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Deb2of9

Finding new ways to do things when injury limits you

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This is probably the wrong place for this post, but since I feel that I am having to really think about how ready I am not at this time, I thought of this section.

 

I have gotten too far behind on my preps as it is, but recent events has had me rethinking how ready I really am for the day to day life things. I can put up supplies and learn skills, but none of that has prepared me for what I face now. Right now it is probably a temporary problem, but what if it happened when I had no access to modern conveniences or health care. I have spend half of the last year partially limited on what I can do because of carpal tunnel. I had surgery on my left hand last August and my right hand in January. For weeks I could not use one hand and I thought I was handling it fine. Then the real problem started last October. I had the right hand surgery in my future and was planning for how I would manage with my dominant hand out of commission, when my left arm started to give me problems. Long story short, it turns out that I have a probably rotator cuff injury in my left arm. By the end of October I could not lift my left arm or reach behind me with it. I have full use of my hand, but even dressing myself is a problem because of how little that arm can move away from my body. In the mean time it is a work related injury that workers comp is fighting me on so I can't even get it treated yet. I am adjusting with most things fairly well, thanks to dumping the housework I can't do on my family. With no dryer, we have to hang clothes on the line. ( I prefer to do this except in bad weather anyway.) Now I have to get some one else to do that as I can not lift, push, pull or reach with that arm. That means I can't reach the clothes line.

 

What got me to think prepping was when I started to plan my garden. I can not operate the tiller, any long handled tools or even set up raised bed gardens without help. It got me to thinking how many other things I can't do because of lack of use of this one arm. It isn't even my dominant arm, that one would be worse.

 

All this got me to thinking how I would manage if SHTF with being so limited as to what tasks that I could do. This is a rotator cuff injury but it could just as easily be a broken arm during a time when all hands are needed. It could be something that lays you up for a few days at a critical time or weeks or months. Without access to medical care, it may be harder to get yourself back up to normal abilities. In my case, I am getting older and already have a bad back, bad knees and arthritis, this additional limitation has had me have to rethink how I can do everything. Once I get help setting them up, I plan on trying raised bed this year. Once the dirt is in them, I should be able to manage with one hand and hand tools to maintain them but if I can not get help to set them up, I can not do a garden this year. Even using containers requires filling the containers before planting in them. How many other things would you have to adjust if you lost the use of an arm? what about if it was your legs?

 

We can't prepare for everything, but we should seriously consider what if one of you main workers is out of commission. What adjustments might you have to make? Can you make those adjustments with what you have on hand now? Are there things you should have on hand just in case?

 

I thought I was planning when I save old crutches and slings, even a walker in case someone may need it to get around. I keep first aide supplies around and make sure of food, means to cook and all of the daily tasks. I have even thought of security, but haven't made much headway there yet. The one thing I never planned on was not being able to do what I normally could do and how that might affect my plans. No one else is interested in the garden. I did get some help weeding and watering last year, but mostly they only care about the eating part. I can't do any of it this year without help. I have not done much canning but was planning on trying buying in bulk if I didn't grow enough to get started canning this year. Again, I can't do that without help. I can not carry any pan that takes two hands to carry so how can I carry a pan full of water. As it is now if I am cooking something that requires water I use the tea kettle to get it to the stove, but when it comes to draining pasta, lifting a turkey, ham, or roast out of the oven or anything else that takes two hands, I need help.

 

I consider myself lucky as being a nurse I have seen the limitations that you can have. I had already learnt to put my left arm in a sleeve first because of my work caring for stroke victims. I also know that unlike a stroke victim, I am lucky enough to still be able to use my hands. It is the arm that is out of commission not the hands. But at first I was in a panic when I thought about all I can't do. Even now there are so many things that are frustrating me. I want to downsize and get rid of stuff I don't really need so I can put up the stuff that I do need in my small single wide trailer. I have been trying for three weeks to get someone to help me because it requires lifting and moving boxes to go through them. I can't just go and do the task I know needs done. In a SHTF situation, I would get more help from the less cooperative family members that don't see the need to worry about it right now. However, It is a big problem when you can't even depend on your own abilities. Yes my knowledge isn't changed and I can still build on that, but when you physically can't do what you did before, what can you do to still get done everything that needs done, especially if you don't have anyone else to help you. It is a scary thought.

