When disability becomes a part of our life as children we often see much in the make-up of the child who fights for a normal ability to function, we admire. Parents who refuse to let their children feel sorry for themselves or to give up and quit are often Blessed with the results of an adult who lives a normal life and succeeds beyond the ability of many able-bodied adults.
Without knowing Matt Roloff, personally, I have no doubts that this Blessing was bestowed on Matt as a child and his family. When Matt struggled through a hundred surgeries as a child and a “little Person”, to fit into a “Big World” he not only showed himself and his family he could excel but we also became accustomed to watching him on reality television, do the same.
What Matt is now dealing with as an older adult is entirely different from what he dealt with as a child and as a disabled adult myself, I can almost feel his frustrations and doubts interfering with his enjoyment and expectations for himself in his life. Although Matt needs to re-invent his own abilities again, not too unlike he did as a child, it no longer is instinctual in an older adult the same way it is a child. After having spent years fighting against the idea he was disabled it must be just that more difficult for Matt to acknowledge that he now is disabled and nothing will change that fact, not even denial.
it is not always the disabled person who remains in denial but our loved ones who refuse to show us the respect we deserve in knowing our own abilities and limitations, who also go into denial. Too often we are treated as though we cannot make a decision for ourselves without it becoming a matter of family debate. There are emotional limitations involved in disability as to what we want to share with others along with the physical limitations. Many of us have become accustomed to hiding our feelings when they have been hurt by outside influences or attitudes, because we do not want family to worry. On some days of the year we can do more than on other days, and a great many families cannot appreciate the difference as those of us who are disabled can.
It is always a real rush for me to go into a casino over feeling like I am on display in other arenas so of course the release of endorphins or the thrill of being as normal as anyone else when I am sitting at a slot machine does improve my ability to get around over doing something that otherwise I know I can never fit in with or compete with, without feeling like a sore thumb.
On the opposite end of the spectrum of disability,too often we are viewed as the strong one, mom or dad will always be there for us, or family has become accustomed to our making the decisions and it becomes extremely frustrating when they go into denial about our disability and refuse to listen when we do try to level with them. Others will shut us out of their lives entirely as they view us as being incapable of handling the truth if it is bad news.
So in short, it is not uncommon when the disabled are both disregarded for their abilities when they are capable of doing more or understanding what others are going through, just as we are often ignored when we do require help. Both can be exhausting to those of us who are often disabled to have to constantly explain or deal with, so many times it is simply easier to avoid those venues that seemingly require repeating the same information over and over again, up to and including Doctors’ offices.
Too often families, not unlike the general population, will believe that disabled people are faking to get out of work or family involvement because if disabled children can turn disability into ability then so should adults be able to do the same. As a young person afflicted in early adulthood with a disease, more commonly seen in older adults, I too believed that disability was only a part of the vocabulary of people who refused to try.
There are two kinds of spinal stenosis. Congenital stenosis, although rare most commonly shows up in ages between 30 and 40 and still is a mystery and relatively unknown, but is seen in individuals who are born with it and even minimal changes from aging can lead to severe spinal stenosis. I was 32 when I first experienced pain from stenosis. It can never be predicted or prevented and is seen in all body types and often goes misdiagnosed. Acquired stenosis is more commonly seen in 60 year olds and due to disc herniation’s and wear and tear of the aging process. Although disc herniation can lead to spinal stenosis at varying ages. My mother had Scoliosis as a child and there have been studies that do show birth defects of the spine can present themselves in off spring.
Although I agree with you, that there needs to be a special place for those who judge our pain as nothing more than ,”punishment from Satan”, This opinion should never deter us from seeking out options available to us. When I heard, “ What was a sincere expression told me and I could spare my pain by praying for my soul to be taken from the devil,” I must have had a look on my face that no one ever wanted to see again, as the same person never expressed it to me again even though she sincerely thought she was helping me. We often hear, “Such and such was in real pain. She/he got paid back for everything they ever did wrong.”
