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 since a lot of the questions pertain to me already. For today’s post I’m going to answer question(s) 10.
- Does disability affect you in other ways? If so, how? I know I’ve mentioned most of the ways the brain hemorrhage and subsequent stroke affect me in some of my previous posts. Of course they affect me in ways big and small. Let me give you a few examples, some big (for me at least), and some small.
A couple of months ago I had an appointment with my neurologist and this was before I met the friend and neighbor who helps me now. As you probably know, I still don’t drive yet, so I called ahead for a taxi. Since I live in the sticks, it sometimes takes anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours for a cab to be available. I got lucky that day; the cab came early and I arrived over an hour before my appointment . . .
It’s raining, but I don’t feel like sitting in the waiting room for an hour and change. Across the street is the hospital and catty-corner to that by the intersection is a gas station with a convenience store. I forget what’s on the other corner. Anyway, I decide to hit the store for a cup of coffee and a buttered roll. I walk to the corner and cross the street when the light changes green. I have to cross again to get to the convenience store, but the light won’t change in my favor; at least I don’t think it does. It has the delayed green for left turn signal… I grow impatient after about 10 minutes of standing in the rain and run (gimp) across the two-way street as soon as I can. Not exactly the smartest thing to do, but at least a turning driver is kind enough to wave me ahead.
I head in to the store to the coffee station; I make a cup, and grab a buttered roll from a display. I pay. I step outside and it’s still raining, but I look around and realize I’m completely alone.
Come on brain, work!
It’s only been a few days since the only person I really knew in PA, my ex, hauled it back to NJ and I’m here fending for myself. I’m okay with that, but the reality of that freedom finally hits me. I waited a long time for this. It’s overwhelming. I smile, but then I frown. Something doesn’t click.
I look around again and nothing seems familiar; confusion sets in. I don’t know where I am right now. I step off to the side, away from the door. I put my bag on the window ledge with shaky hands. I close my eyes and try to breathe, and think. The last thing I want is to have a panic attack in a strange place. In my mind I know I’m not crazy and something tells me I SHOULD know where I am. BREATHE, Eva. I’m leaning against the building now, trying to slow my racing heart.
After about two minutes, I’m calm enough to open my eyes. The rain is lighter; I look up and see the sign for the gas station. I look across the street. It’s a hospital, my hospital. I breathe a sigh of relief. I got this. I have an appointment today with Dr. H, my neurologist. I know exactly where I am. I pick up my bag, hold my head up, and make my way back to the doctor’s office. Though these occurrences are few and far between, they happen; they scare the crap out of me. These are a couple of the big things.
The first month was extremely difficult for me knowing that the only people I had in PA were my doctors and 911. God blessed me when he put a couple of new friends in my life. I’ve been able to come out of my shell more and my mind is clearer.
Sometimes the small things get to me sometimes too, but not as much. It would be nice to be able to get on a step stool again to change my curtains or reach a shelf without having to worry about doing a face plant to the floor. Or cleaning my shower without worrying about muscle spasms, dizziness, pain, or the inability to bend. I’d also love to hop in my car and just drive. Anywhere. (Oh, wait… That goes under BIG things.)
There’s a lot more I can include, but I’m not going to make this an overwhelming post. I just wanted to give you an idea of some of the things I deal with.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and if anyone has any questions or needs an ear, leave a comment or drop me an email. Until next post, have a great day.