Interview with Cindy Yee Kong with The Eyes of the Lion

» Posted on Jul 10, 2014 in Blog | 6 comments

This week I’m hosting Alison Stone with Critical Diagnosis and Cindy Yee Kong with The Eyes of the Lion (no giveaway). If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on your post with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (July 13th) evening.

EyesoftheLionfrontcoverInterview with Cindy Yee Kong with The Eyes of the Lion:

Tell me the most interesting thing about you.  

My name is Cindy Yee Kong. I was born with a rare disease that kept me from running, jumping and talking normally with friends and family. Dealing with this rare disease and abusive, unsupportive family,I fought to find strength within myself and God’s help to escape to a life of happiness, support, and love.

Born into a Buddhism religion, I found God’s infinite love in young age when no single person told me about Him.   It was a long journey to come to know the message of Jesus’ saving grace, and to obtain a proper diagnosis in order to have any hope of treatment. After I was saved, my physical condition got better gradually and finally I was able to have proper medical care in place.

Prior to my proper diagnosis and medical care, I was able to get my bachelor degree in Sociology by working extremely hard. I carried that work ethic over into the business world, but despite all my efforts I was still struggling in the job market and didn’t understand why.

I was diagnosed with dopa-responsive dystonia in 1995 then later in 2008, out of frustration with my peers, I went to see a speech pathologist and was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder(CAPD or APD) which stems from dopa-responsive dystonia. I have a learning disability as well.

My speech pathologist said that I was overlooked as a child by the educators because English was not my first language. If I was intervene in my early stage of life, the treatments would make a difference. Now that I am adult, it is not as effective.

Here is an excerpt from American Speech Language Hearing Association that gives part definition of APD:

“Children with APD may exhibit a variety of listening and related complaints. For example, they may have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, following directions, and discriminating (or telling the difference between) similar-sounding speech sounds. Sometimes they may behave as if a hearing loss is present, often asking for repetition or clarification. In school, children with APD may have difficulty with spelling, reading, and understanding information presented verbally in the classroom. Often their performance in classes that don’t rely heavily on listening is much better, and they typically are able to complete a task independently once they know what is expected of them.”

It was at this point that experts helped me with an individualized treatment plan. Before that I was having a hard time reading fictional books with comprehension, or anything for that matter outside of academic work. I was really proud of myself when I was able to finish reading one novel with help of a speech pathologist and soon after that I took some writing classes to help me write my memoir.

What do you do for fun?

The fun things I like to do are taking our dog to the dog park, going to the movies, drawing facial features and camping.

What do you put off doing because you dread it? I dread accomplishing specific tasks, beginning my goals for the day in the mornings. For example, answering these interview questions. But I make myself start, to go to the computer and begin to type. The questions made me search deeply within myself.

What are you afraid of most in life?

I am afraid of losing someone I love dearly like my husband. It is hard when he is probably the only one person I can truly say is there for me through thick and thin.   I am also his number one priority. My extensive support network of friends will be there when they can but it is with limitation. From experience, sometimes they get too busy with their family matters and can’t help me when I need them to. I try to be happy with the network of support I have but sometimes I do want to belong to a network that will treat me just the       same as their own. I focus on what I have , not what I don’t have and try not placing expectations on others to meet my needs. I place my trust in God in the midst of everything. When I am in vulnerable times like when my symptoms become really strong and present additional physical challenges, it is hard to practice these principles, but I try.

What do you want out of life?

I pray that some day I will be able to have a reciprocal relationship with my family, for them to know Jesus and for them to really get to know me, but I cannot control what they do.       All I can do is live my life and pray for them.

What is the most important thing to you?

My husband and my pets, and my spirituality.

Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

I am currently reading an urban fantasy book. I also like mystery books but so far I have only read two of them. Reading is hard work for me with my disability.   It takes me a longer time to read something and comprehend it. I read to hone my craft because I want to become a better writer.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If there is one thing I could change about me it would be to not have dopa-responsive dystonia. It limits me in so many ways. I can’t overextend myself with work or stress. I have to take frequent breaks. If I don’t I will experience involuntary muscle contractions, similar to spasms. This condition has kept me from having children because I can’t really provide for their physical needs. I would love to have children but I must be realistic with myself.

Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

We rescued a mixed breed dog and we named her Dalmai. She is a full size dog. We name her Dalmai short for Dalmatian because we think she might have that lineage.

My first pet in China was a Dalmatian and I have often remembered it. That also contributed to the name Dalmai in remembrance of my first puppy. I had to leave my puppy behind when I left China.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I would go back to the time when my nieces and nephews were still young and change how I handled my family situation and my behavior toward them. I made one big mistake back then by overstepping my boundaries and disrespected my brothers’ and their wives’ parental roles, even though what they did wasn’t the best for the child but I needed to mind my own business. I didn’t really understand proper boundaries and didn’t have a good model to teach me and to follow. This somehow has affected my relationship with my nieces and nephews today but there is more than meets the eye.   What do I mean by that? On the other hand I didn’t think it would make a difference if I would had done thing differently. Since my older brothers didn’t want anything to do with me neither do they want their kids to.

Cindy Yee Kong’s website: www.theeyesofthelion.com

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for this most interesting interview and getting to know Cindy.

    melback at cebridge dot net

  2. Great interview. Margaret, I really like the range of questions you asked. Cindy — thank you for sharing your story. Very inspiring 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing your interview and your story, Cindy!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  4. Fun interests

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Great interview.

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