by Douglas, Pennsylvania
I am six years old and have Spina Bifida, because of that I was told to not touch latex. It is boring to not be able to play with latex ’cause lots of things are made of latex. It makes me mad that I can’t chew gum especially.
When I was sick with diarrhea and had to wear diapers, I got big red marks where the elastic touched. Last fall when my dad spread sealer on our driveway, I woke up sick in the night with croup. The doctor gave me a Proventil inhaler I can use now when I get “raspy”. When I get really “raspy” I have to take Albuterol syrup, it tastes yucky and it makes my hands shake.
I try to be real careful and not to touch latex, but some things I don’t know. I had the principal at school call the manufacturer before I would go on the new gym floor because it was spongy feeling and I was afraid. They gym teacher had to get a different ball for me. My classroom has vinyl gloves in it and I wear them when we finger paint. The teacher finds something different that the eraser dinosaurs for me to use. I do O.K. on the playground because the part that is rubber touches my hinny over clothes and not my hands.
When I have birthday parties and kids give me gun, I give it to my big sister. We can’t play balloon games or have them for decorations. My friends at church and kindergarten are learning about latex because of me. I remind my teacher, therapists, and sometimes my mommy to check if something is latex to keep me safe.