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Good to hear from you Deb2of9. Yes....I can definitely relate to what you say. I've been dealing with diminished physical stamina/ability for the past 2 decades. There are ways around things...most things. But some things .... :shrug: ....ya need help.

 

 

DH is feeling rotten today...in bed, even. :fever: That's rare. So even tho I've also been feeling like I'm wearing wet cement for clothes, I'm doing animal care and running to the postal boxes for a letter we had to have. :0327: Save energy where you can and endure what you must. ....and I sure hope I'm not also getting whatever he's run into. :unsure:

 

Health ....keeping it or working around not having it.....important prep.

 

MtRider :wave:

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Deb, if you can get your family to help I think they may be very glad by summer's end that they did. Food is going to get very expensive this summer I have a feeling , looking at all the news that can affect it.

 

Ive evidently had frozen shoulder which is common to diabetics . I hope you can have the surgeries. Sometimes this stuff has a domino affect when we have other injuries or pain we are trying to maneuver around and we overcompensate with something that can't handle those motions. They can be quite miniscule but large in effect.

 

I'm doing pretty good but the cold air this week and lots of outside time pulled a certain muscle on head and face that hurts like the dickens and brought on ear ache on the right side. I have had to pamper myself and stay mostly inside for over two days to get it to let up.

 

Just tonight i did something stupid, all the while thinking I should not be doing it this way, sure enough, stabbed my pinkie close to palm pretty deep, bleed like a stuck pig. Does that qualify for two stitches, yep........ put direct pressure on it after trying to cleanse it with HP for several rinses, got a butterfly closure and a big bandaid over that. Don't want it to split open and bleed all over my blankets in the night. Hope its cleaned out but I really don't know, was trying to pry meat patties , frozen together apart. Oops. My intuition was crazy about it, but I stubbornly refused. Not a good idea to not pay attention to intuition.

 

Cannot really afford almost 200$ I know they would want at ER just at the moment.

 

 

Steak knives are very sharp and it went in pretty far. I sure hope no frozen bit of meat went inside, it swelled with blood so fast I didn't see if it did.

 

So, I get the stupid award tonight.

 

I hope it doesn't get infected. Sigh. Its my fault this time.

 

 

So, if your intuition is warning you, loudly, 'don't do this, this way' You might want to pay attention and let up on whatever you were going to do and change your method or get help.

 

Yes. I feel stupid. :ashamed0002: :ashamed0002:

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OW! Sass, I hope it heals up without any complications. Yeah, ER visit would be more painful $$ than the cut.

 

MtRider :(

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Don't feel stupid Sass. I think we all have done that. I know I have. I've also done the very same thing with frozen meat patties more than once. Luckily the knife didn't slip.

 

Many times I knew I shouldn't do something but went ahead and did it anyway and usually with bad results. Yep, listen to that little voice in your head telling you what you are doing isn't a very good idea.

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well so far so good. Miss Macy the cat decided to wake me up this morning, by 'patting' my ear, but she has very sturdy claws and they were not entirely sheathed, hooked my ear, without ripping it though her claw tip went into the pierced hole in it. Right at 6am. I was hoping to sleep another hour? She was actually being gentle.

Miss Macy wanted me to go join her looking at birds out the window. The blackbirds are back and the osprey is crying out a lot, so she is fascinated.

 

I did go for a bit, but I have renounced her for waking me up early and denounced her as a twerp for the morning.

 

Now that I am thoroughly awake, she is just watching the birds by herself now, quite satisfied.

 

As for the meat patties, I won't be buying them again, lol. They are terrible and tough.

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:hi: Deb2of9, been wondering about you. :pray:

 

 

You are right about thinking 'out side the box' when it comes to our ability to do things. My back is a constant reminder to me, that I can not and should not, do what I want or need to do.

 

Even tho everything else on me works (so far) the back gives me grief the minute I try to lift over 7 lbs. I know better, but I do it anyway sometimes, because I do not have the help I need, and asking for help doesn't get me any help. Since it is just DH and I, I hesitate to ask him because he has his own issues that limits him.

