Normal For Me

Samples from the book

Forward: I never thought I was anything special. As I went through my life, it was all just normal for meóto wake up every morning, get dressed, put my braces on, grab my crutches to stand up and get out of bed, then go about my day, doing what I needed to get by. When I walked with my crutches, it was normal for me to be careful where I placed each crutch and each foot, or I would be on the ground. I never thought about inspiring anyone or anything like that, I just did what I had to in life to get by. Each of us, every one of us, has challenges, things that are hard for us. How we deal with them, live with them, and overcome them is what is really important. Sometimes we donít, sometimes we fall, but as long as every time we fall we get back up and go on, that is a success. I fell almost every day of my life up until sometime in my teenage years, but yet every time I did what was normal for meóI grabbed my crutches and pushed my way back up.

...My stay in the polio ward in Omaha lasted for more than a year. I spent my second birthday there. During part of the time, I was confined in an iron lung. Thankfully, I donít remember being in one, but I sure remember seeing others in them. Some who would spend the rest of their lives in them.

 

I ended up back there a number of times for surgery, checkups, therapy, or new braces. One memory from that time really stands out. I was in the examination room and they told me to not be frightened, as I was going to have a Lady Doctor. That struck me as odd, because I never really differentiated the nurses, who were mostly female, from the doctors, who up to that point, were apparently male. To me, they were just people who were nice to me. Sometimes, in physical therapy, the therapists caused me some pain, but they were always nice about it, explaining the necessity...