Jeanie is a ray of sunshine on a dark dreary day, a candle in the dark of night, the most positive person your mind can conceive. She says that each day she wakes up breathing is a blessing. She was not suppose to live to be 15, she will be 57 April 24th. She says a little pain reminds her that she is alive. She lives with pain every minute of her life. The joints in her hips , knees, ankles and feet are fused. She has some movement in her shoulder, neck elbows and hands. Complaining is not something Jeanie knows how to do and she appreciates everything that is done for her. She is never short with "thank you" and her favorite saying is "Just because I can"
Jeanie has suffered an incredible amount of pain in her life. One of those times was when they were taking water off her knees. She had tears running down her cheeks but she uttered not a sound. She totally disconnected from her body and to this day she says she don't remember the pain. She still uses pain management in the form of breathing and imagery today.It has become even more important since she was diagnosed with Dystonia in 2007 but we will get to that later.
She wore body cast day and night for about a year to try to stop the advancing . She was used as a test case for every new arthritis medication that came out.
Jeanie did not attend public school until the 4Th grade.Before that she had a tutor that came 2-3 times a week. She was an outstanding student and eager to learn. Even after she started to the handicapped public school she was in and out of the hospitals. She finished the last half of her 8Th grade year in the hospital.
Jeanie at her Sweet 16 Birthday party in her first custom built portable wheelchair that really fit. She was fitted for this wheelchair at 13 when she could no longer walk with crutches. We still use this chair on some occasions today.
Jeanie at High School graduation in coyote 2, her second electric wheelchair.
Jeanie started and graduated high school with the age people that she should have been with, which is a testimonial to her dedication and determination to learn. She was very shy and said she always felt like an odd duck in high school. When she got around her peers they were always talking about things that were so trivial and she was talking like a doctor. She always felt best when she was helping someone with a problem. She enjoyed tutoring some of the other disabled students as well as some of the football players so that they could pass and play.
Tomorrow its find and apartment and off to college.
I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me