Seriously, being short and loving food is no picnic. I would like a large insulin – light on the ice – with my combo…Thanks!
Seriously, being short and loving food is no picnic. I would like a large insulin – light on the ice – with my combo…Thanks!
This is my 13th post. The number 13 is my lucky number. I was born on the 13th day.
It has been a little while since I posted. Sorry about that, I bet you all really missed me! No, you didn’t? That’s okay, I wouldn’t miss me either. Christmas and New Year’s has come and gone and I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and a spectacular New Year’s; and I hope 2018 is treating you all well so far.
Scrolling through the social media feed, I noticed there are an abundance of posts about how every human being in the whole Northern Hemisphere has the flu. I have been taking every precaution; I had my flu shot, and take all my vitamins with Emergen-C…Everyday! I am also a major germophobe, which in the grand scheme of things does more harm than good. I try in vain every year to avoid the flu, but since I have RSS, I may be able to avoid the flu like any other person taking all precautions, but I cannot dodge the always annoying bronchitis and sinus infection – respiratory issues! Never fails, every January or February! The worst part – and all you RSS peeps know what I’m talking about – EAR INFECTIONS; and not just AN ear infections, DOUBLE EAR INFECTIONS. Since I was a toddler, I have always suffered from ear infections – I had tubes 3 times. Sometimes, my ear infections are so bad and because I have a very high tolerance for pain with ear aches, I have ear drum rupture a few times. I remember once I was waiting to see in a doctor in urgent care and a young child that was sitting next to me freaked out because blood started oozing out of my ear. Every doctor that checks my ears are astonished when they check my ears and wonder why I’m not screaming because of the pain. As a child, the pain was absolute torture, I cried and cried but as an adult, it is just annoying. Everything about ear infections it just annoying, the time to go to the doctor, the money it cost to go the doctor and medication (if you’re an American), I don’t mind popping pills to get better, but the ear drops are annoying too. The uncomfortable feeling of the clogged ear(s) and waiting for it to clear up – ear popping is music to my ears, because that means I can literally hear again!
Parents, I literally feel your child’s pain and it breaks my heart, because I know exactly what they are going through. I remember my mom and grandma tried every crazy remedy in the book when I was a child, from olive oil in my ear to blowing smoke (and neither were smokers, they went to the store to buy a pack) in my ear to abate the pain and I’m grateful for their every effort; but ultimately I had to ride out the grueling pain until I got to the doctor’s – because like all inconvenience’s, ear aches never has good timing, they always begin in the middle of the night.
So, if you or your child are sick, I hope you all get well very soon. I wish you all a healthy and happy 2018!
He is hungry every morning at 4:30AM, he never fails to wake me up with his winey meows, yelling that he is hungry! Whoever is sitting on the couch, he always lays down behind their heads, because that is his spot. He does not like stale food whatsoever and has only drank filtered water (yeah, that’s my fault). He is very vocal, will argue with you, and he must always have the last word. He is very stubborn and demanding. He is 12 years old and very much set in his ways.
This is my fur baby, Guero – for those of you who do not know Spanish, Guero is slang for white/light skinned. My Mom got me Guero for Christmas in 2005 from the pound, he was around 5 months old. Ironically, he was the only cat that was not meowing and that is was drew my mom to him, he was quiet. He tricked my mom into thinking he was quiet and low maintenance, Guero suckered my mom out of the pound.
Guero is not your average cat. He was obviously the runt of the litter, so you can say he has a bit of a Napoleon complex; since he thinks he runs the house, which has two other cats (my cousin and our roommate each have a cat of their own). He is not an affectionate feline – don’t let the picture fool you, yet he loves to be around humans, which is unusual for a cat. He just has to be in the middle of everything and everyone. Whenever we have visitors, he struts in the room as if he is the one who has a visitor.
Guero is a small, like your truly, but he is truly a unique individual, like us RSS individuals. He is the coolest cat you will ever meet. He has never hissed, not even at a dog; he has never shown signs of every feeling threatened, fearful, or angry. Also, like us RSS individuals, he has always left an impact on almost everyone he comes across.
