I’ve never liked referring to myself as disabled. Or the politically-correct differently-abled. Even now that the State and my private insurance have labelled me as such. I’m just uncomfortable so doing.
I haven’t even bothered to get one of those disabled license plates or mirror hangers. Other people need them more than I. :-)
I’m just me.
But, there are some things difficult and nearly impossible for me to do without some kind of assistance.
One of my ‘problems’ having a fused right hip (and imperfect right knee) is putting on socks. I have been known to perform a kind of modified hurdlers stretch, bending my leg back and reaching behind me with a sock one-handed.
Believe me when I say doing this isn’t quick, easy or comfortable.
Enter The Sock Thingy 2.0. This is the name I’ve given it.
One curls the black part into a sock, which holds it open, then dangles it to insert the foot in the opening, and pull up on the straps – viola’!
My only complaint is Sock Thingy 1.0 was made of thin plastic and terrycloth, and eventually broke. It was quite comfortable, but replaced with the 2.0. The 2.0 model is hard plastic. Much more durable, but less comfortable, too.
At least it helps!
(It occurred to me while dressing this morning that some others of you might have a need for such an aid(?)
FTC – neither Amazon or Duro-Med have given me anything. Put on your own socks!
and don’t bother to come back another day! :-(
To be honest, pain is only part of the equation. Most of the problem is annoyance!
Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands. Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so. And arthritis. I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.
If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!
This morning, I had pain upon awakening. While still horizontal. Before opening and closing my hands.
And my knees were throbbing.
My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!) But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good! I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.
Can’t have everything!
I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day. This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks! Along with my prescription pain meds.
And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat! To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.
Or if any cancer is present. (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)
And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.
Which, on my disability, I do not have.
The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.
I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations. Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.
Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!
THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem! :-)
I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.
Hardly an upbeat read.
However, Life is not just loss. Life also gives us lessons!
Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him. We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.
I feared the worst.
So, I took it upon myself to call him. Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition. And attitude.
And I ended up leaving messages. And this concerned me.
Bob returned yesterday’s message last night. I needn’t have been concerned.
Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits! YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg. And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.
But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!
Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy. And not the most spiritual. But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.
And not wallow in his losses.
He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters. And his brother. And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.
AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!
Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”
And his is and has.
And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons. I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences. And I have wallowed. Or more specifically whined.
I might lose some benefits. So what? Big boy panties are available for the wearing.
Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.
I’m in whine mode.
(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)
Why? Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays. One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.
Hardly an even trade.
I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.
Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.
We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list. So here goes…
I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car. Thanks to my friends! I’m on Medicare. I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent. I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can. Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.
This must mean something.
I’m disabling comments for this post. Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.
Much of Arizona is a desert. That is, by definition, an arid wasteland, in a state of permanent drought. The ONLY reason The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and her environs) have any population at all, is by copying what the primitive Indians did, before Coronado came.
This is the end of the time of year known as The Monsoon, wherein it’s hot, but more humid, permeated by occasional rain. Often nightly, after the Sun goes down, and the less heat allows the cumulus clouds surrounding the Valley to invade. Sadly, in our particular part of town (I suspect because of the heat island effect) the clouds and rain largely avoid us.
Or perhaps it’s just they’re being ornery…
But, there are exceptions:
Last night, on my cellular telephone, with no way to turn off the alarm except shutting it off entirely…
Imminent Severe Alert (2:56 AM)
Flash Flood Warning this area til 4:45 AM MST
Avoid flood areas. Check local media – NWS (National
Repeated at 4:27 AM and 6:27 AM, extending the warnings until 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM, respectively!
(this is why I’m a bit late posting this morning; kept going back to sleep, only to be again awakened by the weather alarms!)
And this is what in front of the townhouse looked like @ 7:13 AM!
This is usually all grass, with a basketball court in the center. I’m thinking the pool to the left of the photo is under water!
We finally got rain! ‘Course, we’re not going anywhere.
Yeah, it’s a song title, above.
Sometimes, I get down on myself, because I once had a wife, a daughter, a home, a ‘career’.
No wife, no daughter, no ‘career’ (I’m disabled). I DO
have share a home, though.
And that’s my point.
Living Freedom recently had a posting entitled
It mentioned traits of folks down-on-their-luck who, if they are not thriving, do more than just survive.
I could have been worse off than I am. I lost my home as my income decreased, and a good friend took me in.
But, that’s not my point.
MY POINT IS I’M GRATEFUL FOR HER HAVING DONE SO!
Certainly, I wish things could be different. It would be nice to have a wife, to have my daughter back. To have my house back. To have the income I once had.
But, not being a child, I know wishing doesn’t make it so.
So (most days) I choose GRATITUDE!
“Here’s a line of peasants leaving Rancho Malario, to make room for YOU!” (from the Firesign Theatre, having little to do with the following post… NO, where I live is NOT Rancho Malario!)
