Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Can I be The Artist With The Missing Tooth?

For years everyone in my network have been trying to find a dentist that would be willing to work me.  I am taking about people from family, producers, my Dr., to my Service Coordinators and UC2.

Everything we tried always fall through. I remember the last time I tried to see the Dentist was at the UMAB Dental School. The producers of King Gimp set this up, because they are connected to UMAB.

So I got back in the exam room, in the chair. They looked at me and said it was to risky to even put a tool in my mouth since I move so much.

About two months ago my front teeth started to come very loose, so the dentist hunt was back on. Then my Mom discovered that there is a new dental school special patient clinic at UMAB. I hated the thought of trying another clinic; because they ripped my mouth up worse doing the work then the pain would be from the actual dental work.

I went anyway yesterday, although I felt that nothing would really get done.  I got in the chair and to my surprise they did an exam and they were willing work with me. Let take breaks when I got tired of keeping my mouth open. My Mom did let them know about the film of course, also that I not only have two B.S. Degrees and a M.F.A., but also that I ski black diamonds in order to let them know the person inside on this tornado of a body.

My Wifey said it best; my body is as when you put a racehorse in the gate. The longer the pin it up, the more is just wants to run wild. Even though the dentist was in his fifth year, he kept consulting with his instructor. So the big question was to go ahead and pull the tooth while I was awake. Their biggest worry was that I could inhale the tooth and it would go into my lungs.

They think the reason why my tooth came so loose is that the bone deteriorated. When the bone goes then the gum pulls away from the teeth.  Then stuff gets in there so the gum cannot grow back. I ask if this would happen to the rest of me teeth. They could not really say since it was not cause by decay.  Being that the gum could heal, it only took a second to decide to pull it.  I said at least I would have a new hole for me straws.

The moment I said do it, they changed out the dental assistant. Until now it was a female helping us, they knew my body would become a beast. So they started to give me the gas. I also said, it might help to cover my eyes so I could not see them working and they did.  Before the instructor came back in to do the deed, I told the guys they should pocket my tooth and put that shit on EBay.

So I had three people there to help hold me. Before the Dr. started, she even said ok we are going jungle style. As to say once she started pulling, there was no stopping. She did give me a double shot to novocaine. The whole process felt like it took seconds.

Even though, I just had a tooth pulled both my Mom and I said that was the most delightful dental visit we ever had! I do not know if, I want to mess around getting a fake tooth.  If Van Gogh can be an artist with missing a freak’n ear, why cannot I be an artist with missing a tooth?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Evil Geniuses

I am finally getting around to tell about Brooks and me getting the stair lift installed.  To remind you this is the stair lift from our other place. Most people act like they would not think about transplanting a stair lift unless the fit is right. Tom was willing to rebuild our current stairs so it could fit as a straight shot, but he was nervous about cutting the rail.

We asked a lot of people if they would help us install the stair left and cut the rail since our new steps are shorter. Most people said that it was not a good idea to cut the rail. If you cut it in the middle, you mess up the connection of the two pieces. Then if you cut off end, you loose the chargers at the top.

So the stair lift sat unplugged for about a year and that is not good for medical equipment.  Until these two hippies said we can do this. Brook got it all installed and plugged in. Nothing happen plus it would not charge!

We kept adding to things that we had to trouble shoot. The first step was to cut the rail off to size and put the cap back on the end. While Brooks was during that, Wifey and I were able to find the remotes. The remotes worked, brooks finished up on the end and even re-drill the wholes for the charges so the next step was to fix the controller on the seat. I was like take it apart, I bet a wire is loose and sure enough it was.

Now we got two problems solves and the biggest one was still to come, getting this thing to charge. There were 4 contacts for the charger, but only two wires. No matter how we connected wires it would not charge. I am sure we spent two hours on the web looking for manuals and videos to show us how to connect the chargers and we never found anything.

I asked Brooks, if he could see how the contacts line up under the chair? To do this, Brooks had to take off the end cap and ran the chair half way out of the rail. By George, it work then it was a snap to the chargers working.