A couple of years ago, Guero gave us quite a fright. My cousin and I lived at an apartment and a maintenance man came into our place to do a repair while we were out and left the door open. Since, my cousin’s cat is a bit of a scary cat, he hid in my cousin’s room. Guero, of course has no fear and walked out. It wasn’t until late that cold January night when we realized we have not seen Guero – he has a tendency to hide and sleep for hours. After a looking everywhere in our apartment, my heart sank, Geuro was missing. We searched everywhere in the complex and could not find him. It was really cold that night and I was scared for Guero because he hates the cold and even more worrisome, he is declawed, has trouble with his hearing, and such a mellow cat, he was defenseless out here. Family and friends help put flyers everywhere in the complex and surrounding areas, shared my social media posts, and drive around looking for Guero. After a week, I became hopeless that we would find my fur baby.
Almost 3 weeks past and I received a call from a wonderful lady that she believed that my cat had been found. I tried not to have my hopes up too high, because I had a few calls, text messages, and people tell me they saw Guero, but end up being disappointed. My cousin and I met with the lady and she walked us over to a house in the neighborhood right across from our complex, Guero did not go far to find safety; in fact, the house he was at was literally right across from our apartment. Turns out Guero was outside for about 3 or 4 days – which is still quite a long time for a domestic indoor cat -when he was meowing outside this nice couple’s door. Let me tell you, any animal would be lucky to have this couple as their owners! They took Guero in and took him to the vet to get checked, vet told him that this cat is domesticated and belongs to someone. He made friends with their dog – who was Guero’s twin, since the dog has the same coloring. They took pictures of the two animals together and notified their family and friends of the new addition to their family. The couple even named Guero! They names him Latte – so imagine the awkwardness when the lovely, fair complected couple asked me what his actual name was.
This little runt of mine impacted this couple so much, that you could see the disappointed look that I found him – heck, I felt to bad, I wanted let them keep Guero. The husband especially was fond of my fur baby, I guess he wasn’t much of a cat person, but he thought Guero was the coolest cat – he is correct. When his wife told her husband that they can get another, he said, but it won’t be Latte. When we mentioned that we were moving soon, they even offered to take him if we moved somewhere that was not pet friendly.
They say that animals are a reflection of their owners or vice versa; if that’s the case, I truly hope I have made or make such a endearing impact on someone(s) life.
Recently I have had the good fortune of joining a few RSS groups on Facebook – thank you again for the acceptance. The support of these groups is amazing, especially for parents who have the challenging, yet very rewarding duty of raising a child with Russell Silver Syndrome. My Mom would have reveled in these groups, but since I was born before the internet was invented, my mom had to rely on “winging it”.
I have read through many posts on the groups pages and have seen many pictures of these beautiful children and families. Although I am grateful that social media can be a positive reinforcement for support; my heart also breaks because of how scared, frustrated, and even at times sorrowful these posts can be. The questions and the uncertainty of the parents taking their child to seemingly endless doctor’s appointments hoping for answers with a diagnosis. The pictures of diminutive children and young adults who smiles and faces always make my day. The sheer unconditional love behind these posts, it’s an amazing thing to view.
As child of RSS and observing my mom trying to raise a child with RSS; here is some insight on a few RSS main areas for you parents. Just a disclaimer I am no parent and I am not telling you how to raise your kids. Think of it as GPS on how it will be with having a young child with RSS, you can of course choose your own route. These words of wisdom are for the parents of younger kids; I’ll write about the pre-teen and teen years later, that’s a whole other platform. I’m sure for many of you parents, you already know and can tell me to “shut up”, though I really hope you don’t.
Getting the diagnosis for RSS. I asked my mom what her initial reaction upon receiving the news of the diagnosis. She said at first she was scared, she never heard of Russell Silver Syndrome, of course you will be scared of something we don’t understand and that will have a lifelong affect on your child. My mom also felt relief because she would finally get some answers. Then there is the feeling of guilt; my mom confessed she felt like it was her fault that I got RSS, because she carried me and mother’s always naturally feel responsible for any problems that their child develops. There is nothing to be scared of, your child will be healthy; they just need a bit more attention and care. Your child has just as much as a chance as an average size person to conquer the world. Most importantly, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Sometimes, life just gives us literally the short straw; there is no rhyme or reason. Mom and dad, you are our biggest supporters, we need you to stay strong, so we can grow strong for you.
