Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Social Media & Disability


I'm a freakin' idiot, I took my medications two hours later than I should have tonight. Lucky for me pain level isn't terribly high at the moment. 

I figured I'd give y'all fair warning... CRIPPIE GOT A PINTEREST ACCOUNT. Yes, Crippie has yet another social media website account. Me thinks Pinterest is kinda like Tumblr with less pictures of peoples pets and delicious things that they made for dinner. I made several Pinterest boards for graphic design and home decor but most importantly I made a board devoted to CRIPPLES! My dream for my little cripple board is for it to become a massive Pinterest board, so if anyone here wants to become part of my cripple board, follow me on Pinterest, ask me to join the board, and fill the board with your pictures of awesome cripple related pictures! C'mon I know we can do this. 

I can't believe how much I'm getting into this whole "social media scene". I used to hate social media with a passion. Growing up I never had a myspace. I pretty much only use facebook for stalking keeping in touch with friends. Hell, I just joined Twitter in January because I forced to (I took a social media class in college). Once I started joining twitter, tumblr, various blogger sites I realized how awesome it was. A few days ago I realized that the reason I love it all s'darn much is because it makes me feel kinda normal in sense. Whenever I post pictures of my pets on my tumblr I feel like an average 20 something posting pictures of their pets to tumblr, and if I had pretty food I would totally post that too. 

Apart from the sense of normalcy social media brings me, it also brings me some valuable resources for my disability. Twitter is a great place to find medical articles, pain relief tips, and general articles pertaining to social issues about disability. Also each new social media venture brings the opportunity to meet new people. Thanks to social media I've met new cripple friends, shared cripple stories, shared cripple information, gotten cripple advice etc. Social media makes it so much easier for cripples to find other cripples. It makes it easier for us to connect with each other and ultimately with the spread of information, improve many cripple's quality of life. So yeah... social media is awesome... except google+ I still don't see use of that one. 

Crippie's Tippie- Follow my Pinterest, let's make a giant cripple board! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Working With Pain

Hey Y'all!

I took my pain medication an hour later than I should've and boy am I feeling the consequences. Lesson learned, and I hope you all have learned from my fail.

While I'm on the subject of pain, people have been asking me how pain effects me at the office. I'm not gonna lie, there have been times whilst at work where I've been temporarily rendered useless by pain. I could hardly type a few days ago. My arthritis was so bad that it literally hurt me to press the shift key with my pinky finger. Regardless of how much pain I might be in at any given time I refuse to let my coworkers know it. The moment I put the "pain card" on the table people are gonna start treating me differently. So here is what Crippie does for pain management at work...
1) Take pain medication regularly- I take pain medication every morning before work, usually that helps take away the worst pain. If I am in more pain during the day I just take another pill.
2) Hot Water- When I couldn't type I took a quick bathroom break and ran my hands under hot water for a few minutes. It loosened my hands up enough so I could continue work.
3) Take a super quick break- If my pain is so bad that I literally can't do anything I just sit at my desk for a minute or two until it passes.

While these work relatively well, at the moment my biggest life saver is SQUISHY!
I Shall Call You Squishy, & You Shall Be Mine, & You Shall Be My Squishy
Squishy is technically a "sensory stimulator gel pad" and is used to calm down "agitated, diminished capacity, elderly people". Squishy looks like something you would buy to keep your hands in a good position while working on a keyboard, so no one at work seems to notice the giant blue squishy thing on my desk. Not only does Squishy keep my wrists comfy but it also me message my fingers when they stiff, distracts me when I am in too much pain to focus, and it helps me focus when I get tired. 

Fidget toys in general have kept my functioning for years, but Squishy is probably the more "grown-up" fidget toys I own. One of these days I do a post devoted to the rest of my collection.

Crippie's Tippie- Don't stray from your medication schedule. Bad things happen when you forget your pills.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Working With A Disability- Day Nine

Howdy Y'all

Crippie had a very good day today. I got my very first pay check today. It's little normal moments like that that make me feel... well... normal. Work is going pretty well if I do say so myself. Listening to music and nomming on smarties and gum definitely help me stay focused. The one downside of the smartie noshing is that my boss literally thinks I am addicted to them. I need to find more nosh items. I'm looking for portable, not messy food that is sold in giant quanities. Any suggestions readers?

Moving on to a question that I have been asked recently, "how do your co-workers treat you?" So far all of my coworkers have been wonderful to the little newbie. No one has asked why I walk with a cane. I get the feeling that people are curious but they are afraid to ask. Me thinks people are afraid of offending me and causing a big discrimination issue in the office. The only time my disability was brought up was when I mentioned that the only ramp to the building is blocked off, and how that is really not a good idea. I was taken into a back room to be told that the ramp is only "sorta" blocked and that it is still usable. It's kinda weird how people feel the need to be "hush hush" about the whole "I'm a cripple" thing. Oh well, as long as my coworkers are nice to me that's all that matters.

