Temporarily Experiencing What Others Have To Deal With Daily

By MAYS Latest Reply 2011-01-23 12:25:28 -0600
Started 2011-01-20 21:28:37 -0600

I have been hobbling around on crutches for a week now due to reconstructive foot surgery, and getting about has not been easy, yet I have learned a little about the disabled, and what they have to deal with daily.

After the healing of such will come months of doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and mental adjustments on my behalf (seeing surgical pins sticking out of my toes, knowing that there are rods in my feet permanetly doesn't rest well in my mind), I will be walking not only with crutches, but also with a walker, and eventually a walking cane before I can do it again without the assistance of support devices.

My disability is temporary, dependant on time, proper healing, and hard work, yet there are many individuals who have disabilities that are permanent, such as Blindness, Deafness, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Extremity Amputations, and MS (just to name a few).

I have always respected those who have disabilities, but now my respect for them has increased immensely due to my frustrating experience of trying to maintain my mobility, needless to say the floor and I have become reacquainted as friends due to a few falls!

(We haven’t been this close to one another since my early days as a toddler)

Regardless of the disability, they all have some things in common, they require changes, and accommodation adjustments such as accessibility issues to be resolved in order to simplify things that we may (at times) take for granted, there is also the need to have the barriers of discrimination based on disabilities eliminated!


My battles are based on my personal experiences in life, either directly, or indirectly, and have included Autism and Deafness in children.
My new cause is fighting for the disabled to have the barriers removed that make their every day life harder than it should be.

All because I had trouble getting around town on crutches.
And I thought that being diagnosed with, and having diabetes was bad ….

25 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-01-23 00:57:18 -0600 Report

Yes Mays, nothing like facing the barrier of stairs or way to steep of a "handicap" ramp to make one think. This past year I went from walker to cane to walking all on my own. During this time I have been thankful for the people who have fought for accessibility. Our car insurance agent is freinds with the man who got the first federal mandate for the handicap bathrooms. I have been thanking him every time I made use of them without the pain involved from using the lower toliets.
One of my pet peeves - People walking past the shopping cart roundup places to leave carts in the middle of handicap parking spots.

GabbyPA 2011-01-23 07:43:19 -0600 Report

My husband almost ended up in a fist fight in a WalMart parking lot one time. A guy was parked in the stripped off area of the HC spot. Hubby told him he could not park there. The guy go indignant and complained because a golf cart was in the HC spot. Well, the cart had a HC placard, so he was allowed to park there. The man started calling my husband names and he returned the favor. Then the guy got out of his truck and started for us. I was so pissed and upset. We got him back in his truck and he did leave. But I tell you...what a stupid encounter over a parking space. People just don't get it.

I live in Florida and that will explain much...but there was also one day I saw an elderly lady who had also parked in the stripped off area arguing with a police man telling him that she was allowed to park on the stripes. Gutsy little old lady.

jayabee52 2011-01-23 10:04:15 -0600 Report

I've heard people calling the HC spaces "senior citizen spaces". I am amazed that the police took the issue seriously. In some locales the police don't enforce handicap spaces. Oaklnd CA put it on a list of infractions to which they will not respond. Their police department has a lack of manpower due to budget distress.

"Metro"(combined city police & county sherriff dept) in LV are not very responsive to the complaint either.

As said previously it ticks me off, but really can't do a thing aabout it. So for my BG#s' sake & HBPs' sake, I learn to blow it off and truth be told, since I am older and disabled, physical & verbal confrontation is not wise either. But sometimes I get the urge to key the violtors' car. But I refuse to become a lawbreaker because some senseless idiot is a lawbreaker.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-01-23 12:25:28 -0600 Report

No matter how upset I get with the idiots who don't understand what it means to the people who need the handicap places I try to remember to say a quick prayer for them that they never have to learn the hard way.

MAYS 2011-01-23 07:22:13 -0600 Report

I'm glad to hear about your progress, I hope that mine ges just as smoothly.
I have a great deal to be thankful for in life, the hard part is the length of time for this healing process, but I'm not complaining, not one bit!

I also do not like when others do not return shopping carts to their proper place, my family and friends hate it when I take the extra time to do so, when they complain about me doing so, I just calmly ask, "What's the issue?"


Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-01-23 12:21:56 -0600 Report

I figure the little walk gives me some extra exercise. I am about to the 1 year mark from my escape from the hospital (for the initial stay). Words of complaint have crossed my mind and lips at times. However, overall I have been so thankful things good have come out so much worse considering what was going on.

BandonBob 2011-01-22 19:28:05 -0600 Report

My late wife was disabled and the last ten years of her life I was a full time caregiver. I didn't mind because of the courage she always showed. With the Oregon Advocacy Center she took on Regal Theaters in a suit to make their theaters accessible to the disabled. It went all the way to the Supreme Court ans they won. Regal had to build new theaters with accessibility and had to retrofit 1000 of their theaters already built. It is funny how one person who is determined enough can make a difference. Congratulations to you on your new cause.