I do believe in the power of prayer but not because people who suffer chronic pain suffer, because we lived such bad lives that the Devil has set up residence in our souls. It’s hard for me to even understand that Christians could even think such a thing since Christ suffered much more than we do, through Crucifixion. Pain does not come from bad deeds but rather from disorders in all of our own bodies brought on by injury or disease.
We must always discount the theory that pain is as a result of Satan’s punishment for obvious reasons to most of us but also since we already know that finding is based on ignorance. ” Bad things do happen to good people,” and when we accept that as our own reality we can move on.
Many in the medical profession believe that there is no physical pain but only pain due to emotional pain. In short all physical pain exists only because of unresolved emotions and these doctors understand we do feel physical pain, because of this. None of us can deny that pain and emotional upset are greatly intertwined but those who accept the above need to be aware of the problems that arise when they try to simplify pain and those who suffer when they do.
Many times patients will be accused of being hypersensitive to pain, malingering, or worse yet, blamed for being responsible for their own pain even when medical tests show numerous causes present as to why a person is suffering, before a Medically trained Doctor will acknowledge their own limitations to understanding pain. When hindsight shows that the testing results showed the problem but was miss-read or went undiscovered by the abilities present at the time, we will rarely be told the same or will it always become a matter of our medical record, if it does happen.
Why some people do not feel pain or can tolerate pain better than the next has sometimes simply been dismissed for the above reasons of hypersensitivity, malingering, or self-induced by those who do feel a great deal more pain and discomfort.As medicine learns more many times it also learns the frailty in previously long held beliefs in medicine. When Doctors refuse to leave their own egos out of a diagnoses the results often makes these diagnosis, incomplete or in some cases dangerous.
It is often too simple to place the blame for pain on an inadequacy within the behavior or weight of the patient. If every person who was over-weight or smoked were responsible for every disorder that exists in medicine, then we would all eventually have the same diseases and disorders because we would all be afflicted as smokers or in association to second hand smoke. Why some are afflicted and others aren’t still remains a mystery in medicine.
None of us deny that to quit smoking and to lose weight are both sound advice in the principles of the treatment of pain but to discount the ability to burn calories or that weight lost often requires complete fasting in those whose movement is limited and the soothing effects of smoking to calm the nerves in people who do suffer pain, is also often overlooked by those who are too quick to dismiss their own role in the treatment of the patient.
Too often the stability of the patient living in pain is dismissed by the urgency of those to add more discomfort through cessation of smoking and weight lost, by those who refuse to understand that underlying causes for the continuation of pain are present to the point when the patient can do both, the suffering does not cease.
In many cases pain can actually increase due to muscle spasms after the cessation of smoking and flu-like symptoms. When a patient does lose as much as a 100 pounds and feels little to no relief in pain, lost of hope or feelings of abject failure in the patient who does struggle to accept society’s’ judgments and lack of understanding along with that of the medical profession, itself, can often occur.
When drugs are introduced to replace the effects smoking had to relax muscles and pain, or when marijuana is denied for religious reasons, many times the drugs introduced as replacements, can be equally destructive through the damage they cause with increased problems that add to further discomforts. Doctors have known for years that both cortisone and narcotics can lead to kidney and liver failure, onset diabetes, as well as other pain treatments can cause cancer, but not all Doctors do advise their patients of the side effects prior to giving injections or the starting of treatment.
Many times when this does happen our complaints go dismissed as being normal for the drug we are taking, and in other cases denied, while other times another drug is simply added to compensate for the discomfort being caused by other prescribed drugs, when a patient is successful in stopping smoking. Perhaps in knowing this then, we ourselves can learn to be more tolerate, in knowing those who suffer from chronic pain often need to consider just how much of their health or life is being spared by treatment for pain, especially when the effectiveness of narcotics do wear off and often requires heavier doses in order to gain relief.
Other times because of the lack of understanding by many in the medical profession when it does come to drug re-actions or inter-actions patients health can become life threatening very rapidly. Too often, we the general public will accept a cocktail of drugs to relieve pain without questioning the harmful effects of the drugs when we do quit smoking, believing in doing so we are prolonging our own life but in truth we can be limiting it even further.
