Another Doctors Appointment…

Earlier this afternoon I had a doctor’s appointment with a neurologist at Northwestern to figure out what’s going on with my legs and it was a rough experience. I’m not saying the doctor and his assistant were bad (they were actually great), it was just the test I had to go through to determine if there was a weakness in my arms and legs. My case is so weird to begin with because when they were doing the test, I have some weakness in my arms but have some strength as well and the same goes for my legs. I’m guessing that my strengths in those areas are compensating for my weaknesses.

While I did these test, the neurologist couldn’t figure out why I was sent to him because the reason I came to him was my primary doctor referred me to this guy because of the three muscle enzymes tests I’ve taken since May have been extremely high and it was a cause for concern. Well the neurologist suggest I see another doctor who works with muscular dystrophy that could give me answers.

So I have to see another doctor and it’s beginning to be really frustrating for me because I’m just tired of seeing doctor after doctor to determine what the hell is going on with me. This day has just been tiring and I’m so glad to be home so I can rest and relax.

Putting My Team Together

This will be the most important aspect of my film and that is putting my film team together. Ever since I started this film, I’ve worked by myself (with help from my film advisor, Camille DeBose) on this project, but now that I preparing to finish The Wheelchair Chronicles, putting the crew together is gonna be tough. Now don’t get me wrong I got plenty of people who are willing to help me with my film but I want to make sure I’m putting together a crew that will help make this film a success.

Trying to set up a crew is like putting together a puzzle. You have to make sure all the right pieces fit to complete the who puzzle. So as I sit here typing, I have to figure out what I need exactly and what direction I want the film to go. It’s nice that I’m editing but that’s not gonna get the film moving. I need to set up my crew so I can get this film moving and finally finished by the end of the year.

So I have to figure out if I want to add producers, if I need a cinematographer (which I’ll probably need), if I need art, etc. I know I’ll need an editor, sound, music, and I gotta do some voice over work so these choices are very important in finishing the film. I want this to be a great finished product. I want everyone to be proud of what they see from me.

Back To Work (Blog Update)

First off let me apologize for the lack posts the last few months. I’ve been busy trying to finish school and everything and now that I’ve graduated from DePaul (Woo Hoo!!) I can fully focus on finishing The Wheelchair Chronicles. It feels so damn good to be working on my film again. It’s time to focus on funding, editing, and finding music for my film. I’ve got the footage I need and now it’s time to finish my first film ever.

In regards to the blog, I’ll be posting a lot more than just once a month. I’ll restart my What A Film Should Be Like series and I’ll also be reconstructing my blog to make it look more professional so be on the lookout for that. Once again I want to thank everyone for supporting my film and supporting this blog.

Justin

Early Morning Rant…

Well not really a rant, it just my thoughts, just what I’m feeling at this time. I’m two weeks away from my graduation and I’ve never been as happy as I am now. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, a heavy five-year college weight I’ve been carrying around. I should say an eight year weight if you combine my time at Truman college before I came to DePaul. I’m happy that it will be over, even though I might want to do graduate school in the future but now I’m done with all this.

With my graduation looming it also means that I’m back to working on my film and finishing up one of the biggest projects that I’ve put together in my life. I miss filming, I miss the feel of a camera in my hands. I’ll will admit, I haven’t checked out my footage since October of 2012 so it will be interesting to go back and look at all my footage. Who knows maybe I seen something brand new that I didn’t see before and come up with a new idea and direction for my film. I’m excited to get back into the thick of things.

While I’m dealing with graduation and my post-graduation future, I’m also dealing with my love life. I don’t have a significant other in my life but I know that she’s out there. A few years ago I wasn’t thinking about falling in love and being in a relationship but now I want that. I also wasn’t thinking about it because in all honesty I didn’t have confidence in myself and I didn’t love myself as a person. Now I do have that confidence thanks to the women who had an influence in my life to let me be myself and now I’m ready to open my heart to that special woman.

These are just my thoughts ladies and gentleman, just what I was feeling at this time.

*I originally posted this on my blog close to a week ago on tumblr and I thought I should share with everyone.

Today Is Gonna Be A Great Day

Well I woke up this morning looking out my window and seeing rain. Normally when it rains or raining, I know that I’m in for a rough day because my body becomes stiff, in pain and it makes it hard for me to move all day. Now it’s already difficult for me to move around as it is so when the weather is wet it’s twice as hard to move. But when I woke up I wasn’t in pain and it felt great. I know I’m gonna have difficulties today and I expect that being in a wheelchair but today is gonna be a great day. I was preparing for this day to be the worst but now I know it’s not and that makes me happy.

The Return…

No I’m not talking about the return of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose (who I told people that he wasn’t coming back at all this season but I’m getting off topic), I’m talking about the return of me working on my film again. It’s been a few months since I took a hiatus from working on the Wheelchair Chronicles to focus on finishing school (one more month til graduation…WOOOO!!!) and now I’m preparing to finally finish the film that I’ve been working on now for close to 4 years.