Off-topic, I took a very cute picture of my guinea pig Aggie. Aggie is my chunky monkey.

Crippie's Question- To my fellow crippies in the workforce, do you tell your bosses what's wrong with you? Did they ask? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Doctor Visits and Blind Puppies

Hello There!

I hope everybody has been enjoying their week. I've been pretty busy working. Thursdays are my days off so I did what any normal 22 year old would do on a day like this, I went to my pain management doctor for my bi-monthly checkup. The check-up went well, no complaints and no med changes, works for me. My doctor got to see my in my full out "it is raining and I can't move" mode and she was quite fascinated by it.
I think that having a nice doctor makes the whole "having to go to the doctor" experience suck a whole lot less. If my physician was a total asshole I would be pretty miserable about having to go. I mean, whenever I have to go to this doctor I have to walk into a building that is filled with sick, elderly people, thus making me feel sick and old. Answering all the initial questions like "how long have you this problem" and "where does it hurt" with answers like "all of my life" and "well... lets just say everything from the neck down hurts" can be very disheartening, especially when the nurse very awkwardly says "oh". Luckily my doctor is awesome, she treats me like a human, a young one at that. We had a dandy conversation about me finding employment and all fun stuff. All the other crap related to doctor's visits I can deal with, lord knows there are people who have far worse experiences. I cannot deal with a crappy doctor, I'd have to be pretty freakin' desperate before I let some jerk take care of me.

On a lighter note, my "niece" Helen is adjusting to life at my house rather nicely. She's getting very good at not smacking into walls. You can hardly tell she is blind sometimes. Naturally Auntie Crippie spoils Helen and gives her lots of treats and belly rubs. I figured you guys would want to behold the cuteness that is Helen, so here are some pictures of us chillin'

Crippie's Tippie- Finding a doctor that treats you like a person versus a patient sometimes makes all the difference in the world.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Invisible Illness


This week marks "Invisible Illness Week"! Invisible Illnesses, or as I like to call them "ninja illnesses" are illnesses that cannot be observed by the naked eye. To show my solidarity for ninja illnesses I completed a survey that I found on Invisible Illness Week's Website.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know-
1. The illness I live with is: Multiple Hereditary Exostoses 
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1989
3. But I had symptoms since: 1989
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Having to use a cane to walk
5. Most people assume: I was in some form of car crash
6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting up, sometimes I'm in a lot of pain
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House... because IT'S NEVER LUPUS 
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my computer, it connects me to the world when I physically cannot
9. The hardest part about nights are: trying to find a comfortable position
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: 2-3 pills a day, 1-3 vitamins 
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: like to dapple in it occasionally, but most of them don't work for my issues
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible, so people I don't know would think I'm normal
13. Regarding working and career: work around your disability and do what you can do
14. People would be surprised to know: I can actually walk pretty fast when I have to
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: This isn't a new reality for me, it's just reality
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: have perfect attendance in high school AND college... BOO YA
17. The commercials about my illness: Commercials? 
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Again, not applicable 
19. It was really hard to have to give up: It's hard to give up my mobility
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: not running
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Dance, do gymnastics, physical stuff
22. My illness has taught me: That you have to deal with the hand you're dealt
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "I feel so sorry for you" I really don't need your pity
24. But I love it when people: Ask me how I'm doing or congratulate me on something I did
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Rise & Fly
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That everything will be okay
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: It gives you a clearer perspective on life
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Sent me a facebook message saying get well soon
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: To show that just because someone looks normal, you can't always assume that they are
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Peachy Keen

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Hi everyone,

As we all know, today was the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I've lived in New York all of my life, so my memories of that day and the aftermath are very vivid.

Where was I when I heard the news- I was 12 years old. I was in my third period science class. The principal came on the PA system and said that two planes had crashed into the Twin Towers and an addition plane had crashed into the pentagon. After the announcement my teacher looked down on the ground for a second, shook his head, and continued with the lesson.

When did I realize that the world had forever changed- When I came home from school I saw the footage of the towers falling. I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach that the world would never be the same.

The Aftermath- My dad works in the city. He was on a rooftop when the plane that was going to hit the South Tower flew over his head. He saw the faces of the people in the plane. Over the next few days we learned about neighbors and friends who had lost someone in the attack. One of my little sister's classmates lost her father and uncle. I remember going to her father's memorial service. I saw that little seven year old girl dressed in black clinging to her mother and I thought "what in the hell did this girl do to deserve this".

How did this effect my life- Before 9/11 the world's problems didn't seem that terrible. It really was the loss of innocence. Everything changed from that point on, for worse and for better.

Crippie's Tippie- May we never forget the lives lost on that terrible day, may we never forget the people who were effected in some way or another. And most importantly, may we never let it happen again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Working With A Disability: Day 3

Hi Everybody!

