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Randy Young

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Member Since: Mar, 2008

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Something that I have never done before
5/19/2008 4:54:51 AM

If you have read my bio, you know that I was born with POLIO. I have never taken the time to do what I am going to do here. I am going to start with my birth and tell you what it was like, growing up "wanting to be normal."
First, I want to let you know that I am not an only child. I do have "one" older brother, but he is the perfect child. He never does anything wrong. I, on the other hand, do not do that much that is right. He was and is the favorite child. (Was then, is now.)

Basically, my brother hated my guts. He is seven years older. We never felt like brothers growing up together. I was just the younger brother. I was some mosquito that needed to be swatted. Several times, he did swat me.

I know that I will not be able to put everything in one blog. I will do my best to include what you might find interesting.

I was born premature. I weighed 4 lbs. and 10 and 1/2 oz.

I was so sick that the doctor sat beside my bed all night. I was not expected to live. My doctor was a woman named Dr. Luthor. She was as "rough as a cob," but she cared about my life.

It did not take long, after being a new-born that the baby doctors noiced that something was not right with my left leg. They did not know what was wrong, but they wanted to do something about it. So, they put a cast on my leg. They did not know of anything else to do. They did what they figured was best.

They did not know that I had polio. No one knew that I was paralized from the knee down. My leg was in a cast. You could not observe the foot and leg.

That first year, my parents said that they literally shook down a baby bed. At night, I would not go to sleep without someone shaking the bed or something. Don't blame me, I did not start it. They did. I just wanted them to keep doing it. They spoiled me to wanting it every time that I needed to go to sleep.

They managed to stick out a leg at night and shake the bed until I fell asleep. They said that the bed came apart and colapsed one day. I was not in it at the time.

I was taken to Birmingham, Alabama to a special doctor. He was Dr. Vesley. I still remember him. I remember him measuring my leg and looking at my foot. He was the doctor that prescribed a brace for me.

I did not tell you, but the cast that I wore made my big toe grow crooked. It was cramped in the cast and the cast did not grow along with my foot and leg. Later, I had to have surgery to break the toe and reset it. I will tell you about that later.

Before having the brace, I tried to walk. I did not have any control over my foot. It turned outward and was dragged along at the end of my left leg. I could not run. If I tried to run, I would trip over my own foot and fall.

The brace was attached to my "high-top" shoes and fastened around my leg, just below the knee. It was heavy and it made my leg sweat under the band at the top of the race where it was strapped around my leg. I would have to stop, stick my finger between the leg and brace and circle around in order to get some air to my leg.

I had to wear that brace from sun-up to sun-down. I did not have to wear it in the bed, but I had to have it to walk. I could not get up and run bare-foot. I wanted to run bare-foot. I wanted to be "normal." I wanted to be able to run and play like the "normal" kids.

I hated to wear shorts. My mom made me, but I hated it. Sometimes, I would hide in the closet to try and keep her from putting shorts on me. Shorts did not cover up the brace. Everyone could see it. I looked like everyone else, until they looked at my leg.

Sometimes, I would go around the corner of the house and cry. I felt like I was the only little boy in the world that felt like some kind of freak. I hated the brace. I hated wearing shorts. I hated being different.

Once, there were family members at the house and mom decided they were going to go down town. The car only held so many people. She told me that I could not go that there was not enough room in the car. I had to stay home while they went to town.

I was brave. I watched them drive away. Then, I went to the side of the house and cried. I sat there not fully understanding why I did not get to go. To me, it all went back to my leg and foot. If I were "normal," I would have gotten to go. It was my falt. It was my leg and foot. I cried.

I never told anyone how I felt. I never admitted to the feelings that were building inside of me. I thought about hurting myself. I was angry at myself, then I wanted to do something to make mom regret leaving me at home. I wanted to run away. I even looked at a coke bottle and thought about eating glass, but I hated pain and the sight of blood.

You have to understand. I was a child. I did not understand it all. I was trying to figure out my view of the world and from here, it looked pretty bad.

On top of this, I developed a habit that is still with me today. We had family or people drop in often at our house. They always seemed to come around dinner time. Of course, we had to share our food. If there was not a lot of food, you might actually have to share what you have on your plate, or portions were cut down really low.

I hated it. It did not take long for me to figure out that if I had bitten off of everything no one wanted it. If I had a sandwich that was cut in half, it was subject to abduction by a visiting family member or guest. I could have a half of a sandwich taken off of my plate and shared.

I began to take a couple of bites out of one half, lay it down, and start to eat the other half. If I had already bitten into the halfs, no one wanted them. It worked. I learned at an early age that if I wanted to protect my food, I had to eat some of everything at the start. I could not leave anything untouched.

I know that it is weird, but it sticks with me to this day. If I have a sandwich that is cut into two halves. I take a bite out of one, lay it down, and eat the other half. That way, no one will come in and take my food.

Also, I forgot to mention. I was warped by this in my childhood. As a result, I can not stand anyone to touch my food or reach into my plate. Honest, I get so mad when someone wants to reach in my plate. If I tell someone to try something, that is different.

When I started first grade, I wore my brace, of course. it was not too bad. I had on long pants and no one could see it. I liked the classroom best. I did not look forward to going to the playground that much.

In the classroom, I looked like everyone else. Sitting in my desk, I was "normal." No one mad fun of me. I could compete on the same level as everyone else. It was math, reading, language, history, and show and tell.

Every day, I was reminded of my leg and foot, when we went to the play ground. I remember how it felt, to be chosen last for games. I wanted to play ball so much, but I was horrid at running. I could not help it. I did my best.

The teacher always chose the "jock" of the class to be the team captain. He was a favorite of the class. He was strong and he could run fast. But, he did not want the guy with a limp on his team.

I remember the look on the faces as the team captains were choosing sides. They sometimes avoided my eyes as they looked at all of us lined-up and waiting for selection.

"I'll take..." they chose back and forth. Guess who was always last? Me! on top of it, I saw the look in the eyes. I saw the disgust. I saw the shoulders. I heard the sigh, just before a reluctant, "Okay...Young."

I was always last.

more later

Comments (1)

More Blogs by Randy Young
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• MY BOOK IS LISTED ONLINE - Friday, May 30, 2008
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• Something part 3 - Wednesday, May 21, 2008
• Something Part 2 - Tuesday, May 20, 2008
•  Something that I have never done before - Monday, May 19, 2008  

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