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Explaining your disability

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  • #81
    never considered my chronic stuff

    as disabilities until the past few years. I've lived 20+ years with Hashimotos and have always been more susceptible to bugs going round. For the past few years I've been dealing with a knee that is getting worse and worse and am now facing a LTKR end of November. The thyroid issue coupled with perimenopause makes me tired, cold, achy and struggling to get through days sometimes.

    At first I was very excited about the idea of getting a new knee at the ripe old age of 42 but after my pre-op "clearance" appointment with my family doc on Monday I'm feeling nervous and apprehensive. My lab work came back looking beautiful except for slight neutropenia (didn't even know what this was until this week) which puts me at slightly higher risk of infections and we're not sure why this level has been dropping for the past 18 months. He also gently chided to me that I might not feel great for at least a year after my knee replacement and who knows when I might ride again.

    On the exterior I am a solidly built, confident and upbeat working mom with two horses. Not many know what I deal with on a daily basis. I've really noticed how much I've deteriorated lately when I moved both horses home after boarding for many years, daily feeding and mucking stalls plus working a full time job and keeping up with an 8 year son and my husband can wipe me out. I hate asking for help and yet I'm going to need a lot of help when I'm recovering from the upcoming surgery.

    How do you all keep your spirits up and feel like you're accomplishing your goals and not being left behind? Better yet how did you adapt when you finally realized you weren't what you used to be?

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    • #82
      When you are not what you used to be, first, you realize even the smuggest youngster will be there some day, if they are lucky.
      Just as we have the word by the tail with a downhill pull for so long, there will come the time where that won,t be so for all of us, if we live long enough.
      Second, you do what you have always done, adapt, use what you have learned to do a good job with what you have on hand and cut back what you cant handle comfortably any more.

      Mostly, just count yourself lucky to have enough to be running your own show, for as long and as big or small as you can manage.

      If managing horses will become hard at home, lease them, sell them, board them until you are back on your feet, provide well so your life can keep running smooth, that will help you heal best.

      A friend had serious knee surgery and now is back to running track, but will have to wear a brace for another year yet.
      You can ride with a knee brace.

      Comment


      • #83
        Thanks Bluey

        I realized this past weekend as I was herding my fjords into their stalls for their evening feed that I am right where I'm supposed to be with the horses I have. No they aren't fancy and my hopes of showing at higher levels probably won't become a reality but they are safe and sturdy and easy keepers and horses that I can manage on my own. I've adapted in many ways and even set up my tiny barn and turnouts in such a way that is easier for me to manage. Yes I pay more for hay to be delivered and stacked and I can't schlep 50 pound sacks of feed anymore but I still make do.

        So as you say I will continue to plug along and enjoy every moment with them in my life and hopefully pass along some of my passion for them to my son.

        Comment


        • #84
          I am on a lifetime restriction of no more strenuous work, not lifting more than 50 lbs and only when absolutely necessary, no pulling, pushing or straining and right now, after shoulder surgery, no lifting more than 20lbs for now.

          So, I traded my gator for a little toy tractor, a glorified riding mower for the yard with a belly mower, that has hydraulics and a bucket and pallet points and three point hitch, 25 hp.
          I have a big tractor, but it doesn't fit every place too easily with the cab on it and it is hard to get up there many times for little stuff.
          I am keeping it in the garage, uses less room than a car.
          I can get in and out the toy tractor easier than in the gator.
          That toy tractor is letting me clean after the horses witihout needing to lift buckets, I just clean directly onto the bucket and dump into the manure spreader, put the pallet forks and a wooden pallet and roll bales of hay on it to move hay around, etc.
          No more lifting stuff onto the gator or pickup bed.
          That is the handiest little toy, can even pull the welder or manure spreader, or a cart with grooming supplies and saddles.
          I can put fence posts on it without needing to lift those up on something, the bucket or pallet forks do that for me.

          We find ways to do what we want to do for as long as we can, one way or another.

          Comment


          • #85
            I've also found a lot of issues having an "invisible" illness and being somewhat young. I've been out grocery shopping with my mum, and she had just had carpal tunnel surgery, and we asked the cashier to call someone to help us load stuff into our car. The cashier took a LONG look up and down at me before lazily paging for help. I could have cried I was so upset. I'm sorry you can't see my bulging disks, previously fractured spine, fibromyalgia, etc, but really?
            Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

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            • #86
              Originally posted by Grace67 View Post
              He also gently chided to me that I might not feel great for at least a year after my knee replacement and who knows when I might ride again.
              My barn owner has RA and just had her 2nd knee replaced this week. She is planning to be on the horses again in 2-4 weeks!!! Taking a bunch of precautions, no stirrups, no posting, etc but still. Her doc said probably 6 weeks to ride again so she's pushing of course. She is also at 70* of flex after 4 days. She says the key is to DO THE EXERCISES. She gets up every hour for 15 minutes and walks and does exercise until she is getting dizzy then rests for 45 min and does it all again. She is doing tons of hand weights and core exercises to keep fit too.

              Now all that being said I'm also of the opinion that she is pretty much Superwoman (and of course everyone is individual) so don't beat up on yourself if this sounds unrealistic! She was also born with RA so she's been dealing with it forever and is pretty used to the routine.


              Now me I have TONS of issues. LOL It really really sucks having to get used to a whole new normal.

              Comment


              • #87
                Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
                I've also found a lot of issues having an "invisible" illness and being somewhat young. I've been out grocery shopping with my mum, and she had just had carpal tunnel surgery, and we asked the cashier to call someone to help us load stuff into our car. The cashier took a LONG look up and down at me before lazily paging for help. I could have cried I was so upset. I'm sorry you can't see my bulging disks, previously fractured spine, fibromyalgia, etc, but really?
                Well don't sweat the small stuff, haveing just reached the 20 year mark of being paralyzed, in a wheel chair and I'm at the ripe age of 44.. I have many a time pulled into the handicapped parking space and have people glare at me because I'm young and couldn't possibly be disabled. But rather then have that be a negative. I'm happy that people care enough to glare:-) So yes, my disablility is obvious, but many who are disabled spend a life time trying to not look disabled:-) And the loaders etc are always slow to arrive at stores, My solution is to push the cart out into the parking lot from my wheelchair and proceed to struggle loading the stuff, eventually someone stops and helps or the loader eventually arrives:-) Or if that isn't an option I patiently wait until someone comes to help.... That is the one thing I have learned being disabled is Patience!!

                Diane Kastama

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