Living with Disabilites

United States
August 11, 2011 9:31am CST
Learning to live with a disability or disabilities in oneself can be frustrating, depressing, and emotional. At the age of 45, I became totally disabled. I have had 23 left knee surgeries with #7 a total knee replacement at 26 years old. I have degenerative disc disease throughout my spine which I have had a fusion on my C4-7 and L4 and 5. This past June, I had another fusion on C3 and 4 and I will have a second cleaning on my right knee. Also, I have had two surgeries each on my right and left wrist. Being considered totally disabled and unable to work can get a person down especially when you are used to making $1500 a month working and your disability check is less than 1/4 of that a month. How does one cope? Think about the positive side instead of the down side of it. I have learn to be my own support group and instead of saying "I can't", I say "I can still do many things. I may have many restrictions, but I learn to live with it. I think about all the free time that I have to do the things that I didn't have when I was working. I do Have an Associates Degree in Accounting/Computer Information Systems and a Bachelors in Accounting. I am proud of my accomplishments in my education and that I raised my son. I have more time to do hobbies, read books, take walks, ride my bike, talk to my adult son, spend more time with my two dogs and three cats. Also, keep a sense of humor. In my case, I make jokes about myself such as "I getting so much metal in me, I'll become a Terminator" or call myself "Robomom". Don't say "I cna't do things" but say "I can do many other things."
5 responses
@koperty3 (1877)
12 Aug 11
I live with disability too. Few years ago I had industrial accident and since that time I fight with my condition. I have limitation with movement. I use walking stick. But I still exercise, swim 5 miles and try to live my life in full. After accident I had to change my job, but no one wanted hire me because they were scared that I will take too many sick leaves. I started work on line and I do it few months. On the beginning was hard as I had to learn how to do everything. But with every week I'm better and better with work.
• India
12 Aug 11
You are a inspiration to all of us . God bless u !
@koperty3 (1877)
12 Aug 11
Thanks :) You are very kind. I'm just normal person with third leg ( this is a name of my walking stick). I try to enjoy my life. I write about my accident so openly because I want other disable people to enjoy life to.
• United States
12 Aug 11
The best thing to do with your disability is not use the word "fight with it". We do have our good days and bad days and we have to go with the flow on how we feel. If there is a bad day, find something positive to do so you feel better even if it is reading a book because you hurt and can't move as well on a day or find a new hobby that you can do while sitting. I am happy to hear that you exercise, I do too just to keep moving. I hate sitting around, it is boring. I do talk openly (when people ask) about my condition. My total knee issue was due to a doctor's mistake but I have a better doctor that is taking care that it is still working. Give your walking stick a name and say it is my biggest supporter. I have a 9 inch scar on my left knee and when someone I don't know ask me about, I'll joke and say I was bitten by a Michigan shark. I get a funny look and I am on my way. "Laughter is the best medicine".
• Philippines
12 Aug 11
That's the way to go. Its good that you have that attitude. Many people loses hope easily whenever they face problems but you remained strong. You did the right thing of being optimistic despite of your problem. Anything given to us by God is a blessing even with problems. With problems, we can learn to become better. Instead of crying because of problems, we should count our blessings. We should always look on the brighter side. :)
• United States
12 Aug 11
There were times when I was down. I will admit I don't like the limitations that I have but they are there and I can't do anything about it. I can take what I can do and be positive about it. I may be disabled but I am able to do many things. My 28 year old son is my biggest supporter and best friend. I have been told by my doctor that I am living on time, any day just one twist or turn the wrong way and I can be in a wheelchair. I don't sit around afraid to move because that will happen. If that day happens, then I'll make the best of it. My joke for that is, I'll get a motor on the wheelchair that will at least go 55mph so I can get to where I want to go faster.
• Philippines
15 Aug 11
That would be cool! Imagine, you can outrun a car using that. Just kidding haha! Just keep that positive attitude! :)
• United States
17 Aug 11
I may not be able to outrun a car, they seem to go a bit faster, but I will be able to get from point A to point B and back again in less time. My husband tries to get me to use the motorized carts at the store, I tell him when they can go faster than I can walk (not allowed to jog or run), then I'll use it.
@SIMPLYD (84813)
• Philippines
12 Aug 11
I admire you my friend for staying positive. Be happy that you are still alive. Offer your troubles to the Lord and believe that He can help you. Have you tried joining Odesk? It has lots of job to offer online, You can use your College degree knowledge there. They have lots to offer, just choose which suits your qualification. Good luck my friend! Keep on being positive! We are here at Mylot, should there would be any questions.
• United States
12 Aug 11
Thank you for the Odesk referral. I will check it out because I am looking for jobs I can do at home to supplement my small disability check. I am happy that I am still able to walk. At 47 years old, I'm not looking to be in a wheelchair right now but it can happen at anytime (read previous post). I am averaging about two surgeries a year and I do make the best of it. I have a sense of humor that most people don't get when I make jokes about myself but I rather make the jokes than be depressed. I don't play the game "feel sorry for me" because I don't want anyone to do that. When I wrote my article, it was for awareness that no matter what disability you have there are always positive sides to it, just have to find it within yourself.
@SIMPLYD (84813)
• Philippines
13 Aug 11
That's the spirit! I salute you my friend for having a positive outlook in life no matter what. I know , God will help you in one way or another. You will be surprised when it comes.
@maximax8 (28570)
• United Kingdom
12 Aug 11
My disabled son is 4 years old. He has got spina bifida and hydrocephalus. I found out about his disability at 36 weeks pregnancy. He is unable to walk so he goes about in his wheelchair. He needs catheter care day and night. He had an operation to close the hole in his back when he was born and two weeks later he had an operation to put a shunt into his head. At age 3 he had an operation to mend his hip. Then at 4 years old he had a foot and leg operation. You have done very well to get your qualifications. It is a shame that your disability check is so tiny. I am pleased you are really enjoying your hobbies. It is excellent that you have a son that you have brought up. I hope that you will be happy and manage well with your disability. Good luck and well done.
• United States
12 Aug 11
Sorry to hear about your son, I hope he is doing well. I love kids with disabilities because they don't let it get them down. They want to laugh and play. Most likely you worry about him as a parent would but live your life through him. Be goofy, do funny things to make him laugh. It will be the best medicine for both of you. I hope all will be well.
@rollylolly (2847)
• India
12 Aug 11
I congratulate you on your achievement of having won the strength of life award . You love life and as a brave person you tolerated your pain and suffering. It was easy for you to overcome all this since God was with you . You inspire all here and a big salute to you. Keep well and god bless you .
• United States
12 Aug 11
Thank you. I had parents that were strong and showed me not to let things get you down. I have things I want to accomplish and I am finding new things I want to do. My two new latest hobbies I want to do is build model pirate ships and scarapbooking. I do have a lot of interests and they are divided up for good days and bad days. Inner strength and a sense of humor is what an individual has to find in themselves. I never feel sorry for myself or expect anyone else to do it. I know my limitations and what my future will be. As my Grandmother always said "Live each day like it is your last". Each night before I go to bed, I am thankful for a day of movement. There may be a day I'll have to get a "Scooter from the Scooter Store" but I'll make the best of it.