Who Doesn’t Have a Disability?

As I continue to meet people through my journeys it becomes more and more apparent how serious the disabilities are in our daily life.

When I first became a special education the disabilities were very specific disabilities and many of them were birth defects. You rarely talked about mental health issues or adult disabilities.

The rate of disabilities in a public school system was 1-3 percent of the total school population.

Then it jumped to 5 percent.

Then it went to 7 percent.

Now it averages anywhere from 7- 15 percent or higher.

What is causing such an increase in the rate of disabilities?

Then the increase in autism hit. Where did that come from?

Suddenly we have bi/polar and ADHD or ADD problems and many other behavior issues.

But now as I meet adults almost everyone I talk to have some sort of physical disability.

The majority seem to be either a form of arthritis, chronic back pain, or fibramyalgia not to mention many other issues.

Then there is always the problems with heart, high cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar diabetes.

Then there are the Mental Health Issues which I am not going to even start on in this article.

So why am I even mentioning these?

Where does a person go to learn to deal with going from a very active person to being limited in their productivity. What does a person do when they no longer feel useful? Our society says we should work until we are 80 years old but what happens when the body doesn’t function any longer?

Many people are finding themselves without insurance,and  doctors who don’t know what to do other than continue increasing medications. People don’t know how to survive because of this.

Medications and lack of mobility increase weight gain and these people find themselves in an endless cycle which leads to severe depression.

Issues like grocery shopping, cleaning house, bathing, fixing hair, and simply getting dressed need to be addressed.

Family members and friends do not understand the severity of the issues unless they can see the disability. For many there is no visual sign except for lack of mobility. But loved ones do not understand how hard it is just getting dressed let alone leaving the house.

Fixing meals becomes impossible for many so they quit eating unless invited out or someone brings something in.  Family members frequently don’t check on them because they think they are okay.

We are faced with a huge problem in this country that isn’t being addressed. There needs to be support groups for these people so that they can learn how to accept the changes in life style and how to deal with future living and quality of life.

Family members and doctors along with communities members need to be educated.

A perfect example is going to a shopping mall where there are no shopping carts. A person in pain yet not in a wheel chair will not shop in a mall because they can’t walk the distance it takes.

Buying Shoes is another problem because no one takes time to help someone try on shoes when they aren’t able to do it themselves. Many older people are wearing shoes that should be replaced because of difficulty shopping and lack of income.

We need to spend more time addressing the needs of our own citizens and their daily needs. We need to address why so many people are now becoming disabled. We need to look closer at environment , food and pollution.

Our society has the ability to live longer but in more difficult situations not having quality of life. What will it take to provide quality of life for our disabled people?

I was approached by a beautiful young lady and she was trying to hold back the tears as it was apparent she wanted to speak to me. She had been in a presentation that I had done and had connected with something that I had said about myself.

Her question to me was: Are you going to write something about how you learned to accept your disability and changes in your life? It became apparent to me that she needed some answers. She shared a bit of her problems that she was facing but held back.

I gave her my information to keep in touch with me but it was apparent to me that she was looking for comfort and answers. I had not at that point planned to write about my pain and disability and what I have been through.

However, she affected me deeply and so I will start a blog on my journey of disability and what I have had to do not only to accept my disability but to accept myself.  I will be starting this within the next week and continue as long as the journey takes me. I hope that along the way those who read will share their journey with me and leave comments. I do not have all the answers but if I can help this young lady or anyone else than it will be worth the journey.

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