Walking in another person’s shoes…

This picture was from Tuesday, Day 10 before I went to the doctor to find out what the redness on my shin was all about. Turns out it is due to swelling.

August 5th, I took a fall and injured my left knee.  Twelve days in of recovery and I’m told to keep my knee straight and elevate it as much as possible.  Which is easy because it doesn’t bend on its own very well right now.

So why the need to pull out the blog writing today?  A week ago I had to attend a meeting to start the new school year.  The building was old.  I’m hobbling into the building, thank goodness they had a ramp to accommodate the 4 steps that I would have had to take, and make my way to the third floor.  So I’m walking with my cane, to keep me stable, and trying to open doors to get in.  Have you ever tried to open a door with only your left hand?  It’s awkward as you end up crossing your body with the door.  Okay..so, I make my way through the main door, into the elevator and up to the third floor.  Great, another door into the office suite.  Why isn’t there a button to open the door automatically? I make it in and get to my meeting. I’m good, put my leg up on an adjacent chair and take in all the information.

Then, it happens, I have to use the restroom.  Ugh….back out the door, easier pushing it but not by much.  Again, would love an automatic door button to make it easier.  I get to the restroom and see three tiny stalls.  Not ONE accessible stall.  WHAT?!  How is that even possible?  What year is it?  I plop myself down and take care of things.  Thankfully, my husband had gotten me the cane the night before.  The cane was my savior in that tiny stall.  I was able to lift myself and my bum leg up but it wasn’t easy from a standard height commode.  I hobbled back to the meeting room appalled that the district I worked for had no restroom accommodations.  Maybe they do…maybe it’s tucked away in another part of the building.  I do know that no one offered it to me.   I hope there is one on that floor somewhere….

Day 12 and the swelling has gone way down. I’m tired of it though. I am ready to go!

I will heal,  My leg will bend again.  But things like this are what people with physical challenges handle every day.  I try to hold the door open for people as much as I can. I try to accommodate needs as much as I can.  I hope I’m not failing.  This little experience has really sparked something.  Never take for granted, walking across the living room with a cup of coffee and my phone.  Right now, I can do it in my house where there are plenty of “feel your way” helpers around the room and I can tuck my phone under my chin but at work, I must wear everything I need in a backpack or purse.  Leaving the house is a chore.  Carrying a lunch box and getting down the four steps that lead to the drive, I have to make sure I don’t have other things in my hand or I can’t manage the stairs with my cane.  So things get left home.  If I can’t carry it on me, I don’t need it.  Not practical but it will have to do…for now.



Detours, not road blocks!

I’m happy to write that I passed my EIPA written exam back in October.  I actually passed.  Yay!!

So why the detour in my journey to certification? Well, this past Saturday my I got my results for the performance test.  I retook the assessment four months ago to improve my score.

…I did improve, but only by .10.  Not the gain I was hoping for.  Not the gain I had worked toward for two years. As I reviewed the breakdown of my score I had actually gotten worse in some areas that I nailed previously.  WHAT?!?  Ugh…  So while I won’t be getting national certification this year, I did improve.  I didn’t slip backwards.

I just read a quote from Janet Fitch, the author, “The phoenix must burn to emerge.”  So burn, baby, burn.  I will rise.  I will soar.

I really should write more…

I think my blog is collecting too much dust.  I don’t know why I don’t post more.  A lot of it has to do with my Google+ account.  It’s there that I do most of my online interactions.  I should utilize this space more though.  It’s cathartic to just sit and type out my feelings.  It doesn’t matter who reads it, it’s for me.

So, what’ have I been up to?  I started walking Mondays through Fridays on a treadmill at a gym.  Yes, you read that right.  At. A. Gym.  This morbidly obese woman walks into a gym and waddles over to the treadmills and walks.  I usually try not to get on the ones that are in front of mirrors because I don’t really enjoy watching my “stuff” jiggle while I walk.  It’s like a bad B-movie where I’m a monstrous bowl of Jello coming to stomp out the small country village.  I also don’t interact with people there.  I hardly ever make eye contact. I plug my headphones in before I walk through the door and listen to my music so I can be in my little safe world.  The staff, when they are there that early usually tells me “Have a nice day” as I waddle out the door at the end of my walk.  It’s nice…I guess…

I started five weeks ago.  I’m doing a 12 week walking plan put out by the Mayo Clinic.  I’m feeling better overall.  I have more energy and I’m sleeping better at night.  Last week we went to the zoo and I could actually walk pretty much the entire time.  I think I only had to tell Jerry that I needed to sit for a minute a couple of times.  In the past it would have been like every 10 to 15 minutes.  Yay me!

