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Understanding and Accepting Handicaps Part II

Rest home for seniors in Český Těšín (Czeski C...

Rest home for seniors in Český Těšín (Czeski Cieszyn) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A continuation of yesterday’s post.  I also consulted in nursing homes for the disabled and for seniors who needed more care than they could get at home.  I bet you could figure this one out.  I wound up in a nursing home after a serious surgery because I wasn’t able to care for myself by myself and my husband had a weekend job that kept him away from home or sleeping most of every weekend and besides that he still had to work on the farm which was two miles from our house.  I needed to be independent in all areas when I got home even with handicapped equipment. At home, after all of my surgeries I had home health, but they could come only for a short time and it didn’t last long. I found I had very kind and competent help on all of these occasions..  I had a good roommate the first time time and later the second time after more surgery,  I spent two weeks on a rehabilitation unit.  It is not fun to accomplish your personal tasks in front of everyone, but nearly everyone was at that stage especially when they first got there.  Sometimes you have to be patient as the staff has other priorities and realize that it may have been you at another time.  I did have family visitors, not so much at the rehab unit which was thirty five miles away.

Nursing Home

Nursing Home (Photo credit: LOLren)

If I am standing still or sitting down or driving a car or on the phone, you can’t tell if I am handicapped.  My troubles started slowly and I was having problems for a long time before I went for my first surgery and they didn’t get resolved til my third surgery and I still have some residual nerve damage which effects the way I type, how large or small I write, whether I can hold on to something,  how I walk, and other things.  My family didn’t always understand; they were busy with their own lives.  One of the biggest problems I had was dropping things.  People would focus on the mess rather than helping me.  They thought I was clumsy (and stupid), not that I couldn’t help it.  Understandably at one point I got depressed. I have traveled by myself and shop and do almost all of the housework at home.  I had to adjust.  I don’t do something quickly or neatly, but I have found a way to do it on my own.  It even effected the way I eat, but that is better now.  Don’t expect miracles, but give it your best shot.  It is easier to vegetate.

Boy, did I find out what it would be like to be handicapped.  You see the world in a whole different way as a bunch of  obstacles.  In an evaluation with one surgeon, who had a medical student with him, asked my husband and son who came with me, not me, if I had any memory problems.  The only clue the surgeon had was that I came with a walker.  I didn’t dress goofy, my hair wasn’t gray (by the way I cheat) and I didn’t babble and I was as well educated as he was.

 

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