Saturday, January 25, 2014
I have so much on my mind and the thing that seems to be bothering me more than anything is that I have finally learned that I am really disabled. If I need a "label," I am an adult with a deformity of my spine. That doesn't seem like a big thing, but the specialist I saw yesterday told me that I know it's true that I "really cannot walk" and that the meds and treatments I am using "really don't work." I also learned that the fentanyl I am using in my pain patch is 250 times stronger than morphine. There is only one dose of that that is bigger than what I use.
I have a disability. I know it seems simple to comprehend--I have a parking placard. I have been taking most of the meds I am on for some 8-9 years. BUT--even though I cannot do much around my house, I go to work everyday and I do an amazing job. I tackle things--and students--that nobody else wants to or can deal with and I turn things around. I deal with some pretty tough stuff. I work ALL day long, and have given up my lunch and prep time for YEARS, to work with more students who need help. There truly is more to do than there is time. And--I have kept myself up to date, with classes, trainings and seminars--often adding 4-6 hours to my work days or my entire weekends.
So, what isd the deal with me? I am thinking I have used the strategy of working harder than anyone in front of anyone to prove that I can do what anyone else does. I cannot be disabled, right? Just because I use a walker to get around, or a wheel chair for things like fire drills where I have to go to a secluded far-away place quickly does not make me disabled. "Dis" means NOT and I cannot possibly be Not-abled. I am very able. I have a great deal of evidence to show this.
What is wrong with me?? I know that many, many people use accommodations for a disability and they can do as much as anyone. Why is this a surprise to me? I have had many people ask me why I don't go on disability and I always quickly answer them with "I have gifts to share and I plan to do it." That is true--but it is true whether I am able-bodied or disabled, for me and many others. I know this too. BUT, I sure haven't been living this way. I have been denying the obvious.
I am not sure where I am going with all of this, but it is a new reality in my world. I understand a few things--it is time to beef up my efforts here at SP. I need to really work my cardio and strength so that when it comes time to have a back surgery, that I can endure and will be strong. I have not made any decision yet, but I know that this will be an important part of my well-being. Being a few pounds lighter won't hurt me and recovery any at all either. My next blog will share my "new" short term goals and what I am going to do for myself. Another part of my goals will include cutting down my pain meds, particularly the fentanyl. I will do this with the support and guidance of my pain management doc. If I do this surgery, this is right for me--but if I don't, it is right for me too.
I really am disabled, but that doesn't change who I am or what I choose to do. I can handle this information. It does surprise me, but I will use it to my advantage. I will not change my desire to be and do the things I do, but I may use it to make my load more reasonable. Now, I just have to figure out how to do this!!