Stigma in a name
Some people show distaste for those with a visible handicap.
The word handicap has many different cognations.
I don't see it as something a few people are afflicted with.
To me. Everyone is born with one, or another, disadvantage.
Sight is one. If not born with it blindness may form at a later time.
The same for hearing. Due to a reason, or accident, you lose your hearing. Hearing aids are needed. These are a curse of many people.
Bones and muscles may not form properly in the womb. Other problems might cause different, and difficult, reasons to cause an inconvenience for the child and parents. The cost of the health cover for years. The stress on both parents and patient. Wearing down of energy to cause health problems.
Then there are other handicaps for horse racing. Golf. Athletics. Car racing.
Different diseases which cause many people to become handicapped.
A car accident.
A fall from a horse.
A plane crash.
For many years, I cared for my mother. After years of hard work she became handicapped. Her problem was caused from smoking. Her body no longer made enough oxygen to keep her breathing without the aid of a machine. She had to walk around dragging a length of tubing to keep the level at the right percentage.
Even though I have my own handicaps due to Arthritis, I was expected to care for my mother. I hung in there until I was so exhausted I neared the edge to a nervous breakdown.
I broke into tears at the hospital. I was so tired I didn't know which way was up.
Until then I didn't know there were so many organisations available who might have been able to relieve me of the pressure of caring for my mother. Within weeks, my mother was settled into a nursing home.
Since my mothers death three years ago, I have tried to regain my life, energy, and dissipate with the excess stress which caused the body more problems.
I have just spent a few days away with a group of people who all had different degrees of handicaps.
Everyone was friendly.
Helped out each other on the bus, in the apartments, and with walking around the streets.
One young man had trouble speaking. When he couldn't make anyone understand he used hand signs. I have picked up the toilet and drink signs. He likes doing high fives with those he calls a friend.
I kept pretending I mixed up the names of two other males. Both seemed to feel left out. Needed attention. So I added them to doing the high five game.
Not once did I snub, or complain, about any of them I treated all of them the same way I'd wish to be treated if my difficulties deteriorate in the future.
A fear of heights, spiders, and many other such things can also be a handicap when you have set your heart on an occupation but can't manage your reaction.
Swimming is another fear. Because of something which has happened in the past you don't like water.
I know a lady who fell out of a car in the past. She formed a fear of riding in a car for months. I notice she talks a lot when she is travelling in any type of vehicle.
A child who has had a bad experience with a Santa Claus will have a fear for a long time. This is a handicap when Christmas approaches.
Derogative names are at times used by unthinking people. These people don't realise the damage they can cause. An act of stupidity when they treat the inflicted as a second, or third class, citizen. Each need to take a good look at their own life. Temper can be another handicap. Temper kills like any other handicap. Can cause someone to become more disadvantaged for the rest of their life.
Not one person is born. Perfect. With no flaws.
I have mine. But I still like to look on the bright side of life.
This is a piece I wrote on the topic of being "Handicapped". Didn't have some of what was needed for where I intended to send it. There wanted more of personal suffering while living with a family member. So I wrote another piece.
I had no help
Okay .Me. I was the daughter. Or I was suppose to be.
I had my own health problems with Arthritis. And stress related problems.
Being the only child everything was placed squarely on my shoulders. The weight of my mothers condition put a lot more strain on me.
My mother expected me to be able to carry the load as though I had no problems of my own.
We lived in the same house. I still live there.
My life was not my own. I was at her beck and call day and night.
I had to do the housework. The yard work. Shopping.
There were no one available to help with the care. Except for one of her sisters who came in for a few hours to talk with her. To give me a few hours to go out shopping.
Before my mother collapsed and still able to go out things weren't so bad. She was able to do some cooking. Did some crocheting and sewing. Was able to stand for a little while to be able to wash the dishes.
We'd just returned home one afternoon when my mother collapsed. She went to the toilet. She fell and hit her head on the wall. The oxygen level had fallen too low. This was a problem that hadn't been picked up before the collapse. She stopped breathing at the hospital. The doctors worked to bring her back.
From then on, she had to live on assisted oxygen. She couldn't leave home without it.
When she was stable enough to leave the hospital, the doctors organised to have a machine delivered to out home. Set it up. Giving me instructions on how it worked.
My work became ten fold more. I now had to be a nurse as well.
The cause of the lack of oxygen was put down to years of her smoking. Her lungs weren't making enough.
Help. No one told me there were options out there to take some of the stress from me.
Not that my mother would have accepted the assistance. She believed I was born to be there as her slave.
I just kept my thoughts to myself and soldiered on. My life and health flowing down the drain.
I wasn't getting my right amount of sleep. I listened to the dragging of the tube along the floor each time she went to the toilet. Listened until she returned to bed.
No one asked if I had help at home. They took it for granted she was better off at home. My mother thought the same.
Then came the moment of her last turn. The doctors put her on life support. She was flown to Brisbane. When she was reasonably well enough she was returned to the local hospital.
The time came for them to release her. That is when I went into meltdown.
Things moved fast then.
Someone came to assess her condition in the hospital.
Mum tried to lie her way through the interview.
I kept shaking my head.
The lady soon saw through her replies.
The day she was to go into rest care for a few weeks a place came up at a nursing home.
Looking back. The doctors should have let her be at the first attack.
My mother suffered through the next few years. Each time the oxygen level went down a few more brain cells died. She lived in the land of the fairies even though she still knew my name. We had to laugh at some of the things she said or we would have sat there crying.
The day she died was a blessing for her. And for me. Now was my time to heal. Catch up on all the years of missed sleep. To regain my life.
More information needs to be out there to let carers know what help is available. Where to go. Who to call. A booklet for the nursing staff to hand out to tell the family where they can look.
I was working in the dark. Only when I was close to the edge of a nervous break down did assistance come my way.
Information overload is needed.