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The Early Years (cont.)

I usually disliked going to the clinics, but felt this would be a way for me to truly show that I wasn't being as "lazy" as she had told my Dad. The doctors at Shriner's Hospital could always tell if you were a slacker. The clinic area always consisted of a row of open ended cubicles with curtains for any type of privacy, prior to being taken to this area we had to wait...sometimes for hours in a very large (but filled to standing room only) waiting room. We were usually there by 8:00 am and we considered ourselves lucky if we were out by noon.

Well, at around ten they called me to my cubicle and I could tell my Dad was almost as nervous about this appointment as I was, though I think he was more worried about the wrath of his then wife if this trip didn't bring the outcome she wanted. All patients had to strip down to only underwear (no room for modesty) since this made checking for growth and muscle deformities easier for the doctors. So, here I am...sitting on the exam table, wearing my underclothes and braces with my crutches braced against the table by my knees, while my Dad paces the cubicle and looks for the doctor. Finally, here comes the doctor with my file and my Dad's letter in hand. He asks my father why he wrote this letter and I must sit and listen to him regurgitate the lies she has told him...feeling helpless and small. The doctor decides to check for himself and within the first few minutes of checking and comparing to my last clinic visit documented in my file he sees drastic improvement! He helps me off the exam table and onto the floor to stand in my braces and notices I'm starting to grow too tall for them, so this means a trip to the "in hospital" brace shop. He then decides to check my balance and finds I can take quite a few steps without holding on to anything or using my crutches. He was so surprised at his findings he wants me checked by the physical therapist. Then, he tells my Dad that he sees absolutely no reason to put me in the hospital, especially when there were so many other children that needed to be there more than me.

It has come to my attention by someone that has donated money using their credit card to inform you that PayPal takes 2.9% of every donation amount given by credit card. So, this will make the "Current Balance" seem like an odd dollar amount. This is not a big problem for me, just something I want everyone aware of in the future. If by some chance you have an account with PayPal, you can donate directly from your account to mine by using the email address of: sweethp@adelphia.net. There are no fees charged when making a donation from one account to another.

Or you may send donations to:

National Bank Of Commerce

115 West Main Street

Bedford, VA 24523

Please note that it is for the Lynn Orange Handicapped Van Fund when sending your donation!

We next start down the long hallway to the physical therapist area for me to be further evaluated on my progress. After about thirty minutes of giving me a thorough workout she calls the doctor to come for a conference. To make an already too long story short, they had both come to the conclusion that within three months, with the progress I was making, I would either be walking without my braces, or without my crutches. My Dad was happy and I was surprised...I knew I was doing well, I just didn't realize how well! So, we go to the brace shop for brace adjustments and are next told that I must leave my braces, because there are so many others ahead of me. They say the braces will be mailed to me when they are finished.

That evening we got home a little after six (if I remember correctly) and the first words out of my stepmother's mouth was, "What are you doing here?" She then started asking my Dad if he had told them everything she told him, and he reassured her that he had, but that he couldn't make the doctors do what she wanted. While he's talking she looks over behind his seat for my braces after noticing I don't have them on. When she asked about where my braces were he informs her that the brace shop had to keep them for adjustments. Her words were a loud solid, "DAMN!" as she stomps off. At this point, I'm not sure if she was frustrated that it would be harder for her to continue the beatings, or if the basement step threat was looming in her mind. It was very clear she wanted me out of the picture, so did it really matter how this was achieved? I'm afraid my answer was to come the next day.

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It has come to my attention by someone that has donated money using their credit card to inform you that PayPal takes 2.9% of every donation amount given by credit card. So, this will make the "Current Balance" seem like an odd dollar amount. This is not a big problem for me, just something I want everyone aware of in the future. If by some chance you have an account with PayPal, you can donate directly from your account to mine by using the email address of: sweethp@adelphia.net. There are no fees charged when making a donation from one account to another.

Or you may send donations to:

National Bank Of Commerce

115 West Main Street

Bedford, VA 24523

Please note that it is for the Lynn Orange Handicapped Van Fund when sending your donation!