One of the great things about taking a hiatus is that it gave me a chance to clear my head. I was focusing on my film 24/7 with one idea for how I wanted to present this film and it was driving me insane and it felt like my head was going to explode. The time away from the film has help big time because it’s given me an opportunity to view other documentaries and get ideas on how to present my film. I so many ideas floating my head and I get a rush of excitement when I come with a new idea and so I’m itching to start working again.

I’m excited for the finish of The Wheelchair Chronicles and I can’t wait to update you all as I take the final steps in completing this film. While I love chronicling my life in a wheelchair through words (I have another idea about further chronicling my life in a wheelchair after my film but I’ll talk about that in a future post), I want people to see me and to watch me explain the trails and tribulations that have happened in my life.

Being Scared and Looking At My Future

I’m scared. It’s hard for me to admit it but it’s true, I’m scared to death. The reason I’m feeling this way is because of my legs. Over the past few months I’ve been having a lot of pain in my legs, to be more precise, my hips. It seems like every morning I wake up and my hips feel like they’re on fire. I’ve tried for months not to worry about it and just block out the pain but recently that hasn’t been the case and now I’m worry that something is seriously happening to me and I’m beginning to question whether I’ll walk again.

Now I’ve had problems with my legs from the moment I was born. I’ve used braces as a child, walked with a serious limp through most of my teenage years, and I’ve been using a wheelchair for close to 13 years and I’ve never worried about my legs this much, so why now? Why am I so scared, why am I suffering with this fear of something bad happening to me?

Then it hit me. I’m scared because my life is changing right before my eyes. I’m preparing to graduate from college, I’m working on my first film, and now I’m thinking about things in my life that I’ve never thought about 5 or even 10 years ago. I’m thinking about marriage, my career, and whether I want to have children. Knowing that I have these leg problems, I’m truly concerned about how this will affect my future.

I don’t want to be constantly worrying about the condition my legs for the rest of my life, that’s why going to see this doctor at Northwestern Hospital is very important to me. I have to find out what’s going and figure what to do about it. I know I have the support of my friends and family through this tough time and I need every bit of support I can get now. I just want to find out what’s wrong with me and what I can do to fix it .

The Urge To Film Again

It’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog, but it’s been even longer since I picked up a camera. I’ve been done shooting my film for close to six months now and yet I miss filming.

I miss picking up a camera and shooting in different locations. Now I’ve got the urge again, the urge to pick up a camera and start shooting anything that moves.

I got a thrill from shooting my film. The idea of recording my experiences through the streets of Chicago invigorated me. I got to learn so much about myself through my travels and how being in a wheelchair has affected me and the people in my life.

I’m an artist and I have so many ideas in my head that are film related and I feel the urge again to record these new-found ideas and spread those ideas across the world.

Filming is my passion now and I need a camera in my hand to record my experiences.

Wheelchair Chronicles Film Update

As much as I don’t want to do this, I have to put completing my film on hold. With trying to finish up school, my time has been stretched out and I just don’t have the time to fully focus on finishing my film at this time. It’s a real difficult decision to make and it’s hurting me so bad now but I’m so close to graduating and I have to fully focus on that. It hurts because I’m so passionate about my first film and I don’t want to let you all down because you’ve been so supportive of me but school comes first.

Thank you all for supporting me and supporting my blog and supporting my film

Justin

I Rather Be An Outcast

When I started out on my film journey, one of my many goals for the film and for myself was to finally be accepted not just by my peers, but by society . You can understand why I made that a goal for myself. At that time, I felt that being accepted by society as a person with a disability would benefit not only me but other people in wheelchairs and other disabilities. Now over a year later, my goal has changed.

I would rather not be accepted by society as a person with a disability. Let me explain. Throughout my 30 years of life, all I’ve wanted was to be accepted. I wanted to be accepted by my friends, family, and other people. I yearned for that acceptance and I was ashamed of my disability. I figured that if I wanted to be successful I had to embrace society, I had to be a part of it, I had to conform. Even when I was working on this film, I still was trying to gain acceptance. Now I don’t want that at all. I don’t want to be “accepted” anymore, I would rather be an outcast than be accepted by society.

Why should I work my ass off to force people to welcome me into their “little club?” Hell, they shunned me to begin with. They treat me like I don’t belong and I’m supposed to work hard to have them welcome me with open arms reluctantly, no way. So I rather stick with being an outcast. As an outcast, I get to be myself. I don’t have to hide who I am to be viewed as normal because I’m not normal.

There are things about me that stand out to many people who I’ve met throughout my life and that’s all that matters to me. Those people who I’ve befriended have accepted me from the beginning as a person and not a man in a wheelchair. I shouldn’t have to work for acceptance, as a black man and a person with a disability; I should already have that acceptance.

Justin