Hidden pain

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Hidden Pain

Published January 12, 2018 by helentastic67

Hidden Pain 1

Hidden Pain

Some people are really quite oblivious to the strain and pain on my body when I’m out and about because despite my walking stick and my left arm being in a sling (collar and cuff) and that I’m out of the house, it’s presumed I’m always wandering around with a smile on my face.

Walking stick and sling

In reality, sleep or lack thereof means my left leg works even less than “I make It” and the eyesight in my left eye is worse than people would realise.

Often what I carry and how it affects my mobility even more.

In my own backyard, even moving a few small terracotta pots around means my left hip hurts! WTF! I don’t even use my left side to do anything, so I’ve asked an OT/Physio what that is all about and she had no words of wisdom for me.

Small Terracotta Pots

Yesterday, I went to the city, I travel by car to a train station closer to the city, then a train from there.

When I’m out and about my ‘handbag’ (hate the term) is a large street-wear bag with the clash on it. (I just like the image) the strap on the bag hangs from my left shoulder and the bag sits on my right hip and gluts as in Gluteus Maximus. If I buy something when I’m out, it must fit in that bag. If I can’t carry it, I can’t buy it…

But yesterday, I also had to transport a delivery of Ginger Kisses. I have a cool bag, big enough for six cans (so Australian for those serious drinkers; not me, other people) and in it were 2 large ice blocks (heavy) and 30 Ginger Kisses (cool).

Ginger Kisses

I got out of the car at the train station carrying the walking stick and the cool bag and walked the twenty metres to the train platform without the aid of the stick.

I missed the train by “that much”. A train station staff member told me I’d missed it. No shit Sherlock! Because he hadn’t held it for me for two seconds despite my efforts.

Missed Train

So, I asked him to help me put the cool bag on better. I gave him both the stick and the cool bag. I eased the two loops of the collar and cuff down over my hand and proceeded to have him put the handle of the bag on my arm up under my elbow. The collar and cuff goes back on and keeps the bag from slipping down.

The weight of the bag hangs by my side and doesn’t obstruct the forward motion of my left leg.

On the train to the city I often find myself eating my breakfast. Vegemite and cheese on toasted bread. Good breakfast for on the go, not great every day.

Cheese and Vegemite

I got to the city, scooped up my coffee in my keep cup in Degraves Street and got to the AGM for the Self Advocacy group I’m part of. There was only one table at the front that four people were to sit at in a ‘panel formation’.

Degraves St

I put my bags down and looked around. No-one! So, I dragged a table over. At which point my left hip is hurting. Seriously, don’t know what it’s complaining about when it does nothing.

Had the meeting.

Did some serious walking.

More serious walking.


More serious walking.

It’s now been several weeks since I started this post. I think I got lost in the details. Relevant details, but today I was off to the city again with that damn cool bag.

Cooler bags

I realised how the added weight changes how I move and balance and the impact on just walking by the end of the day…

Hidden Pain

Hidden Pain

Published August 26, 2016 by helentastic67


Hidden Pain

So, I know I get a little backlash out there. My disability has managed to leave me with the ability to walk with the aid of a walking stick (Not complaining).

And therefore I have a level of independence to go out and do things.

Yesterday was Monday, I had my Carer at 9am. We were done an hour later. I made my own breakfast and light lunch. I actually ate my breakfast on the couch for a change. I often eat it in a hurry on the train to the city on the days I go out. Ridiculous!

My appointment wasn’t until 3pm and while I really wanted to go back to bed and to sleep I figured my Landlord was due to mow the lawns. I’ve been watching it get long and overgrown the last two weeks. And let’s face it, I had to get to Medicare to claim two receipts. Medicare is my ‘Other Bank’ and I don’t claim much these days.

So, off I went to the city. That translates like this;

Text my Young John (will tell you about him another time; get your tissues ready) Young John drives me to a train station closer to the city. It’s more convenient and a train goes through every 10 minutes.

Get on train and in the city in about 20 minutes. The train platform is an easy one for me, it is just on Platform 1 so right out onto Flinders Street and cross.

I crossed between 2 pedestrian crossings to save time. Traffic had stopped all the same.

I made a stop at the shop I used to visit to have a quick chat to Peter. He was the 3red stop for me, back in my Promoter days every Monday Peter runs a little independent Music/Clothing/Tattooist/Body art/Gothic shop that is literally down an alley and down in the basement. Awkward stairs. Handrails not on the right but I make it in one piece, because I won’t QUIT!!!

I once flew down the stairs and up again but after a little catch up.

No independent bands touring anytime soon either. Peter goes up and comes back down for me in the lift.

Still had to do about 10 steps down to street level. Anyway, I give a nice older lady some directions as she looks a little lost and confused (don’t we all?).

Walk several large blocks to Medicare. Feel good! Big strides, can see and most people respectfully move out of my way. Not everyone, but most!

Medicare a busy place. Don’t want to wait today so I fill in the forms. Very little information required. Staple and put in the post box.

They will process and by tomorrow, I’ll be $106. Richer!!

Anyway, cross two streets. And wait for a tram.

Catching trams in Melbourne

I’m only going halfway home as that’s where my appointment is. But the tram isn’t a flatbed tram. It’s not disability friendly! So, three big steps. Word from the wise, lead with the stronger leg and I always sit just inside the door. Commonly referred to and by other disabled friends as “My seat!” We each call it that and when we are together we prioritise who needs it more. Or this allows me to sit there because they are gentlemen…

Anyway, get to Collingwood and go into shop that requires a few steps. No handrail. Walk 15 minutes to appointment. Was warm as the last day of summer in Melbourne.

Time to sit for a bit before my appointment.

I see Gerry who does Shiatsu every 3-4 weeks for an hour, he works on my back, shoulders and arms and a little on my neck.

Afterwards, he gives me a lift up the street (it’s uphill) and I heave myself up onto the tram again for the 20 minute journey home.

Off tram at my stop and walk 10-15 minutes. Happy to get home, not too desperate for the loo. 5 steps up and inside!

So Tuesday. Got the day off today. No appointments! Just phone calls to make sure my Carers are sorted for the next 10 days and any transport needs.

Struggle to get it together! Things hurt! For once my head doesn’t hurt but my thighs hurt and my right shoulder and arm. And it hurts to walk. Want to make reference to feel like, I’ve been on a horse for a week, but don’t know what that’s like. Dragging my left foot a little today.

Lastly, while my transport yesterday was all fine and Gerry volunteers his time today I’m paying for it!

Every step, every curb I negotiated I’m feeling it today! And tomorrow we do it all again.

Closer to home this time, but Wednesday is my pinchy/stabby day.

Chiropractor followed by Acupuncture. Two appointments I have weekly to help me maintain my independence. Having a disability really is a full time job…


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