I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12. Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees. After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement. ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip. In 1966.
So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.
I’ve lived my life this way. I’m used to it.
And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.
In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!
Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop. Childhood dreams dashed.
But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.
Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things. I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled. Which I was.
And I rarely felt sorry for myself. Well, sometimes.
But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.
And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.
As of age 58.
And I am still here, now approaching age 64. Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.
My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years. They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some. Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore. Too much walking.
But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers! I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.
She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one! And got hers!
This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!
It’s official – I’m a gimp!
(My doctor, after examining my head(!)
correction – My EYE doctor, after my eye exam! :-) )
Part of my annual medical exam involves a visit to the ophthalmologist. You know, the guy who dilates your pupils to see what he can see.
Being a diabetic, there is always a concern. Diabetes, as it limits proper blood flow, can cause neuropathy (which I have) and even diminished flow to the eyes, which can cause blindness! Even with my ‘good’ blood work numbers.
I don’t like having my pupils dilated, and even more so do not like paying for the privilege. My eye doc does take Medicare (which I am on, due to my being disabled). Of course, every year there is the deductible.
And, it is the beginning of a new year.
So, I’d been putting it off until I could cobble some funds together.
My regular physician – knowing my predilections in this matter – sent a referral to the eye doc, who set up an appointment, and they called me with the date and time.
So there’s no avoidance…
Good news! They take payments! There is no sign of diabetic damage in either eye! AND my prescription hasn’t changed.
Until next year…
In 2003, Baltimore Sun Senior Editor of Design of Adam Marton had his car stolen by a black criminal named Thelonious; in 2015, Thelonious was murdered in Baltimore, and Marton penned a lament to his life lived without the benefit of white privilege…
In 2003, Baltimore Sun Senior Editor of Design of Adam Marton had his car stolen by a black criminal named Thelonious; in 2015, Thelonious was murdered in Baltimore, and Marton penned a lament to his life lived without the benefit of white privilege… The United States of America is irredeemable. As John Derbyshire noted, Europe seems to be much worse, as “the national institutions of the West are now fiercely protective of Muslims and hostile to the native ancestral populations.” But it’s okay. Seriously. Relax. Breath. Please.More @ SBPDL
The other day I was playing with settings in WordPress, thinking about making some stylistic changes to the GiA blog.
And I hit a wrong key. Or something…
FIRST, I saw my blog, with pictures of carrots instead of cacti! Then, I noticed many of the staples of my blog page missing.
And I had to get to a doctor’s appointment!
SO, I posted a hurried apology and left.
And late that night, I was able to get GiA reconfigured back to her former glory – well, about 85% of it.
WHAT A PITA!
As to the next part – do I bother to tweak it back to the original, or do I just go ahead and move on to my ‘improvements’?
Who knows? I’ll figure it out.
We get what we pay for! :-P
I’m sitting here this morning (actually, a couple of days ago), doing my morning routine: shower, dress, morning rituals, medications, the all-important diet soda, the GiA blog, reading other blogs, news and emails…
Waiting for the stopping point. When my muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy kick in! Sometimes in an hour, sometimes more.
Pain in my extremities, feet, legs and even hindquarters. From SITTING for chrissake!
AND, I already took medications!
And I remember being young. Well, younger…
Lifting weights, walking long distances, jogging, karate – even with a fused hip! And the hot shower accompanied by perhaps a couple aspirin did the trick.
Well it did in my 30’s.
But alas, no more.
And I remember older people from my youth, whining and complaining about this pain or that ailment, and me having no understanding.
And even thinking it was funny.
Karma IS a heartless bitch!
And then I think of Bob, a recent 1/2 leg amputee currently braving throat cancer, and my attitude improves…
Gratitude, my friends, is the key!
I’m quietly resting on my laurels, thinking the ‘chores’ (a word from childhood I loathe!) are completed, when the lady of the house says to me,
“We have more plants to move in the back yard so the painters can access the walls.”
But, it must be done. After all, if we don’t move the stuff, the walls won’t get properly painted. And, I’m certain, the HOA would try to fine us for noncompliance with the bylaws. (Being a townhouse H.O.A. and all!)
So, it’s back out into the yard for us! Sigh.
Fortunately, we didn’t have THAT much to do. Mostly pry a large, overgrown yucca from it’s perch and move it about six feet away from the wall.
Using a shovel, hand truck and brute force.
(Note to self – Yucca are SHARP!)
BUT, we accomplished the task. Here is a picture of the side of the yard, showing about half the plants, tools, cacti and succulents we moved:
And, of course, once the painting, exterior maintenance and noise are completed, we will get to move everything BACK!
As my Dad used to say, no rest for the wicked!
I just arose from a short nap. J. got home about noon, and was tired after her early morning angiography. So, we adjourned to our bedrooms and sacked out.
Even though I normally arise between 6 and 7, 4:30 was a bit much this morning to see her off! I’ve not been outside since I took a quick trip to get sausage biscuits and hash browns this morning at 10 AM.
It was well over 90° then…
Here I am, catching up on email and such, when a news blip appears on my cellular telephone:
@3:08 PM, local meteorologists determined we met the record for this date, in The Valley Of The Sun.
Now, I’m not one to complain about the heat. My parents brought me here, but, as an adult I’ve chosen to stay here. And I’ve a car with a broken air conditioner.
Won’t hear me b*tch about the heat – no sirree!
I get to wear short-sleeves most Christmases.
But, I suspect oven mitts to handle the steering wheel and ingress/egress of the car are currently in order.
(not a complaint!)
J. came home without having a blockage or a stent placed. As long as we can celebrate without going anywhere, I’m happy!
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.