It often becomes true when in an attempt to treat one system of the body we often worsen or increase symptoms in another system of the body, that does require treatment as well, so there are really never any easy solutions for those of us who do suffer chronic pain when surgery fails or becomes too complicated to attempt. It is an equally frustrating choice for many Doctors to have to make, but almost all will tell us they prefer the drugs they prescribe over that of smoking either cigarettes or marijuana.
When the pain is so great that many of us are totally over-whelmed with living another hour of the same discomfort the great majority of us will need to take almost anything to get relief and suffer the consequences later, no differently from anyone else who is not seeking martyrdom. When this happens we are all very grateful that any drugs are available to treat pain that breaks the threshold that many of us cannot stand to live with for another moment.
Those who have not been exposed to smoking or do not have weight problem histories during pregnancy or childhood or later in life have no better guarantee of avoiding disability or death than those who do. Many of us, who have never learned to question test results or Doctors, and suffer chronic pain know ourselves, we will almost always accept the Doctors’ diagnoses and question ourselves instead.
When we are told, “it is our own fault”, it is not uncommon for those amongst us, who do receive poor medical opinion, to add to our own physical pain which also can be due to other yet undiagnosed problems such as: circulation problems, infections, joint deterioration, muscle or ligament tears, irritations, undiscovered poisonings and viruses, swelling due to inflammations or compromised nerves, or other injuries, when we haven’t yet been fully evaluated or there are causes yet hidden in normal testing or unknown by the medical profession, itself.
By believing it is our own fault we too many times will add to our own suffering by pushing ourselves beyond our own tolerance levels, go into denial when we do feel changes more severe taking place, and ultimately increase the pain already present and cause further damage to our own bodies or in other cases fall into a depression so great that emotional or mental problems do become greater than the physical pain that existed prior to the diagnoses of it being, “our own fault.”
When any of this does happen we do end up proving the wrong diagnoses made previously to be a correct diagnosis, because sometimes it is an easier explanation to accept. It is easier for some of us to believe that we can prevent our own disability since it is our own fault than it is to accept that we will live with the unknown and with an unknown cause that we have no control over.
When we and our Doctor refuse to understand there are many causes of pain yet undiscovered by medicine, just as there are many disorders yet diagnosed, we all run the risk of further suffering. Just as an example of that; the medical profession blamed ulcers on people who worried too much for centuries, before they discovered that ulcers are as a result of viruses and not of emotions.
Although there are many diseases that disable going back to the cavemen, when life expectancy was only 40 and before couch potatoes, obesity, and junk food, mankind was wearing out their own bodies and it often led to arthritis. Arthritis today is still the number one cause of disability amongst the population and can effect those as young as in their teen years. The remains of the caveman shows arthritis as the only disease present as the cavemen or the hunters would often need to travel miles in pursuit of game and berries that constituted their main diet and carry heavy loads often on their backs.
To relieve pain they chewed on tree bark and it would not be until the 1800′s that aspirin would be discovered followed by steroids in the 1930′s, which was then thought of as the real panacea to treat inflammation caused by joint deterioration. In the 1950′s and 1960′s Tylenol and n-saids were introduced to treat fevers and pain followed by the cox-2 inhibitors. Pharmaceutical companies continue to try to come up with drugs to re-place those that can be life threatening and each time new hope abounds with limited results.
Poke a perfectly happy baby, who has no emotional baggage, with a needle and they will cry. We can use the same analogy when a dog is kicked or we accidently step on their tail or foot and they yelp, even though dogs rarely show they are in pain. Pain can more often be as a result of real physical pain prior to emotional upset or mood changes and until the medical profession understands pain better people will continue to suffer despite all the advances already made in the Science of medicine.
Too little is known about the human body and especially the central nervous system for the medical profession to be 100% correct in many of their diagnoses and especially in all cases of physical pain, even though they know all pain is transmitted through neurons that run to and from the brain. Pain can neither be seen or measured by the medical profession to date.