Doctor’s appointments will be frequent, and they are not fun at all for us kids. So, my mom used to take me to get ice cream or out for my favorite food after each appointment as a negotition to not make a fuss; us RSS kids are underweight and slow eaters, so buying us extra calories and talking about the appointment and just talking in general while we slowly eat our food is a win-win situation. Just remember, let the kid pick the place, we have no choice but to go to doctor’s, so at least give us the choice to where we want to eat.
Growth hormones! Oh, the memories of growth hormones! The daily shots of hope! They are really not that bad, but if you have your child go on growth hormones, do not miss a dose, because every dose truly is our only hope for a few inches. Parents, I don’t care if you went out and popped some much deserved bottles, as soon as your Uber gets you home, give your kid the shot – if you’re too lit then be on the safe side and have dad do it.
Some of us RSS kids don’t each much and when we do, we take FOREVER. So, please be patient. You should chew your food at least 30 times before you swallow; so yea, practice that eating habit.
Last, but not least, for the exception of treats after doctor’s appointments…Do not give us special treatment – this is especially important if there are siblings. We can do almost anything an average size kid can do. If you want us to do chores, then you make us do chores; if this includes washing the dishes, then pull up a chair kids! There are no excuses for us RSS kids to get out of learning to be responsible and respectful at home and in life period.
I hope these words help you a bit and give you a little insight on what is to come. Being a parent of a RSS child is not easy, but then nothing amazing like raising children is ever easy – no matter what size.
Getting to the gym is the worst; just the thought of moving on a treadmill exhausts me. When I actually do arrive start moving around and pick up momentum, the dopamines increase and by the time I leave, I feel like I can take on any delicious temptation in my way…Until nachos are put in front of my face.
Being little and overweight is brutal enough, but being little, overweight, diabetic AND a woman?! The obstacles seem impossible to overcome. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve fallen off the health and fitness wagon. I’ve lost count how many Monday’s I’ve let passed to start eating healthy and going back to the gym again. And of course I’ve lost count how many New Year’s fitness resolution I’ve broken for a healthy lifestyle change. IT’S HARD!!!! I have an insurmountable respect for people are disciplined to stay on track with staying healthy and eating well. The odds are against most people and yet they move through those obstacles like tasty soft, buttery mashed potatoes.
Then I realize something…I may have failed over and over again, but I never give up. I slip and give in to the temptation – too many times – but I always start again. That’s exactly what people with discipline have gone through as well. I’ve yet to meet a fitness trainer who not failed in the pass either; instead, they got back up and tried again. Hell, even my cousin, who is a fitness trainer gives in to temptation sometimes, but that never discourages his focus and motivation for staying healthy. He’ll be the first to admit, staying healthy in this day is age is really tough. With every other commercial on television advertising food, fast food is cheaper and more convenient than ever and most social gatherings happen in restaurants and the kitchen. Adversity is everywhere!
Working out is no picnic either; being little at a gym can be intimidating. Treadmills are all good for me, but some of these machines are not little people friendly, but I still try them, because that’s what us shorty’s need to do. It can be embarrassing to try a machine – feeling like everyone is watching because they are curious too – only to find it you can’t use, then feel like everyone feels sorry for you or worse amused by you. All I can do is move on and try something else or modify a workout to have the same results. I do really enjoy one aspect of working out at the gym – free weights area – the area that most woman avoid because of all the testosterone. Free weights are awesome for little people. This is where being a little woman has a major advantage, I will walk up to that area, pick up a weight and take a bench and start doing my thing – the big, burly men give me my space. Usually I’m the only woman in the area, but then something funny yet very cool happens, other woman will start walking over to the area and start working out too. I like to think I’m a motivator! I’m sure some of these women think, “oh, if she can do it…” It’s my favorite part about going to the gym.
I’m going to try again and am determined to stick with a healthy lifestyle. No, I’m not waiting for next Monday or next year; I’m not waiting anymore to commit to my health. Now, I realize I picked the worse time of the year to start, with the holidays here, but if I can can avoid the temptation throughout the holidays, next year will be a cake.
