Next week is my fifth asthma-versary [is that a thing?], so it was perfect timing when my friend Jenni asked me to write a diagnosis-related guest post on her blog, where she writes about life with asthma, and a bit of a mystery joint problem, rolled up with what she dubs “the troubles of being a teenager”. Thanks for having me, Jenni!

Please join me today over at Jenni’s blog My Life My Lungs, where I’m uncovering a bit of “The Distance to Here: Five Years Later“.

My friend Mike started a thing called “Mirror Mantras”, where he posts a positive or motivating phrase on his bathroom mirror to keep him inspired throughout the week. Here’s mine for the week . . . while I try to conjure up coherent thoughts on today’s senseless tragedy that arose from such a large celebration of sport in Boston.


On the 12th of each month, a bunch of bloggers from around the world take 12 pictures of their day and blog them.  Here are my pictures for April 12th, 2013!


9:33 am – vaughan. I was lucky to get my 12:30 doctor’s appointment moved up to 9:30 [also known as “come whenever” because the assistant loves me]. I’m always mildly curious about this store.


9:36 am – doctor. I pointedly ignore this sign. One time, my doctor walked into the office and I put my phone down and took my earphones out of my ears, saying “You know, if I actually listened to those signs and turned my phone off whenever I came in here, I would never get anything accomplished.” My doctor just laughed and told me “That’s fine.”


10:02 am – doctor’s office. I make faces while waiting, apparently.


10:12 am – lab. Classy, Dynacare. Classy.


10:13 am – lab. Doing a full check on the anemia today, apparently. I told the doctor “Okay, if they’re going to take blood, can we check more than just one thing?” Hemoglobin, platelets, ferritin (storage iron), iron and TIBC later. I think Complete Blood Count was checked off somewhere, too.


10:16 am – lab. This process is all very quick after I actually saw the doctor. I got the grown up needle this time. And I got to tell the phlebotomist all about 12 of 12, and she tried to tell me good times to take the pictures so they’d be cool :]. She was awesome!


10:24 am – vaughan. I honestly walked by this puppy in the window, thought it was fake, and had to turn around and do a double take to determine its realness. Verdict: real puppy!


10:35 am – school. Bought my textbooks for my spring course so I could take one of them to Accessibility Services to be sent off to be made into an eText so I can audio-ify it. The AS assistant is awesomesauce, and we had a fun discussion about this course and how she wants to take my books and read them. :] (And Starbucks. And how it needs to be the weekend.)


12:06 pm – boon burger. Best. Vegan burger. Place. Evaaaar. DINOSAURS.


12:39 pm – car. If you have a tea reading done, do you get to drink the tea?


4:14 pm – gym at work. “Miss Kerri! The chicken’s leg fell off! [Gym teacher’s name] puts them on top of her pens when that happens! Put it on your pen!”


5:45 pm – front lobby. Out of work early. Pre-coaching dinner.

The mantra for the week:


I wore this to work this afternoon. Sans guitar.


Today was the Day of Pink to provide a tangible way of teaching kids [and adults] about the issue of bullying. I showed up at work this morning and forgot to wear pink . . . and the kids totally let me hear about it. I went back this afternoon wearing this [except I left the guitar at home].

And, it’s completely possible that I have watched [the beginningish part of] this five times already today:


Seriously . . . have to find memes where I can, right?


I have been almost overwhelmed by the positive words I have gotten from people following the results of my assessment.  I had a few comments that I had to shrug off because, like anything, sometimes people really do not understand–that said, I can’t claim to understand everything either.  However, now that the results and initial meetings are out of the way, it’s about taking the action to modify the process.

This week has been all about seeing that being put into motion. And feeling thankful, grateful for the people around me who are on all sides of making that happen, and helping me to make this transition successful. In reality, it is a continuation of what is going on outside of me, but also a fresh start of what’s going on inside of me. It is knowing that, on the road ahead, that I will have the right things in place. It’s knowing that maybe I might actually have a graduation date in reach. It’s knowing that I can do this, even if I have to do it a bit differently than I have been.

Yesterday I wrote my first exam with accommodations. I used a few minutes of my extra time allowance, and the private room was louder than I thought it would be (so, I will probably take them up on the earplug offer next time. Because that is an available service apparently). I was asked if I wanted a clock or time-prompts during the test (they said it was okay to look at my Fitbit, so I declined). Bonus perks: I got a soft spinny chair and a foot rest. I am not joking people. There were also pencils and an eraser provided on my desk which was unexpected, and I forgot my ID in my jacket pocket which was not with me, and somebody on staff at Accessibility Services [AS] just vouched for me.  (Also everything is really hush and confidential–considering my entire life is on the internet I am not super concerned about this, but it cracked me up when she whispered “What’s your name again?” and I replied at a normal volume.  On the exam-room booking schedule, I was only in there by my initials).  After I finished, I went and hung out outside the room my class was writing in (as they were being held captive for a full class period) to snag my friends Courtney and Rachael after the test to see how it went, and my instructor came and asked how things went.  The test was harder than we thought it would be, and we all didn’t really study the right stuff, but really, it’s Intro to University. It’s fine!

Today I’ve seen things unfolding.

After my instructor left the room in Scientific Principles of Fitness and Conditioning this morning so we could fill out course evaluations, I ran into her as I was leaving the building. “You’re Kerri, right?” [Well, something had to do it. My long standing ability of being another non-descript student to a lot of instructors is coming to an end!] “I was just talking to Accessibility Services about getting the course notes document to you–I’ll send you an e-mail later today.” Sure enough, a few hours later I got a couple of Word documents of the course notes popped into my inbox, cc’ed to my Accessibility Advisor, with an apology for things taking so long. After thanking her (and my advisor who is so fabulous), my instructor then asked me if she needed to provide AS with the final exam for me, following which we had some fun back-and-forth e-mails, which was totally unexpected but, once again, very appreciated.

I also received an e-mail about textbooks for next term from AS, and navigating that audio-conversion process again, and got in touch with my prof for my spring Classics course to see if I could get a syllabus [I need to provide AS with one due to the audio-book thing]. I am only mildly looking forward to this course [see also: lots of reading], but I am now really looking forward to meeting the prof, as she started her e-mail back to me with “Thank you for your beautifully written e-mail.” which totally made me smile. Cracking my shell also involves, of course, self-identifying (I’m getting an official Letter of Introduction for my instructors in upcoming terms, but an informal e-mail is always a good start, too), and making the choice to meet with my profs early on in the term so that I can gauge how best to approach their class and what that process will look like as it unfolds. (This may be the one important tip I took from intro to university!)

I’ve felt grateful. I’ve felt inexpressible appreciation. For all the people in this unexpected journey.  For people who are not only helping these things fall into place, but actually wanting to ensure things happen effectively. For people who are going beyond what they need to, especially at this point in the term, to help me. For people who maybe I have had second thoughts about . . . who are now not only doing what they are required to . . . but going beyond that and helping to meet me where I’m at.

Staring into the intersection, she thinks that she can fly, and she might.

straw dog, something corporate