Once we accept to be labeled by a diagnosis is a serious flaw in the convictions of those who do judge, for too many amongst us, the sooner we will all understand those who do think as they do and must make a diagnosis on limited knowledge, can sometimes help hinder our own ability to move outside of what is normal for the majority rule as well. The more Doctors do understand about the differences in the make up of each individual person they treat, the more they will no longer need to use generalities or statistics to reach diagnosis.
For now Doctors can only reach a diagnosis based on their best educated belief or guess and hold that belief to be true for all of us, in the exact same way. Medicine is leap years away yet from individual diagnosis becoming our reality, since no two people’s bodies behave identical to each other’s, much in the same way no one shares the exact same DNA. Not even identical twins will respond to treatment in the exact same way. For now they can only apply what they know to be true about majority views to all of us.
The study of medicine is making greater in-roads into discoveries of the human body almost monthly and in the study of genes science offers greater hope to all of us that very well may lead to individual diagnosis and new hope for treatment of disease. I do not want to mislead my readers into believing that medicine does not already have far greater knowledge than it has ever had at any other time in history, but rather to make it clear that as far as medicine has advanced there is still much yet to discover. At the same time The diagnosis now held by some Doctors does carry weight in some people and medical cases but to attempt to simplify all pain by brushing all of us with the same brush, is to discount the causes of pain that are yet unknown.
As is typical for the great majority of us, we usually fail to understand the differences amongst us, until and unless we experience those differences through the experience of living them. We often hear people complain about handicapped parking and ramps being built, at tax payer’s expense, even though able-bodied people use them for baby strollers, walk ways, or their own conveniences of loading and unloading heavy items, without the majority of people even noticing the same.
Unless we are truly disabled by paralysis too few people understand or want to understand that pain can often be a greater deterrent to understanding the lost of normal functions, than is paralysis. The paralyzed are accepted by others to be limited in what they can do, and they too often suffer pain but they many times will get much greater help, attention, and understanding that is required for their needs while the same goes lacking in chronic pain sufferers. This is not to say their limitations aren’t far greater than most of us who do suffer from chronic pain, as we all will acknowledge.
Chronic pain sufferers, on the other hand, are expected to force themselves against or through the physical pain that even their own bodies resist, often without any understanding or help from those who fail to notice our plight or refuse to believe it. The pain levels vary amongst the disabled according to the ability to tolerate pain varies, and their responses to drugs vary, so no one should know better than the person who suffers pain what those abilities or limitations are, including the medical profession as well as our loved ones. We do need to force ourselves through acute pain that often follows joint replacements or will be relieved following surgery, according to the advice of the medical profession but chronic pain that cannot be treated is different from acute pain that will remit with treatment and time.
When across the counter medicine like Tylenol, Alieve, Anacin, Motrin, or Aspirin treats the pain in many, then too many feel these pills can also treat the pain that is part of a normal day in those disabled by chronic pain. As we age the body also ages and when assaulted with surgeries, torn ligaments, many different kinds of injury, or simply over worked in our youth, the body quits functioning as we age and what we once could do or what is normal in the rest of the population, who neither experienced these assaults to the body or inherited genetics for the diseases, becomes more prevalent in those of us who did.
Aging of the joints and tissue scarring or injury catches up to us, as we get older, and prevents people from functioning normally through pain that is no longer eradicated with across the counter drugs or our body becomes numb and stiff until it becomes impossible to move past the stiffness unless we do use aids such as canes or crutches to assist us until the muscles finally get the message from the brain to move again. It is no longer as it was in childhood when the joints could learn to adjust to what was normal for untrained joints or muscles. The majority of people do understand this happens in the older generations but few understand that it also occurs in the younger generations, Doctors included in too many cases.
When the body is still young enough to with-stand the assault of diseases or injuries there are still adjustments that can be made to forgiving muscles and joints that become impossible for the older body to do. Too few Doctors will treat pain effectively in the younger people who suffer from chronic pain so many people do function beyond what would be pain too great for the majority to bear, themselves. It is too easy for those who have no idea of the pain levels that are present in the young to judge those who have not lived a life in pain, to adjust on the same levels as those who have. When we are young we can stand just about anything in our efforts to form normal day to day’s functions.
