Hello blogger friends and welcome. This 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 first half of this year since I started them in 2014. For today’s post I’m going to answer question six, seven and eight.
6. Are your activities of daily living affected by disability? If you’re comfortable, share a little of your daily routine.
I suppose if my activities of daily living (ADL) weren’t affected by my stroke in some way, I wouldn’t be considered disabled, would I? I know that came out a bit snarky, and I don’t really mean it to — actually, yeah, I do, but I don’t get the question. Of course my daily living is affected. The most important are my residual cognitive (focus, memory, attention) issues. To me, anyway. Then, of course, there are my physical limitations.
I have to make sure that I remember to take my meds on time in the morning and in the evening. I don’t usually have a great appetite, so I have to make sure I put something in my stomach at least three or four times a day. Worst case scenario, I’ll drink an Ensure.
I work on stretching my body throughout the day. I have to be very careful because my gait is still off and I have difficulty with making turns. Then there’s that whole space/distance thing that throws me off sometimes. It’s mild, but there. For a short time recently I had to use my shower chair again because I was so weak, I was worried about possibly falling. I still have to work on my coordination skills, although they’re 100x better than they were three years ago.
I’m also responsible for Sophie (my Lhasa Apso), so that means I have to make sure she is fed three times a day; one time hard/soft food mixed and twice hard food only. And my two goldfish. 🙂 Taking care of them makes me feel useful, like I’m actually needed by someone.
I’m almost at my six month mark of not having any seizures, so I’m going to speak to my neurologist, Dr. H about being cleared to drive again. Although I know I won’t be able to go it alone for quite a while, I’d like to be able to practice drive at least. I long for the feeling of independence again.
7. Is your work or school life affected by disability? Describe some of these challenges.
I’ve been out of school for years so that doesn’t affect my disability. I’ve taken a couple of free on-line courses from Coursera and Open University. The good thing about them is that I can go at my own pace.
One of my goals is to get well enough to return to work one day, even if it’s only on a part-time basis. I was making great progress until I was blindsided by my former employer. That’s another long story.
8. Is your family life affected by disability? In what ways?
It’s not affected too much. I live alone now. My relationship with my ex-partner was basically over before I got ill and became disabled. I give my heartfelt thanks for being by my side during the worst of it, but during my recovery years, things became increasingly difficult. I didn’t have much in the way of positive support, and eventually we finally moved on.
My daughter helps me as much as she can, as do my closest friends. I have a neighbor that I have grown close to who has become a godsend to me. She helps me with so many things. She takes me shopping, to doctor appointments, helps me with laundry, brings me food sometimes, and even helped me with my Christmas tree and wrapping. 🙂 I consider her an extension of my family now.
When I was first struggling with recovery and had nowhere to turn, I found much of my support online. By doing so, I formed many true and valuable friendships that I will treasure always. I’ve even been blessed enough to meet one in person. My goal is to meet as many of them as I can.
That’s about all I have for today’s post. I’ll be publishing another post again soon. Until next time, have a great day and thanks for visiting.