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Friday, June 21, 2013

Another Man's Moccasins

Within one week, Leroy and I both added a piece of medical equipment to our support systems. When he went for his physical to renew his CDL, he was ordered to take a sleep test. The results showed he has sleep apnea and needs to use a C-PAP machine. It was delivered yesterday and he used it for the first time last night. He claimed he was awake a lot but I noticed he was not as restless and did not snore. It might take a week or so for him to get used to it. These machines do not work for everyone. He has three months to try it. If he decides to send it back it will cost him his CDL. So that's an incentive to stick it out and give it a fair trial.
My medical equipment is not as high tech as his. It's a simple black cane to help me walk without a severe limp. I've been having trouble with my hip since April. The pain draws all the way down my leg to the ankle. Some days are worse than others but the ache in my leg is always there. The doctor sent me for a month of therapy which did not help. I will see the doctor again in July and then probably go for some testing to see what is going on in there. The physical therapist wanted me to use a cane and I resisted until I saw the therapy wasn't helping. Then I swallowed a large chunk of pride and got one. It does help, but it is NOT going to be a permanent part of my life if I can help it.
In the meantime, I'm learning some things. Leroy always accused me of being impatient and marching on ahead. My pace has slowed considerably and we can now walk at the same speed. I can wait for him to open and close doors for me. And he actually has to wait for me as I wiggle my way in and out of the car.
I'm learning how far it is to walk from a parking space to a store and then up and down the aisles to get what I need. I do not have a handicapped sticker so I can't park in the handicapped spaces. I never paid much attention to who parked in those spaces and if the occupants qualified to be there. This week when I went to Walmart I saw all the handicapped spaces were filled but only one vehicle was parked legally. I never felt indignation toward the illegal parkers until I limped past them. I understand now how important it is to respect those reserved spaces. Even though I was not certified to park there, someone else who is and needs it would not have been able to use those spaces.
The sanctuary at our church is not on the ground level and cannot be entered without going a flight of stairs. Several years ago we constructed an outdoor ramp along the side of the building, mainly because we have a wheelchair member. Now I'm finding how much easier it is to use the ramp rather than the stairs.
In short, I'm getting a bit of a taste of what handicapped people live with and am gaining more sympathy for them. It's an opportunity for me to better understand the saying “walk a mile in another man’s moccasins.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I occasionally use a cane too. Who ever thought? Half a year ago my one knee started to pain me and I eventually saw my doctor, was told its osteo arthritis and was given pain medication. I also actually used the wheel chair ramp at church several times lately! Have been thinking maybe physiotherapy would help. Mary Horst