Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Lettered In Head Injury

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In the 1970's I played sports. I earned my letters in Basketball, Volleyball and Track. In the summers I played in a softball league. In my sophomore year during a volleyball practice I got my legs knocked out from under me and was knocked unconscious. My team mate blind sided me even though I called the ball "mine". She may have known I was blind on my left side. She may have forgotten. But still I had called the ball, so it really was an accident that should not have happened. I was taken to the hospital where I came back into consciousness, but I didn't recognize my mother, or my team mates. The amnesia was temporary and my diagnosis was a concussion. I went on to finish the season and earned my letter. Later in life I got knocked unconscious again and the MRI scan showed my old scar tissue and head injury in addition to the new one. I had no idea. I have had my head beat in several times in my 52 years on this planet. Almost in every instance it has been because I was hit by something or someone coming at me on my blind side. I was almost killed by a silent fork lift in the late 1980's and ended up being fired from a sheltered workshop for the disabled (ironically enough)!

Recently a new friend left a message on my answering machine referencing my disability. She was obviously jealous of my Social Security monthly check and heartlessly said "I don't have everything handed to me". She has no idea what I have had to live through and endure before being forced into applying for disability. The only major side effect from my head injury's has been the loss of short term memory ability. I can't remember numbers. I have to write important numbers down and keep them with me. It takes me years to remember my phone number and my address. It is frustrating. Our world and industrial society requires people to remember numbers. It is mandatory. It seems like such a small thing.

I was a fierce opponent in any sport I ever participated in. I do not regret my participation in sports. I do grieve the losses of any ability's that the world requires in the everyday workforce. It is too bad that my talents for other things are overshadowed by my disability. I always say "If I say disability fast enough, it sounds like this ability"!

My "friend" that believes I have everything handed to me doesn't know the story of how I got my disability check and what I have to do in order to keep it. She wouldn't want the head injury, blind eye, nor would she be able to survive on my gross income. She wouldn't be able to survive through the application process. Most of the time applicants are rejected 2 times and have to survive for that year with no income. It is quite the process and anyone who believes as she does, ought to try living on that amount and see if it feels like it is handed to her. She has living parents who lend her money. She has (had) a credit card and can borrow money (now in debt relief program). I was not on good terms with my family, nor did I ever believe in having credit cards. So I was faced with different options, made different choices, resulting in a different outcomes. There is nothing I have or have had in the past that has ever been handed to me! I have had to fight for every cent I have, and I even had to fight (legally) my brothers and sisters for my own inheritance!

I am blessed that I have a few means to supplement the monthly payment I receive. Few people can live on that low of an amount. It doesn't cover rent, and utilities. They expect us to live with other people I guess. That is the only time it really works out. So here I am with a very nice space and several cats that came with the property. I really can't afford them and their veterinary expenses. I admire Stubby. He reminds me of me, back when I was getting my head beat in too many times and my teeth knocked out and beaten into disability. He has been through hell. We both have. Hopefully his life will be better now that he is neutered.

Please donate if you can to Stubby's upcoming tooth extraction. The donate button is on the top right corner of this blog. Thank you to everyone who has donated funds and the cat food. I am blessed with many friends who do understand how expensive my present living arrangement has been.

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