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:
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.
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!
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.
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
nose...shebang...you guessed it, the nose broke. And so it goes!
I know, I know, you need a magnifying glass...
I hope that you enjoyed learning about my life. Glad that you came to visit,
Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Last updated: November 15, 2004