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Flying Away From Disability

Pretty BirdPPretty Bird Posts: 1
edited 12/28/2014 - 7:34 PM in New Member Introductions
Hello all. I go by Pretty Bird in these forums but you can also call me Monica.

My medical conditions include bone-on-bone osteoarthritis in both knees, herniated disks in both the lower back and the neck, and chronic insomnia (like, since they first tried to get me up via an alarm clock at age 5 to go to kindergarten). I've had knee and back issues since my teens. I'm now 64. I've had pinched nerves in my neck for weeks at a time, severe enough to leave my right arm paralyzed for months. I've had bulging disks in my lower back so bad that I spent all of May 1989 flat on my back, unable even to get up to go to the bathroom, and walked sideways like a crab using a cane for the following eight months. I've had arthroscopic surgery on both knees to clean up torn cartilage but have so far resisted getting knee replacements, having seen some friends of mine go through nightmares afterwards. In addition I think that there are other things that complicate the problem, such as weakness of the thigh muscles and trouble with tendons and ligaments, which surgery won't fix. So I'm very leery of surgery. I've been looking for relief and improvement for three years now, putting up with the pain and the severe limitations of movement. I was successful in claiming permanent disability since I can't walk even a block, can't stand up for much more than 15 minutes without experiencing debilitating painful stiffness, can't climb stairs, and when I stand up (a chore in itself) I must stand still for a couple of minutes before I can take even a limping step. Not to mention that I can't "push through" when things get bad. There is no choice other than to lie down and hope it lets up.

The funny thing is that to look at me you might never get a clue that I have all this going on. I'm very good at faking and hiding it and I can't stand being perceived as disabled. I continue to hope that medical science will make some strides towards figuring out these awful diseases and coming up with a cure. I don't think people give enough weight to the quality-of-life issues, focused as they are on quantity-of-life.


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