Saturday, January 31, 2009

Embarrassingly Hilarious!

Hello all. I decided it was time for another entry on Asperger's. I have been meaning to write about it, but with the beginning of la escuela, all my time has been devoured by the demands of stinkin' homework! Although, I have to say that I'm lovin' my class on Communication.

One of the chief issues of Asperger's is lack of social discretion. In fact, one might say this is the chief symptom of Asperger's. Often the reason for lack of social discretion stems from the person's inability to empathize. My relative, whom we will call Max, has no idea how to put himself in other people's shoes. The definition of empathy is: "Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives." If I am embarrassed about something and show clear signs of how I feel, such as covering my face with my hands, or cringing, or turning red, Max doesn't understand why I feel that way. Sometimes he doesn't even realize I'm embarrassed unless I say so. He often gets annoyed with me and tells me" Aw, come on Bethany! That's not embarrassing! You're too sensitive!" In reverse, if he does something embarrassing sometimes I'll say later, "Weren't you embarrassed?" His response is exactly the same as mentioned above. To illustrate the point, I will tell an embarrassingly hilarious, true story.

Max and his family attended a social get-together at their church a few years ago. Most of the people who attended knew Max. One of them was James who is an older, married guy, with kids. Max was used to seeing James on Sunday morning, not usually during the week. James always arrived on Sunday mornings with his hair neatly combed, wearing a crisp white shirt, black slacks, tie, and shining dress shoes. At the night of the get-together, James was an entirely different looking man. While his hair was still tidy, he wore a huge, baggy t-shirt, worn jeans, and comfortable shoes. Well, the baggy shirt emphasized his "fatherly figure". (He's not a slim Jim). Background: Most of Max's friends are the dads at his church. He has never had any close friends his own age. Well, all these dads have "fatherly figures" so Max now sees having a gut as a mark of manhood. It is hysterical to watch Max pull up his shirt and try to pinch his flat stomach as he loudly declares: "See! I have a gut. I'm getting a belly too!" The things he thinks of! Having the framework in place, here's what happened...

Max was chatting with everyone at the get-together and eventually started talking with James. I happened to be walking past during the conversation and overheard Max say, "Man James! Looks like your puttin' on some weight!" I cringed. James replied: "Oh, well THANKS Max!" He was obviously annoyed, but knew who he was dealing with. I was far enough away to pretend not to have heard it. Max, comprehending that somthing may have been amiss, put his arm around James and said comfortingly: "But don't worry James, I really like big, fat guys!" At that point James just cracked up and so did I.

Thankfully, James put up with Max's remarks and saw the humor in them. The reason why Max said what he did is because of his belief that having a gut is a mark of manhood. Hence from Max's perspective, he was paying James a big, heartfelt compliment. Max also had no comprehension of the feelings and emotions his comments may have stirred up. He is incapable of reading subtle body language. Also, Max himself has never experienced mortification or embarrassment. The thought or emtion of being embarrassed has never been part of his experience. It is impossible in these types of situations for Max to imagine the other person's point of view. There is a complete "short circuit" in this area of communication - a disconnect. It's rather baffling! But if you as the reader take a moment to empathize with Max it all starts making sense. Stop and imagine, if you can, what Max's world looks like. It is hard to picture, much less explain it. It is so much easier to gain understanding of this from observation. I find it difficult to fully illustrate this wacky characteristic of Asperger's.

Bye for now friends!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On the Bright Side...

Thanks to all of you that have been praying for Caitlyn. She saw a specialist the other day and was given some posative options. Pray that the new medication she is taking works. And that she continues to remain headache free so she can finish out the semester well. She is still facing BBBBIIIIGGGG tests and labs for nursing school. Not to mention real, hands on work at the hospital. Despite her rotten headache, she still managed to make an 89 on her first test which isn't too bad after missing a week's worth of classes and having a headache during the test. Thanks again!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request!

My poor sister Caitlyn has had a migraine for over a week now. She had a day or two of relief, but has gotten another one this evening. It's no fun. Please pray that she'll be able to get rid of this one, and that we'd find solutions to the problem. Also that she'd remain migraine free for the rest of the semester!


School starts tomorrow. I've been spoiled rotten because of being on break since December 15. Cinderella really understands the difference going to the ball/daydreaming and going to work. I've been at the ball, but now I have to get to work. Waaaaaah!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


These are the babies - Toby and Pebbles. We have all kinds of goofy nicknames for them like:
Kittywinkies, fatso, fuzzy face, piggy-wiggy, cutie pie, squeaker, little pig, fuzz ball, the little thing, the blob, Pebble-webbles, Tobitses, Mr. Tobbers....the list goes on.

Toby was annoyed that I was interrupting his beauty sleep to photograph him.

Pebbles follows Toby wherever he goes. She adores him! He gives her a good, firm swat every now and then when she gets on his nerves.

Friday, January 16, 2009

He Can Move the Mountains

This was taken during the three weeks I was on the couch or my crutches after having ACL reconstruction surgery this past August. I got a little weird on all those pain killers. And let me just say, "Hip-hip-hooray for vitamin I!" (Ibuprofen, better known as advil) That stuff's a life saver!