 

Gardening is on me. If I want a garden, it is mine to do or it would never happen. I have found ways around my weight limitations; Stand on the shovel, pull it by using my core body weight and twist the shovel to empty it. Then stab the snot out of the clump with the shovel to break it up. Sometimes, I make a fulcrum to aid me in lifting. I bet the neighbors get a kick out of watching me do things. :shakinghead:

 

I have learned to downsize things so I can handle them. In the case of a baked turkey or ham, I actually cut it in half and bake it in two pans. Even something as simple as laundry, it is broken down into small loads so I can carry it to the washer. 2 to 3 trips to the washer is better than hurting for the next week and not being able to walk.

 

When I first injured myself and realized it was permanent, the shock left me feeling pretty low. I thought of all the things I wanted to do, and a million other things I would never get a chance to do because of it. Like the saying goes, "This too shall pass". It did pass, as soon as I accepted it, then I got busy figuring out other ways I could do things. "Necessity is the Mother of invention".

 

I can only imagine how awful it feels to have your arm out of commission. My closest experience was opening a glass door at a store, instead of using the handle, I palmed the glass next to it. The glass shattered, slicing the base of my right index finger to the bone. It was an experience I will never forget. I had to learn to do everything left handed for 6 months. :blink:

 

(I use a butter knife, held vertical, pointing down to separate burger patties - watched my mom slice herself one time doing that.)

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:cook: Baked ham/turkey.... I just did a ham. I've been carefully minding a back strain from August '14. It's doing better but I'm careful. So I pulled the oven rack out so it was over the oven door. Then set the roaster pan on the pulled out rack. Set the ham, still wrapped, on the tray in the roaster and began cutting off the plastic wrapper, etc. I was kneeling down so I wasn't bending over. [can also use a short stool] Discarded wrappings; added a bit of water; cover. Now ready to slide the rack back into the oven.

 

:curtsey: Thot I was pretty clever cuz it was lighter than lifting the whole roaster + ham.

 

:sigh: Except I forgot to remove the top rack. This roaster is so big, it won't slide in under the burner elements if I don't take out the top rack and use the bottom rack. :gaah: I know that! So I had to lift the whole danged thing anyway.

 

:rolleyes: Well anyway, it is a good plan if I don't leave out that step. Ham is still heavy but easier to handle while still in the wrapper.

 

=============

 

 

:clothesline: Laundry: long ago when MS first began seriously to impair me, we lived in an apartment with an elevator. I tied a rope to a laundry basket and pulled it with the disability scooter. If you don't have to deal with stairs like I do now, it's still an idea to pull the thing. Now I have a tall basket which means I don't bend over. It's flexible plastic and the top handles will come together to be held with one hand...if it's not too heavy/full. It will also slide across the floor, porch, and scoot-drop down the stairs. I don't have all the weight. Every little tip and trick helps!

 

================

 

I'd also advise anyone to get a reacher. Get a sturdy one and learn what it will and WILL NOT lift. Saves climbing up to reach and risking an injury ....no matter what age and agility you are. Saves bending over to pick up things from the floor. Don't try to grasp things that it won't handle tho.... :buttercup: ....just saying...

 

Lots of adaption devices out there in this modern era. I've grabbed up a lot of things from thrift stores...years before I'm ready to use them. Can't afford the normal prices.

 

 

MtRider :pc_coffee:

Edited by Mt_Rider

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I have been figuring out alot. When my arm first stopped working, it was mostly an inconvnce. I expected it to get better. I have dealt with injuries before and have gotten quite creative in dealing with them. I spent one summer on crutches with a full leg cast on due to a broken knee and worked as a floor nurse the entire time. I. had toget creative incarrying things but managed to work. It was once I started to fight to get treatment that this one scared me. I began to see that this could get to be long term and if it takes toolong to fix could even lead to permanent damage. It scared me and for a little while I paniced. I know that for now there are a lot of things I can't or shouldn't do. I am further restrained by my battle with workers comp. If I do more than I should they can use that as evidence to deny my claim.So I am careful , more careful than I might be to follow the restrictions placed on me. Otherwise I might stubbornly try to do what needs done and pay the price for it later. This is probably a good thing. In the mean time I do need to get a new reacher. My dayghter broke my old one using it to pick apples.

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Fourteen months ago, I was fine. Now I have, I think, three disks in my back that are not showing damage, and I've messed up my digestive system at both ends.

