disability

All posts tagged disability

Life

Published May 12, 2017 by helentastic67

Life

Life

If you’re not living; You’re just waiting to die. I’m often forced to re-evaluate what life is all about.

My dreams

I used to think life would be about having my own family, my ideal picture more recently being a husband and cat and dog. A mortgage (likely) a career, a business of some sort and enough freedom to afford a holiday to foreign shores every now and again.

crazy disability

Since my diagnosis and then my disability, some of these things have faded from being possibilities or a reality?

In many ways, I do feel like I’m just passing time and I’m not sure what life is meant to be about, in the big scheme of things. I’m still trying to make a difference every day with the little things I do and the everyday interactions, but right now I’m wondering what I should be doing differently so I’m not found months or years after I pass away, unnoticed by the world in my armchair as an old lady surrounded by 20 hungry cats…

Cat lady

Young John – Part 1

Published April 19, 2017 by helentastic67

Taxi Driver

Young John Part 1

Now if I do this correctly, you will cry. Get your box of tissues and if need be, pinch yourself to cry if I can’t do it sufficient justice.

I don’t hate many people because it’s an emotion that is a waste of time, however most people wouldn’t be aware (should you need to know) that I went to High School with Victoria’s current Premier. His name is Daniel Andrews.

To be clear, we were not friends, he seemed an OK type, but I had nothing to do with him one way or another beyond a polite ‘hello’ in passing.

Daniel Andrews 1

But these days, if I saw him I would want to slap him. Probably not in the face, because don’t think Orange suits me, but definitely on the back of the head, like a naughty child.

I say this because I’m lucky enough to have a lovely taxi driver in my life.

His name is Young John. (Get the tissues ready!)

I met Young John about seven years ago, when I went to a local Physio/Rehab centre. He car-pool’s people into the centre. That first day Young John’s yellow taxi pulled up in front of my home and as I stepped outside he called out his greeting “Young Helen”, I instantly assumed I must be the youngest person he had to transport that day. I got in and we drove off. We chatted and when we pulled up for the next person, he got out and greeted the next guy “Young George”. Now George may not be his name, I can’t recall, but “George” was not a day shy of seventy and had, had a double hip replacement.

Young George was helped in and we started again, then conversation flowing easily.

Now, I suspect Young John calls everyone ‘Young’ so as not to offend them. Just like you see a Grumpy Old or vicious dog in the street and you want to pat them, you call them ‘puppy’ and they all seem to melt.

I probably should mention why I want to slap the current Premier for Victoria, said Daniel Andrews?

Daniel Andrews

Young John came here when he was too old to go to school, so he got a job in a factory until he was old enough to get a driver’s license and drive a taxi. He pays so much money to maintain his taxi license and has often driven 7 days a week for 40 years.

Currently, the Australian Government is trying to buy back all the taxi licenses for a fraction of their value. And reissue them to move taxi drivers for much, much more than the previous owners are compensated.

And this is just a tiny rant because I don’t have the time to unpack all the things wrong with Uber and the corruption that is Uber.

Uber driver

I will never catch an Uber and the many, many people from disabled, to elderly to intellectually handicapped that Young John ferries around Melbourne every day will not catch an Uber.

Young John is like my adopted father, often every week day I send him a text message suggesting a pick-up time and location to throw me out. Ok, deliver me in one piece. He responds with an offer. I continue the negotiations and often scooter on Hellonwheels to my final destination locally and walk a small block to where he is often waiting for me.

I get in to him saying “Princess! You’re driving me crazy! I’ll call your mother!” I respond with a prompt “Stop it. You love me!”

Princess

There is a great respect and appreciation tween us and I’m always happier for seeing him and having some friendly banter.

It being a Wednesday today I imagine I think he will be happy when I report he is on his way to being a star! As only he deserves!

With love! Young John.

Love you

Family – Part 2

Published March 13, 2017 by helentastic67

Family Pt 2

Family Part 2

I’ve been procrastinating this topic, because it’s not an easy topic to cover. I don’t know how other bloggers deal with this however, maybe I should be able to say what I like and if family can’t cope, they can start their own blog. However, what generally would happen would be that any assistance I currently have from family would quickly dry up.

We like to imagine that if someone is sick, has a disability or is dying (I’m not dying in case you’re wondering) empathy would kick in and any other ‘issues’ you have had with that person or family member, you would be the bigger person and put it aside, get over it or just move one.

I luckily, have both parents still on this plain, they are 66 and 67 which is younger than most of my friend’s parents. And they have not been together for the last twenty years.

I also have two surviving siblings. My family was rocked by severe grief when I was only 9 years old, when a younger sister died from cancer.