Needless to say, surgery is expsensive and caused much financial strain. I have had to face many mountains - the kind that are impossible to climb. Yet in my need, God faithfully demonstrated His loving care for me as He moved all those mountains one by one. In July, while playing soccer, I tore my ACL, which is a major ligament in my knee. Basically, to make a looong story short, I racked up close to $10,000 worth of damage in about 3 seconds. Not to mention the fact that it would be a six month recovery! I was making a sharp turn while running after the ball, and my left foot slipped causing my knee to twist in the opposite direction of my body. I actually heard it pop! I soon learned that my torn ACL would not self heal but had to be surgically removed and replaced with 2 of my hamstrings. Being a college student who pays her own tuition, I was beginning to get a little freaked out when all the bills started arriving. I had no idea where all the money was going to come from! My bills added up to about $6,000. That does not include all the frequent physical therapy and doctor's office visits which were $50 a pop. It also does not include that fact that being a young adult gauranteed a high insurance deductible. The bill deadlines kept relentlessly charging forward while my bank account was rapidly dwindling. "Ouch" is a good word to describe this time. I was literally standing in the shadows of some massive mountains. My heart sank as I realized that all my striving to remain debt free was in vain as I would now be in debt for at least a couple of years. All the time that I have been in college I have managed, by the grace of God, to stay debt free.

During my devotional time with Jesus one morning I read such a refreshing piece by Dr. David Jeramiah. It was about discouraging "giants." It was exactly what I needed to hear, and I recorded it in my journal. Here's what He says: "One of the problems with being discouraged is that we also become discouraging. When we fail to trust the Lord with our giants, we're telegraphing a message to others: 'The Lord can't help you with your giants either.' Discouragement becomes as contagious as smallpox." This was where the rubber had to meet the road. I laid down my burden that morning and starting trusting God to provide the money I needed. This was one of those times where I felt blindfolded, but had to trust God's firm grip on my hand. The conclusion I reached after reading this was that I had no reasonable reason to be discouraged. All that I am and have is in Him. He is the greatest treasure I possess. Being human, I managed to trust in the Lord's provision for a few days but quickly found my heart snagged by discouragement again. He told me through his Word and prayer, not to worry. Well, as always He provided beyond my feeble hopes and limited prayers! He also provided things for me which I had not realized I'd need.

1.) Hospital Bill: $2, 546.24 ~ The hospital had a financial assistance program which I applied for. I turned in my application late, and did not expect to hear from them for 3-4 weeks. Well Paula, one of the fantastic administrative employees, saw that my bill was due in just a few days and quickly processed my application. THE HOSPITAL FORGAVE 100% OF MY BILL!!!!!!

2.) Anesthesiologist Bill: $1,278.48 ~ There was no financial assistance program that I knew of with CHS. I was on the phone several times with Reuben who works in the billing department. About the third time I spoke with him he informed me that CHS had a program in which they match the financial assistance that the hospital gives. For example: if the hospital were to cover 50% of my bill, CHS would deduct 50% off of my bill with them. Well, after much finger-crossing I found out that they had matched the hospital. 100% OF MY BILL WAS FORGIVEN!

3.) Orthopaedics Bill: $1, 829.26 ~ money from an unexpected source came and my dear sisters also helped my pay for it. Thanks Candace and Caitlyn! THIS BILL IS 100% TAKEN CARE OF!

4.) X-ray Bill: $185.00 ~ I PAID THIS "LITTLE" ONE IN FULL ON TIME!!!!!

How God provided beyond my feeble hopes: not only was I able to pay these bills off on time but, THEY WERE PAID IN LESS THAN 2 MONTHS AFTER MY SURGERY!!!! I also had more than enough money to buy some much needed itms. I needed new clothes to wear with my huge, bulky, leg brace. I was able to buy some very comfortable leggings that fit under my brace and some tops to match. Also, I was able to afford a pair of shoes that provide the proper support to my knee. THANK YOU JESUS!

Ezekiel 38:20
" The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground."

I think this photo of Mt. Everest is an appropriate illustration for my story.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Funky Fringe!

Yes, people, I am a dangly earrings girl. I LOOOOVE them! I can't ever seem to have enough of them. They are so pretty, and I had this paper lampshade on my lamp that needed something. Fringe? Yep! Dangly earrings are a very important part of any sophisticated gal's wardrobe!

I thought this pic turned out kinda cool.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Bolt was absolutely hilarious. I had never seen a movie in 3D until this one, and it definitely enhanced the experience. For instance, during the action scenes I felt like the flying debris was actually flying toward me or during the several times Bolt lept over objects, that he was jumping over my head. So fun! And Rhino the hampster was too much. My favorite line he says is: "I eat danger for breakfast!" & "I'll get a ladder." Though Rhino is the smallest animal in the movie, he has the biggest ego by far. Bolt, the hero canine, is played by John Travolta, and Miley Cyrus plays Bolt's "person"/owner Penny. I highly recommend this movie for the whole family. It is clean, cute, and highly entertaining. It definitely appeals to a broad audience, my mom loved it, kids will love it - I'm a college student and I love it. I'm buying Bolt when it comes out.