Follow @stuckinscared Stuck In Scared: June 2013

Sunday, 23 June 2013

My Name Is 'STIGMA'

Within hours of meeting (in the virtual sense) the young lady I want to share with you today this is what I saw - A beautiful, vibrant, fun loving young lady who appears to live life to the full. 
Her eyes light up when she smiles (she smiles a lot) she goes out with friends, looks stunning in a little black dress and she loves her family.

I was able to determine all of the above just by looking at some photo’s that ‘Emelie Crecco’ had shared on Facebook.

I was NOT able to determine on sight alone that the beautiful (healthy looking) young woman I was looking at (stalking for the purpose of this post) has a serious and potentially life threatening genetic condition.   

I should clarify here that I was aware of Emelie’s disability before I saw her pictures (I’m not in the habit of randomly stalking and writing about strangers) my point is - I know Emelie is disabled because (and only because) ‘SHE TOLD ME’ initially (indirectly) via her Facebook status and then later face to face (screen to screen would be more accurate) in more detail via email.

Before I get to my reason for this post I’d like to briefly explain how CF affects Emelie.  

Emelie was born with cystic Fibrosis (CF) – now twenty years old she lives (behind the smile) with the knowledge that the average life expectancy for a person with CF is 38yrs.

Emelie’s condition is serious, causes a range of debilitating symptoms and is incurable.

She has a compromised immune system and needs to avoid where possible others who are sick. – Even a common cold might easily escalate into a full blown (possibly life threatening) lung infection.

Her body produces thick, sticky mucus which clogs up her lungs and pancreas, daily (multiple) inhaled treatments and other meds alongside extensive physiotherapy are essential to her well being.

She has more check - ups with the doctor than most people have hot dinners and is frequently too sick to do any of the things I observed her doing in her photo’s.

In addition to the symptoms outlined above Emelie’s body can rapidly become depleted of salts especially when the weather is hot causing at best chronic fatigue - weakness and at worst fever - muscle cramps - stomach pain – vomiting - dehydration and even heatstroke!

This brings me nicely (or not so nicely as the case may be) to my reason for this post……

On the 17/6/13 (an extremely hot day) Emelie had some errands to run around her town, she wasn’t having a particularly good day, she was finding breathing a little harder than usual and struggling with the heat so decided on this occasion to take advantage of her ‘handicap sticker’ (better known here in the UK as a disability badge – Emelie is American)

Despite being disabled herself and quite within her rights to use her badge every time she’s out (contrary to popular belief they’re not handed out without good reason) ‘Emelie’ chooses only to use this *passport to manageable walks* on bad days preferring where possible to leave disability spaces free for other disabled people!  

Anyway she parked up in a disabled bay, displayed her badge and went off to see to her errands. I imagine (though I wasn’t there so could be wrong) that she was probably wearing her *every-days a gift smile* as she went.

Unbeknown to Emelie as she *puffed* herself away from her car and down the street she was being observed! 

When Emelie returned (flagging a bit with the heat) to her car she found a scribbled note stuck on the window.
It read…. Shame on you, you are NOT handicapped – you have taken a space that could have been used by an actually handicapped person – You are a very selfish young lady. 

In the time it had taken Emelie to park up, display her disability badge and leave her car not only had *Mr/Mrs Stigma* decided they knew enough about her to judge her as a liar, a cheat *A selfish Young Lady* but they had publicly branded her as such too!   

They hadn't approached her, asked her why she was parked in a disabled bay (Though in my opinion she would have been quite within her rights to tell them to bugger off and mind their own business) instead they had (in their ignorance) on sight alone (mis) judged her! 

Their cowardly scribble might just have well have read - 'My name is 'STIGMA' and I am judging YOU'! 

Emilie’s initial reaction was anger (I believe livid is the word she used) and who could blame her!? However it wasn’t too long before her own feelings were replaced with concern for other sufferers and this led her to think about how her experiences that day might (through sharing) help raise awareness as to the severity of Cystic Fibrosis while at the same time opening people’s minds to the fact that not all disabilities are visible.
There has been a huge, (sympathetic) response to Emelie’s story so far and if you would like to support her awareness campaign yourself you can contact her either via Facebook >> or Twitter >>  I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.  

