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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Instacart Review

Being in a wheelchair and nonverbal while trying to become an independent adult is very challenging. The simple things such as grocery shopping are almost impossible. Instacart has been a key part of my independence.Instacart App
Instacart is a web-based service that has contracts with many large grocery store chains. With a click of a button, you can order your groceries, and they get delivered to your house in less than 2 hours. Never again do I need to ask someone to take me to the grocery store or go for me. Also, getting around a crowded grocery store is extremely difficult in a wheelchair.
It does take time when you begin using Instacart to find the exact product you’re looking for. But, Instacart remembers your items so you can go back to things you order all the time. On the down side, there is a delivery fee and tip. However, all can be paid by credit card before they arrive, so I don’t have to ask anyone to give them cash.
With the goal of moving out of my parents’ house in a year, Instacart has given me a sense of self-esteem that I can do this. With the use of technology, I feel empowered and independent.

This blog first appeared on BridgingApps 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Teen with Cerebral Palsy Finds Acceptance in LGBTQ+ Community

(WOMENSENEWS)—Being born with any kind of disability can outcast you. Already, you are sitting in a corner feeling like there is nowhere you belong. As a bisexual girl with a disability, I’m beyond trying to fit in.
When I was born, I lost oxygen, which led me to have cerebral palsy. I am nonverbal and use eye-tracking technology to communicate. Basically, I use my eyes to indicate words and letters on a computer screen and then the computer "speaks" my words out loud. Despite this, my childhood was pretty normal. When I was in middle school, some girls made a guy ask me out as a joke. After a while of us "going out," he started to have feelings for me. Everybody teased him for liking a wheelchair girl. That was the end of our relationship. I felt rejected because I thought I was not attractive enough to overthrow the force of peer pressure.
When I was 12, things started to change. My girlfriends came over and we would have fashion shows and gossip, but something was off. During a movie, I would have my parents or caretaker assist me to go on the couch to snuggle with the girls under a blanket. Having their arms around me, I felt a sense of warmth that I didn’t understand yet.
Between the ages of 13 and 14, I had a best friend. We did everything together. We were inseparable. One night, we went out for dinner at our regular spot. While waiting for the check, she sat next to me and put my arm around her as she leaned onto my chest to rest. After dropping her off at her house, I asked my other friend why I wanted to kiss her. The response was, "There are not any boys that are interested right now, so maybe that's why." In the moment that sounded like a logical explanation and I went on with my life.

Longtime Denial

A year later, I realized I had feelings for another girl. I was in denial for a long time. The question was buzzing around my mind: Am I gay? I was confused because I was still checking out the football players. One afternoon my mom found me in my room crying. After an hour of my mom trying to get me to tell her why I was upset, I still wasn’t giving in. She just hugged me and said “Well, I always will love you even if you are in love with a 50-year-old, gay or killed somebody.”  We laughed, but still I was not ready to tell her.
Eventually, I got the courage to tell my mom about my feelings for the girl. I typed my story out, and called my mom into my room to talk. I was in tears when the computer spoke my message. Although I did not know what label I was, I told her all about my crushes, including boys and girls. I didn't stop crying for at least an hour while my mom just held me in her arms.
Doing research on the web, I found myself drawn to the word "bisexual." I slowly came out to my close friends and family. I was in shock about how accepting they were. I even told the girl that I was in love with her. As I came out to more and more people, I felt complete. However, a few people still tilt their heads at a girl in a wheelchair not only being sexual, but being bisexual too. One question I keep getting is, "How can I have sex with a guy much less than a girl?” My response always is "Well, that's just common sense. I have to be on the bottom which is so much fun."

Gay and Straight Alliance

The beginning of my junior year of high school, I was scrambling through the list of school clubs. I spotted the Gay and Straight Alliance. Although I was not straight or gay, I went to check it out anyway.
I was nervous because I didn't know how my peers would react to someone in a wheelchair who is bisexual. To my surprise, they were nothing but accepting. For instance, it was the night of homecoming. The entire club decided to come to my house to get ready. As I was going into my van, my wheelchair broke. My mom told my friends to go ahead. My parents managed to push me inside. As I felt tears running down my face, the doorbell rang. It was all the club members standing on the front porch with a girl holding a pizza box. I never felt more accepted in my life. My dad got out his tool box and got to work. By the time we were done eating, my chair was fixed. I gave him a big hug and ran out of the door with my friends. As the year went on, the more confident I became. I started to form more relationships. Within a year, I was the president of the club.
As an advocate for LGBTQ+ with disabilities, my plan is to become a public speaker or journalist to be a voice for this group. Still beyond trying to fit in, I’m going to use my status as an outsider to celebrate all bisexual girls in wheelchairs.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Challenges of Becoming an Adult

     Between the ages of 13 to 18, you grow up way too quickly, learning what it takes to become an adult. Trying to graduate from high school, getting your first job, having your first love, having your first heartbreak, and figuring out that love is physical as well as mental are all a part of this weird phase. Being a teen is hard for anybody, especially when you are physically challenged.

