Friday, July 31, 2015

Month of Mishaps

After an ideal trip to a sand bar on the river, we packed up to go back to our cabin in Wisconsin. Dad goes to put my orthotic on and he looks around for the top piece and he can't find it. The whole family looks around and we can't find it. After a few minutes, we figure the piece must have blown away. Shoot! 

This is not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination but a total pain! I was not mad at Dad in any way and I let him know it. Being without my orthotic means walking is more difficult with my assistants. I can walk with Dad in anything but with five different assistants, it's a sincere struggle. This also means I have to schedule an appointment to get this piece replaced. When I went to the doctor, he needed a few days to make a new piece. Of course this couldn’t be easy! 

Meanwhile, my assistants are ALL on vacation or have asked this week off months ago. I have two scheduled trips home which I honestly don't mind but that means I don't have time to plan my birthday party. My family has things going on and it isn't like I expect them to stop their lives and take me to Party City.

Anyway, I get back to my apartment and I don't have internet. It is not my service provider, it's my computer. This was so frustrating! I was ready to cry. My assistant had a huge test the next day so we were both stressing out. I had to remind myself things could be worse. I have a wonderful family, an assistant willing to try to fix this, a good book to read, it wasn't good but it wasn't bad. 

The assistant who came the next day was able to fix my internet. She doesn't know how but she did something. I did get my orthotics fixed the next week. I made it to Party City.

I had a birthday party this month. Like I said, getting the decorations was a triumph. When all my friends and family were surrounding me, I didn't care about my orthotic or that I lost access to the internet, I couldn't believe how blessed I was. I turned to my mom and said, "I can't believe this is my life". She looked into my eyes and said, "I can".

After my birthday party, something huge happened. For three years, we have been finding the right communication device. After college graduation, my mother knew my DynaVox was dying. I did too but I didn’t want to admit it. The University of Illinois Chicago Assistive Technology Team worked tirelessly to get me the correct device. With the correct device comes questions such as, what is the right mount, what is the correct key guard and with this device, what is the right phone? Those questions take a lot of trial and error! On Friday, everything came together! My dad hired a welder who made a customized mount and I activated the phone knowing it was incentive enough to put the new DynaVox on for good. It’s been two days and I haven’t thrown it in the garbage. Honestly, I really like it. I can tell I’m slower at communicating but every day I get a little quicker and I’m learning little tricks to help with speed. The big thing is I can text using my DynaVox. That is HUGE!!! If any of my readers want to discuss the DynaVox T15, I’m more than happy to. If you do get misspelled texts, please understand I’m using completely different software and I need time to train my finger on how gentle to press. It’s hard!

I still haven't found a job. I was a week late to a job fair. That was just my month. One assistant had the mumps. Who gets the mumps in 2015? Seriously! 

It's been a month of mishaps. I could have hit my forehead against the wall a few times but I didn't. I felt like it but with the way this month was going, I would have landed in the ER. The most important thing is that I am successfully using my new DynaVox!

Let's hope August has fewer mishaps!

Love, 
Hannah! 

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