I think it’s appropriate to take my lead from Emelie on this ‘positive thought’ occasion so in her words >> Sometimes, people are fighting a battle that you can't see. Stay educated everyone. Be kind to people” ~~ Emelie Crecco ♥   

Lord, I pray that the eyes of those who *see it how it isn’t* be opened and the voices of those who *Tell it how it is* be heard.  Amen.

Thank you as always my friends for allowing me to share

God bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x 

Friday, 14 June 2013


Forty nine years ago, money was tight for The-Man. For months he, (after ensuring New-Wife had everything she needed to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table) religiously banked anything caught in the lining of his pockets at the end of each week; in the vain hope of owning a car. By the early months of 1965 he was finally in a position to purchase a cheap run-around.  
However, unbeknown to him, New-Wife was about to let him in on a little secret.

He returned home from work one evening (details of chosen car in hand), and was greeted by a beaming New-Wife; and the news that his hard earned savings had (that same day) been De-banked and... exchanged for a coach-built-pram! 
The mans initial reaction to the news that his first child was on the way was only very slightly marred by the realisation that the only four wheels he would be getting behind for the foreseeable future would be of the baby carrying variety.

Over the next few months his bank balance shrank as fast as his wife expanded, but he was happy, and two days after Christmas 1965 The-man could be observed running (no car remember) from hospital to home (a good few miles) excitedly passing on the news of his new baby girl to anyone whod listen.

The-man went on to have two more of his own daughters, and much later on in life acquired (on marrying his second wife) two step-daughters; who he would come to love as his own.
He would also go on to have a wide variety of cars.

The-man worked various jobs through the early years of his first marriage but finding little satisfaction in any of them, decided (during the 70s) to train as an ambulance man. He loved the job, and was good at it.
He later went on to qualify as a fast response paramedic.

Through the years he treated a lot of people and saved many lives; those he was unable to save he treated (until last breath or handover) with gentle care, reassurance, and compassion.

Over the years, The-man dealt with - attempted suicide, actual suicide, births, deaths, aggressive-drunks, car crashes, near misses, house fires; and a variety of other incidents.

He was first on scene to a guy with extensive and life threatening injuries, who was trapped in a mangled heap of once-was-car!
His own fear was well masked as, with soothing tone and reassuring words, he placed an oxygen mask over the guys face.
He was (after realising that the patients lung was compromised) inwardly horrified and incredibly stressed. Outwardly, he was (as always) calm and quick to respond.
With perspiration running down his neck and adrenaline working overtime The-man (with an award winning impression of calm) explained to his patient that he needed to insert a cannula and syringe directly into his lung.
Despite working in unsterile conditions, and having only ever performed this procedure once before (on a dummy in training class) he then got on with the job in (shaky) hand.
It was not entirely clear as the drivers skin began to pink up which of them was most relieved!

The-man was a devoted son; nursing his mother through the last years of her life with humility and patience, and (despite a childhood damaged by drunken rages and random beatings ) his father was afforded the same humility and patience when he needed it.

Shortly after the birth of his disabled Granddaughter in October 2005 The-Man flew home from holiday at a moments notice on receiving this text message - “Come home Dad, please come home Dad, I need you.”  
He left his second wife in Spain and jumped on a plane, just like that.

Did he know that (despite her being already surrounded by more family than the special care baby unit could handle) his child, (above ALL others) just wanted her dad? Did her reasons for not being able to cope without him for just a short while longer matter?
Of-course not; She needed him, he came... simple as that!

‘The man’ has been a loving husband; to both first and second wife. He continues to love and support the first, and adored (beyond words) the second; until 'death did them part'.

To his Grandchildren, he’s all the things the word ‘Granddad’ brings to mind. They love him to bits and he them.

To the thousands of men, women and children who were lucky enough to find him on board the ambulance that came in their hour of need; he was a hero. 

To his kids, he’s a big old softy whose eyes read ‘I love you’ whenever he looks at them; slow to anger,  quick to forgive. 
Always there (and if he’s not there he’s getting there!)  

'THE MAN' IS MY DAD.       I love you dad x  


'The man', on the beach; bare burnt chest - white legs - faded shorts - longish socks and high shine polished shoes. 
A snap shot in my mind that still makes me smile, though I can assure you, Teenage-me was not impressed (cringe) not cool dad, not cool at all!  o_O 


Thank you for allowing me to share

God bless you and all those you love  

Kimmie x 

Other 'Dad' related posts The Man has Cancer  >>  It's your birthday and I'll cry if I want to

"When God was handing out Dads... He saved the best for me." Quote