condition of being normal; the state of being usual, typical, or expected, but what is “normal”? The definition of Normal can be defined as conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.  As humans, especially around the ages of adolescence, all the way up to adulthood, we seek to be accepted; to be “normal,” but who are we to decide what is and isn’t normal?

                If someone is different than us: whether it be in beliefs, religions, color of skin, sexuality, behaviors, physical appearances, etc., we make judgments and assumptions. Due to culture or who we grow up around, sometimes if we see a male with black skin, we assume they are dangerous.  If a child acts up in the store, we assume they need butt-whooping and are lacking discipline, when really there could be underlying issues such as Autism or some other mental disability. If an Autistic child has a sudden “spasm” of energy and bounces around, we judge it as “weird,” or “funny,” and often times our teenage “normal” children mock and make fun of such behaviors.  If we know someone is homosexual or “gay,” we automatically think/judge that those people are “going to hell,” due to religions’ teachings.  We think “our way” is the right way and all or any other ways are all wrong, but God made us all different with different talents and gifts, shouldn’t our differences be celebrated instead of us being crucified and stoned to death for them?  No Matter the differences, we are all human and we all bleed the same. Who are we to Judge others, when we as humans, all have sins and “Skeletons in our closets”? We are not God, even if you don’t believe in him, we have no right to judge others when we have our own faults. Why can’t there be more love in the world and less hate, bullying, and ill-will towards others; like the Black- Eyed Peas’ song, “Where Is the Love?” We as a species need to learn to “drop the arms” and learn to hug it out instead, or we will end up fighting ourselves into extinction.  I, for one, refuse to be “Normal,” I want to be Abnormal. 

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“What is Normal?” Poem

What is normal?

Is there an exact definition?

What does it look like?

Is it defined as:

Someone who looks like you?

But how can that be,

When everyone is designed differently?

                Does it have a common religion?

Or language speak?

Once again, how is that a possibility?

When each person varies,

In faith and speech?

                I know!

Maybe, perhaps, it is someone who behaves as you?

Once again, this cannot be,

The way they present themselves,

And act publicly,

Could be to show off,

Or due to some disability.

                So, I ask this question repeatedly,

What is normal?

To me,

The word does not exist,

Except by segregationists

                Do you wish to segregate?

And insinuate hate?

No? Then hear my plea,

Let’s erase this word,

From every persons’ mouth,

Erase it from the world’s vocabulary.

What is normal?

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anxiety, tears, adorable kids, and pizza; My “Today”

Today was not great of a day except for one little event during the middle of the day. I had gotten a ticket from Build-a-bear for the “Pay your age,” event and was able to take my “future nieces” (older one being 9 years old and the baby, 9 months.) However, earlier that day was not great. 

It started by my 9-year-old “future niece,” going to get the mail at my apartment mailbox; I got a letter from St Louis billing department saying that I was “denied,” hardship assistance and didn’t meet the national poverty requirement (how is not having health insurance besides Louisiana Medicaid, and only living on SSI and food stamps, not poverty?) – side note: called and talked to someone and got it straightened out, after I had already had my anxiety panic attack because “I need this surgery but I don’t wanna go into debt and cause my family and friends to go into debt for it.” However, I had to put that anxiety attack away to go enjoy the build-a-bear event with my fiance’, his sister, her husband, and the two children. 

The older sister got a “Siamese looking” cat that she named Melody and their mom picked out an adorable bear and put in a “giggle sound,” that made my 9-month-old “future niece,” smile at; we named the bear Giggles. We probably spent more than we wanted to- because if we’d done just the stuffies with no sounds or accessories, it’d have only been $10, but we got each a sound (Melody had a cat sound and the Giggles had the giggle sound effect) so add in $9 more dollars, and then each got one accessory- the cat got a purse, and I don’t remember what the baby got for hers.) The total was $31 something, so $31-$19= the two accessories costing $12 together so about $5 or $6 each. We covered about $10-15 each. It was worth it. I got to forget my anxiety and play with my “future nieces” especially the cute baby. LOL. I love them both, but adorable babies (when not crying and screaming) seem to make the world go right and make you forget your stress, whereas an older child who may not be able to entertain herself that well, may stress you more.)

After Build-a-bear, we went to eat at Cici’s pizza buffet. It was okay. I watched them feed the baby pieces of brownie and how she made that adorable smile at the taste of the chocolatey goodness, and my 9-year-old “future niece,” wanted me to sit by her. She tells me all the time she loves me, she constantly hugs me and wants my attention. She doesn’t seek that from her uncle; she’s even gone as far as to tell the family, “If DJ and Jamie break up, can we keep Jamie instead?” to which the family always corrects her, “aunty Jamie,” and I’m just thinking “don’t force her to call me something if it doesn’t feel natural to her. she doesn’t call DJ, “Uncle DJ,”  LOL.  

After Cici’s pizza buffet, we departed ways; they were going see a Movie at the theater where my fiance’ brother in law worked at; I think it was only so the 9-year-old wouldn’t beg to stay longer with me and her uncle at the apartment complex, because at the Build-a-bear thing, when we were leaving, she kept saying, “I wish I didn’t have to go home. I wanna stay longer with yall.” Which broke my heart having to be stern and tell her “no,” because she needed to get back and do her Homeschool SchoolWork and plus I didn’t feel that I could entertain her properly: I was still stressing about that letter, in the back of my mind. I told her, we’d try to get her again before I have my surgery in August. 

When I got home, I finally had gotten in touch with someone in billing to discuss the letter about being “denied,” financial assistance. They explained that despite it being out of state Medicaid, they were still going to try to file with them, so currently, my balance showed $0.00. The department explained that if Medicaid denies the claim and if I get another bill, just to call them back and explain how I got another bill, and to reprocess my application for financial assistance. So all that anxiety and worry and my panic attack, were basically for nothing because I am not completely “denied,” just denied if Medicaid accepts the claim. I hate how they word the letters, it makes worry creep in. Mom said it was a lesson I need to learn because if I want a family, I can’t be freaking out like that all the time. She also explained how I am not alone in this “battle,” for my obstacles and stuff with my disabilities, I have family, friends, David, his family, etc. But overall that it is the devil playing with me and doesn’t want me to trust in God my father and savior. I need to tell him, “be gone, Satan. My God, my father, loves me and I am wonderfully made for a purpose. He has led me this far for a reason.” 

I will try to do better to trust in my God and savior, my loving father, my almighty creator. Amen.

Also when I got home, it started raining so of course, my back started hurting, so I took a 3-hour nap on Pain meds. After waking up, my stomach decided to reject the pizza (I am guessing it was the pizza: my abdomen was swollen, I was bloated and cramping so bad that it sent pain into my sides, my sides of my abdomen were sensitive to touch, and the really bad cramps left me short of breath. It is slowly getting relief after Tums and Pepto Bismol and just time.

Sometimes I wish my life was easy, but God never promised an easy life- Thank you, Adam and Eve, for original sin messing everything up; if they wouldn’t have given in to the serpent’s temptations, we’d all be happy and carefree, running around butt- naked in the Garden of Eden and not knowing any pain or difference. No bullying, no stress, no strife. *Sigh* Paradise lost. However, we are not alone, Jesus, God’s only son, had to die on the cross for crimes he didn’t commit. He suffered, why should we be any better than him and not have to suffer? the answer is, we shouldn’t. Anyway, I am rambling now. Goodnight, God Bless, and try to find the silver lining 🙂