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A Helle-pful Hint: Never Wear Heels to a Cookout

November 29, 2016

fullsizerender-1 So it’s been a while since I‘ve written anything. This time I have a really good excuse. Exactly 6 months ago, I was having a lovely evening when a trip to the bathroom and my cooler turned into one of the worst nightmares of my life. I have documented, on several occasions, my inability to remain upright. I’m clumsy, and we can blame it all on a leftie living in a right-handed world (there’s studies people), but the fact of the matter is, I fall down a lot and it was bound to happen. I tripped on some steps and I broke my right fibula and severely sprained my left foot.

You can imagine my glee when I left the doctor’s office two days later sporting a cast on my right leg and a boot reminiscent of a twenty-pound medieval torture device on my left leg with orders to not bear weight on the right leg until further notice. Not hard since without any operational feet it’s hard to walk. But whatevs.

So I notified my boss that I would be indisposed for a period of time and luckily for me, I work for the most patient man known since Job. Five weeks later, I roll (literally) into Court in a wheelchair and can only hang half days for a few more weeks until I gradually am able to move from a walker to a cane, 4 weeks later. Let me tell you, breaking a bone in a major limb in your 40’s is no joke. I used scoff at killing a horse with a broken leg. Now, I understand it’s the humane thing to do.

And in this long ass process I have learned a thing or two. Most of these things you’ll never understand unless you’ve lost your mobility. And that’s OK. I hope you never do. And I don’t want to be that blowhard asshole giving you a list of reasons you should be more mindful of the mobility impaired, but I hope you’ll at least consider the following before you make some asshole decision that affects someone else.

That person you are cussing out for taking up two parking spaces. I used to loathe that person. What a fucking asshole! That’s the first thing I would exclaim to myself when seeing this occurrence. Until I had to be that asshole when I was the one, without a handicap placard, who needed to go into a place of business in a wheelchair or a walker. There’s a process to go through to get one of those coveted placards and not everyone is eligible to get one. Because I know firsthand, I’ll never cuss that person out again. As a matter of fact, it’s quite possible that person is having a way harder time than I am. So if you need two parking spaces, then take them. Isn’t it easier to think that the person needs that space rather than to assume the worst? Yes, yes it is. Don’t let yourself become a victim of the popular media that everyone is bad and just in it for themselves. So many illnesses are invisible. Why not err on the side of kindness. It doesn’t cost you a damn thing.

This brings me to the fact that in this world you are going to run into assholes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into grown ass adults who would watch me struggle opening a door while I was using a walker. But I will tell you, for every one of those assholes, there was an angel who was willing to hold a door open for me. And 80% of the time, those angels were kids. You don’t think today’s kids are respectful or have manners? That’s not what I’ve seen at all. Maybe if CNN covered a story about that (which would garner no ratings, sadly), more people would be hopeful about the future of this country. America IS great now. We just don’t focus on that.

That leads me to the last thing. Pain is invisible. You may know me from every day life and you only see what I let you. You may not know that I’m one of the lucky ones who has developed a rare condition that makes my nerves think I’m in pain when there’s no physical reason for that pain to exist. And because I live in the Heroin Belt, in a community riddled with heroin addicts, with a media focused on curing the addiction, and an election year where politicians must have an answer to every one of society ills, we are left with a black and white view on addiction. I don’t claim to know the answers. But for the life of me, I can’t think of any other medical condition where we tell people they can’t get a medication that can help them because their neighbor doesn’t use their prescription correctly. Imagine your doctor telling you that his other patient Joe doesn’t take his diabetes meds appropriately so he can’t give you the same prescription to keep your blood sugar in control, because the government told him he can only prescribe diabetes meds to a certain number of people. Makes no sense. But hey, that same government has no problem taking more money from working folks to fund those programs for suboxone, Vivitrol, and Narcan. Oh, but I digress…that’s a whole other blog.

The short story is this. Be a good human. Help your fellow humans – lend a hand, don’t judge, be nice. It really doesn’t cost you a damn thing and it might make a huge difference in someone else’s life.






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