As my cousins says, “Winners Make Commitments”.
I honestly didn’t know what to write for this post and still kind of don’t; but I was sifting through my pictures on my phone and purging. I then came across several pictures I took while on a beach trip to Southern California this past Summer. I am obsessed with sunsets on the beach, I’ve witness so many beach sunsets and they never get old. I know this sounds cliché, but it has always been like a religious experience to me…And I have too many pictures to prove it. The beach at sunset is my happy place, my safe haven.
But, then maybe it is not so cliché. There are so many different people who are congregating in one area and not just couples having a romantic moment; there are families, friends, and even strangers who come together in a peaceful setting to see how truly beautiful the world can be. And whether you are religious or not, doesn’t matter; it is a natural setting that anyone and everyone is welcome to enjoy and hopefully appreciate. It is as close to the John Lennon song Imagine as you will witness. I have seen so many sunsets and I can honestly say, I have never heard an argument being heard during a sunset. There is no talk of building a wall, shootings, or any hateful rhetoric. You do hear some laughter, children shouting, and some calm conversation; but once the sun starts to set all you hear are the waves. Everyone’s guard is down, it is peaceful, we are one, and everything is alright with the world. It is a two minute miracle.
Then the sun disappears and reality sets back in, but we set back into reality with a calmness that we didn’t realize we were missing. There is relief and the heaviness of the day, week, or year seem a little lighter; almost like the sun’s gravity pulled out some of your worries and fears.
I wish I could take everyone I care for and love to watch a sunset with me, all together. If you ever have the opportunity, take a moment for yourself the next time you’re by the ocean.
We are all the same next to the ocean, we are all small wonders next to a massive mystery.
I’m a bit of an irony, for a really short person I’m actually kind of leggy and have kind of long, lean arms; but I’m still short so of course I still have trouble reaching for things. Damn, when I go to the grocery store to get a few things I need and one of the items I really do need is on the top shelf. If I really don’t need it, then I say to myself, “I guess I don’t need it that bad” and move on; but if it’s an ingredient for a recipe and there is no way to go around it, then I scope out a normal height person and ask “may I borrow your height”? It’s actually very clever and so far it has never failed; but being a short person I am naturally proud. If there is even a slight chance I can reach for something myself, I will act like I’m still searching for the item and wait until the coast is clear and take the challenge. I’ve done some pretty risky (more like stupid) maneuvers because of my pride, use a can as a stepping stool and climbing on shelves, but since I’m becoming more aware that I don’t want to risk falling down – along with breaking the shelves and possibly a bone or two and my ego- I’ve gone MacGyver and starting using a common item for a not so inventive use…Tongs.
I’m certainly not the first short person to use this idea, but I guess this post is more of homage (strong word, I know) to tongs. They are truly a huge help for us shorties. Spatulas get an honorable mention, but spatulas cannot grab an item, though they are very helping at moving an item closer. Tongs have not only help with grabbing items from a high shelf, but it has helped me from having to grab a step stool and turn off the ceiling fan light – hey no judging, we all get lazy sometimes. My cousin/roommate recently injured his foot and could not turn off his ceiling fan light, no worries; tongs to the rescue.
This is what’s really invaluable about kitchen utensils for myself as a short person; they make me feel a bit more confident because I can help turn off that light that is out of my reach for an injured relative or that can of tomato sauce that I need to make a tasty meal for me and my roommates. It’s more than just a pair to tongs, it’s an extension of being a little more self sufficient. It’s a lesson my mom taught me at an early age when I was around 8 years old she wanted me to start washing dishes, I remember looking at the sink like Mt. Everest, and saying “I can’t reach the dishes”, her response, “here’s a chair”. Asking for help is not easy for anyone, but for me, it has always been a challenge.
I know I am a fortunate that I am able to reach a little bit higher than a lot of little people and that everyday obstacles are not challenging, so I certainly do not take for granted what God gave me to work with; but, yes I need to swallow my pride and learn to ask for help more often, but I’ll try the tongs first.