Today was my third day of work. It went pretty well. I wasn't terribly achy, I guess the whole "not raining" thing helps. It also looks like I am going to be working more days a week, but fewer hours each day, so my chronic fatigue is very happy.
Speaking of chronic fatigue, I've been trying to find ways of coping with it during work. As mentioned in the prior post, I tried noshing on "smarties" which seems to work rather nicely. Naturally if I nosh on smarties several times a day every week I won't have teeth next year. The simple solution to this is obtain a crap load of chewing gum. Chewing gum is actually a highly accepted way of dealing with fatigue, pain, and short attention spans. Today I also experimented with listening to music. Of course this depends on where you work, but all the designers where I work listen to their headphones. As long as I only use one earbud my boss doesn't mind. Listening to music really helped me focus today.
On a totally different note, anyone who has checked out my Tumblr, might have seen this little face...
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newest addition to my family, Helen. Helen is a three year old Shih Tzu who enjoys snuggles, food, and belly rubs. Helen is also blind (hence the name Helen) so she occasionally rams into a wall. Helen is technically my sister's dog so... I'M AN AUNTIE!

Crippie's Tippie- Don't let chronic fatigue get in the way of what you have to do, simple tricks can help you function pretty normally.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Working With A Disability: Day 1

Ohai Everyone!

My first day on the job was today, boy howdy am I tired. Work itself went perfectly fine, once I figure everything out there I be quite good at it. Now the main issue will always be "how will my disability effect my work". From what I can tell so far my main problems will be...
1) Chronic Fatigue- I get really tired really easily, I didn't physically do a whole lot today but I am exhausted nonetheless. I'm gonna try noshing on "smarties" throughout the day tomorrow. Maybe that'll help.
2) Issues standing- Part of my job requires me to use a copy machine for 5-10 minutes at a time. While that seems like nothing it was painful to stand there for that short time. Not painful enough to make me not do that job, but still painful.
3) Lack of Handicap Accessibility- Apparently the designers of the building a work at didn't believe in elevators, and the only ramp outside has been chained off for months (I didn't know that was even legal). Again, I'll manage without elevators and ramps, it's just kinda a bummer that they didn't think to make 'em.

So I guess the general answer to that question is "having a disability makes it harder to work, but its something you kinda have to deal with". Massive plus about being a cripple, I get the handicap parking space! That's right... the n00b has the best spot in the office!

Crippie's Tippie- Make buildings with ramps and elevators, it's nice to be able to let cripples in buildings.

Saturday, September 3, 2011



First off, sorry for the lack of post this week. We just got our power and internet back. This past week has certainly been a challenge but we managed to keep everyone fairly sane and none of our pets died, which is a huge bonus.
Moving on to the title, CRIPPIE'S GREAT JOB HUNT HAS COME TO AN END!!! I saw a job posting a few months back that fit my requirements of
1- Being within a safe driving distance, bonus points if I can avoid a highway
2- Something that is willing to accept recent college grads
3- Something I can physically do
Naturally I applied to the position, a few months passed without hearing a peep from them so I continued on with my search. Last week, right before Irene was gonna hit this place gave a me a call and asked if I could come over for an interview. 24 hours before Irene hit I went to said interview. First off, the place is about a 20 minute drive from me with no highways... FREAKIN AWESOME. Second, it's an entry level design position... COOL! Third and most importantly, I'm qualified for the job and can totally kick butt at it. The interview went really well and they said they would call me by Tuesday if the wanted to me work for them. Over the next 2 days the area that the job is located in, as well as my area got rather flooded. The Tuesday deadline came and went, no call. I figured there would be some weather related delays seeing as how cars were floating minutes away from the office. After Thursday had past with no calls I doubted that they were gonna call at all. I was feeling kinda down about the whole "If I wasn't a cripple I would have a job right now" thing but my mom said "You're time will come". Go figure that time was the next morning when the people called asking if I would like to work for them. After calmly working out some details on the phone I proceeded to jump around my house like a babbling idiot for the remainder of the day.
So I start my first official job on Tuesday! I shall keep you guys updated on what it's like to be a cripple in the workforce. Since I have chosen the "desk-horse" job of graphic designer hopefully my disability won't get in the way more than it already has. Oh, and if you were wondering my disability didn't come up in the interview, I used a smaller standard cane than matched my outfit better than my usual forearm crutch.
Right now I am incredibly happy with how everything is going. I knew finding a job was going to be a massive challenge, and it was. It was a long, hard, and very frustrating process, but it's over now! Being a cripple, I'm used to long arduous challenges. Whether it is finding a pair a shoes that fits or finding a job I can perform it takes patients and the realization that sooner or later it will come. On the plus side, I found a job before some of my able-bodied classmates.

Crippie's Tippie- If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything.

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