Work is going well.  I have an intern there for three days a week.  It’s been going well.  It’s actually a great learning experience for me as well.  It reminds me of the things I need to work on to be a better interpreter. It is fun to see the intern at week one and how much they improve over the weeks.  I think we are in the halfway point of their internship.  I hope I’m doing a good job as a mentor…

If you have made it here, thank you for reading.



Find out what it means to me….

That’s right, I’m talking about respect!

Today, I told a child to just get on their bus,  saying “Have a good weekend, Bye bye” over and over because I was tired their face and their lack of respect.  Yes, I’m admitting to not being as professional as I would have liked.  I wasn’t rude.  I smiled and genuinely did want the child to have a good weekend but mostly I just wanted them out of my sight.  When a child tells me to “shut up”…..*blink*…  I imagine if I had ever behaved that way at that age.  Heck, I don’t behave that way as an adult.

I’m about to sound very old.  I have no clue how the “youth of today” are going to make it. I know there are a few good “eggs” out there and I can only imagine their struggles and how they are going try to lead their peers to a brighter future.

I know that it’s time to take a step back again and not get emotionally attached to the students I interpret for.  It’s a fine line.  One that I find myself having to find from time to time.  It gets lost among the: make sure so and so does this, and is so and so finished with this, etc.

I have a long weekend.  A perk of being an interpreter at the end of a marking period.  Teacher planning days means no students and no need for interpreters. 😀 I’m going to use this time to get myself in check and start off the third quarter with a more professional demeanor.

I blame Google+…

Where have I been?  Why aren’t I blogging?  Where are your millions of brain dumps?

I didn’t go anywhere.

I have been lost in Google+.

My brain hasn’t needed a dump lately…?

I have been having a blast on Google+.  I have gotten lost in conversations between people I have never met in real life talking about things way above my intellect and loving it!   If you haven’t tried it, it’s now open to everyone.  You can find me at http://gplus.to/gknee. Circle me.   🙂

So brain dumps eh?  ok…

  • Rebecca Zapen’s new CD Nest is awesome, we attended her pre-release CD party last night.  You can find out more about her at www.zapen.com
  • Work is…well..I have been having an eye twitching problem due to stress.  It only happens at work so I’m trying not to let work stress me out.  I care too much sometimes.
  • Health is good, slowly the weight is coming off.  I wish is was flying off like it was before but that wasn’t healthy.  Slow and steady, right?
  • Sticking myself twice a day with a needle is getting easier.  I don’t freak out before the needle pokes through my skin anymore.  Testing blood sugar hurts more.
Not a lot cluttering the brain.  That’s a good thing!


It was a short week at work, yet it seemed to go on forever.  Monday was a holiday so we weren’t there, and I was even out sick on Thursday but more on that in a minute.  I don’t know why the work week seemed so long, I’m just happy it’s over.

As I posted earlier, some of my health routines would be changing.  One of them is that they have doubled my dose of Furosemide (Lasix).  I already have a problem keeping up with my fluid intake and Wednesday night when I took my new dosage?  WHAMMY!!  Some of the worse leg cramps I have ever experienced in my life.  I thought my shins were on fire it was so bad.  I spent the night drinking water and using the restroom every hour like clockwork. Needless to say, I didn’t go to work as I could barely stand let alone walk.  A day of drinking gallons of water and resting I was ready for work the next day.

So cheers to the weekend!  Looking forward to Sunday’s Jaguar opening game.  Hope it’s not too hot or raining. Forecast is 90’s with a chance of rain. *shrug*

Summer vacation, part two…

Ahh…another small break before the regular school year begins.  Lots of changes this year.  New principal, students are to be mainstreamed and people let go, resigned or moved to other schools.