 

March 2014: I had my first wreck, when I was T-boned, which totalled DS1's car. Damaged right ankle/foot, left knee, spine, and brain. I had no idea how bad it was, and neither did the first two doctors I saw. I kept thinking I'd be fine in a couple of weeks, or a month, or six weeks. It kept getting worse, and I kept realizing how much worse it was. I said I was not having trouble doing housework--this is because I was not doing any. I was putting a fork at a time in the sink and the boys were washing, cooking, and letting things pile up. Mostly letting things pile up. I'm really good at not seeing what I don't want to see.

April 2014: The ex was hit by a car about two blocks from my house, probably on his way here.

May 2014: He died. As far as I know, his daughters may still be going round and round with the hospital people and the insurance people.

That summer, I gave up on the bees. I couldn't lift anything or hold steady enough to keep from alarming the bees. Gave up on the garden too, after I finally had beautiful raised beds, with side boards painted a very pale pink, in the community garden and in the yard.

August 2014: DS2 and his GF were rear-ended, totalling a truck that was in great condition and paid for, but not well-insured. The GF is still seeing neurologists and rehab people.

I made the mistake of stopping the chiropractic visits when most of my doctors wrote me off (saying nothing more to do but the surgery--which I don't want). Then I started taking the pain pills almost as often as prescribed, or at least more than half as often. That was a mistake.

December 2014: Less than a week after the last of the occupational therapists released me as MMI, I rear-ended a neighbor. This woke up all the old back pain that had quieted down, agggravated everything, and brought the pain all the way down my spine.

January 2015: I fell in the parking lot at work. Mildly sprained my bad ankle, skinned my palms just a little bit, and scared the living daylights out of me--but a week later I was no worse off than before the fall. It was like things had gone back to normal--not the pre-August normal, but at least the pre-January normal-- instead of falling off one cliff and then another. I was so happy. And that was so temporary.

March 2015: I started frequently getting the barbed wire collar, the knitting needle that stabbed down from my shoulder, and the numb hands again. I realized I had stopped doing several of my several-times-daily exercises, and started doing them again, and everything rapidly got better. Then they stopped getting better and rapidly got worse. I had to go to a thinner resistance band.

By April I couldn't hold a cup of coffee in my left hand for fear of sloshing it, and I was spending a lot of the day staring at the wall at work, while people stopped by to ask if I was okay. Time for more tests, different exercises.

A week ago: DS1 lost control of his one-year-old car when he turned on a wet road. He moved a light pole several inches. Not sure yet whether the car is totalled. He's now got trouble with his back and with his shoulder where the seat belt crossed it, possibly just bruises though. He's got two doctors. I have a few, including twice-weekly chiro, and DS2's GF has one or two appointments every week. We're coordinating all these with one two-seater truck, the replacement for the underinsured one, and it's trying to die on us.

I need whole notebook pages to track who's billing, who's been paid, who's sent the bill to collections, which collection companies are involved for which bill, and so on. And no, I don't have it all tracked out like I should. It's all I can do to get by one day and then another. Right now I'm on leave, and sleeping most of the day.

Without going into too much depressing detail, I'm nowhere near what used to be normal, and given the current situation a year down the road, I probably never will be. So I have to look around and figure out what the new "normal" is. The slow cooker is too heavy for me when it has anything in it, so I've gone back to using roasting bags in a slow oven, and looking for a turkey oven to put out on the porch for the hot weather. If I pull things out of the washing machine, I pay consequences, so my sons have been doing that for me. I can't lift heavy wet things to put on the line, so I've got the info for an umbrella clothes line that lowers the cords to load and then uses a crank to lift them. I can get that line sometime late this summer, hopefully. Meanwhile, we're going to be using the dryer even in the summer heat. Sigh.

The stress is debilitating because it's not what any of us ever planned for. We've developed this pattern of saying when the "later" is that each thing will be gotten to--not as in done, but as in figured out. Like in F-Troup, when the officer and the blonde set a date, and she thought it was the date on which they'd get married and he said no, it's the date on which they were to get engaged. Because we really can't handle actually handling everything at once.

Like my teeth. The molars are crumbling. My dentist has tried several half-steps, which is why I'm wearing temporary crowns right now, but they didn't work. I need three to five root canals to "save" those teeth, but I'm not sure what's left of them can or should be saved.

Sometimes reality just really sucks. You have to keep saying how much worse everything could have been, but after a while that has its own depressing rhythm. And that's more than enough whining for right now.

