Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I am now a college graduate!!! I graduated last saturday with a B.A. in sociology and a B.A. in journalism. It was a nice day, thank God! Bloomsburg had been getting torrential downpours for the past two weeks or so, but it was sunny all morning. I decided to wear a black dress under my gown and sparkly brown flats, because I just do not like heals; I already have ankle issues, and heels on the bricks on the quad would not have been a good idea. I also had a graduation cap for Dee; she was not happy having something on her head, but everyone thought she was adorable. We took the shuttle for the last time to campus, and we got in line to process. I wasn't really sure where I was supposed to go. dr. Samson, the chair of sociology, saw me and asked me if I knew what was happening. I said I didn't, so she offered to walk in front of me and tell me when to turn and stuff. Dee did well guiding in the procession; she didn't stop to sniff the people clapping and cheering on either side of the isle, and she wasn't distracted by all the noise. She had trouble following though, so I'm glad Dr. Samson was talking to me. We were at our seats; for some reason, Dee didn't want to back up for me, so it took a few seconds to get her into the row instead of lying on the walkway. After that, there were some borring speeches, and we finally got to go up and get our diplomas. Dr. Samson walked beside me this time, and we stood there chatting in line while we slowly moved forward. While I was in line, I saw Dr. Omori, the professor I had for statistics and quantitative research methods. She surprised me by coming over and giving me a hug and said great job I didn't know you were graduating! We made it up the stairs and across the stage without issue. It took me a few seconds longer than everyone else because we were supposed to cary the diploma in the left hand and shake people's hands with the right, but I had to stop each time, drop the harness handle, and switch. On the way down from the platform, I saw my English professor as well as the professor I had for Italian and Spanish. After some more borring speeches, we were allowed to leave.
I was kind of sad because my mom wasn't there; she was sick and couldn't come, so the other family who was going with her didn't come either. However, my boss and his wife were there, and I was so glad to see them. I've worked for him, teaching people Braille, assistive tech, and other blindness skills since October of my freshman year. He's seen me through all three dogs, my depression crash, and everything else. We've spent at least 100 hours on the road, so we've had a lot of time to talk. I'm glad he never gave up on me, even when I was in the worst part of my depression and barely speaking to anyone.
Now I'm back in Altoona at my mother's house. I hate being here!!! She treats me as if I am a child. She keeps asking me if I'm going to eat; I don't eat on her schedule. She eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner all within seven hours. I can't eat like that; if I eat breakfast at 11, I'm not hungry again till 6 or 7 at night. She says she's not a 24 hour kitchen, but I fix my own food so it shouldn't matter to her when I eat. She is also the same way about Dee. Does Dee have water; make sure you give her enough food. Does she need to relieve. I take her out four or five times per day, but my mother thinks she should go out every two or three hours.
We now have a possible idea what is wrong with Dee. When we went to the vet last week, I explained again that she was having trouble putting pressure into the chest strap, going uphills, ETC. They pushed on her and pulled her, but they said she wasn't yelping or flinching or anything; I said that didn't mean much since that wasn't her usual reaction. They took her outside and had her run circles in the parking lot; they came back inside all surprised because they said that was the first time they had a dog refuse to make left turns and run. After that, they took her to x-rays where she surprised them again by being perfectly still and not struggling in position. They found a pin-sized bone chip missing/floating in her left shoulder blade, and there is a separation between the servical vertibre 6 and 7, the ones from the neck to between the shoulder blades. Now, they want her to have a myelogram; they put her under anesthesia for awhile and put dye and stuff into her spine to see if the nerves are pinched. If they are, she will have to have surgery to have the disk removed so the two bones won't be separated anymore. Now that I'm $350 poorer and have to spend more of my scholarship money on vet costs, I might be staying here for the summer. I wanted to go to the NFB convention in Orlando, but if Dee has to have surgery, I won't be able to go. Please pray and send good thoughts for Dee; I miss having her work for me.

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