Friday, May 11, 2012

A Car named 'Ol Betsy the War Machine

When I first came out of the hospital, my license was temporarily suspended, rightly so. In order to get out of the house I depended on rides. I became that annoying pre-sixteen year old or license-less person begging for a ride.

The first time my sister, Selesitila, asked if I would like to go to the supermarket to do the shopping, I jumped at the offer, just to get out of the house. Her driving was too slow for me. The shopping was too slow for me. Everything was too slow for me. To have to do everything at such a slow pace was saddening and maddening at the same time.

My life before the accident had become a scene out of the Jungle Book. I was Baloo the Bear. My mantra was found in the song 'The Bear Necessities.' Which reads like this:

Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife,
I mean the bare necessities,
Of mother natures recipies,
That bring the bare necessities to life.

Wherever I wonder,
Wherever I roam,
I couldnt be founder of my big home,
The bees are buzzing in the trees,
To make some honey just for me,
When you look under the rock for plants,
Take a glance at some pantsy ants,
Then maybe try a few.

the bare necessities of life will come to you,
they'll come to you.

look for the bare necessities,
the simple bare necessities,
forget about your worries and your strife,
i mean the bare necessities,
thats why a bear can rest at ease,
with just the bare necessities of life.

now when you pick a paw paw,
or a prickly pear,
and you prick a wrong paw,
well next time, beware,
dont pick the prickly pear by the paw,
when you pick a pear, try to use the claw,
but you dont need to use the claw,
when you pick a pear of the big paw paw,
Have i givin you a clue?

In other words my life was easy. I roamed from here to there not to worried about much. All that seemed difficult had become easy. Self care was easy. I could fly across the United States with one carry on suitcase and not worry about a thing. Saturday morning basketball was a piece of cake.

After the accident, nothing was easy. Even grabbing the remote to turn on the television was extremely difficult.It was like I was reborn and had to relearn everything that had to deal with hands all over again but in a different way. The only thing different was that I had known what it was like to have had hands. This was the most frustrating part of the whole ordeal.

Learning everything all over was tedious. I had a new Occupational Therapist when I got home. His name was Marc Rosello and he was an A or red type personality. I have never gotten along with this type of person, ever. In fact his second time here, he made me cry. He was requiring all kinds of homework of me. When I hadn't done any of it, he began to say I need to keep track of every appointment in a red type personality kind of way. I told him I do keep track of it on my iPad. He said, "Well, where's your iPad?" I went to grab it and broke out in tears. My sister comforted me.

There were many things I did as an escape. One of them was a Superbowl party. The Greenbay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers were matched up for the Lombardi Trophy. There was some kind of avocado dip, candy, chips and oh yeah 'the Superbowl Explosion

We'll call it 'the SBEI' for short. It went down like this; My sister and I were watching the 2011 SB, when the doorbell rang. It was my neighbors grandson. He started to explain his story in nice manner, saying,"My girlfriends car had been hit and the scratch marks were white...." Up to this point I was calm.

Then out of the blue, he says, "Then I'm looking around and I see your car is white and all smashed up. So I want to know what the F#%^ is going on." At that point I started screaming, "WELL I WANNA KNOW HOW THE H%#£ I RAN INTO YOUR GIRLFRIENDS CAR WHEN...." At that moment, I was taking my prostheses off and spiked it in the ground and screamed, "I DON'T EVEN HAVE HANDS!" He shrunk away from his accusations and left. I walked in the house and started balling from all the emotions and frustrations coming to the surface. My sister comforted me again.

My older sister and I have a relationship where we protect each other. When I was one year and several months old, my sister who was nine months younger had somehow managed to crawl out on the roof. My mom says I went out on the roof and picked her up and brought her in. From that moment on we had each others back.

When my dad went to jail, I as the eldest would need to step up and help out financially. She stepped up for me and made it possible for me to serve a mission. I also believe there were higher powers aiding her but to this day I still feel the need to return the favor. When it was time to leave the hospital, I had the choice of living with both my other siblings but I chose her. Partially because I feel like I want to help her and partially because I feel most at home in her house.

Eventually Marc Rosello, the OT, and I got a driving ring. The driving ring is in the folloiwing video. He let me drive in a Driver's Ed car. I remember being so nervous that I was perspiring to the point of dripping armpits. It was just like when I first learned to drive with my dad at the age of sixteen.

I passed the driving test and started driving. My car actually has a name, 'Ol Betsy The War Machine, and a personality. Driving her was like reacquainting with an old friend. I remember one of the first things I asked for when I came into full consciousness was my car. The business director went and retrieved her from the city of Kremmling. I felt comforted to know she was near.

Driving was an incredible feeling because here I was, without hands, driving with everyone else. Nobody treated me any different than anyone else. In fact, one of the best things was that there wasn't too many people that could tell that I was any different than anyone else. I felt a part of the community.

My car was a lot like my sister. Even after 200,000 miles, she continued to want to work to get my back. We have at least a hundred adventures together. That same year, I thought there was no way to pass my inspections. Through a miracle I found someone to pass her and we had one more year of adventures. She is in the twilight of her years now so I made some tribute videos of her so you can check them out. One thing I know is that she will always have my back.