 

Who has dentures? Are they as painful and as fragile as I hear, or what?

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Wow, Amber, I did not realize. I am really sorry all this has been happening to you and your family. :pray:

 

If you can get dentures, you can have them readjusted after a while. Everything needs to heal for a while first after teeth are pulled. Before they do impressions, I would think, to then do the dentures. :pray:

 

At minimum, it's better to have them pulled if they are in that bad of shape. While first healing after such dental surgery, you need to eat pureed foods and liquid based foods, and keep it soft or diced finely once it does heal or thin enough or soft enough to tear apart if you have no front teeth. Don't eat anything stringy.

 

Anybody else, please give her some input.

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((((Ambergris)))) :pray:

 

I'd like to know more about dentures too. My time is coming soon. No cavities, but they are breaking and loosening. My grandparents had them, but they never said anything good or bad. My Papa got them and had trouble with them, saying they never fit right, so he gave up wearing them.

 

After I broke my back, I slipped and cracked my neck and ankle. That was an experience, body cast with a neck brace and crutches. LOL I never realized how fragile the spine is and how easily it is to injure it. I never paid attention the the doctors warnings. Fast forward 20 years, another car accident and I found out what happens when the disc herniate and rupture.

 

Now days, I am careful, how I lift, what I carry, how I carry it, even asking for help. Yeah, it jolts my self sufficiency (pride), to ask, but it is much better than pushing myself and suffering the consequences. I would like to be able to do things, it isn't going to happen, I had to accept that reality.

 

Even in our prepping, we have a couple like minded friends, who know us well, lined up who will come and assist if SHTF.

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(((((((Ambergris))))))

 

I've been worrying/thinking/praying over you since you had that first bad wreck. Still hoping you move forward!

 

I don't know about dentures but if I was in you and Annarchy's position, that's probably the route I'd take. I'm thinking implant only because I just one maybe two at the most. Sometimes it's kind of hard for me to chew with a big gap where my bottom molars should be.

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Wow....the things are really doubling up on you and yours, Ambergris. :(:( I've also been praying since that first accident. Some things are tied together. Like: not being quite as focused as you are used to being due to pain and brain fog. But the other issue is decline in general health. If DH were your chiro, he'd have you taking some nutritional support products. Herbal support products.

 

:feedme: Cuz here's the deal. As much strain from multiple injuries as you've had, the body is taking a toll. Healing is arduous. Healing takes a LOT of vitamins, minerals, etc. Healing draws those out of the body and all of it needs to be put back into the body at a higher rate than normal. Then too, if we don't feel well....or thinking is impaired and I'm very familiar with this .....I'd bet you are not eating well. Can't get the energy to do it. Can't physically lift and stand and chop. Can't pay for good fresh food. [sO sorry about not being able to do your garden, which solves this one] :( And then there is the cognitive gaps when you flat-out forget to eat. :shrug:

 

This is one of the downward spirals that contemporary doctors completely neglect. So many barriers to eating well after illness/injury and if we are not eating super-nutrition, the body has nothing to draw from. That's where DH got into the herbal/nutritional support products. They are actually a pain to sell thru his office. But as a doctor, he has access to better quality brands than is available generally at health food stores. His products also come with his knowledge and advice .....which things are needed for bone healing, brain fog, etc.

 

It's probably OVERWHELMING to even think about something else. But.....I offer it as an idea. It would be handy if your chiro already knows this aspect of health care. It is very helpful in augmenting MD care + chiro care. I speak from experience! I've known the distress of the DOWNWARD CYCLE ......the overwhelming grief of loss of functions....the fear of wondering how one is going to continue....the :motz_6: when something ELSE happens.....

 

But I've come back from very low functioning twice. I'm attempting it again right now after the durned back strain last Aug. It wasn't even the damage you're describing [only soft tissue] but with the MS, it took me downward so rapidly. :o As I type today, my brain is spinning...so dizzy. Using a 4-prong cane for balance....which I thot was for my OLD LADY DAYS when I got it for a couple bucks at the thrift store. <_< I'm not in my 80's and yet, that is the most appropriate cane for me right now. I'm just glad I'm not using the walker I have stored.

