12/2013

At first, I was explaining only as much of my challenges that was needed so the reader would understand what I was trying to convey in these posts. Now I’ve come to the decision that explaining each time I mention my disability is ludicrous. After all, as of last month I have over 700 people reading my blog. Yes, that isn’t an enormous number but it’s enough for me to write this page explaining what life is with the disability that I have. This way I can just insert a link to this page where it is needed. Those who have already read this page can ignore the link and finish reading the post. Those who want to know what I’m talking about can follow the link and learn.

Overview

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...
A collection of pictograms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a stroke in 1972 when I was 17 years old. I was left completely paralyzed on the right side of my body. Through physical and occupational therapy I gained back some of what I lost. Still, I do struggle with much of what is done on a day-to-day basis.

 

Physical Limitations

Mobility issues: My body isn’t balanced so when I’m outside or when the air pressure of the environment is in transition, I use a four-pronged cane when I walk. Don’t ever expect me to run. I can’t do it. Inside, if I am familiar with the surroundings, I can usually get around without the cane because I never have to go more than four steps to get to something, even a wall that I can use to balance myself. Another reason for the cane is that I have what is called ‘drop-foot’. All this means is that my right ankle is too weak to completely perform right in lifting the right foot when I walk.

Dexterity issues:  My right should, arm, hand, and fingers are severely paralyzed. My shoulder slouches even though I am usually practicing good posture. I, also, can’t move my arm out away from my body very far. My arm does have some good movement, although I must concentrate to have this happen. I used to be able to do the same with my fingers, but the tendons have shortened making it impossible for me to stretch my fingers out straight. The tendon in my wrist has also shortened making my wrist turned under permanently. This means that I type on a keyboard with the five fingers of one hand.

I have lost some of the peripheral vision in my right eye, but I’ve adapted to that easily so it isn’t a big issue.

 

Mental Limitation

Having mental limitations is awful. There isn’t any way else to put it.

Cognitive issues: Understanding what someone is trying to tell me can be a pain in the ass every so often. When I don’t understand, I’ve learned to just ask the person to “walk me through the tulips”. Routines and schedules are my saviors. Repetition in what I do during the course of a day, 7 days a week is how I live best.

Short-term memory loss issues: I try my best to do things as they happen if they aren’t in my routine. If I don’t do it right away, chances are that I’ll forget it completely. When having a blog, this can become a huge problem. I can forget to read blogs of people I care about. I can forget to email friends. I leave emails in my inbox until I have read them as a way to help me remember. For the most part it works. However, if I have forgotten you, please do not be upset. Just send me a reminder email.

 

Emotional Limitations

Almost all information I absorb has to go through the right side of my brain before it can hit the left side. This means that I receive information through the emotional side of my brain first.

Selective memory loss: Because so much information goes through the emotional side first, if I don’t like what I’m receiving and I’m not concentrating as much as I need to, I won’t remember whatever it is. Actually this can be funny at times. I can watch a movie I don’t like and not remember watching it. My husband has some movies on DVD that I really detest. Sometimes I’ll suggest that we watch one of them thinking I haven’t seen it before when I have. Hubby has to tell me that I don’t like the movie.

Anxiety issues: I have General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It’s not only an emotional drawback but a physical one too. The GAD is physically part of the disability because parts of my brain do not function correctly due to the stroke. I’m on medication so it isn’t much of an issue usually. During those rare times when it has me by the throat (figuratively that is), I’ll be away from the Internet for a short time. Please don’t write me off. I will be back.

 

This about covers it. If I think of anything else that may be helpful to you, I’ll edit and add. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, PLEASE ask away. I will answer them.

25 thoughts on “My Disability Quirks

  1. In the Healing Garden the sun comes out from behind a waterlogged backlog of no show days as we read about your limitations 🙂 Now that we have gotten that out of the way…

    It is tempting for the Healing Garden gardener, too, to trot out an explanation of limited capacity as explanation. The line between educating others and harping become exceedingly fine as we grow older.

    No need explaining that rehabilitation is learning to become habilitated again, and we, in the Healing Garden want to live first and to be habilitated, before we try it again. I will let you know if I like it. Thus, in good measure, a Healing Garden. Like your disability quirks. Refreshingly matter of fact, self accepting, and honest.

    Thank you. In the Healing Garden, there is no person before we are to become again. It is the person we are now who will heal and grow. No shame in leaving breadcrumbs for others. We look forward to exploring your posts. — The Healing Garden gardener

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  2. Glynis, I am truly blessed that you have chosen to follow my blog. I have so much to learn from you. Thank you for sharing about your life and disabilities. Don’t worry, if you forget drop me some comments, I will send you that reminder you requested 🙂

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  3. I recently learned that I had a silent stroke in the Pons area sometime in my past. Last December I had a most unusual event in the loss of time, movement… Since that time other unusual things have happened and can only be explained as further advancement of that same stroke…bleeding, not a clot, in my brainstem.

    Having to learn to do somethings over, especially all those once automatic things. Short term memory… what is that!!!!???? Also, motivation, dyslexic fingers (at least I can type with both hands) balance…affected by so many things from weather to sinuses.

    Thank you for sharing this… it gives me hope, hope that my forward progress will be able to continue!

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    1. Hi Barbara

      The balance issue is embarrassing at times. Expect it, then just move on. There isn’t anything else you can do for this. Short term memory loss — for me, if I write it down, if only but once, I’m more likely to remember it. The act of writing it down seems to make whatever I want to remember move from the short term file cabinet to the long term cabinet in my brain where it will stick forever (or close to that, anyway).

      Oh yeah, be sure to keep a map of your local area in the car. You might get lost just 5 miles away from home.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Glynis!

    Thank you for following me and your kind words on my blog. As much as we all may struggle it is a positively wonderful feeling to know that you are reaching someone out there somewhere and that others are there to care and understand. We can all take heed from the words…take each day as it comes.

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    1. Looking at your email addy, I’m guessing that your name is Nicole or Nicola. I’m enjoying your blog. I’m impressed with the way you express yourself and am hoping that some of it will rub off on me. 🙂

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  5. Hi Glynis, 17 is very young to have to deal with the fallout from a stroke. My son was 25… not much older… and many of the effects you mention he has to deal with as well as some others. He won’t talk about courage… “You just get on with it,” he says. He has my respect nevertheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue. There are a few with disability that feel the need to be recognized for their courage. However most of us don’t really think about things like that. We’re to busy figuring out how to tie our shoes without help, opening a jar, and how to maneuver in a crowd. In short, we’re busy living our lives to the extent of pushing the envelop as far as it will go.

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    1. Kevin, your remark stuns me. No one, absolutely no one has ever said anything like that before. By chance, can you elaborate on what it is in my writing that you love? I can’t figure it out.

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  6. Glynis, I love how you describe your disabilities without whining. You have great courage and resolve, qualities I admire. Now I understand why self-discipline is so important to you. So honored to have met you on the blogosphere. All the best to you as you pursue your endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I ever mourn the lack of ability to slip through the water like the fish I may have been, swing through the treetops like the ape they say I was and soar through the sky like the bird I was never meant to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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