|Chapter 4: Respect Me Please!
Over my lifetime I have discovered that often people who have a handicap are treated with either very little or no respect at all. I still wonder why spending life in a wheelchair automatically equals being, mentally challenged. According to the recent information that I just read off the world wide web, two-thirds Of the people who have cerebral palsy are to some degree mentally challenged. If those numbers are right there’s still one-third, of people like myself who are not mentally challenged in anyway whatsoever The fact is I have an above average intellect. The article I read said that we should only be able to achieve the level of average intelligence. What ticks me off to the point of becoming very angry, is having to prove the level of my intellect to almost every new person that walks into my life. It’s getting so old after nearly 50 years now.
When I was a child I had hope that this would change as soon as I grew up. However I was very wrong nothing has changed with regards to that. Except it hurts worse to be an adult with a above average fully functional thinking mind only to have ignorant people, who believe I have” no brain in my head.Just start assuming that I must be, mentally challenged. Usually based on my wheelchair and my voice or sometimes I am judged by the way that my body looks or moves. It’s for this very reason that I really hate going to the hospital. I have no love for the lousy way that some medical(PROFESSIONALS) treat me. One example took place about 4 years ago. I contracted the flu and went to the hospital after 2 days of vomiting Now keep in mind that I ,have no history of sugar diabetes. However because of medications I took for the flu my blood sugar level was high. The well meaning but, stupidly ignorant nurse shot me with insulin that I did not need. What’s really crazy is asking me if I am diabetic and even after I tell her No, the nurse gave me that shot anyway. Then I became very unresponsive and went into shock for a few minutes..All because some people see my handicap first and not the smart person that I am instead.
Another example come up in 1997 and the after affects of what happened continue to follow me, no matter what I say or do. Now I will explain. In the summer of that year my dad had a barbecue party and I had some friends over. I was eating corn on the cob, when my friend told a joke I started laughing, still with a mouth full of corn. I spit the corn out right away,just as anyone would do. A few days before I came down with a bad cold so I was already feeling sick and coughing. Therefore I had no idea just what I would soon be facing. Over the next few days I became even more ill and the antibiotics that usually work for me did not do their job. When I finally gave up and went to the hospital, I was so sick that the doctor put me on life support. About 5 days later a technion saw 1 cereal of corn stuck in the air tubbing. I was told that one cereal of corn caused a condition known as aspiration pneumonia. By the time he finally found that little cereal of corn, I was only about 3 hours away from death and seeing Jesus. The corn got stuck in my lung and stayed. What happened was for me anyway so far just a flook or a freaky accident that took place at a fun party 13 years ago. I have up to point never had another problem eating or drinking and god willing with his blessings I wont ever again. I am not at all. afraid of eating even when very sick. I know how to eat between my coughing even if the nurses don’t think so and do not trust my ability. However I’ve been doing that all my life and will continue to do so until the day I die.It’s to bad that this ever happened because now the freak accident is a permeant part of my medical records and now that is only one more reason I have nothing but trouble the minute that I enter the hospital. The staff starts out assuming that any and all illnesses that I have are caused by asperation, it seems to me like the majority of medical personnel believe I do that everyday. They’ve even been suggesting that I eat my food after, we put it through a blendder and puree it. My family now sometimes has to fight so I can eat solid food, when I am in the hospital. I can still eat steak and mexican food. T hey happen to be two of my very favorite yum yum. If I could not eat that type of food anymore I’d rather not be here ha ha. I’ve lost track of how many times I have tried to explain why it happened. Quite frankly I believe that some of them need to go back to school and learn how to be human beings again, that’s if they ever knew how to be 1 in the first place.
Please do not misunderstand, me for the most part I love nurses. I got married to the sweetest most loving nurse on earth, I just wish that all medical personnel were at least as smart and wonderful to me as my beautiful wife. The only little hint of improvement I see if you really want to call it that, is this using of the term mentally challenged witch may sound kinder and more politicly correct, then calling somebody mentally retarded but just in case you hadn’t noticed it means the exact something. However to some people the new choice of words doesn’t hurt as much and that is a good thing I guess.
I can usually tell the minute that someone opens there mouth how I will be treated. Everytime I meet someone new I always start off with the hope that (he or she) will treat me with the same respect, they give people who aren’t handicapped. Way to often people make a bad first impression on me. It begins usually with 1 of 3 mistakes most commonly made. Mistake # 1, when people repeat themselves over and over because they believe I don’t have the ability to understand them. Mistake # 2 ,Totally ignoring me and asking my family or friends questions that I can answer sometimes better than anyone else. Mistake # 3, using a slow motion weird .tone of voice when speaking to me. Those are the top reasons I get very ticked off and angery at some care givers. However if I see anything about there personality I like and I believe that over time my infulence may chance there behaviour then I will cut them some slack. I do understand that some people haven’t spent much time around the handicapped, especially those like myself who are confined to a wheelchair but, however it sure would very nice if everyone I met would just treat me the same way they might want people to treat them, if they were confined to a wheelchair. Sometimes though it just doesn’t matter what I do or say, there will always be people who believe if you have a handicap, you’re automadticly mentally challenged. Those people have always been and continue to be major pains in my butt. It is also a shame that I can not seem to stop the ignorant buttheads that work in the hospital. The staff should know better but I guess they go always by the book. I wonder if they’ll ever learn to think outside the box. You see when God made me he broke the mold, haha.
At home though I rule my roost, when my wife lets me haha. I am the king of my cassle therefore if I do accidently hire 1 of those ( pain in my butt ) care givers, they will be fired if they can not change their ways. I refuse to be disrespected by any care givers that enter my home anymore! Sometimes people who believe they are smarter then everyone else, usually prove themselves to be fools
I still have some more exsamples of things that show a lack of respect for myself and other people who are handicapped as well but some will now be featured in futured chapters.
When my book is finally published, it will always remain my hope that something said within it’s pages, will lead somehow to a increase of respect for all people, living with a handicap. Especially those of us who are confined in a wheelchair. Now and in future if I do this right.