Yesterday I wrote on people becoming disabled as a result of medical error and I found that I had to delete it as some how google attached it’s ads to it and I ended up with advertisement for every ambulance chaser as well as disease entity imaginable so I will not use the tag today and see what happens.
People end up in the chair by birth, accident, or disease. No one ends up there because they want to. A power wheel chair can start at $6200.00 and go up so I assure you that people in them are not faking so that they can get out of responsibility. No insurance company that I am aware of, is going to throw that kind of money away without medical records stating the necessity of the same.
People that the majority of you never see, come out in droves once we show up in the chair. We meet nice folks so I do not want to suggest that the world is filled with nothing but the mean-spirited but I also do not want them to get a free ride by ignoring them either. People on canes, in chairs and using walkers are very often in pain for the most part. A few have balance problems without pain, but if that is the case,mainly the insurance companies will not o.k. them for a power chair.
Some able-bodied people say the dumbest and nastiest of things. Over the years I have just learned to say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they say or do.” The comments run from, “people like that should stay in the attic.” to “You’re lucky you need the chair because you don’t have to do anything like the rest of us.” Some people even curse at us, they many times think we are deaf, and can’t hear their remarks, some treat us as we are brain-damaged or mentally challenged and incapable of thought of our own, they believe we are incapable of conversation so speak about us rather than to us, and they all seem to reach across us as though we are not even there.
I’d gotten broken in by the nasty things that people say long before I needed the chair but my heart feels for children and teenagers and young adults that need to use them full-time. I only use my chair to replace the fact that I cannot walk distances or stand for any length of time, so I am and do feel very Blessed yet. Let me assure you that unless people are limited to the point that they require helpers and many times even then, no one is sitting around doing nothing.
No matter what our physical challenge is we all have goals that guide us. Sometimes it is just trying to survive the things that most of you do not even know or understand that occurs in the life of the physically challenged. I have never taken a penny of your tax dollars nor do many of us. Even if we all did isn’t that what Social Security benefits were partially intended for?
What will you do tomorrow if you wake up and hear that you, your child, or your grandchild has inherited a familial disorder that is so rare that medicine yet has no treatment for it, had a swimming or boating accident, the Doctor misdiagnosed so it could lead to complications, was born with a disability, was involved in an accident as a result of a drunk driver?
Are you in a position to pay out the dollars it will take to pay for the expenses the rest of your or their lives? My husband and I were fortunate that we could and I am fortunate that I can still keep house and home as well as cook and use a portable stool instead of standing and sit between jobs before I begin another. Many of us still function on a daily basis as well as take care of our own needs. We also never tire of taking care of the needs and wants and babysitting for our grandchildren as well as being married. Most of us will make sure that we fight to do so to the bitter end regardless of the price we pay in inadequate treatment for the pain we endure.
Until you are in the position yourself none of you can possibly understand how the tragedy of losing full use of body can or will make each of you feel. Some people get bitter and it shows in everything that they think and do but they for the most part are far less in numbers than those of us that learn to be grateful for everyday that we have and to live each day as it may be our last day.
We know that bad things can happen to good people. Most of us were very independent and to be reliant on a chair was worse news than a terminal illness diagnosis ever could have been. Now that we are here we do know not being able to work is one of the hardest things on earth that we will ever be asked to do but most of us will find another way to accomplish something of equal importance.
Many of you get more hours of sleep than many of us as getting comfortable enough to sleep is a problem for most of us. Once we recover to the idea and shock of it all most of us do count our Blessings for the great gift of life. I know I look back and wonder how I could have been so foolish to think a terminal illness would be better than a diagnosis of disability?
The truth is that unless we give away or bury our spirit , that is what makes us who we are. If we were positive before we will always be positive after. If we enjoy taking out time to smell the roses or love nature, we still will do so. If we enjoyed the people in our life we still will enjoy them, If we enjoyed working , we may be doing something different from anything we ever thought we would be doing, but we will still stay busy.
It is true that when parts of our body fail to function that all of us learn to depend on other parts of our body to compensate for the weaker part. Most of us no longer feel it necessary to convince you that we know better than you do, how to be successful with living with our physical challenges. Common sense tells us that we are in the position to decide that for ourselves.
If you can’t see that we are no longer like you then please understand, we all know that we are not, and for the most part we are grateful that we are not just like you, but instead we are just like ourselves. Isn’t it sad that more people can not learn the significance of that without being hit with a disability?
Although we understand that it is us that needs to make the changes to adjust to the able-bodied world please never make the mistake of thinking that you, as an able-bodied person, will ever understand the best way to do it for us. Disability only slows us down long enough to strengthen our imaginations so that we can continue living life on our terms.
The hardest part of disability, many times, are the people who know someone who knew someone who always lived with what we are living with and always did it this way. We’ll get it figured out folks if you just let us.Sometimes people in the medical profession can be the worse of all. Even though they think they know what is best their offers of help are sometimes more debilitating than people who are clueless.
I know in my situation it truly is better if I am allowed to sit up on my own instead of having them grab ahold and yank me up, for instance. Many times it is the care giver that insists on us being much more handicapped than we need to be or those that have never experienced significant discomfort that become certain now is the time for us to be social. Many times what is wrong with us and gives us the most discomfort is what never shows or was not part of what Aunt Tillie’s disease entailed.
Sometimes there are a few people who do use or fake disability but the next time you see a person in the chair try to remember we are all alike in so far as we all are looking for efficiency and more time in the day. Where we are different is that many times, we need to have different goals in order to make the best of the day, sometimes when you break a finger nail or obsess over the weather we don’t even notice. Many times we do not have much in common because we are grateful for the little things that many are bitching about. We know we need to use the power chair so why pretend like it is not there or the town or your home, much less the world, is geared towards making life accessible for us?
We all understand it is the able bodies’ world that we need to adjust to even though you do not know how little is made available so that we can function in it. We do not ask you to join us in our world. So many of the laws that were passed in the 1970′s for the handicapped, sadly, Corporations,Cities, and Companies found ways to grandfather clause them out rather than to make or pay for the changes.
Unfortunately, many will see the handicap parking spot sitting idle or a government ramp, built in podunk City ,that never got used and think the disabled are costing them a fortune. I still want to believe that there is only a hand full of people that do intentionally set out to treat others poorly but that ignorance itself, has always been and will continue being the underlying cause as to why mankind has and will continue treating people different from themselves, badly.