Well, my lovely roomie has decided to move her unfinished, unrestored, ’62 Chevrolet Corvair Wagon to it’s proper place in the resident’s storage lot immediately West of our townhouse! (I’m certain complaints about it being an eyesore to the HOA from anonymous, whining neighbors had nothing to do with her decision.) Her dream was to have it fully restored to cosmetic and drivable condition, but, unfortunately, financial considerations got in the way.
(This was a car she and her last husband acquired and drove together in the 90’s, before his untimely demise in an industrial accident. As such, it’s a proper memory of him, and represents why she hasn’t just sold it to some collector.)
This means I’m able to move my recently-made-drivable 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue to the second spot under the resident’s covered parking, and out of the direct sunlight! In most regions, this would be no big deal, but in the sunny Valley-Of-The-Sun (temperature today 105) this is a BIG DEAL!
Especially as while drivable, the Olds remains un-airconditioned, so every little bit helps!
In other news, my roomie is leaving today for her sister’s in California for a well-deserved vacation and to conduct some family business. This means once again, I am the Dog (and Cat) Wrangler! – now with Puppy!
Not a problem, as they love me and I them, and this gives us a break from each other.
AND I GET TO PARK IN THE SHADE – WOO-HOO!
I sometimes get frustrated with the ‘stuff of life’. I’m disabled, on a small disability income, my 15-year old Oldsmobile is more or less parked for lack of funds for needed repairs, and with my disabilities regarding walking, standing or even sitting it is sometimes difficult or painful. And a little less than two years ago I lost my home of 18 years.
Yes, sometimes I whine about other stuff, too.
BUT, I try to keep a stiff upper lip. And keep chipping away at those things that I can do something about.
My stand-alone desktop computer has been waylayed for a little over a month. For most folks having their home computer not functioning correctly is an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal.
BUT, not being very ambulatory, and now even less mobile, it became readily apparent my computer is a window to the outside world. My email, and 3-year-old blog being it’s primary functions. I can talk back to the TV, but it rarely responds.
FORTUNATELY, my roommate J loaned me an old laptop she wasn’t using for me to keep up with the day’s events and continue to publish my blog (such as it is) daily, as I’ve done since March 6, 2011.
For this I am forever grateful.
Being less-than-competent with regard to computer/Internet stuff, I’ve not been able to diagnose the problem with my computer, determine if it was even repairable, or what the cost might be.
J left town to visit her daughter and become a tourist for the holiday weekend, and I’m left as the dog wrangler again. This is okay, because I love the dogs (and the cat – more or less) and it gives me more time to try to move files to the laptop and play at fixing my old computer.
I DID IT!
Somehow, something inadvertently changed a couple of settings (not me!) – I changed them back (with about 100 missteps in the interim) and now the computer connects to the Internet, again!!
I’m using my original machine to write this!
This may not be watching a rose bloom, or being in love, or a new car, but DAMN I’m pleased!
SO, I’m in-line @ the pharmacy, and my cell goes off. As one is discouraged from taking calls in-line at the pharmacy, I demurred.
THEN, my med purchase is declined! She tried to run it as a credit charge, again no go.
She advised I should step out-of-line and call my bank. I did.
Turns out, someone attempted fraudulent charges on my Visa debit card in both Nevada and Florida!! (I’m in AZ)
(Ironic happening to a former credit card fraud investigator, huh?)
My options were to go to an ATM, get cash for my prescriptions, then visit the credit union and have a new card issued. Or, just visit the CU and have a new card issued. My choice. In any case, neither a debit nor credit charge was going through.
The Credit Onion is only 1 1/2 miles away, so I went for the more permanent fix. And returned to get my meds.
Thank God it wasn’t on a Sunday, or after hours. Or 1990, when I would have had to wait a week to 10 days for a new card!
It was annoying the hold on the phone was longer than the wait at the CU to get a replacement card. And, the rep on the phone was difficult to understand, and was rude. At least it sounded like Oklahoma and not India. It’s also an annoyance I now have to memorize a new card number and security code!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post, sans whining! Or with less whining…
I don’t wish to lose my curmudgeon membership status, but, it’s true!
This past week was replete with increased car difficulties, coupled with my ongoing computer/internet problems. The car stuff still exists, but (for the moment) she still runs.
I FINALLY appear to have found a technological combination which works to make my new (old) borrowed laptop work less-buggy.
Will wonders never cease?
This is the first day in many I’m able to check my emails, do my blog and read others’ news and blogs without difficulty.
Perhaps now I can go about the ‘business’ of blogging and keeping up with the blogosphere better!
And, there remains a new puppy with which to play, AND, my roomie recently upgraded her cellular telephone, which means I now have her ‘old’ one – a Samsung Galaxy Note 3!!
CAN YOU SAY GRATITUDE AND PATIENCE? (I knew you could!)