Hello blogger friends and welcome. Here is another post for the Redefining Disability Challenge started by Rose B. Fischer. If you click on the image to the left, you can see exactly what it’s all about and feel free to join. Answer as many of the 52 questions as you like, or the ones that pertain to you. There is no time limit. Answer them in one post, one a day, a week, or whatever fits your needs.
I’m going to spread the questions out over the remainder of the year and some into 2015, since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer questions number four and five.
4. Do you think that it’s more important to emphasize medical treatment, life skills, community integration, or a combination of these things? I believe it is important to emphasize a combination of all of the things mentioned above, although a lot of people would disagree with me as far as the percentages. I’m sure most people would think that the majority of emphasis should be on medical treatment, but I don’t agree with that.
My experience with medical treatment, as I mentioned in earlier posts, has been a mixed bag. I’ve had more positive results using the life skills I’ve learned on my own and the limited community integration I’ve had available to me. Luckily, the availability of a positive support system has increased somewhat over the past couple of months and for that I am truly grateful. Now, I rely on a close network of online friends for the support I desperately need.
5. What are some significant moments/events in your life that connect to disability? — For example, you can talk about hearing a diagnosis for the first time, meeting a role model, learning something important that helped form your understanding of disability, etc. There are too many to mention in this particular post. The first cognitive memory I have is being lifted from my bed in neuro-surgical ICU into a recliner because I was unable to move my entire left side, three weeks post brain surgery. I still hadn’t come to grips with the fact that I had a devastating hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.
I fell into a deep depression soon afterwards that has come and gone intermittently since. Most of the friends that were there for me then have continued on with their lives. There have been one or two tried and true friends that have stuck by me through it all and still look for me and call me, but for the most part I’ve found that most of my support system has been online. consider myself lucky in that sense.
People like to pat themselves on the back and say what good friends they are when someone is close to death. “Well, I was there at her worst.” I don’t remember most of that time. If God would have taken me then, I would have been none the wiser. These ‘friends’ don’t get that. The worst is struggling to recover. To remember. To coordinate. To match what my brain says to what my body does. To verbalize what I’m thinking but what can’t come out of my mouth. It’s frustrating for me, and it hurts. That’s the worst. Being talked down to, or being treated as though I am a child in an adult’s body, that’s the worst. I get it. I get confused easily. I need things in front of me and I need a lot of time to go over things in order for them to come together an make sense. People don’t give me that time and I get flustered. I can only do so much.
I’m just over three years post stroke now and will be making some life changing decisions soon. I will be relying on myself, my closest doctors, my strongest and most steadfast supporters, and God to help me make the right decision. My goal is the same, to be as well as I can be in the shortest time possible.
Until next post…