Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tale of Struggling

Hi, it's Trevor here again, sharing another tale. This time is going to be a bit different. Brenda has been going through some real rough or in my world, ruff challenges, BOL as of late.

Brenda is just recovering from yet another bout of shingles. This makes her fourth time. If you are not aware what shingles are, here is a little information for you. If you had chickenpox as a child, as Brenda did, the shingles virus is already inside of you. It lies dormant for years and usually when you become an adult, 1 in 3 persons, will be attacked by this virus. As we have shared with you before, her first time was the worst. She now knows what to watch for. It still doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

They can really get on your nerves, so has a lot of other things with Brenda lately. She has been isolating herself, except to go to her job or other errands that may have to be attended to. She really has had less energy, since this all occurred. It's hard enough living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and also the other challenges, she has to deal with. There were actually others who were not aware, that she has been dealing with this. Brenda is not one to go around and tell every person, whenever she has a problem. She keeps a lot to herself and I encourage her, by having her tell me what she is dealing with, so we can share it here, with our readers. If it can help someone else, that is all that matters.

When you deal with something like shingles, anything can get on your nerves. Take living with chronic diseases for instance. All this talk about people putting notes on people's windshields who use a handicap hang tag in their car, just because they happen to think they don't need it. How would they even know for certain? Not all disabilities are noticeable. Brenda's handicap hang tag is for life, as her doctor at the time, felt that is what she needed. She only uses it when she needs it and no, it is not used just so they can have a convenient parking place.

So the next time you get that look from someone who doesn't think you need this kind of help, take a good look at them. Are they perhaps wearing glasses or even a hearing aid device? All of these things are for the sole purpose of helping out someone with a challenge. Brenda wears glasses and has since the first grade. She knows people who wear hearing aids and wouldn't have the audacity to even question, if they needed them or not. What is the difference? We all struggle in one way or another.

Some of what we struggle with, is not shown from the outside. Even behind our smiles, there is sadness.

If Brenda had to go back, to using her cane again, she would. She wore an air cast for six weeks, back in 2011 and not one person gave her grief. Yes, she was teased at the nursing home and called Hopalong Cassidy, but it was all in fun.

We realize that there are some individuals out there, that take advantage of the system and get these handicap hang tags only for convenience. There are those who pass off their dogs as Therapy and Service Dogs, also, but that is another story. You get, where I am digging here though? BOL

There are circumstances that are troubling to Brenda. One is when someone uses a handicap hang tag, when the person who it was issued to was not in the car. It has happened. Brenda and her mother had an experience one time, where they forgot to hang the tag up and lo and behold, there was a ticket on the windshield when they came out of the store. Brenda felt terrible and would of course pay the fine, no questions asked. Her mother did end up calling and explained that her daughter had a handicap hang tag issued to her. Want to know the proof folks? There is a number that is assigned on each hang tag, which identifies that it was legit. She did not end up having to pay the fine, which was a relief and also a lesson learned. We know you can get these hang tags off of the Internet, but all they display is a symbol of a wheelchair and the word Handicap. Anyone can get those. Brenda had to fill out an application form and have it signed by her physician. Funny thing about these cards, you used to have to pay for them, which turned out, there being a Class Action Suit and she was actually reimbursed, for almost double of what she had originally paid. She now gets them free, as they should be.

Think of any assisting device, there are many. Towel bars, chairs or anything to help you get around safely in your home. Brenda uses a chair in the shower, as she can no longer get into a tub, without assistance. She lives alone, so it is one of those things, you learn to adjust to. Is someone going to come into her living space and tell her that she does not need this chair? No!

It is estimated that 300,000 children in the United States, live with some form of arthritis. There are over 100 kinds, so it is hard to diagnose at times. Many of these children are in wheelchairs, have to uses braces and go through more than a child should ever have to endure. One thing they do not need, is your judgment. Many children are bullied, not teased. We live in a different world today. It is heartbreaking, to hear all of the stories, that these children have to go through. Some of these children are taken out of schools and homeschooled. Imagine the burden on the parents, to not only have to care for their child, but to have to be responsible for their education, because some made it impossible for their children to attend public schools. She has read and heard of stories where the teachers treat these children, as if they are faking. It makes Brenda's blood boil. Brenda dealt with an injury in third grade, where she tore some ligaments in her left knee. She was encouraged to help her strengthen it, by participating on walking on a plank. At the time, Brenda did not like this, but she has realized after all of these years, they were there to help. Never in her wildest dreams, did she think that she would be diagnosed with RA at the age of 31. She was told that she would probably develop arthritis in that knee, when she became older. It's been giving her problems again, since this whole saga of shingles. You see, she would could not take her biologic while there was any sort of an outbreak, so her RA has taken off with a vengeance.

We appreciate all the kind words and messages received, during this difficult time. Brenda is going to need some time to heal. She is not feeling very social right now, so please we ask, that you do not take it personal.

This is Trevor, until next time, barking off. BOL