So far it keeps working and has not blown up yet!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Medical Assistance Personal Care Services Changes

Today I had my quarterly meeting with my nurse from Medical Assistance Personal Care Services program from Baltimore County Department of Health, Bureau of Community Health Services.  She informed me that there are big changes coming to this program in the next year. To me how she explained it, the program sounds more of a waiver deal and there will be a few ways to manage the funds. I could keep it as now and manage the funds myself, or go with an agency to help mange the funds.  The big change will be that my PCA will be pay hourly, instead of a flat rate per day.  If there are funds left in the budget they could be used to  make accommodations around your house, or buy adoptive equipment.

Has anyone else heard about this? As with anything it sounds good in idea, but there are always bugs to work out. Just as when everyone got excited about the New direction waiver, as a way to give the recipients more control of their lives'. it was a good idea until you saw the break down of the funds and percentage really went to one's care.  When I looked into it, I had more questions then answers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dan Keplinger – Artist and Motivational Speaker

Dan is an artist that paints with a stick attached to a headband. Dan has mixed spastic and athetoid cerebral palsy.

Visit Dan Keplinger’s website for more information.

Dan’s friends tape charcoal or paint brush to his head stick device to enable him to create art.

Free Past
Painting by Dan Keplinger 

My Nights
Painting by Dan Keplinger

Some Bum
Painting by Dan Keplinger

Dan Keplinger is featured in the award-winning, short documentary

King Gimp
“It does feel good to be respected and appreciated for who I am.”- Dan Keplinger

“In my work I hope to show everybody that they have the ability to persevere.”- Dan Keplinger

Painter’s canvas becomes his voice
Dan Keplinger, artist, motivational speaker and the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary King Gimp, isn’t sure if he discovered his voice through art, or if art gave him a voice. For Dan his passion for art began when his high school teacher encouraged him to express himself through art.

“I just look for powerful feelings and emotions that give me a certain connection,” said Dan. “My art speaks what I would be saying with words.”

At around 9-years-old a documentary film crew began documenting area children of differing economic backgrounds and began following Dan’s journey. The documentary, King Gimp, received an Academy Award and his artwork sales soared and his calendar filled with speaking engagements.

“People are more willing to take time to understand me,” said Dan. “I do not know if they now realize that I do have something to say, or if what I do say just blows them away.”

An artist was born
When Dan Keplinger was born January 19, 1973 in Baltimore, Maryland, the doctor thought he was stillborn and placed him aside. Momentarily deprived of oxygen, he revived with a brain injury and mixed spastic and athetoid cerebral palsy.

At 18 months, Dan was enrolled in a special education school run by United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland and then enrolled into a level five special education school at the age of 6. At 16-years-old and a high school sophomore, he was mainstreamed into the public school system.

He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Mass Communication in 1998 and a Bachelors of Science in Art in 2000 at Towson University.

The artist

Dan creates charcoal drawings and canvas paints. He attributes his interest in art to a high school teacher that gave him “the tools to have art say what I wanted it to.” He paints from an extensive collection of photographs that inspire an internal connection, “I look for the abnormal in normal life.”

Not always happy in nature, his abstracts often depict feelings he admits “would make people close to me scared and worried about me.”

“Maybe I want people to see these feelings, so they know everything is not happy in my world,” he said. “Translating myself onto canvas became my language, something I needed to exist.”

He paints with a head stick, a brush connected to a dowel and headband, onto canvas spanning at least 4 by 5 feet. His friends cut and position the canvas and mix and place his paints. To paint he sits in a “W” position on the floor of his apartment which is covered with six-inch thick foam to protect his knees.

He uses 15 brushes that can be easily interchanged by his friends and utilizes four jars of paint thinner in each corner of his canvas. His paintings often contain a wheelchair because “it is my main mode of conveyance and a major part of my daily life,” he said. “In my work I hope to show everybody that they have the ability to persevere.”

Dan’s art, which includes self-portraits, abstracts and landscapes, was first professionally shown in May of 2000. His art has also been featured at prestigious shows across the nation, including the Herbst International Exhibition Hall at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA; the Millennium Arts Center in Washington, D.C.; the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, IL; and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, NY.

The documentaries
His life story, to date, is shared through film and distributed to schools and professional training programs. At age 9 he was included in Beginning with Bong a documentary produced by Susan Hannah Hadary and William A. Whiteford at the University of Maryland Video Press and Tapestry International Productions. The documentary was about children with disability from different economic backgrounds that were mainstreamed in various education systems.

Hadary and Whiteford continued filming Dan throughout his life. They filmed him moving from his special education school into a mainstreamed public school system. They filmed his prom, high school graduation and his first art show. They even recorded him transitioning from his mother’s house and into independent apartment living.