People don’t know how to deal with grief, so they stay away. Apparently ignoring a situation that makes people uncomfortable, makes it easier. So, our family pulled through and when I was a month shy of my 16th birthday there was another baby in the house.

There I was at 16, a full-time student, working a supermarket job, 15 hours a week (Yes! I was a checkout chick) and changing nappies and babysitting. And preparing (like there was any time) to spread my wings to move to study.

I should point out over Christmas, I had several jobs to help save for College.

This sister is now 28 and living back at home with my mum in the country.

It’s hard to bond with this sister as she has been raised by mum only from the age of 7 and while she moved out of home to study for a few years, she’s now back at home, working and saving for the things in your 20’s. Like travel.

I attempted to bond with her over GOT (Game of Thrones).

Game of Thrones

She watched the 1st season and decided she wanted to read the books, then mum decided to read the books before they would watch it together. And I’m out…

My older sister actually lives closest to me, about an hour away and I see her less than 5 times a year.

She and I lived together twice in my 20’s and to say it didn’t go well, would be an understatement. Other than I didn’t get a real job, I’m not completely sure what I did wrong to offend her, but when we are together, it’s hard…

Sisters

Where Was I?

Published February 24, 2017 by helentastic67

where-was-i

Where Was I?

I gather you have noticed my departure from my main message, which was to educate about ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) and disability. There has been a perfectly sound reason for that. And that is two things, if it were to be all about being popular, brain injury/disability is not popular!

education

Brain injury and disability and these 2 things for which I qualify will never make me a million dollars. I will try to prove that statement somewhat incorrect because as I see it, I need at least a million to afford a home in a suburb I would like to live in. I live to prove people wrong – You Know It!

myth-6

And because ABI/Disability are not Sexy!

I’ve had several ‘lives’ in terms of my ‘Poor Art Student’ years, then the poor but busy and happy club years, then my “Oh My God” Real money admin years when I’d go home and be happy to not pick up a phone era. And mostly people think I’m only banging on about brain injury now because I have one!

To this I say, “FUCK YOU!” At least I have what I’m selling…

readathon

And number two! When I was about 8 or 9, I did the MS Readathon like many Aussie kids. I have never had MS, I’ve never been diagnosed with MS! MS is that “thing” I like to suggest is worse than ‘my’ ABI. Apart from all the other ABI’s that seem worse than mine. I know, don’t ask me to grade a crappier ‘ABI’ than what I have…

I would suggest having most my independence, lost my ability to manage my own money, pay my bills, speak for myself (ever) that would SUCK!

butterfly-ribbon

So, for a while, I’ll return to my original aim of educating people about ABI.

I’m not going to tell you an ABI can easily be avoided. Some can, come can’t.

If I told you to not drink or smoke, and you could avoid a stroke, that would be a lie.

Do I suggest never getting in a car or on a motorbike and therefore you can avoid a TBI? (Traumatic Brain Injury), apart from it’s too late, it’s very unrealistic.

You won’t get hit by a bus if your never leave the house, but you can die just as likely by not leaving the house.

prove-them-wrong

You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

If you want further information about ABI/TBI, this is not the right blog for you. Luckily, there is someone who does that already, does the appropriate research and you can find his blog here www.brilliantminds.com

I, on the other hand do simple stuff about ABI for the common person.

  1. Brain Injury – bad!
  2. Not all brain injuries are avoidable.
  3. Every ABI/TBI is different. Not all ABI’s get funding.

puzzle

 

The Good, The Bad

Published December 26, 2016 by helentastic67

the-good-the-bad

The Good/The Bad

There is a children’s book I recall reading as a child. I can’t at all remember what it was called but the story line and message stuck with me. It is literally a story about a little boy who gets into an aeroplane and flies up into the sky, then the aeroplane runs out of fuel. He flies it upside down and he falls out. And he falls out of the aeroplane and he falls in the direction of a haystack. But the haystack has a pitchfork sticking up in it. But it’s OK because he misses the pitchfork, but he misses the haystack also. But it’s all okay! Because he lands in a pond.

aeroplane

The message is obviously to teach the young impressionable minded reader that life is good and bad in equal measures.

Sometimes, it feels like only bad things happen and not enough good. In recent years, I’ve developed a disability, on the upside, I’ve maintained my ability to speak for myself (when people listen) and I can manage my own finances. I might not be rich, but I’m not starving and I’ve kept a roof over my head.

Sometimes, the good isn’t completely blow you away, amazing it’s little things. But those little things all add up to.

Here are a few good things;

  1. Winter in my house is a little brutal, however I can keep the butter on the bench and it doesn’t melt or go mouldy.
  2. I am not reliant on a man in my life! I might be single however, I’m not bad at being single. I can survive without a male presence in my life.