 

This is never fun....but I would so much want to encourage you. Keep up hope for better days. Keep at least some focus on improvement....tho it takes SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much focus to just merely survive. I know! :(

 

Two ideas: If you have anyone who has asked: Can I help in any way? Say yes. I did.

 

I didn't even know this person well. But in the midst of trying to apply for Soc. Security disability and allllll the medical tests, appointments, etc......bills were not being paid. [sound familiar?] Not because we didn't have the money. But because I couldn't figure out how to do it. I'd work for a couple hours straightening it out....and then :wacko: lose all focus. Then if I tried to pick up where I left off the next day [or week] ....I could not figure it out again and had to start all over. Never getting anywhere, despite leaving myself [incomprehensible] notes. :gaah:

 

So I took a deep breath, adjusted to my current "normal", and asked L to come and help. It still took us several sessions to straighten it out. But SHE could remember where we left off. That was key!!! :cele: And such a burden lifted when bills were finally rolling along as they should....or could. And L has been a dear friend for 20 years now. :hug3:

 

Eventually DH learned to take over the bills, etc. But it had been my role up till then and he was working 2-3 jobs to get us settled in CO from Maui.

 

 

:unsure: ...shoot! Having a "moment" here.....I said TWO things and can't remember the other one. :grinning-smiley-044:

 

Well...this is probably getting too long for you to read me going on and on anyway....or maybe not. It would have been for me, when I was in the worst of functioning. Hope you're doing better than that.

 

 

 

MtRider ((((((Ambergris)))))) .....and hugs to everyone else who can SO relate to Deb's thread!!! : :grouphug:

Edited by Mt_Rider

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.........................................In the mean time I do need to get a new reacher. My dayghter broke my old one using it to pick apples.

I am amazed at you ladies! And here I thought I was having difficulties!!!

 

Deb...................inexpensive Hawaiian tiki flame holders (poles) are great for picking apples and other fruit from trees. Just remove the fuel canister and you have a long-reach pole with a closed bottom for catching the fruit. The "raw" edges at the top are also helpful for knocking the fruit off of the stems. :grinning-smiley-044:

 

51zgJjUJJBL._SY300_.jpg

Edited by Midnightmom

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I just bought one of those reacher things last week. I don't need it yet but I'm going to play with it now to figure out how it works before I do need it. I also got a thing that fastens on the edge of the bathtub that you can hold on to to keep from falling when getting in and out of the tub. I'm mostly a shower girl but I do like a hot soak sometimes.

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GROUP HUG!!!! Yikes, y'all!

 

(I'm using the library again. $$$$ issues. Trying to get some bills under control. So won't be around much.)

 

I've been clearing brush for fence. 1 to 2 hrs a day and I'm wore completely out. Forget housework. I'm doing good to keep up with chores. Really having a LOT of back pain and spasms, mainly from the kyphosis.

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:balloons: CGA!!!! I've been WONDERING where you were....if all was ok for you. :unsure:

 

 

Aren't we supposed to be established enough by our age to afford mechanical means of hard manual labor??? Or else the means of hiring YOUNGER, HEALTHIER folks to do such jobs? :yar: T'aint necessarily so. Same here. Financial struggle is worse every year...a lot directly due to me coming out of the workforce so early. Therefore....those who are disabled are the least likely to be able to afford easier ways of doing labor.

 

==========================

 

 

 

*************************** The rest of this is just an outspewing due to a shock I had yesterday....... :shrug:

 

:sigh:

 

Had a meeting yesterday that caused me to completely pancake on the disability issues in my life. :0327: I've had more than a quarter of a century to adjust to disability. I am sailing along with my eye firmly on the "full part of the glass". This is not done in unreality. I'm not into poofy, cotton candy denial :hapydancsmil: in bright pink and white colors. :grinning-smiley-044: I very clearly KNOW MY "NEW" REALITY....MY NEW NORMAL. And ......I've generally been ok with it for years and years now. :thumbs:

 

 

[added content] Let me spell out something. The term "new normal" means that you shift your expectations. You shift your ways and means. You change forever, many things. And when you have adjusted all that you can, you have a different life. It is one that always maximizes what you have left after disability and minimizes it's affect/dangers. You are then looking at a completely DIFFERENT GLASS. Your new glass can show a life that is 50 -90% full....by the NEW DEFINITIONS OF YOUR NORMAL. :happy0203: That is necessary if one would move on to being happy again.

