Living with a disability – I have been trying to write this blog post for a number of days now. However I can never quite formulate the words in my head to write them down. I’m not quite sure I can now- but I will give it ago.
I want to write about how the impact of having a sudden physical disability has had on my life, both emotionally and physically.
Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Lymphoedema ( a chronic condition, causing swelling in the body’s tissues) I was living independently in my own place, as I had been since the age of eighteen. Whilst life wasn’t easy. I did after all have mental health issues too, I did manage. I was very proud of the life I’d built up for myself against all the obstacles I had gone through.
Then I developed the Lymphoedema. To begin with the only symptoms were the swelling in my legs. I was given compression garments to wear on my legs, However the pain that sometimes comes with Lymphoedema got worse. I was even prescribed morphine by my pain specialist. With the pain came issues around mobility. I struggled to get around and began using a walking frame. I struggled to keep living independently and decision was made by the mental health professionals that I should give up my home and go into nursing care
A new reality
So I was taken from my home and the life I knew and put in a alien situation . I was by now confined to a wheelchair full time. Though I did have more mobility and movement than I do now. Looking back on it now this is the point that I shut down emotionally. I appeared to be coping well with the change, but emotionally I wasn’t.
I was offered and accepted the offer of a psychology input . However I wasn’t really ready to deal with the issues. I didn’t even know what the issues were. So I’ve spent the last six years ignoring the emotional implications of having Lymphoedema and what it has meant on both a physical and psychological level.
Learning to accept my disability
It’s only now that I am ready to deal with my feelings and issues on a real level. On a practical level there is little I can do for myself. I now live in a nursing home with 24/7 one to one support. If I want a drink from across my room I can no longer just get up and get it! When I go out in my wheelchair everyone *knows* I am disabled. There is no running away from the issues
Acceptances a big thing isn’t i? Accepting and acknowledging what I have lost. I would give anything to go back to my old life, but I can’t. However hard it is ,this is my life now. Now I’m ready to go back into therapy and work around my issues of grief and acceptance. I’m not quite sure what that will look like yet. I’m ready to deal with my issues finally.,bring it on 😂