I normally don't make it a habit to reflect on the year as a whole, but then I don't normally make it a habit to journal until this year either. There's a first for everything, and I guess this is my first "Year in review" post.
This year definitely hasn't been easy. It started will my first year at my high school. It wasn't easy, and I can't say I loved it there last year. I got an ear infection that took a while to find, and I still believe that it's taken some effect on my hearing.
In february, I started having unexplained foot pain. It started as a bruise type pain, and four days later it hurt to put on my socks. That was the month that my parents decided to let me go to the ACB convention if my grades were good.
In March, I went to the annual United Methodist youth conference in St. Cloud. I saw Peder Eide, and he's definitely cool. I saw another doctor for my foot, and got ready for my first prom. I began to write a paper on the disability civil rights movement. Little did I know that it would effect the way I viewed myself and the things I've come to view as rights, but didn't have to work that hard for. The stories of protests surprised me. At the end of March, I served in a task force that helped to define our churches areas of strength, our passions and roles of the pastor. It was an extremely cool experience.
In April, I went to prom. It was a wonderful experience, but I honestly don't know whether I'll go again. I began physical therapy for my foot and began taking medication that made me not care about anything. It may have been healthier than the prescribed 12 Adville a day, but I doubt it.
In May, I took the AP History test, I wouldn't know then that I wouldn't pass, but I remember the brain dead feeling I had after it. I also began this journal on the same day, May 9. More struggle with my foot finally gave way to seeing yet another doctor, but I wouldn't get in until June. I began to expand my knowledge of disability stuff when I gave speeches for my speech class about Braille and accessible pedestrian signals.
June brought a visit to the doctor, and other possible problems were suggested. A bone scan was scheduled, and it came back normal. I was then referred to the pain clinic. I volunteered with our church's vacation Bible school and enjoyed the companionship of my friends.
July was the busiest, but most fulfilling month of my summer. It started with the American Council of the Blind convention in Pittsburgh PA. This was an extremely cool experience, one I will not soon forget. Hanging out with friends and making new ones, seeing exhibits of products that are just for blind people, learning about the democratic process of our organization, attending my first banquet and learning new skills made it a unique week. While I was at Convention, my friend Erica gave birth to two twin girls Audrey and Amandine. Her parents and my parents are so close, it's like we have four parents. So I'm like her sister, and her girls' aunt. I returned home, then promptly left for a sports camp in Bemidji MN. The counselor I was paired with in very cool, and learning sports that I can actually play was awesome. I returned home and had a week of respite, then left for my church's Applachia Service Project. It was a difficult week, but I know God had a purpose for me being there. I learned to love more.
August was a weird month. I went ! a neurologist for my foot. I underwent a painful test called an EMG returned very little information. I learned water aerobics and prepared to return to school. My foot placed ever growing limitations on what I could do, and I struggled to keep my thoughts on God. But He still proved faithful.
September started out so rocky, I wasn't sure I'd live through it, but I did, and what happened during this month proved to me that God is faithful. On September 1, Dakota was hit by a car and killed. I struggled to make sense of why this could happen. But with the help of good friends and God, I've made it through that. I went to my first pain clinic appointment, and a possible diagnosis was made. The diagnosis didn't turn out to be true, as was proven by an injection in the back. But a new path of looking for a cause to the pain was started. I was invited to join the intercessory prayer team which has become a huge blessing. After having an injection in my ankle called an ankle block, my family and I got a puppy named Baxter. Our choice of timing was strange, and having a puppy sniff your foot when it's numb is weird.
In October I received the injection in my back I mentioned previously. It was decided that injections in the ankle which were somewhat helpful would be used. I went to a Relient K concert after an injection in the top of the foot, and will never be that stupid again I hope. But the coolest thing was that I went to an Acbm convention. I made some great friends who've stood by me. I had my orientation mobility evaluation and did better than I expected. I also applied to Guide Dogs for the Blind. On Halloween I dressed up as one of the three blind mice. It made the IEP meeting much more barable.
November was an interesting month. I began trying to learn more about guide dogs. I was invited to the Minnesota Guide Dog Users meeting which was awesome. I took my first independent bus trip. On the 14th, I had another injection, and went to a Ginny Owens concert. I seemed to have a track record of injections and concerts. Fortunately this wasn't standing room only. My friends surprised my two days before my birthday which I wasn't telling anyone about, but michael_m tracked my birthday down off of my userinfo page.
December was frantic! I received notification that I would have my home interview with Guide Dogs For the Blind on the 20th. I was expecting a few more months to prepare. NeedLess to say, I worked frantically practicing my routes so I'd be confident. I did manage squeeze in a Go Fish concert and a Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace and Katenas concert. This Christmas was a good one, and the interview went well.
Reflections: All in all, I'd say it's been a crazy year. But I know I've grown. I've grown to be okay with who I am. I've grown in my faith. Even with the trials. Actually, I'd say that it may be because of the trials. It takes strength that I don't have, so I have to rely on God.
Prayer has taken an important roll for me. And being part of the intrcessory prayer team has helped me a lot. It's a joy to see prayer answered, and know that it's not because of us, but because of how great God is.
I'm interested to see what this year holds, but I venture into the year more cautiously. I know that it holds potential for joy and sadness at once.
Well, that's my reflection.