     I admit that I have always been a workaholic. To me, putting my all to my education is the key to success. I really want to go off to college, and become an independent woman who nobody can stop. My goal at the beginning of the year was to get all A's. After studying hard for the majority of everyday of this year, I reached my goal with the help of some amazing teachers and aides.

     Getting your first job is nerve-racking and very ambitious. For me being physically challenged, I was apprehensive of searching for a job because I was fearful that the employers would think I am not capable of holding  a job due to my disability. Nevertheless, I was determined to get a summer job. I called a few people before I was successful in getting a job where I would be in charge of writing blogs and newsletters for an organization. This will hopefully be a great opportunity for getting work experience before I graduate.

     For any teen, love and sex are totally new and confusing. I am not going to lie. When I had actual real feelings for someone for the first time, I literally freaked out. Trying to figure out what to do with these feelings and figuring out I can express them physically might be the hardest part of me growing up. This is because nobody can teach you how to handle your heart bursting out of your chest. Also, the most difficult thing is knowing fantasy from reality. Your heart might want someone so bad, but your brain knows the reality. When you put them together, it may cause a war inside of you. However, in the end, they will work as a team to find your destiny.

     From trying to graduate and getting a job to figuring out what love is, life of a teen and becoming an adult is hard for everybody. When you put a disability in the mix, it adds a lot more stress to normal life. Yet, I want to live my life to the fullest, and find my destiny.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Finding Myself

Whispers being forced into my ears.
Words rushing to my brain.
The power of pressure taking over my heart.
The confusion squeezing my soul.
Sitting on the top of the fence.
Deciding which way to go.
There’s a big group telling me to come over.
But my heart is over on the other side.
The cheerfulness and the happiness grabbing my attention.
As I bring my legs around over the fence.
My heart is screaming my name.
Mom standing there waiting for me to choose.
Faster faster faster.
As I jump to one side.
My shirt got stuck.

Now all over again 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Long Road To Love

What is love? Is it even real? Or does it only exist in movies and books? Some say when you meet the one, you will know. For me, the hunt started in kindergarten. Yes, I was always boy crazy. I am not going to lie about that because it is so true. All through elementary school to now I had a lot of crushes.

In elementary school, I had a lot of little boyfriends. One day, it was a field day at my school. All the parents were helping out with the games. I decided to ask my dad to come out to help, but I made the mistake of asking my dad not embarrass me because my boyfriend was there. When I came out on the field, there was my dad with a big fuzzy wig calling "Megan, I am over here ". I just turned around and drove the other way. However, my dad found my boyfriend and took a picture of him and my dad. Really? So long to that boyfriend!

Some guys are clueless. They think I can't handle a real relationship with them. Most guys see my disorder first and not my true person that I am. Or, they are too scared of what their friends would say if they knew he was seeing a disabled girl. Also, if it is not that, most guys only can think of me as a friend. However, I am trying to change their minds by being social and dressing up nice, but it is just not working.

I had a lot of disappointments and broken hearts, but I can't stop. I know there's a guy that is for me out there. I might not meet him in ten or fifteen years. But, I will find him and he will love me for who I am.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Help Me Give Back

 When I was small, I did a whole lot of therapy to help my body get stronger. My mother, worried and stressed, ask my therapist if there's anything else that we could do. She mentioned hippotherapy. My mother didn't understand, because if I couldn't sit up in a chair how could I ride a horse?

We went out anyway to try riding. In my mother's mind, SIRE would be hard therapy to make me stronger. When we got there, people started to help me get on the horse. I was just laying on the horse when we started walking into the arena. My mother was thinking what on earth did she do to me. However, when I turned around, I was smiling from ear to ear! Then, she realized that who cares if I was getting therapy because I finally am having fun.

After week after week I started to get stronger and stronger. I was sitting up right finally! My mother was so proud of me.

SIRE has really changed my life. It gave me strength and courage to get through my life. I just would like to give back something. However, I need help helping. So, I am asking you to donate to this really cool program. It does not have to be a lot, even $10. Please! Help me give back!