 

[of course, disability is not the only reason someone has to shift forever to a 'new normal'....death of loved one, change in jobs, relocations, ....even having a baby! ]

 

:yar: The brick wall I ran into yesterday was the renewed realization that.....no one else outside DH and my folks and a couple friends get it. My life and [new] reality. And ....reallllly....is it appropriate to try to explain it? Usually a need-to-know thing. Yet my "new normal" throws up barriers that confuse others. They can't understand why......we ALWAYS do this and can NEVER do that. Even in the course of casual or business relationships, the issues ( ways and means of my disability) can wedge it's way into those aspects of our life. Such was the case at this meeting yesterday. There is sometimes a need for someone else to understand OUR glass and not use their glass to define our life. A very kind person, with whom we were consulting, was throwing up several simple ideas...and he had no idea how very impossible all of them were.....because of my disability barriers. [..it's what the 'DIS' stands for in "disability" ]

 

The fact that he was kind but completely confused by my effort to SIMPLIFY an explanation of the impossibility of his suggestions....it made it worse. Anger at someone who refuses to listen to anyone other than themselves is an easier emotion for me than the ice-cold dread that slowly seeped through my veins. There is no simple explanation for the type of life full-on disabled folks lead. There is no quick way to list all the barriers....that lead to other barriers...that require this and that to ward off symptoms before they become barriers or even dangers.... No quick wrap-up with "So that's why we need to do things like this instead of your 'normal' ways.....

 

How can you ever show someone YOUR very different 'glass'? A bare explanation sounds like whining or....sounds so depressing to others that they close their ears. And yet...it's not as DEPRESSING as it sounds! :grinning-smiley-044: OK.... :wacko: ....if you don't have a disability or are close to someone who does, mebbe you won't even understand that last blathered paragraph...or any of this section. ..... But at least here, I don't panic at the blank, confused look on anyone's face. :rolleyes:

 

 

Anyway, on the loooong drive back home, I felt my emotions turning into thick, black, tar. [not normal for me at all!] I didn't move an inch, just sprawled in the seat in contemplation and horror. [ I ALWAYS fidget and squirm to keep from having muscle spasms, of course.] I was down in a deeeep hole and it wasn't worth it to even try to move a muscle. Could not answer DH.....and of course he knew I was reacting to the meeting. He wasn't sure what had triggered such an extreme response for me. He was rather encouraged by what we heard, actually. So he let me be but talked a bit without expecting response from me....giving me time. We know each other so well. When I was finally able to find speech again, I only needed one sentence for him to know what triggered me. And he could understand WHY it was so bad. I am indeed fortunate that my spouse has participated in my disability enough to TRULY UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT. :wub: I'm so sorry for those of you who don't have anyone who understands yours thoroughly. ......cuz few will.

 

 

Here's what is so terribly bad about getting into a situation that REQUIRES you to provide a total newbie with disability realities. When you push data at them, you are presenting only the EMPTY PORTION OF YOUR GLASS. The full portions of our glass.... don't matter to them. Everyone understands the full portions...no explanation needed. It's the barriers to this and that from 'normal' life that 'normal' folks are not familiar with. I found that focusing on that....and trying to simplify it...was a shock. Because I was seeing my life defined by HIS GLASS. Within that definition, my glass [my life] is 98% empty. All the "I am not able to do that anymore" things. All of the DIS in my life.

 

:o After decades up here as a hermit on my mountain, I've really forgotten how isolated and DISabled I am....when compared to my former life and most other folks. This is just how we live. :shrug: My NEW NORMAL defines my life as 90% full. But things he thought were simple solutions. Sheeeeesh! It's been over two decades since I could do any of those things. It suddenly forced a spotlight upon the EMPTY portion of my glass in a way I've had no reason to define it..... in a very long time.

 

It blazed into my brain with renewed realization....just what the DIS in disability means in my life. ....bummer! :sigh:

 

 

I'm still in a bit of shock and fear. I'm finding that I really avoid situations where someone has to get too personal about my DIS. They won't understand anyway....and so I keep as many as I can on a never-need-to-understand basis. I freely state I have MS....using cane and walking weird and such. I do enjoy educating people ....to the extent that their interest lasts. But few need to UNDERSTAND what that means in my daily life. Rarely does anyone else need to know what it would mean if I don't do all the protocols that keep me safe and as healthy/functional as I can be. We just do it and it never intersects with anyone else's life ....usually. Yesterday...it kinda was pertinent....and it was terrifying to know that understanding probably won't happen.