Sadly after all these years, there still is not very much of anything that is effective towards pain treatment other than narcotics whose addiction to the same can destroy our life sometimes greater than the pain itself, can. What I see Matt Roloff struggling with in his ability to keep up with the family or upset because the family doesn’t want to do the things he can do, is a very normal part of the frustrations that those of us who deal in disability eventually, some sooner than later, will have to deal with when we do accept disability. Even Doctors who have seen the damage with the MRI of each of us will suggest that we get down on the floor and play with our children or grandchildren when they should know both are humanly impossible in the disabled.
Disability due to pain, when we view it as a new adventure instead of an end to a way of life, can bring all of us a greater appreciation to explore new avenues that were not even part of our thinking before. It certainly, when viewed through the eyes of positive thinking, should bring with it a new hope of self-discovery and appreciation. If we need help we will need to humble ourselves and ask for it. This definitely isn’t the habit of many of us before we became disabled as too many of us have actually helped wear out our own bodies by insisting we do it ourselves.
Many times through asking another for help we truly do learn to appreciate someone else more than we would have otherwise. I see that appreciation in the hearts and minds of so many disabled people, myself included, when we view the world through the eyes of the disabled. On the other hand we cannot become so helpless that we leave the people who love us most feeling like they are real Pollyanna’s either, by insisting they give up their abilities and wants for our own needs and wants.
This is not to say, it can also take years of trial and error to get through the bitterness that we often feel when we are forced into letting go of what has been our dreams, plans, and hopes for decades, either. This often effects our loved ones as much as it does us and as a disabled person we need to listen to them when they express their needs and wants as well, without feeling hurt when they share their honesty with us. The more negative we are or the more negative or toxic people are who we surround ourselves with, the more difficult it can become following acceptance of disability.
The judgments of others and not being heard by those who need to listen are many times much harder to deal with than is the physical pain that does exist. Some of us can be the greatest pains our self, along with being extremely difficult people who others will have to deal with and when and if we are, professional help needs to be sought out by both the disabled and caregivers as too many care givers will take the bad moods often caused by pain, frustrations, and/or drugs more personally than they are intended to be, from the chronic pain sufferers amongst us.
What I discovered totally on my own is I could do much of what I had done before but by doing it differently. When I could no longer stand for any length of time I used a portable light weight stool that I could carry myself; when I could no longer run distances I got a power chair, that could go at pretty good speeds and a custom van with a lift and one I could drive, myself; when I could no longer walk very far I got a scooter that could be broken down and was fortunate enough to know I had a husband with me that would put it together so I could at least do some things I enjoyed doing from the past, yet.
I got a 4 inch piece of foam rubber cut when no bed was any longer comfortable to lay down in and when I could no longer lay down to sleep at night, I began taking my comfortable chair from home with me along with the 4 inch foam rubber pad, when we were planning on extended stays in the same area. If we do not have back problems before we try to sleep in a hospital like bed, the majority of us will have after we do, so I forgot about getting a hospital-like bed. I had,”been there and done that,” with early hospitalizations and since with minor surgeries and know from experience just how uncomfortable these beds are to people who do have back problems. I also avoid lazy boys knowing full well the damage they do to a spine at rest. Maintaining the curve in our spines for as long as possible is always important and it is often lost when we spend time in a lazy boy. An upright chair, such as a wing chair and foot stool is always preferable.
When I could no longer stand up to shower I got a shower stool and a hand held shower head and when that became obsolete, I had a walk-in tub and spa put in. I thought ahead to my possible inability to step up into the walk-in tub and if I ever needed to rely entirely on the wheel chair, I would need a wheel-in-shower installed, so I had that put in with the walk-in-tub.
If I may, I will get off track for a moment and offer my own response to those who have pre-conceived ideas against the disabled and in regard to your money paid out in taxes going to benefit the disabled. Not all of us do file workmen’s compensation claims or hire lawyers in an effort to get something for nothing. Many of us are as repulsed, as you are, when it comes to “ambulance chasers”.