MAYS 2011-01-22 19:39:26 -0600 Report

That's amazing!
I realized how difficult it has been for me during this short period of time, yet in a few months I'll be fine, able to deal with the barriers, yet others will still have difficulty doing so, walking a mile in someone else's shoes can really awaken you!

BandonBob 2011-01-22 23:19:35 -0600 Report

It always helps to experience some of the problems of others to make you realize that you have it a lot better than most and because of that experience can offer more in helping others.

jayabee52 2011-01-21 20:03:33 -0600 Report

I will try again posting here — tried yesterday and wouldn't post so I copied & wanted to past it to a new response, but somehow it vanished. OH well, trying again today

The last part of my working life was working with the seriously disabled as a home health certified nursing aide. I did that for about 10 years. Most of my clients were young and seriously disabled from trauma resulting from accidents, and even a savage beating. One had spinal Biffida & downs syndrome. Some have died over the years, but those who remain alive continue to be my friends, and their families too.
So I know 2nd hand what it is like to have such a devstating disability, because I my job was to help them manage their daily personal cares, helping them to do what they were unable to do by themselves. I could tell you a lot more but don't want to violate any of the HIPPA regulations.

And then I learned first hand what it was like to be disabled. I had a series of ministrokes which caused me to be "balance challenged" and need the use of a walker to get around at all. and then a year or so later, I got a kidney infection and needed dialysis. For a while I had to give up the use of my car for a paratransit bus (thank goodness we had that service in LV NV to take me to dialysis). .

After about 10 months of dialysis my kidneys started working well enough to stop those 3 day a week, 4 hr per day dialysis sessions. (Yippee!)

A few months later I got an email from "Jem" (my pet name for her) on Dating4Disabled, and we began a ling distance relationship. Lomg story short, we hit it off & it led to marriage. So now I had a blind lady, (@ age 14 due to an unusually severe case of retinitis pigmentosa)

By the time we met she had CHF for almost 20 years, diabetes, COPD, GERD, chronic Kidney disease, Lupis (sle) hearing problems, RA, Fobro, and other "medical challenges" as she laughingly liked to call them. ( Yes she was up front with me about all of them)

With a lineup like that, a smart man would have run the other way, but her joyfully infectious spirit got to me, and I fell in live with her, and she with me. So now not did I only have my own medical chsllenges to think about, but hers too. For the most part life with Jem wias wonderful. Of course, there were a few tense times, but all in all rare for 2 people who were togehter essentially 24/7.

So I know very well what you're saying Mays.

Actually, now that I think of it my acquaintence with the disabled started in college before I married my future ex Mrs Baker. She was studying to be a teacher for the hearing impaired. So I took some college courses in Americn sign language ("ASL")

I accompanied her to deaf churches and otherplaces where ASL wa being used and got a little bit of the Dear culture. She still is a teacher for the Deaf/ Hearing Impaired.

And if you want to see me get ticked off, just show me a car without a placard or disabled plate parking in a disabled space.

So thank you for posting this Mays. Now I pray I can post this without trouble.

MAYS 2011-01-22 19:19:07 -0600 Report

Thank you for commenting!
Where did, or do you find the strength to accomplish all that you have in spite of all that has happened to you?

Your story is truly an inspirational one, teaching others to stay focused, and to live their lives from their heart!


jayabee52 2011-01-23 04:33:34 -0600 Report

I guess, just plain hard headed, stubborn, German! LoL!

2 of my "comebacks" to moderately better health was due to my love of dancing. And with "Jem" I had a lot of love to give. (my ex really missed out IMO because a few months after the divorce, she ended up ineeding a 5 way heart bypass and a lot of nursing in her own right) She's remarried now, but we are on friendlier terms again.

Kaiyle 2011-01-21 14:27:15 -0600 Report

I learned so much from taking care of my father who was permanently confined to a wheelchair. I remember taking my father to the movies and having to park him in the aisle while constantly be disturbed by people coming in and out of the theater. With the door opening and the light obscuring our view of the movie screen, I believe I was more frustrated than my father was. We made the best of a not so desirable situation and still managed to enjoy our outing because afterall, it was about our being together. I miss my dad, but I thank God for granting us the time to make memories that will last a lifetime.

I wish you all the best, Mays, towards a progressive recovery of getting back on your feet better and stronger than before.

MAYS 2011-01-21 15:30:50 -0600 Report

Thank you, if I can help others to avoid the same situations that I have in my life, then my pains have been worth it, even if it does hurt so much!

Remember that those special times, and memories were shared by the both of you, imagine the joy that was felt by your father sharing those moments together with you, he left you the greatest gift that he could ever give to you, a part of him that you share with others thru your acts of kindness.

