ABC’s of Disability – “D”

Todays post is Sponsored by the letter D.

I always have a difficult time picking just one word to focus on when doing these post.

So I’ve decided to not focus on just one word.  I like lots of words and I liked the post about B where we used a lot of different words.  Today, we’ll do that again.

The first natural word to think of is:

Disabled – Yes, we are disabled. But what does that word really mean to you?  Does it mean you can’t work?  that you are crippled? can’t do what you used to? are a different person?  (for me I had to admit I wasn’t as independent as I used to be – I was not able to do for myself everything that I needed.)

Dependent – We are more dependent on others and on things to help us do our necessities.   We are also more dependent on our wits, to figure out how to do more things a little differently so we can be a little more independent.  : )

Dare – We are daring individuals.  We have to do daring feats just to live day-to-day.  With my disease (and I know many of you have Meniere’s too)  we dare to just walk around some days.  We could have a drop attack at any moment…but we dare to live the life that was given us, and not worry about what may happen (most of the time, we try hard).  We dare to survive.

Denial – Sometimes the first part of having a disability is denial.  This can often make it much harder on the person who has the illness.  Especially, if it is progressive, if the person is in denial it can end up in disaster.  For me, I go back and forth with denial.  I want to believe I can do anything if I set my mind to it, I will get on my high horse and start to do this and that…and then I pay for it.  And unfortunately I usually hurt my husband at the same time, because he just wants to help and I push him away.  Denial can come in cycles.  I have to work on acceptance.

Different – So many people I know with a disability are afraid of being different.  That has never been a problem with me.  I think I’ve always been a little different, so this is just fine with me.  So I’m different.  People can accept that or not.  I think it’s harder for people to understand your disability if you try to act normal and you aren’t, then they think something is wrong and they just don’t know what.  I’d rather be up front.  “I’m hearing impaired.”, “I have bouts of vertigo.”  People may not understand, but they know something is wrong, and I’m not just rude and ignoring what they say, or drunk.

Daffy – Well you knew I had to put a funny in here, and no I don’t mean the duck.  You know we all feel a little Daffy some times.  We feel like we are going crazy.  We have all these weird symptoms.  We have doctors trying all sorts of things on us.  We think one thing is working…then it isn’t.  We don’t know who to believe.  And with Meniere’s feeling a little daffy (or crazy) sometimes is actually a symptom!  Don’t worry, you aren’t crazy. (Well, you may be, but I’m not the one to diagnose that.)  Just know that it is normal to feel that way sometimes.

Demon – Ever feel like you are possessed?  Like this isn’t your body any more?  Please, don’t tell me that I’m the only one that feels like my body has been taken over by some demon and it is attacking itself.  OK…maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that one.

Dreams – With vestibular disorders it is not unusual for people to have very vivid dreams that wake them up many times during the night.  Do you have more dreams now than before?  Do you wake up more often?  Do you sometimes feel like your whole life is just a dream now and you really wish you would wake up?

Do – We are a bunch of people who do stuff.  We still do for other people,  we research our illness to find out as much as we can to help ourselves and others. You may feel like you aren’t doing much, if you actually look at what you do, I think you will be surprised at how much you get done.  And how much you do for others!  We do a lot, but remember, trying counts. So Just try to Do It!

Don’t – Don’t despair.  Don’t feel alone.  A disability is not a death sentence. Disabled people can be strong people who are DETERMINED to live a full and rich life, with our disability, not despite of it.

ABC’s of Disability – “C”

The letter for this week is C.  I could think of a lot of words that I could use that begin with C that are important to people with disablities, but my husband said last week after we did the B’s that the letter C should be Creativity.  At first I dismissed it.  I thought he was just being funny because I’m an artist, or at least I try to be.  I seem to have lost a bit of my drive over the past year or so, but I’m trying hard to get it back!

Then I realized Creativity is the perfect word for the day.

When someone find them self disabled the most important thing they can do is get creative.

Depending on your disability we have to get creative about different things. but we all have to get creative.  Here are a few things I’ve gotten creative about since I found myself disabled with Meniere’s Disease:

  • I’ve tried to get creative about how to cook dinner.  Often I feel better in the mornings, so I’ve begun to cook many more meals in the slow cooker.  All I have to do is throw some things in the pot in the morning, and that evening, we have dinner.
  • Some days I’m too dizzy to walk around the house without help, so instead of calling my husband every time I need to move, I got a walker.  You may not call that creative.  But I think it is.  It has allowed me to become much more independent in my house.
  • I have sudden attacks of vertigo so I need to have my medication at a moments notice.  I found these little water proof vials we can keep on our key chains that keep plenty of pills in there for me.  Now we just keep our keys with us all the time.
  • I have an increased chance of falling, so we creatively covered the corners to the tables that I often walk by with towels.  (No they aren’t on our dining room table, I don’t walk that close to it.)  But the side tables in the living room, and my bedside table have a towel draped across the front.  You know it really doesn’t look that weird.
  • I get dizzy when I try to wash my hair.  Closing my eyes while I put my hair back under the water in the shower gets me dizzy.  So my husband valiantly offered to help.  We have a shower head that you can take off and move, so I don’t have to lean my head back much or close my eyes, he just moves the shower head around and wets and rinses my hair for me.
  • I love to take a bath.  But I also have a bad hip, so it’s very hard for me to just get up and out of the tub.  I used to call my husband for help and he would try to lift me and I would slip and it was just a mess.  Now, I found that I can simply roll over on my hands and knees and then lift myself up so much easier.  I usually have my husband in there to watch out for me just in case, but it’s so much easier, and I can do it myself!
  • My husband is very creative, or maybe just very organized, when I have a vertigo attack.  He has an assembly line of trash cans for me to throw up in so I won’t smell it, he has a number of wet wash cloths, he washes out the cans with mouth wash (again so I won’t smell it.) It may sound simple now, but he had to be creative to come up with this system.
  • Just like the system we have for when I start to feel bad.  What meds to I need, how fast, am I cold, am I hot….but it’s all a smooth system now because we were creative.  No one told us how to do all of this.
  • Every time I go to the doctor they ask for a list of my medications.  I have a spread sheet, every time it changes I print out a new one, and I keep it in my wallet.  I just take it out and give it to them.  My creation.  (I also have a medical ID bracelet and on the back it states that the list of my meds is in my wallet.)  This is important to know.  I created the design of my bracelet.
  • I also have a wheat allergy/Celiac disease.  I have to be creative with the foods that I eat.
  • I often can’t bend down to pick things up because I get dizzy, so I’ll pick things up with my toes.  (I know I really need to get one of those picker upper things that you can get, but so far, toes work).
  • I can’t bend down to scrub the floor of the shower, so I put the cleaner on a cloth and scrub with my foot.
  • Sex can be a challenge, not just with the dizziness but with the hip problems too.  (actually, that’s a big issue)  But we try to get creative.  As long as we keep trying in this area, I think that is the most important thing.  We have to make sure our relationship doesn’t deteriorate because it had to change so much.

Ok, that’s where I’ll leave you with the letter C.

Funny, it seems like I keep ending these talking about sex….hummm…an idea for a future post?  How do you keep the romance in your relationship now that you have a disability?

In what ways do you find yourself getting creative to help with your disability?

ABC’s of Disability – B

With the strange moods that I’ve been in lately trying to think of a specific word to focus on for this weeks ABC, was really hard.

There are so many words that I could think of that start with “B” that I could turn around to fit in to my life with a disability.

  • Body – well, it’s pretty obvious where I could go here.  Huh?
  • Beauty – having a disability sometimes makes you stop and see things differently than other people see them.  Sometimes you see the beauty in things that other people are simply in such a hurry they just don’t notice.  Try to notice something Beautiful today.
  • Bath – this can sometimes be very difficult for me.  I love taking baths, but sometimes it’s hard to get in and out of the tub, and sometimes the water actually makes me have a vertigo attack.  But other times, a bath is one of the most wonderful things in the world.  It’s relaxing, it’s warm, it smells nice, and I just feel safe (well most of the time.)….oh and you can have another “B” – Bubbles!
  • Break – I seem to break more things, and since I have a chance of falling, I have to be careful not to break more of me.
  • Books – I love to read and escape in books to help me deal with all of this, but I also like to read as much about my disability as I can and how to get healthier.
  • Bonkers – Yes, being disabled can make you feel Bonkers sometimes.
  • Brilliant – I keep meeting some of the most brilliant people ever!  And I don’t mean my doctors (although some of my doctors are pretty smart.)  Other disabled people I meet are absolutely brilliant! They handle so much, and yet find the time to help others.  I’m often very awed.
  • I think that should bring me back to Bubbles.  We really should take more time to blow bubbles.  They are just silly little things and they make us laugh, (especially if you have a child or a cat).  Or take a nice relaxing bubble bath….oh I think I’ll go and take one of those right now.

I realize this wasn’t a very serious subject this week, but I think I’ve been serious way too much lately.

Oh my, my husband just informed me that I forgot one very important “B”

Booty – It’s very important to remember that just because you are disabled doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting a little booty.  *wink* (sometimes we may have to be a little more inventive, and we may not be able to be as spontaneous as we’d like, but it’s still very important for us to remember that we are still desirable and sexy.  And we need to make sure our loved ones know we feel that way about them too.)

So there you have is my week worth of “B”s.

Anything I forgot that you’d like to add?

ABC’s of Disability – the letter A

Sunshine and Chaos has started a series of post titled the ABC’s of Disability.  I’ve decided to join her in this endeavor.

Her “A” is for Adversity.  Please visit her blog and read (or actually go to a video to see and listen) to an inspiring post about the positives Adversity can bring someone with a disability.

My letter “A” is for Acknowledgement.

It was very hard for me to acknowledge that I have a disability.  Sometimes, it still is.

I don’t mind being different.  I just don’t want to be dependent.  I must acknowledge that sometimes I need to ask for help, and it’s ok.

I need to acknowledge that I can’t do everything I used to.  I need to acknowledge that people will not think less of me because I can’t do things I used to do.  I need to acknowledge that I can do things in different ways.  I can become a stronger person in different ways.  I can learn more about different things.

I need to acknowledge that yes, I have a disability, but that doesn’t take away from who I am.  I am still Wendy.  Even if I don’t feel like it some days.  (Yes, saying this made me cry.)

The first step in being disabled for me is acknowledging that I am disabled.

I have to stop fighting it every step of the way, and finding ways to adapt my life to make it work with my disability not in spite of it.

I Acknowledge that I am Disabled, but I am still Able to be a viable, worthy, and wanted, person.