ONWARDS…

good-things

The Fall

Published October 30, 2016 by helentastic67

the-fall-1

The Fall

Several years after developing my disability, I had a fall on the front veranda of my home. Unless, you’re a stunt man or woman there is never a ‘good’ fall. When you have a disability, there are only ‘bad’ falls. Falls in general, is one of those things that Doctors, will ask about to gauge your ability to be mobile and therefore independent. Those kinds of powers and abilities is in simple terms about getting to the toilet and moving around inside your home, not just about if you can leave your home and go to appointments and do things.

So, this particular fall I caught my left foot on a metal bar that protrudes from the fence at the front of the Terrace House I lived in at the time. The post was designed to stabilize the fence.

And this is when I fell, I managed to land hitting the left front of my head and my left shoulder. To say it was unexpected is an understatement. And that brick wall was hard. LUCKILY, there was no blood or piss for that matter however, I cannot tell you how much it hurt!

 

I actually whimpered. My mum was staying at the time and was 3 rooms away. By the time I got up using the fence for support mum was there. Of course, she scolded me with that usual ‘What the hell did you do?’

Yeah, but she was genuinely concerned. Of course, never mistake it!

As I had gotten up I had looked out across the street to see if anyone had witnessed my spill.

At the time, I lived opposite some low-level Public Housing.

A guy who lived on the ground floor who, saw me fall and I knew and waved ‘Hello’ to as he was always on his front balcony smoking and generally keeping an eye on the neighbourhood. He had gotten up with a concerned look on his face.

When he saw my mum, I gave him a wave to let him know I was OK.

Again, don’t ask me to define OK.

FYI, if you think that neighbourhood watch dog was a nice guy, think again! He broke his cats neck because (his neighbour told me) he thought the cat was listening to his conversations.

He did have Schizophrenia. But there is no excuse for killing an animal. And people wonder why I try so hard to stay out of Public Housing.

What remains of any good mental headspace would quickly vanish surrounded by that.

Anyway, back to the fall. Really don’t know what it did to my noggin. We queried my Doctor at the time if my brain had received any damage, however an MRI taken at the time were only aimed at the AVM site. (The opposite side of my head)

bandaged-head

My left shoulder on the other hand remains a problem to this day. In so many ways including a constant and repetitive disagreement with my Mother. Did I dislocate my left shoulder, or didn’t I?

Had I hit my right shoulder, it would have become dislocated! Without doubt!

Because my left arm doesn’t work, my shoulder has reduced muscle tone. When I hit, the brick wall my muscles in my shoulder just stretched like an old rubber band and the bones just moved.

After some time, I did go to an emergency room and get it x-rayed.

Officially, it’s dislocated but NOT!

drs-office

I did pay ‘out-of-pocket’ to see a private shoulder specialist. Partly to see how bad it really was and part to alleviate my mum’s stress. Yes, that’s what you do in these circumstances.

I distinctly remember meeting the specialist. Because he mostly saw sporting injuries and his opening question to me was ‘Now, what’s wrong with you?’

“How long have you got?” is how I responded. I of course gave him the brief rundown of my medical situation and disability.

He told me he could fuse my shoulder together which would guarantee it would never work again, but would put the arm bone (note – very simple terms) back into the shoulder socket but he told me it would lead to secondary issues across my upper back.

Still, many years later, I wear my arm in a collar and cuff when out of the house so I’m not carrying around dead weight and putting more stress on my shoulder.

slings

If I sleep on that side, my shoulder clicks when I sit up in the morning. Sexy right?

Not to mention the pins and needles I get in my good hand.

This is a new/old thing I’m currently looking into. One thing worse than being one-handed, would be having 2 arms and legs and not being able to use either arms or legs.

Not wanting to give ‘power-to-words’ Let’s move on!

 

 

First World Problem

Published September 19, 2016 by helentastic67

first-world-problem-1

First World Problems

You ask anyone with a disability what they encounter on a day to day basis, they will take most things in their stride after a while.

Early last year, someone I knew was banging-on Social Media about having some elective surgery to a sports injury (OK, elective is debatable).

sports-injury

But, he had surgery, a short stint in hospital, then inpatient rehab for a few weeks, then home to continue rehab as an out-patient with a boot, what-not.

Where normal life of work, study, family would continue pretty close to normal.

Really, what annoyed me about this was he really wanted sympathy and I didn’t have it for him because at the same time I was upstairs in the same rehab facility.

And in my room of 4 beds, I was the Neuro (Neurology) patient in the room. And I was there because I’d had Botox in my calf and my leg put in a cast!

attitude-quote

Have you ever heard of such a thing?

And no, Botox. Not just for young and old to make them look younger!

I will explain Botox in my next post.

Guess, I’m writing that one now too!

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