Joe's Story

Thanks for visiting!

I'm Joe, and I am 13 years old.  I have a large family; lots of uncles and aunts and cousins.  I live with my grandmother and grandfather in a town on the Olympic Peninsula.There's a lot that I like about my life, and some things that are pretty tough. First the good things:

I like all kinds of music. My favorite instruments are the trumpet, piano, and saxophone. I spend an afternoon at school in band practice where I'm learning to play the trumpet.
I like building things, too. Besides the old standby Legos, I built a snow fort for this winter, a hut that we all played in during the summer,  a music stand, a sled out of scrap wood and something I call a balancing beam....Wish you could see them all. I think that I probably inherited this interest, since my Aunt Randy is a sculptress. What do you think of the firemen she created?

I also have a microscope that lets me explore the smaller world around me. I've looked at ordinary tap water and found parasites and germs. Kinda scary to see them in the tap water that everyone drinks.  I looked at rain water, too, and it was worse! Very much so.  Now this one really surprised me-- when I looked at a gray line in paper I found it filled with different colors; red, green, blue and even gold.  And when I examined my own blood I noticed that it has things in it, too...I saw some things that were very small moving around, though I couldn't tell you what they were!
I enjoy biking, skateboarding,  roller blading and taking photographs. As you can see, I have a lot of interests.

Here are the tough parts about being me. I'm home schooled most of the time, though I go to school for a few subjects like art for two hours a day. Sometimes I don't wanna go, because the kids make fun of me and tease a lot. They call me names. Sometimes even my best friends in the neighborhood make fun of me and tease me. But most of the time we have fun together.

I have something called ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity).  I take a pill every day to help me cope with it, and I have to go for frequent checkups. It's harder for me to learn, though when I'm allowed to work at my own pace without pressure I do OK...that's why a couple of hours at school is really plenty for me. I wish that kids wouldn't tease when I don't grasp things quickly. If only they knew how much I'm able to do, like exploring and building and making music. If only they knew!

Asthma has been another struggle for me for as long as I can remember. My chest is larger than most kids' because of the asthma, and that's another thing that  kids make fun of. If only they understood that  it's very hard for me to breathe some of the time. I use a machine and an inhaler to help, and sometimes I have to take medication, too.  I get sick very easily and spend a lot of time in the hospital.

Now the last problem I have is accidents...they love me! First I broke my leg and hurt my head when a pickup and I collided. Soon after that, I broke my thumb, and then, while visiting a friend, I tripped on a dog toy and broke my hand. A long time ago I was building a race track and needed to lift up a picnic table. It was really heavy, but as  you can see, I am pretty strong. Well, I lost control of the table and it fell on my guessed it, the nose broke. And so it goes! 

Here I am with my good friend Tanya
I know, I know, you need a magnifying glass...

I hope that you enjoyed learning about  my life. Glad that you came to visit,

Joe Puckett

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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
   Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: November 15, 2004