Disability payments are not filed on our behalf or by many of us whose spouse’s income is above what entitles people to file for the same, but I do appreciate the need of the people who require help to be able to do so. In cases where the main bread winner is disabled or the income barely stretches to maintain a family, which is almost always, the need for worker’s compensation or disability claims do become the difference between a roof over our heads or living on the Streets no differently from those who qualify.
Unlike popular belief, none of what I was able to do to maintain my own independence is provided for by the government or the tax-payers for the needs of the disabled. Without private insurance that pays for some small amounts of this, or our own funds, many people who can take care of their own needs but do not have the funds,have been left dependent on the mercy of others, when it would be so much cheaper to allow people with disabilities independence through government subsidies and to live in their own homes. Obama care can help but even it does not go far enough. Many older people do have good mental responses well into their 90′s, yet.
Private Insurance will pay for a small amount of these needs where as Medicare won’t pay for a disabled person to remain independent,which makes no sense at all as these are often greater needs of the elderly than the young, in the majority of the cases.
The money that we have paid into Social Security would stretch much further, if people in general, did not view people with physical disabilities as being incapable of living alone and instead analyzed our ability or lack of ability to reason and make rational decisions for ourselves, on individual bases.
Many disabled people are very capable of living in our own homes and making decisions for ourselves. Hiring a little help from home help services, which Medicare does pay for, will often take care of the needs of independent disabled people. I gained new appreciation for the needs of the poor, who do not have the same advantage of funds as I had. I know the poor who neither splurged with funds they never had or were given the same advantages I had, needs all of us.
Returning back, before I digressed off of the subject I was on, when I was still a young adult and in total confusion from primarily misdiagnosis, I began a journey to find other family members who suffered as I was suffering. In doing so I discovered that the personality that drove me to over-use my own body was prevalent in the family history I was born into. I also discovered many misdiagnosis in my father’s family that were made prior to the MRI when it came to stenosis of the spine being present, whether they ever smoked or not.
Since it isn’t an interest of many young people, even I became amazed that it would be part of my make-up to want to discover the roots of previous generations. I spent a number of years doing the ancestry of both mind and my husbands families. In doing so, it led to a love of research, history, politics, and antiques that had always been present in my interests but not developed further by me. I found I enjoyed oil painting, even though I could not draw. I did my own research on stocks until I realized that the stock market is primarily the territory of large investors, who even though it goes denied, do get insider trading tips. I finally had the time to become an avid reader, which was something I never had time for before my life became more limited. Writing has always been more the natural calling of my children over my own, so I was surprised when I too enjoyed writing.
The capabilities that exist in all of us, that often go unfounded in us, are available for the doing once we do understand what does makes us the person we are. The list of what we can do with disability is only limited by our own lack of imagination, when we finally do accept just how healthy change is to all of us and our own personal growth. Too many able-bodied people never do take the time to learn or to gain the same knowledge for themselves, that we are fortunate enough to learn because of disability.
I finally accepted that no one on a white horse or wearing a white coat would ride by and discover a cure or effective treatment and in knowing this through both false hope and false starts, I knew if I was going to find personal satisfaction as my body failed me, I needed to take control over my own cure. The pain did not go away but instead of fighting against the pain by refusing to give up the normalcy of what had been my life I was able to lessen the pain by doing less to aggravate the same through living a different lifestyle. When I got together with able-bodied people who I was never going to be able to keep up with or fit into their conversation or activities, it would be my own responsibility to deal with the same. I did, just as an alcoholic must. I found it necessary to draw on my own courage to remain my own best friend rather than to be reminded by others the lack of my own capabilities. It was not fair of me to limit their activities anymore than it was fair of them to insist I join theirs’
It didn’t mean I couldn’t still travel and see my kids and grandkids and have family gatherings but it did mean I could ill afford to expect them to understand feelings that I would never have had if I had not experienced disability myself.
I still have moments I feel sorry for myself and feel others can be extremely insensitive and feel it the most the more time I spend around able-bodied people, but hopefully through the joy of being able to live another brand new life of challenges and adventures, I do not drag my loved ones down with me.