 

 

Sorry....perhaps I'm not making any sense by now. I can usually express pretty well in words. Odd that this thread is going right now. DH and I have SO many changes exploding into a life that we've had for so long without change. This is already a very unsettled, and yet hopeful time for DH and I. But a wild ride!!!!! :blink: So we're hanging on tight to each other and to God.

 

MtRider ....even we, who are veterans of DISability can get knocked flat now and then.... :wacko: But...we get up. :thumbs:

Edited by Mt_Rider
edited for clarity!!!!!!!!

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I know it won't help with the permanant disabilities. But for the temporary injury type of disabilities. I wanted to point you toward a few herbal remedies. And I'm not taking the injuries lightly. I've used these for tendinitis in my knees, after childbirth, and more typical strains and sprains and I've seen really good results.

 

Arnica (arnica montana) I generally buy this as a homeopathic pellet but it is also an herb that can be grown.

Pineapple/Bromelain - the bromelain enzyme in pineapple helps reduce swelling and speed healing of soft tissue injury. Anything to do with muscles, tendons, ligaments but also things like swollen nasal passages.

Ginger - another anti-inflammatory. When combined with bromelain the two are greater than the sum of them each separately

 

I know I couldn't grow pineapple here.. but ginger could be grown in a pot indoors and arnica can be grown as an annual or perennial.

 

Because of the way these work, with reducing the swelling it helps improve mobility and reduce pain even before the injury heals.

 

Also, along with the big mobility devices like crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, it can be good to have smaller ones like ankle and knee braces, wrist braces.. I'm not sure about shoulder ones but I think there's some that help restrict movement so that you don't involuntarily use it before it's healed some.

 

Dentures. I don't have them myself but my sister found them a relief after years of fighting with her teeth breaking and being in pain from that.. and I think she was under 40 when she got them. So a lot of the experience with them will depend on getting a good fit and what you're comparing using them to.

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I wasn't going to mention it because it seems so trivial...compared. But I fell in the bathroom last night. Really strange mishap. Went to sit down and totally missed the toilet. :blink:

 

Got me to thinking that if I was a few years older I could have very easily broken a hip. I landed on my side on the hip. Hard.

 

Today I can barely walk. No steps for sure. Leg and back really hurt badly. I know it will get better by the end of the week. Just sort of added insult to injury. The point of this is...after son comes and mows, I'm going to go get some Arnica. I've heard lots of good things about it. I think that is about the only thing (beside a wheel chair) that I don't have in my arsenal. Glad you jogged my memory Suncat.

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Oh goodness, Jeep! I've done that once but I think I caught myself before actually landing. If anyone develops balance or ...a moment of inattentiveness, you really should install hand rails somewhere near the 'thrones' in your bathrooms. And in the shower/bath. The bathroom is the WORST place to fall because of all the hard, porcelain and tile surfaces.

 

....btw, we're not having a contest on degrees of injury, disability, pain, suffering. Even a durned paper cut hurts like the dickens and can mess up your day!

 

 

MtRider ....Hope you feel better sooon!!!!!

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Thanks Mt. Rider. It really surprised me. First time that ever happened. That bathroom is so small that if you fall in there, you are going to hit something. Usually the wall or floor. Only thing in there is a shower (with glass doors!) and toilet. I half landed on the bathroom scale too. Hoping it was a freak accident but my balance has been getting off for the last couple of years. Stagger a little bit sometimes. Don't know why. Old age I guess. Kinda shocking when you go to sit down and there is nothing there.

 

About a week ago I bought a thing to clamp onto my tub to hold on to when getting in and out of the tub. Rails are a good idea but I don't think even a rail would have helped me last night. I just did an 'air sit'. LOL

 

An ambulance came to a neighbors house this evening. She is pretty old (upper 80's) so I was holding my breath. The ambulance left without her so I'm assuming she had a fall too. She had a knee replacement 2 years ago and still walks with a walker. She lives alone but wears one of those life alert things.

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Jeepers, Jeepers.

 

I've always wanted to say that. :happy0203:

 

I hope you feel betters soon. :pray:

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