Click here to donate

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Challenge Of Changing

Becoming an adult is the most important thing to the human race, especially if you are a girl. In the teenage phase of life, you change a lot physically and mentally. Sometimes you change a lot in a short time. For me, it all happened in one summer.

Hiring a professional website designer was where all of this started. I knew that my website needed some updates, especially if I am becoming more well known. Unfortunately, my sister and I didn't know what to do different. I started to look into professional website designers. Although I had no idea where to find one or how to hire them, I managed to find someone and say here you go. My parents had nothing to do with this. I hired the designer by myself, and I work with her without any help. The designer Lisa Erickson, was incredible! She would always listen to my feedback, and change it if necessary. I would recommend Lisa if you want help with your website!

Before a month ago, I just had only one aide that would come Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Although she was the best, I needed some more help on the other days. So, I started contacting people that had worked with me. I found and hired one lady that worked with me in middle school. She would work Thursdays and Saturdays. I also hired someone else that would work Tuesdays. My parents didn't help me hire them. Now that I am older, I know what I need. I now handle all of my assistants by myself. My parents only handle the payments. This is a good start to becoming more independent.

I am starting school in a few days. I have some goals for this year. For someone in a wheelchair that always have aides by their side, it is easy to let them help you too much. For example, I use to let my aides tell my teachers what I need. Now that I am going into high school, I need to be responsible for myself.

I have change this summer! I am trying to be responsible for myself. Nobody knows better than me what I need. This is a new year, and I am ready for the challenge!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Not Able To Be Independent

Teenagers just eat and sleep at home these days. Maybe 9 hours at the most at home a day. We go out with friends, date, and rarely see our parents. Even before we could drive we go out the whole day. What if you are living in a wheelchair, and need someone right there to help. What if you don't have help everyday? You would be stuck at home.

Luckily, I have an aide Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. She is the best. However, what if I wanted to go somewhere with my friends Tuesday night? Would my mother go with me? When you are at the age of 14, it is not cool to hang with your parents all the time. What if I had a date, and my dad came with me. AWKWARD!

Sometimes I don't want my aide with me at all. Luckily, I have friends that know me well to help me when I don't have an aide with me. My friends know that I rarely have the chance to go out without any help, so whenever I have the chance to go out with just my friends, I take it.

Having an aide and going out with just my friends can be hard. I just want to be as independent as I can be.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Camp Smiles

Living at the age of 14 is hard enough. What if you had a disability? Would you go to a regular summer camp? Luckily, there's a big camp site where any disabled people can go called Camp For All. Each week / weekend is a different kind of camp where certain disabled people come. For example, my camp is Camp Smiles. Camp Smiles is for kids up to 14 that have cerebral palsy. Camp For All is like a regular camp. We do archery, paintball, swimming, ziplines, and etc.

Jessica and Me
I started to go when I was only 6 years old. I had the same camp buddy the first 2 years. But then I met my buddy that helped me for 6 years. Her name is Jessica McKinney. Jessica first did this camp to get some hours for her class. Unfortunately, within an hour at camp, she did it for our love that we share.

Kendall and Me
There's more people that I want to mention. First, Kendall Bentsen was the craziest girl at camp. Kendall
would type on my DynaVox that I wanted to horseback ride with the really cute
cowboy. When she played that message, I got so red. Unfortunately, when I came back from riding, I was smiling from ear to ear.

Margaret and Me
Margaret Johnson was my old cabin leader. Margaret was always there for me when I needed help. She wouldn't let us be late to the activities. She would also make me try everything which I needed. However, when I try something that she made me do, I would always love it.

Amanda and Me
Amanda Renee was a buddy for a different girl. I felt that her buddy, Jessica, me, and Amanda were like pairs. We would do everything together. Amanda didn't go this year, and it was not the same.

There's many more people that I would talk about, but it would be like 5 pages. I am sorry if I didn't mention someone. I want to talk about how much fun I had. My favorite thing to do at camp is staying up until 4am in the morning on the last night. We would talk and gossip
all night in the bathroom while the rest of the campers were asleep. I felt so special!

On the last day. We did a ceremony because some people in my cabin were graduating too. The buddies did a speech about every camper. Jessica did a wonderful speech about me, and I surprised her with a speech too. To the right is a video of the speeches.

Unfortunately my Camp Smiles chapter is over. This is not the end to these relationships between these amazing girls. I look at it as the next chapter of becoming true friends.