One of my favorite people called me this weekend to tell me she was resigning and moving on.  She is one of the people that made going to work fun.  I looked up to her as an interpreter and learned tons from her.  I will miss her.

Change…that seems to be what life has been about lately.  Today I had to go to the doctor for lab work.  I’m really trying to get healthy.  I have lost 36 lbs since school let out in June and am hoping that with some of the weight gone I can get my health in order. I still have lots more to lose but that’s okay.  🙂  Having Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can be a challenge.  I have these thyroid storms that make me either really tired, or jittery.  Fun hunh?

This upcoming weekend, Jerry and I are heading to Savannah, GA.  I have never been and am looking forward to getting out of town and exploring a new city.

Summer school, an education for me…

Today was the last day of summer school.  It was an eye opening experience for me.  I left my middle school in early June thinking that I would be with the same kids I worked with during the year.  I should know that being an interpreter means never staying comfortable.  I was placed at an Exceptional Student Center.  I freaked out a little when I first heard this.  A little nervous that I wouldn’t be compassionate enough to be able to handle these students.  How prejudice of me..right?  I wasn’t happy with these feelings but there they were, and I had to confront them.  The first few days I was a shocked and surprised a few times but ultimately these kids were like any other kids.  How embarrassing for me that I didn’t know that already.

Week one, I was still getting my feet wet.  I only had one deaf student to interpret for but there were ten other personalities in the room that all clamored for my attention.  It only took about a week for each student to warm up to me.  By the beginning of week two, my work table was always busy with people wanting to have me help them with their work.  It was neat to view the world through their eyes.  It was okay if the tree had a red trunk and blue leaves.  Legos became a great team building project where our imaginations connected us.

I am thankful that I got placed at that school.  It opened my eyes, taught me a thing or two and Summer School 2011 will hold a special place in my heart.


My definition of…


Squeezing by…That’s how we seem to live around here.  Don’t get me wrong, we are fine but we don’t have a lot in our savings. I really thought we’d be more financially stable by our mid-40s.

This is the first summer since starting my interpreting gig that I am doing a summer gig as well.  We need the money, straight and simple.  Could we get buy without me working, sure but it’s less stress if I work.  The more I’m at home, the more time I have to fret over every little penny.

So why are we in so much debt?  Family & Travel costs.  2009 & 2010 we amassed a ton of travel  costs.  Back and forth to Michigan due to family health issues and eventually funeral expenses.  I am thankful that we had the available credit to fly back and forth, rent cars and stay comfortably while we were away but now we are paying for it.

I’m doing little things to try to save us some cashola.  Coupons, I never thought I’d be clipping coupons but I do.  I have a few rules thought about my clipping.  I don’t use a coupon for something that I wouldn’t buy normally.  I tend to be brand loyal so I’m not really one to try a different brand, even if there is a coupon.  I usually buy the less expensive brand anyway.  We are eating at home more.  I’ve also cut back on my trips to Starbucks.  I loved my trips but since the Keurig came into our house, my $7.35 breakfasts have stopped.  Oh, Veggie Artisan Breakfast Sandwich how I have missed you.  Amazing how quickly those trips add up…heh…

So, if you can think of other little ways the pennies can add up, please let me know 🙂


Summer vay-cay-shun….

I’ve survived my fourth year in the school system.  It was a different kind of year.  I was exposed to some personalities that made my jaw hit the floor a couple of times.  I feel sorry for the parents, although they raised “that” so….

Officially summer doesn’t come for another week but we definitely have the heat!  I’m not a huge fan of 98 degrees with 98% humidity.  Hopefully I can keep from melting.

I will be working a summer gig.  Starting July 6th for a few weeks I will be interpreting “Summer School”.  The extra pay will be a nice little chuck to help us out.  We can all use help, right?  Besides, playing the lottery doesn’t seem to be working.  I did win $5…but I dumped it right back into a ticket. Anyway, I’m a little excited about summer school.  I won’t have to go the WHOLE summer without interpreting.  I know, I could do some freelance but I know that summer is a slow season for any interpreter.

I hope to take a little vacation between now and August 18th when we have to report back.  I have about 5 weeks of nothing and am going to make my cutie pie take some time off and spend it with me venturing about.  We keep talking about heading to Savannah…maybe we should quit talking and do it.     🙂