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Re: Am I disabled?

Re: Am I disabled?

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Posted by Pat G. on September 18, 2000 at 17:05:38:

In Reply to: Am I disabled? posted by CC on September 17, 2000 at 20:59:07:

: I don't get it. I'm not sure if I'm disabled or not. Let see...I'll start from the begining, but I'll try to be brief. I was in a car accident in Aug. '94. (unrestrained passenger) I was ejected as the car rolled. I was air-lifted to Harborview in Seattle, where I spent the next 2 weeks in a coma. I'm just telling you what they told me-I don't remember anything from about an hour before I got hurt, till about a month after I woke up. Anyway, turns out, I busted one clavicle, dislocated the other one, had a compression fracture in my spine,(T-8) and a severe closed head injury. Now, I'm no Brain Surgeon,
: but this ain't the kind of thing you can just brush off your sleeves, and keep on goin'. When I was in-patient for rehabiltation, I was in a wheelchair, to a walker,
: to a cane, and eventually weined myself that. Physical Therapy took on a whole new meaning for me. These days, I spend a lot of time in the gym, where as before, I spent a lot of time drinkin' beer and...well chasin' women. My speech is a little
: bit slurred, and I walk with a slight limp, but to everone else who didn't know me before I got hurt, I'm
: just "weird". I basicly severed all ties (or most) that I had before, because I didn't want that sort of lifestyle anymore- I was very self-consious about my speech and my gait. I still am, though not nearly as much. I applied for SSI, but was denied. I know, I know
: I should have appealed their decision, but fact is, there's no such thing as a free picnic. Anyway, the point is, do I call myself disabled, or not? Iv'e worked very, very hard to at least appear normal, but then again, I have a huge, gnarly lookin' scar on the backa' my head that would beg to differ. I am seizure free, (knock on wood) 100% independent, work fulltime as a welder, and am going to school Fall 2000. The way I see it, I could've layed down and died, OR started swinging. I chose the latter. How come everone thinks I'm just "not right"?

According to social security, the fact that you are able to work shows that you are not disabled. I have to say, you sound like an incredible person to come back from your injuries the way you did. From your letter, you sound "rught" to me. Many people chose to change their lifestyles, and after the traumatic injuries you went through, perhaps you now see life differently and there is nothing wrong with that. Who is saying that you are just "not right"? Are these people the ones you knew before your accident? It sounds like you had some "head trauma" when you stated you had a "severe closed head injury". Sometimes after a brain injury, there can be some changes, but you sound like a rather incredible individual to me. Take care, Pat G. in Eastern Wash.




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