It was an emotional and exciting almost-two-weeks while my parents went on a cruise. It was my first time to stay home overnight by myself. This was a huge life goal of mine that I got to check off my list of things I can do. The ultimate goal is one day to live on my own or with a roommate. I was emotional because I thought this day would never come.
When I look back at the simple things I have learned to do to stay by myself, here are a couple things that I learned to do on my own.
I have been staying home during the day by myself for several years so I’ve found a lot of frozen appetizers that I enjoy and heat up in the microwave to eat for lunch. Anyway, a few months ago my mom found these new Cheetos bites filled with macaroni and cheese which are delicious! Plus I found these salted-caramel-filled pretzel bites, which are my new snack addiction. You can’t have just one!
The night before my parents left, my mom was going to fix some ravioli for me so I could have something besides frozen food. But her day didn’t go as planned and I decided to surprise her and make it. I’ve made macaroni before and have seen her make ravioli countless times. In our kitchen we have a sink just off to the side of the oven. So I cooked and strained the ravioli while I put away the clean dishes and made tea and didn’t fall one time while doing it. Hallelujah! My mom was also proud of me.
I started taking a new medicine this year that helps with many different things. Usually my mom gives me my medicine when I’m sick or have a headache. Since I can’t swallow on demand, my parents have been poking medicine down. I learned to do this for myself this year by putting peanut butter on my finger, which makes the pill stick to my finger; then I poke it down my throat. Now it doesn’t always go as smoothly, which is frustrating. I figured out how to take Tylenol by myself, which was good because I had two sinus headaches while my parents were gone.
I know taking medicine and fixing meals to most of you are simple everyday tasks, but to me they’re steps toward my ultimate goal. I only use my left hand and it has 20 percent dexterity. Yes, some days I wish I had two hands or more dexterity in my left hand—then life would be a piece of cake! But then I think about those who can’t stay home by themselves. I thank God for all the things I have learned to do over the past twenty-one years with Dystonia.
What are some of the goals you want to accomplish in the new year? Start with something simple like exercising once a day or reading a chapter in Proverbs every day. Small steps lead to big steps which lead to leaps. You can’t get to your goal if you don’t start somewhere.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.