My name is Kim. I am a disabled person, a cat lover, an overachiever, a widow, a college graduate, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a stepmom, an aunt and now a writer. It is funny – I forgot to mention I am a human being. I get so caught in playing these different roles that I forget I am a human being; that I do have feelings and it is OK to feel depressed or sad or on cloud 9
I was born Kimberly Jean Skaggs on September 21, 1965 in Wichita, Kansas. By the age of 18 months, I was not sitting up which was abnormal for a child of 18 months. So my parents, Pat & Charlie, took me to the doctor. They were told I had Cerebral Palsy. Now I get to have the miniature walker and wear the helmet. Maybe that is why I like football so much. O goodie! Now I get to give my dissertation on Cerebral Palsy (CP). I did a presentation on CP when I was a senior in college. That was more clinical and more medical. I am going to try to explain CP in my terms. When I was born, the umbilical cord got wrapped around my head and cut off the oxygen supply to my brain. I talk funny. I have a Southern Cerebral Palsy accent going on.
Have you ever called to place an order on the phone, and lo and behold, you get a foreigner? Well, that is how it is with me. But I have been told, after a while talking with me, one picks up my speech pattern. I have conducted numerous meetings and presentations. I would try to have notes on paper to give out so people would have some clue as to what in the heck I was saying. It is funny but no matter what, I will have someone in that room able to interpret for me.
I have a lazy eye in my left eye. That means that the eye wanders. No, it has nothing to do with CP. If I really concentrate, it will stay in focus. I once had someone asked me which eye should they look at when addressing me. I just shook my head.
I type with one hand – my right hand. Sure do. I used my left fore finger for the shift key. I taught myself to type when I was a senior in college. It comes in handy when you have senior research and case study papers to write. Back in the medieval age (1980’s) we did not have nice, friendly computers or laptops. We had this thing called THE TYPEWRITER. It works the same way but without the “DELETE” button or the main menu. For me to get papers done, I would have to handwrite them, then pay someone to type them for me. In the beginning, that was ok. But as I further my education and drove smack dab into SOCIAL WORK I was faced with these case studies. Needless to say, these papers were long (20 +pages.) I obtained a type writer and taught myself to type.
I do wear glasses. I was quite vain in my twenties. It took a lot of headaches and a coworker persuasion to get me to the eye doctor. Now I can not see crap without them. That, my friends, is old age. Every time I go to the eye doctor I am faced with the admission I am getting older.
I walk with a walker. No, it does not have wheels. Wheels on my walker is the last thing I need. If I try to walk without the walker I fall flat on my face. Doing everyday tasks with a walker can be quite interesting.
I do not do glass.I do have some glass like vases and knick knacks. I do not think a person can live entirely without glass. When I purchase something, I have a mental list I have to run through. Is it plastic? If not, can it be poured into something plastic? Can I actually lift it and carry it? Ever tried to lift and carry a case of mountain Dew with a walker? Ain’t easy! Can I button it or snap it? I can’t wear anything that zips or buttons in the back. However, I do have some beautiful dresses with zippers that I used to wear when I had help putting them on. Can I cut it? Ever tried to cut an acorn squash with a weak hand? My list does vary.
Ever tried to put on jewelry and you couldn’t do it because your fingers would not cooperate? I have some beautiful jewelry that my husband bought me when he was alive and we were dating. I simply can not put it on. I do not have the dexterity it takes in my fingers to put it on. People simply do not think if I can do something or not.
I drive a candy apple red scooter (aka: my convertible.) Trust me, this is just like a car to me. Instead of gas, it takes electricity so I have to plug in into the wall outlet. Once in a while I have to buy batteries and new brake. I do give it a wash when needed and I do have a car repair man, courtesy of Allied Medical. I get a great farmer’s tan in the summer. The winter is a different story – I freeze my tush off. It is called “Bundle Up!” Besides my normal winter attire, I wear leggings, pants, 2 pair of socks, a hat, a sweatshirt with a hood, 3 scarves, 2 coats, mittens, a quit on the back of my car and a UT orange and white UT fleece blanket wrapped around my legs. Needless to say, the north wind winter is not my favorite time of the year. Rain is hellish too, especially if it is a cold rain.
My car only goes 4 mph. I know that isn’t 44 mph but it gets me where I am going. People are joking with me saying…you are going to get a speeding ticket. If they only knew how STUPID that sounds. That, along with what to say when someone dies, are two of the most awkward topics in society.
If someone saw me for the first they would automatically know that there was something wrong with me because of the lazy eye and the rigor and stiffness of my features. Then if they heard me speak, they would automatically assume I was retarded. If I am a retarded college grad, then donkeys can fly. To my knowledge, donkeys can’t fly.
I graduated from UTM in 4 years with a BS degree in Social Work and could not get a job as a social worker. Well, no one told me that a social worker must speak clearly (without my Southern CP accent) and be able to drive a “normal car” not my cool convertible. Well my social worker background has helped me with my previous job, but not with diagnosing myself or treating myself…..
Life is humorous– it is what it is. It is what one makes it. I have made my life heaven and hell. My life has been a comedy, a drama, a mystery and a romance. I try to compare my life to an abnormal life lived unabnormally.
Being Queen Tutt ain’t easy, but I give it 110% every day and then some.