Living Life Disabled and Depressed, part 2

I guess I pretty much covered the depressed part last time. (More like beat it to death, but oh well) So, I thought I might touch on the disabled part now. I am sorry it is so long between posts for those that follow and are interested in my blog, it is just very hard to type (physically) for me and takes several weeks to get a decent sized post ready. I know my posts are still riddled with errors, but I do the best I can.  I guess a big part of being disabled is needing help from others, so I thought I would pass my thoughts on regarding this subject.

For those that care about and for a disabled person, the first thing I want to say is PLEASE wait for me to ask you for help or ask if I need help politely. Don’t automatically jump in and do things for me, even if it is a struggle for me to complete I want to do it myself. I feel like a 3 year old some days. Constantly telling people “No, Me!” Ok, so maybe I don’t sound exactly like that, but it sure feels that way sometimes, LOL.
A second thought I often have is that if I do ask you to help me,whatever it is and whatever you do keep the pity off your face, and let me do as much of the task as I can, let me keep as much of my independence and dignity as possible. Needing assistance for mundane tasks is humiliating enough all by itself, seeing pity on the faces of our loved ones just makes it that much worse.

As I suspect is normal, I have learned new ways of accomplishing many tasks of living. It may look awkward as hell to watch, but most likely, it is the only way I can do it. (There goes that three yr old attitude again, lol) For instance, I am right handed, part of my disabilities is that my right hand is basically frozen about half way to a fist, makes it pretty hard to do just about anything. However I have taught myself to rely on my left had for most tasks. It will never come naturally to use my left hand so it looks and feels awkward as all getout. But I appreciate y’all letting me do it anyway, whether it be feeding myself, dressing myself or simply opening the refrigerator door for a Dt Pepsi.

I know there are things I cannot do, or should not do for safety sake. asking for help for these things is difficult enough.  I am 41 yrs old, I should be able to take a roast out of the oven, I cant. I am well aware I can’t and that even to try is dangerous. Unless it is a matter of my and your safety, please allow me the respect to at least try the things I might be able to do. Losing my independence is difficult to adjust to, I want to keep whatever small amount I have left. If that means I get the roast prepared and then ask you to put it in the oven for me while I set a timer then that’s what I will do. I amy not be able to cook dinner for my family from scratch start to finish anymore, but I can still do some of it, please let me.
The one thing I would tell anyone in my situation, or that cares for someone in  similar situation beyond respecting my independence and dignity, is PHYSICAL THERAPY!!! It may not be a walk in the park, it is very difficult and a lot of hard work, but so very  worth it! Before my six months of (jokingly called) twice a week torture sessions, I was basically completely confined to a wheel chair and unable to do just about everything. I needed help feeding myself, with bathroom duties, hygiene, dressing, you name it. Now I can walk about 20 to 25 feet unaided, 300 to 500 feet with my walker, can feed and mostly dress myself as well as taking care of all my bathroom and hygeine needs. I do still rely on my wheelchair for longer “walks” like a trip to the mall with my husband for Christmas shopping, but I am not totally reliant on it anymore.

I guess the two main things I want to say here is leave the pity behind and celebrate with me the things I can still do,while encouraging me to try on other things. And don’t be afraid of, or turn away PT if or when your Dr suggests it. It’s well worth the effort.

As always, thank your listening to my ramblings and as ever if you are confused or have a question for me, feel free to ask. I am always willing to spread what knowledge I have or simply gossip and chat.

And one last thing, I am a PROUD, brand new Grandma. I simply could not leave my grandson Jordan Ray out of the spotlight. I had to tell you! Please forgive me if you get multiple alerts for this post, I had to find his best pic I have so far.

My first Grandson, born 1-2-13
My first Grandson, born 1-2-13