Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Redefining Disabilities Project ~ Post #6

It's Tuesday again and time to answer another question from...


#5 Are your activities of daily living affected by disability? 


I'm not going to answer this question as suggested by giving an example of my daily life with my disabilities, are you surprised? Just typing it all out would make me more exhausted than I already am.

Well, if my disabilities didn't affect my daily living, it wouldn't be a disability. True, isn't it.

I've got a number of medical problems that impact my daily living...more than my fair share really. But I do realize that there are people with worse disabilities out there. 
My list of disabling events...
  • A bum heart that is slowly dying.
  • Lungs that have a reduced volume capacity since birth.
  • Artificial joints, and rack and pinion steering (rods) in my spine.
  • A stroke that left me paralyzed on my right dominant side and unable to speak correctly.
  • Have reduced or assorted missing parts due to cancer.
  • Have Fibromyalgia and arthritis.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Another disability I have that is not mine but impacts my life, is being a full-time caregiver for a dying husband.
  • Recovering drunk and junkie, 30 years clean.
  • Am obese 
Of all the things listed only the last one is the only one I can do anything about, but that has limits to because I lost my thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism, due to cancer. I know, I know consume less and exercise more.


Over in my Sunday Stroke Survival blog that I write every week, I use the tagline, "Nothing is impossible with determination." Life is an adaptive process no matter what comes your way. I often use the quantifying word "yet" during my attempts and "failures." I might not be able to accomplish my goal through adaptation but it's only a temporary setback. I will eventually, through trial and error, figure out how to do what needs to be done or want to do.

Life is also a learning process and it a lifelong thing. I frequently say, 'Death is the absence of learning.' In fact, it's one of my life's guiding principles. I have no recollection of where I first heard it or who said it, but it's true. You weren't born knowing how to do everything.


Being disabled is a bump in the road of life. Each bump (earth shattering event) jars your teeth and you think about the suspension (how your life is going to be changed) of your car (your life). With each bump, you experience growth. Not the kind of growth anyone would want to have but no experience is ever wasted unless you choose to waste it.


Given my list above, I can speak to a vast number of people about the problems they are experiencing from a personal point of view and do. There's nothing more comforting when you are new to a disabling event in your life than someone who has walked or is walking in your shoes. There's empathy instead of sympathy, and it's a positive step when facing the rest of your life with a disability. Fear of the unknown is dispelled by sharing your experiences. Isn't that the basis for most fears? The unknown outcome? How will it change my life? And least of all, how will others perceive me?


What's my way of showing through my experiences? Leading by example, of course. I am here. I am doing it. I'm living my life, in spite of my disabilities, to the fullest extent that I can. Where there is ups, there will be downs. Failure comes from not trying or giving up. If ever there were an astrologically sign that fits me, mine does. Can you guess what star constellation I was born under? Aah, you guessed right, Taurus the bull. A wasted day for me is when I don't take the bull by the horn and twist it to the ground. Whatever challenge faces me during a day, whether it's changing an adult diaper one handed, opening a can, preparing a tasty meal, shopping, or even writing this blog with scrambled eggs for brains...I will do it.


So challenges, come on! I double dog dare you. You may beat me 99 times, but it's only battles in a war. It's a war that I will win. Limitations aside, I can and will do.

2 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jo - it is a 'fair' list of challenges .. but as you say you are leading by example ...

Definitely not many that are worse off - yes some granted, but they wouldn't have your outlook on life ... with huge thoughts and I hope you can have some sort of Thanksgiving happiness and satisfaction ...you deserve that - Hilary

Rebecca Dutton said...

I love your comment about losing a battle but winning the war.