Monday, 26 December 2016

Becoming Disabled.


     Finding myself now disabled due to severe foot pain. I decided to talk about the experiences and treatment I have been on the receiving end of from others. I am stunned, totally stunned, how people often ignore me now or treat me as though my brain too is impaired. They ignore how much pain I am in and often refuse to accept it is happening to me at all.
     
My family refused point blank for the last few years to accept I was struggling badly to walk, thinking I could use mind over matter to overcome it. Yet the last three years or so have seen my life alter drastically due to being unable to walk far or stand for long.
     
     In some ways, I can understand why my family refused to acknowledge it, because we are people who are very positive thinkers and see challenges and problems as things to be overcome rather than given in to. I myself even refused to accept my increasing lameness, as I struggled to remain mobile, due to the same way of thinking. However, there are some things in life the power of positive thinking can't help, and this is one of them.
     
     When life alters and you become almost housebound, then it is pretty obvious something is wrong. Even when that happened and I did become almost housebound, I tried to tell myself I was fine and it was just that I didn't want to go out - anything rather than admit the truth.
     
     If anyone looks at me, there are no wounds to see, no plaster casts, no missing or false limbs or anything else visible that would allow people to accept I have a problem. As nothing is visible, the attitude of most people is that I need to just walk properly and stop looking for attention.
     
     One of the other problems with their attitude is because I am overweight. I wasn't when this all started, I was an average weight for my height, but they still want to believe the weight problem I have now is why I can't walk. The weight problem started partly due to my own fault for having comfort eaten at times from depression, but now, it is even more so due to inability to exercise and work off anything I do eat.
     
     I have tried hard to lose weight, but people are cruel. Their often bullying, cruel comments and snide remarks make you feel like a piece of dirt under their shoe. I have sat eating less than others at the same table as me and yet they look at my plate and tell me I shouldn't be eating anything at all.
      
     They then say it's eating that's making it hard for me to walk, It isn't, it's nothing to do with it and people at normal weight for their height (and even underweight people) get the same problems as I have, but so many people don’t want to hear the truth and instead prefer to be nasty. No, I am not someone so fat I can't even stand up, but in their eyes, I have brought everything on myself because I now have excess weight on my bones.
     
     The last three years or so has been a huge eye opener for me. No matter how much I've struggled to deny it, I now admit, I am disabled - very disabled. It is during that three years, I have seen my confidence going downhill in many ways with any interest in life dwindling. This has been mainly due to attitudes of others around me and my own inability to accept I need help. 
     
     It was when my surgeon used the words,  "you are actually very disabled" the truth hit me hard and made me accept the truth. Disabled. That is not a word I ever thought to hear said about me, but someone, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in feet and ankles, had just said it to me. I must admit, later that night I had a little weep over those words. Yet they were words that helped me come to terms with needing to learn to live for what was now right for me and not what others thought was right for me.
     
     I am going to talk about what it's like to find oneself becoming gradually disabled and how it started. How other people react; their behaviour, how I feel about what has happened to me and the attitudes from family, strangers and worse still, even from those in professional circles meant to be there to offer help and support. Professional bodies can be far worse than anyone else in their treatment of us, as you'll come to hear.
     
     It's this treatment that has decided me to write about it and tell others just what it's like to suddenly find oneself in a situation such as I have. It doesn't always happen overnight due to accidents or illness, it can also happen gradually. It can creep up on you so gradually, that you aren't even aware what's happening until you suddenly find there are times - and days - you can't walk at all.
     
     Maybe reading this - if anyone sees it - will help others in my situation accept more readily than I have what's happening to them, and will explain to others just what it's like when it comes knocking on your door. After all, it can happen to any one of you, just as it did to me and does to others. 



     It was due to ignoring much of those early warning signs that has possibly brought me to this stage much quicker than it might otherwise have done. Maybe it isn't for those reasons, but whatever the reason for such rapid deterioration, especially this last year, is why I decided it's time I wrote about how I feel, so for better or worse, here starts my journal.

2 comments:

  1. I am so sorry that you're suffering. I personally know how cruel people can be towards those with a disability, as I have both physical disability and mental illness in my family. Strangers can be so rude and assume so many ridiculous things....but that is much easier to deal with then family for sure. In fact, I find that family (and doctors) are the worst! You're exactly right, family can be the most cruel because if they cannot see visible signs of disability, they treat you like your faking it..... just trying to get attention or have an excuse to not do things everyone else can do like work or clean or travel, etc. They start to exclude you from things, treat you like you don't exist by making plans around you.... not with you. It's horrible! No matter what, I ask you to remember that your value as a human being has not become any less now that you are disabled. You are still the same amazing, compassionate, fabulous person you've always been. Please don't let the ignorance of others make you feel cynical or disenfranchised. My thoughts, prayers and love are with you as you come to terms with your new circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bless you Shaine. How kind you are - as always :) xxx

    ReplyDelete