I still feel moments of resentment that very little is available to treat pain in a disease that has existed through out the ages and in my own failure to understand that the human body is not indestructible. Having grown up with a father who had back problems and watching him to continue to work hard, little did I know that inherited family disorders often show up in the next generation earlier than it does in the previous generation. At the same time the years of not knowing were the most difficult so I am grateful that I do have an easily diagnosable disability.
Resentment perhaps is the emotion I struggle with the most and I’m sure will battle until I die. I have been Blessed by a wonderfully independent family who help out as needed and ask nothing beyond what I want to give or can do. I unlike so many others am very fortunate in having a family who does deal with the stark honesty I often require, as well as the support I gain from their own independence.
For Amy and Matt Roloff, whom I’m sure have already learned the same, but simply need reminders, and others who are still struggling yet to understand the positive of life following disability, I can assure all of you that we need never to lose hope as we progress ahead with that which changes our lives, or our significant others, or marriage, be it disease or injury. The value of the Roloff marriage just as our commitments’ to loved ones and what commitment really means is just starting, at the point that a loved one along with all of us are forced to accept disability into our lives.
When we can understand after disability the major needs and wants of each person in our marriage or our lives must change, because we want our relationships or marriage to last, and we can respect the rights of all people involved, through genuine compassion we do find the Blessings of having fought for our lives on equal grounds with empathy for our loved ones, is the greatest accomplishment we can ever do, for another. Their are no losers in unconditional love when we all feel we are respected.
The day we get married is not the best day of our lives but rather the day our marriage can last through thick and thin and whatever we get hit with, and we know, “It’s the two of us together who made it, is what matters.” does become the greatest day of our lives. Divorce does not only mean giving up our futures but it also means giving up our past, and nothing is greater than the day we realize how truly Blessed we were to have found each other.
Since divorce rates sky rocket when one in a marriage gets sick or disabled while the other is well and able bodied, we must go into it knowing that disability is not for sissies or quitters. Its a hard road to follow for all people who do care as it changes all of us. It is the day, we know we made it, that the real fireworks goes off. Disability means letting go of old hurts, denial, and grudges with maturity and compromise, compromise and then compromise again, on not just our part but on the part of our loved ones as well. When we fail to forgive we never receive forgiveness in return. Like any relationship, it will never last if one remains nasty while the other remains committed.
As long as we who are disabled look for what is good in our own lives many of us will feel an abundance of possibilities surround us and we never need compare our lives to others nor do we ever have to let go of the fact; we have tomorrows of all kinds of opportunity and new adventures that we had never before imagined we would enjoy doing, greater from what we had been doing. Let those possibilities begin in all of us today and give them a fair balance with what we believed we wanted, prior to disability.
When we finish our journey and put fear of the unknown behind us, we all can realize what others say or think is only to be pitied as no one will ever know the value of our own strengths more so than we do. While the able-bodied question their own weaknesses we have already,” been there and done that,” and no one need to know the value we place on our own strengths, other than through our smiles, compassion, and understanding we show them. We better than most, as disabled people, must know that getting even can never be part of our behavior or design if we are to find the happiness, all people seek.
No one but ourselves can ever be held responsible for our own unhappiness or happiness unless we wish to remain in a life of misery. There are people who can only be happy if they are miserable and we need to recognize them, if they are a part of our lives. Some people do want a life of sympathy and actually live longer when they get it,but that more than most attitudes, can lead to defeat, in all of us. We do need to know, more than most, the difference between those who want our help because they want to change or are confused, and those who we must let go of because they only want to control us. Just like the alcoholic needs to sometimes distant themselves from the drinkers in their lives in order to give up alcohol, so must we learn to distant ourselves from the opinions of those who wish to “rain on our parade” with constant complaints, restraints, and negativity. We can only make our own lives count by being present in our own life with recognition of our own capabilities and those of our loved ones who have stayed with us. Many times when we do, it will count far beyond all of our own individual expectations!