Monday, September 20, 2010

A terrible way to live?

September 19, 2008
I was at the heart doc, in the waiting room on my portable fold-up mobility scooter [] and was engaged in conversation by a 60ish looking woman, who wanted to know about the scooter. I gave her the short pitch on it, and she said that they might have to have something for her sister, who had lost both legs below the knee in a car wreck, and followed that I seemed to be rather cheerful. I told her that I was cheerful most of the time, and she allowed that it was amazing, because being a double amputee was "a terrible way to live". I was stunned, and before I could respond, the nurse appeared and called me to come back. I only had time to say "I seem to be doing fine". The alternative, I think, is worse.
Let us consider here; I am an insulin-dependent brittle diabetic. I have had two major heart attacks, and two heart surgeries. I have stage 3 kidney disease [stage 5 is dialysis], prostate trouble, and progressive arthritis in my major joints, and my hands; my handwriting sucks, and I type with 2 fingers. I was back at the heart doc to be evaluated for a pacemaker/defib unit. My heart is damaged on the left side by the heart attacks, and has electrical troubles. If this unit will help me feel better, I am up for it.
Is my life a "terrible way to live"? I don’t tend to think so. I am not as mobile as most folks, and there are things I can not do, but I have plenty of fun, I drive with hand controls, I work, and I hope to be back on my beloved motorscooters soon. What is so terrible? You take the cards you draw, and you play with them. The alternative, as I say, is unacceptable.
 I grow weary of people who have a handicap, and consider their life to be ruined. That sounds cold, but that is the way it is. One of my favorite bloggers is Mark Smith, who runs the site; he has profound cerebral palsy, cannot walk, cannot drive, cannot write, or even speak plainly. He is also a husband, father, homeowner, product manager for a large mobility equipment company, a published author, and a big motocross fan. Yes, his life is difficult, but whose isn’t? Get a grip…

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