You are helping others to understand themselves, and their diabetes with your contributions to this site.
Please continue to do so, touching one life is just as important as touching many!


GabbyPA 2011-01-21 10:43:44 -0600 Report

Many of you know my husband is in a wheel chair. Motorcycle accident when he was a teenager. He has seen things change incredibly since 1979 and for that he is thankful. But I tell you, when he finds a situation that is more than difficult, he will let people know. I have taught him some tact over the years, but he does get his point across. He is very independent and gets around in his chair, even drives the van. He makes himself work hard, because he knows that as soon as he gives in, he will loose his battle.

He pushes outside on the sidewalks, and if you think that they are all wheelchair friendly, try some of them in one someday. It is frightening. Once he challenged the mayor of our town to push with him one day to see what he has to deal with. The mayor declined but he did get a few of the impossible spots fixed for wheelchair use. Pardon the pun, but the squeaky wheel does get the oil.

We often attend the annual independence expo where new products and services are shown to help those with disabilities. There, I see quads who can only talk or move their eyes. I see the spouses and family that love them and work so hard to make them comfortable and as independent as possible. There, you can really see what people endure. We also go for the classes that deal with everything from finances to sex. Those are so helpful, because I know they are taught by people who have disabilities and have overcome them in these areas.

So yes, be an advocate. Experience is your best ally in that front. I have blindfolded myself for 3 days to try to see what it is like to be blind. I have learned sign language and made myself deaf for a day to know more of their world. Once you have experienced it, you can fight for it with a passion that cannot be matched by sympathy.

MAYS 2011-01-21 13:27:32 -0600 Report

You have stated much more in your reply, than I can ever say out of my mouth!
Thank you!

carolyn1959 2011-01-21 04:04:19 -0600 Report

hi everone out there i been disabled for 2 years now broke my right foot off about 12 years ago when i did it i was lade up for 8 mo,s on my back
then i hobbled around for another 12 years trying to work till i coult work anymore . now i on disabilty .have no cartleg in any of my bones so there just bone on bone painful to walk on im not as bad off as some folks tho its very depressing im use to working 12 to 14 hours aday now now i cant work tri to keep the house up u know wash dishis while for my wife when she works . fell like im not much count anymore.thank god im in as good a shape as i am i thank hem day after day prayer will go along way

MAYS 2011-01-21 07:26:12 -0600 Report

Continue to give thanks, stay focused, and most importantly take your time living your life to the fullest!
That's your right as a human being, the worst barrier is the one that we can create in our minds!
Continue moving forward!

re1ndeer 2011-01-20 22:44:51 -0600 Report

Thank you Mays, I'm disabled and have been for three years, I have a list of many things wrong with me. I like many other disabled take our challenges every day, and we apreciate (sp?) what others do for us. I have been on crutches, like you, I shattered my femur bone that the doctor could not fix. I have a titanium rod from my hip to my knee. I can reccomend taking it easy, don't rush your recovery. I wish you the best in the days to come.

MAYS 2011-01-20 23:37:25 -0600 Report

Thank you, I will take your advice!
How do you deal with your mobility issues on a daily basis?
What do you think should be done to help the disabled, what about support?

re1ndeer 2011-01-21 04:02:56 -0600 Report

I was in a wheelchair for 12 weeks, while I was in Therapy, and I was learning how to walk. I had 6 weeks of therapy, I was glad I had someone to drive me around.

As soon as I could go with a walker (I had a rolling walker) I tried to do somethings by myself. The hardest for me was to make dinner for the family (as a could not stand very long). I made room on counters to move food from counter to the table. My husband bought me a rolling cart (which was a God send). I could move the cart from place to place in the house getting what i need. The cart had a butcher block top with shelves underneath, which made it very handy for me.
I evenually, lost the walker (still use it for long walks) I use a cane now, and get along pretty good (though i can not walk unassisted for more than 20 feet).

First off the disabled, want to think they don't need your help (most ). They are challenged and want to do things for them selves (we are proud). Go slowly and offer to help, let them try to do on their own When they want help, we will ask for it. It's kind of our dignity, we don't want tarnished.

MAYS 2011-01-21 07:18:52 -0600 Report

I am glad to see that you have stayed focused, and active throughout this.
Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate it!

squog master
squog master 2011-01-20 22:03:07 -0600 Report

Thank you Mays. The disabled truly need people fighting for them to remove the barriers of discrimination. I have a sister-in-law who is disabled. Both legs amputated below the knees due to circulation problems. So even though I have the medical problems & limitations I have, I thank God every night for what I do have & can do.

MAYS 2011-01-20 22:57:34 -0600 Report

I have always been very respectful of anyone that has a disability.
After struggling within my own home, and then later within the city that I live in, I can only imagine what the disabled must experience daily.
I am going to be this way (an immobilized foot) for months, so I will be learning more, and more about what it is like to be disabled.
Continue to give thanks to God, and also pray for those who are misfortunate.