Eighty hours of raw footage and the assistance of an 80-page memoir written by Dan was then edited into a 39 minute documentary titled King Gimp.

“The film King Gimp documents Dan’s joys and frustrations including the freedom granted by his first power wheelchair, his rebellion against using a computer-generated voice, his everyday strides for independence, and his most life altering discovery–art,” reports the MedSchool Maryland Productions and Video Press website.

King Gimp reveals how Dan discovered his voice through art and suggests that intelligent individuals with speech impediments and physical impairment are often perceived incorrectly. The film premiered June 5, 2000 on HBO and is available through mainstream distribution. It was nominated for a national Emmy, received an Oscar, and the Peabody Award.

“It does feel good to be respected and appreciated for who I am,” Dan said. “I hope that people who have seen “King Gimp” have gained this new awareness not only for me but for others who have physical disabilities.”

The motivational speaker
Currently, Dan travels the country, booking motivational speaking engagements on topics that include “Accessible Arts” and “Overcoming Physical Challenges to Create Success.” He is often sought by federal and state agencies, along with corporations and disability organizations to promote inclusion in all aspects of society.

In 2001, he was featured in a Cingular Wireless Super Bowl commercial promoting self-expression. The commercial received many honors including being ranked in USA Today as the number one super bowl commercial; receiving the Goodwill Industries’ Walter Knott Service Award for displaying outstanding humanitarian spirit; and the TASH Image Award for exemplary achievement in media.

KING GIMP: The Story of Daniel Keplinger

‘King Gimp’ chronicles man’s teen and adult challenges, triumphs

Academy Award-winning documentary follows the daily life of Dan Keplinger from the ages of 12 to 25 years old, with a special nod to his search for acceptance and success as a sought-after artist. Keplinger, at the beginning of “King Gimp” is a self-conscious teen with severe cerebral palsy living with his single mother, Linda Ritter, in suburban Baltimore, Md. But at the end of the film, he’s a college-educated artist; working his magic on the canvas, and pondering the meaning of love.

To purchase King Gimp contact the National Films for Humanities and Sciences at 1-800-257-5126 or visit MedSchool Maryland Productions and Video Press, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

To purchase King Gimp contact the National Films for Humanities and Sciences at 1-800-257-5126 or visit MedSchool Maryland Productions and Video Press, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Spouse and Partner

A tale of love and devotion

Artist Dan Keplinger said in the Academy Award-winning film about his life that he expected to have a life of loneliness because he believed his cerebral palsy would prohibit someone from loving him. But Dan would ultimately find that life is full of surprises after meeting his soul mate and wife, Dena.


Attend Dan’s Upcoming Events

Book Dan for Speaking Engagements

Or, contact Dan via email, FaceBook


Visit Dan’s Website

Visit Dan’s Blog

 View Dan’s Award-Winning Cingular Wireless Commercial

A must see demonstration – Dan in studio working with different mediums

View Dan’s Art

Book your engagement today!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Paying My Dues

Back to the old grind of emailing schools, colleges, and disability organizations trying to get speaking engagements. It was nice that Service Coordination had given me the opportunity to be their keynote at this year’s Self Direction Conferences. I do hope they are satisfied with the advice I could offer during my presentation.

I also hope that Wifey and I did not give Mike too many heart attacks with out last minut5es decisions, or our 10 minutes ETA calls.  This is on top of planning his wedding that is in 5 days. I know his wedding and marriage will go as smoothly as our presentations!

One could that this type of opportunity like Service Coordination Inc. gave me, could fall in one’s lap once, or twice in a lifetime.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bad To The Bone

PWD are going to hell no matter what!  There are still people out there who still think PWD are just possess by demons. Yes I do have story to back that up, it is some where on my blog. I even had to go to court for it.
To make the story short, I was rolling home from TU and this person chase me for 3 blocks. Hitting me on the head to cast out the demons in me. Although she was the one foaming out the mouth.
Then when we do fall in love, it will be more difficult since benefits will be cut.  When this happens one person becomes the soul provider and puts more strain on the relationship. So to some people it might seem that we end up living in sin.  I respect what people believe, I just think this respect goes both ways.
I say fuck it, I will live me life to the fullest and if I get judge at the end, bring it on. So far I only have one regret in life!