Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Home truths – despair settles in

It’s been a while, dad has been moved into a care home due to his dementia getting worse and then was rushed into hospital where we were told that he had bowl cancer and things amped up at university with it being the final year. Change of location as the Psychology department was moved from St Peters campus to the City campus, final assignments, exams and final dissertation.

Speaking of changing campuses the trouble this has caused for me is unbelievable.   The move to the city campus was supposed to be a smooth transition until I found out that none of the lessons I had at the Priestman building where accessible. Add that to the up and down situation with my father, who as you may remember has mixed dementia, has caused me to miss out on workshops and lectures this semester. Leaving me at a disadvantage regarding my upcoming exams.

This all ended up with me in tears yesterday trying to hand in my dissertation project book and being unable to access the building and a able bodied woman banging on the toilet door in the shopping centre telling me to  hurry up…the disabled toilet  that is, which was being used by someone in a wheelchair…me.

People really don’t think do they? I mean we are supposed to be a society of caring, responsible, intelligent and understanding people…aren’t we? No… we are not!
I personally think that we as a society and a race we are de-evolving. I have tried for years to debunk the “them” and “us” divide but am wondering if it’s true after all.

No one will ever understand what it is like to get up every day and have to ask someone else for help you just to do the smallest of things like get out of bed, put pants on or stand up. It’s not just the embarrassment but the mental anguish it causes. I hate the way I am. I don’t enjoy it. I didn’t want it. It just happened and am left with the aftermath.

Society and the government sees me as a drain on resources, an inconvenience, someone to be singled out and criticised. Scapegoat for fraud, rising unemployment figures. My peers either pity me, or blank me there are very few who support me and have stood by me throughout this, but they, no matter how had they try can never understand what it is like. I have lost count of how many friends don’t bother with me anymore, or how often am over looked when it comes to nights out or family events, it’s an inconvenience you see. Me being in a wheelchair.

I  sometimes need help to sit up, get dressed, pick up things off the table or floor, get tablets out, and cook a meal. Don’t even get me started on having a shower. I can’t do stairs and need someone to help me step off a kerb. I can’t go anywhere on my own as I need someone to push me, I can’t walk the dog, go for a walk, swim, dip my toes in the water, go in the sea, walk on the beach, feel the sand between my toes, clean my own house, get to the girls room, wear funky socks, soak in a bath or even get in a bath or feel a carpet under my feet.

I take tablets morning noon and night and then in-between. They make me gain weight and bloat me even though I barely eat I still gain weight and can’t lose it. Yes I have the odd treat but you look at me, a larger lady in a wheelchair with no legs and the automatic assumption is “who ate all the cakes, pies and biscuits” and it’s thought that the legs where lost due to being fat, over weight and diabetic. They weren't. I feel disgusted in myself, don’t worry. It has been said to me that by someone that I am the reason that they have an eating disorder….they don’t want to turn out looking like me…fat.

The disabled complain about the “disabled porn” how we shouldn’t be inspirations, bollocks to that! I hope I am an inspiration to abled or disabled people. I work hard just to do day to day stuff never mind go out, work or go to university. 

I feel dead inside.

 I have sitting in front of the telly not leaving the house unless it’s my weekly one day a week trip to the town or off to the doctors or hospital to look forward to. No one would hire me due to not being able to guarantee when I would be in. I hate the way I am, I hate the way I look, and I hate my size. “Just go on a diet” “you need to move more look for wheelchair exercise” “just go on slimming world I did “yes and you lost weight because you are more mobile than me…it’s not that simple. I wish it was.

I get up every day, some days when I don’t want to. Some days I just can’t face it but I get up. Everything you take for granted, every little thing you do, needs the utter most planning for me to do or participate in, that’s if I can.

 A day out with my family, a meal, a trip or a holiday needs to be planned to every last detail. Access, toilets, fitting through doors, getting round, getting there. I worry constantly about getting in the peoples way or blocking things or places. I worry about being an inconvenience, the embarrassment and the mental torture I put myself through. When something goes wrong or there are issues accessing 
somewhere or something it makes it worse, it’s like ramming it home, rubbing it in my face.

I just worry.

This is not what I wanted, despite what you might think. I want a life, I want my life, I miss my old life.

1 comment:

  1. I do feel for you. I have progressive MS and for the first 10 years I used to think "if it stops here, I can cope with how I am despite the difficulties". For the last few years it's just been a constant struggle and often I'm too tired to do anything much at all. But like you, I get up because it would be worse if I stayed in bed. I don't need quite as much help as you (yet) but you are not alone.

    My only two recommendations are (1) join the local group for your condition if you haven't already and (2) get yourself some good dictation software (if you haven't already) such as Dragon Dictate, so you can do nearly everything on your computer using your voice.