Hi! My name is Meg Timbie. I have had an interesting life. I wanted to come out and party early. I was born two and a half months premature during a hurricane in Hawaii. I have cerebral palsy because I didn’t get enough oxygen and parts of my brain were injured when I was born. Cerebral Palsy can affect people in so many different ways. In my case, I cannot walk, use a power wheelchair and have limited use of my right arm. I have been fortunate to have lived in Hawaii, San Francisco and near New York City. I have been to Mexico to build houses for families in need, I have been to Scotland and on cruises to the Caribbean and Canada. I love to write, listen to music except rap, read mysteries and autobiographies and watch sports. I also love swimming in a pool, Zumba and yoga. I also like acting and going to plays and watching comedy and action movies. I would love to try wind surfing and river rafting. I’m always up to trying something new. I have gone up in a glider, gone water skiing and tubing and surfing which was a lot of fun!
So, basically I live my life like everyone else and want to be treated like everyone else. The only differences are that I have to schedule my transportation with paratransit which is a curb to curb shared ride service for people who have disabilities and senior citizens who cannot take the regular public bus. I have to schedule my rides one day to a week in advance. I have to get a prescription from my doctor before getting my wheelchair fixed and have to call ahead and make sure places are accessible and have ramps or no steps. People who can drive and walk, don’t have to plan their schedule in advance or wait long to get their car fixed. Sometimes it can take a month or more to get my wheelchair fixed.
The hardest physical part of having cerebral palsy is having tight/stiff muscles. I have spastic CP which is the most common type. Sometimes I get so tight that it’s hard to move and I cannot move until I relax which can take up to a few minutes. Sometimes I get stiff as a board. Cold weather and cold water makes my muscles tight to where it hurts. I also have a startle reflex where loud unexpected noises or movements scare me. It feels like I’m having a small heart attack but it only last two seconds. My CP affects my whole body, but my left side is the strongest. If there are grab bars I can go to the restroom on my own and I use a roll-in shower that’s flat with no lips so I can take a shower by myself for the most part. I love being independent and don’t like to have help unless I really need it.
The hardest part of having a disability is when people don’t have disability awareness. Here’s an example: I was at the doctors the other day and one of the people asked my mom if I could sign the paperwork and I told her I can sign it myself. Another example is a counselor told me once I wasn’t college material based on low test scores. I complained to her boss and she got fired. I wish I could tell the counselor now that I graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors Degree in Communications.
I have had several paid and volunteer jobs. I’m currently a receptionist for a disability organization in the evenings and volunteer at a hospital. I do a lot of various projects and mass mailings for the departments, package up cookies for oncology patients and delivery hats for babies and oncology patients. I love volunteering at the hospital because I love helping people!
The best part about having a disability is being able to go first in line at amusement parks! I also love being able to go to attend camps such as Tulgey Wood on Nantucket. At camp, even though the house where we stay at isn’t accessible, the people who volunteer their time are willing to help us with whatever help we need. And most importantly, to have fun! My favorite activity was going to the Boston Pops and Rain-A tribute band of the Beatles concert. I also loved going to see the play “Footloose” and being apart of our play “Breakfast at Tiffany’s Too”. It’s not too often where people who have disabilities get to be in the spotlight. This camp is a big happy family! I wish we all lived closer. Here’s the camp website https://www.tulgey.org/. to find out more about our camp, watch the play and to read our blog which I helped the director, Jan and other people at the camp write. I wrote about Tulgey Wood on my blog in August 2018.
People can follow my blog at https://worldofcreativewriting.wordpress.com/. My blog consists of other fun adventures like Tulgey Wood, poems, short stories and reviews on books, movies such as “Me Before You” and the television show “Speechless“. I also write reviews on products on my other blog https://yourresourceconnection.wordpress.com.
My motto in life is to always have a positive attitude, be thankful for what you have and what you can do and don’t say you can’t do something unless you try!