How am I doing? Not very well, sorry to say…

25 02 2012

As many of you know, things have not been going well for me. It’s affected what I say on Facebook and Twitter. I’d apologized in case I’d stepped on any toes with what I said. Friends said it was no problem (for that, I thank you), and suggested I go ahead and vent. I originally wrote the following for Facebook, and then put a copy of it on Twitter. I felt I should also put a copy of what I said on this blog. So here it goes:

[From Facebook page, Feb 24/12]

Well, folks have told me I should rant away. Again, my apologies if I end up saying something I shouldn’t.

Let’s be honest here: I hate what my life has become the last few years, since I ended up in a wheelchair. My physical condition (unable to concentrate enough, very easily tired, unable to hear properly, can easily get dizzy if I look too quickly at something) makes it impossible for me to handle any kind of work, and besides, while I haven’t really looked much into it, it’s very doubtful that there actually are jobs for folks in wheelchairs here in Brantford.

And the pittance I get from ODSP, even with subsidized rent, makes it difficult to make ends meet. Though, since the ministroke last spring, my food costs have gone down (because I’m not eating as much as I used to), there isn’t enough left over for me to afford to go out and do things, even if I felt up to going. Going on outings out of Brantford have now become out of the question, because my body can no longer handle being out and about for an entire day.

I can’t even go to a damn movie when I’d like to, because of my hearing issue. I’m deaf in my left ear, but I also have literally constant tinnitus in the same left ear, that drowns out speech, so I have to have captioning on all the time with the TV. Yet, even though I’m deaf in my left ear, it is still sensitive to loud noises. For example, when I’m outside and a large truck rolls by, my left ear feels the rumble and I don’t like it. So movie theatres are out for me, because they are so loud.

I used to be able to enjoy hosting shows on internet radio, but I can no longer do that, either. That ministroke I mentioned earlier has taken it out of me. I just no longer have the energy you need to put together a show on net radio.

In spite of appearances to everyone, I’m not doing well emotionally at all. I try to keep an upbeat appearance when I’m online, and here at home, and sometimes, it works. But deep down, I’m still very sad about not being able to just get up and walk around when I feel like it. It feels like I’m not living – just existing, taking up space, not making a valid contribution.

I just turned 44 yesterday, and my life has been at a standstill for a number of years, and I don’t see any hope in that changing.

I know some of you are thinking that meds for depression will help me here. I disagree. For a very long time, much of that time untreated, I was depressed. Thinking about it now, even during high school, I was depressed but was not diagnosed or treated. In more recent years, we’ve tried all manner of antidepressants in various combinations, without long-term success. I’m now at a point where I have literally zero confidence in depression meds, even though there are very likely new ones I haven’t tried.

So, what you folks see from me right now is a very sad person, whose lower body doesn’t work worth crap. I haven’t walked at all in over 5 years, and I will, in all likelihood, never walk again. I’ll be stuck in this damn wheelchair, with a partly broken body, and pretty much a broken soul and heart.

[end of entry]

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9 responses

25 02 2012
Kimberley

Jim,
I am so very sorry that you are feeling the way you are. If the CTMA can help improve your life in any way,please let me know.
I however due believe that you will one day walk again, that medical science will find a way to fix your body-call me a hopeless romantic or optimist but I DO believe.
I have a couple of friends who need depression meds to get them over some rough patches short term and it helped emmensely but I agree that is a personal issue and for you to decide.
I think its time to reach out to whoever can help (doctors,nurses,therapists,CTMA etc…) to improve you situation, don’t suffer in silence and alone-we are here for you.
Kimberley

25 02 2012
Jim Todd

Thank you, Kimberley. I appreciate everything that you’re doing with the CTMA.

2 04 2012
Jim Todd

Hi again, Kim. Re-reading your comment, I came across something that I must reply to: your belief that I’ll walk again. I very much doubt that’s ever going to happen. Even if TM itself is beaten down the road, the damage done to me has gone beyond the fixable. My legs are mere shells of what they were before the TM – hardly any muscle in them at all. My feet are very badly turned inwards because the muscles, which have not been in use in several years now, have tightened up badly. And I had investigated the idea of surgery to straighten them again so I can wear orthotics. But the surgeon recommended against it because my level of feeling in my legs has been reduced, so anything requiring a cast is out of the question, as I might not feel that there may be something wrong until it’s too late to do anything.

25 02 2012
debdobson

Jim, I am so sorry for the difficulties you are going through. Has to be frustrating and upsetting as hell. This is an important post to write, and when you are online on the social networks my friend, you don’t always have to be upbeat. You just need to be the you you are at that moment. We connected over music, but we are both on this journey of life which can be good, great, bad, challenging and to be honest, simply is. I’m lucky that our paths have crossed and thanks to this strange thing called social media, well they did. They likely wouldn’t have otherwise. Just know I’m thinking about you.

25 02 2012
Jim Todd

Thank you, Deb.

21 03 2012
Richard J.

Hey Jim

I know I hadn’t posted much since connecting with you on Face book, but thought I should send out a message. I’ve greatly enjoyed reading your posts and your hearing your unique outlook on things…

I remember you well from high school, I remember you and I shared the bus to school, and that you got on just as we entered Paris. I think we spoke periodically, but weren’t especially close. I hope you recall me positively.

I believe this next part of my message is very important for you to hear..and not enough people get the chance in life to say it to others. it should be done for those who are deserving. I want to say that I always thought the way you handled yourself was incredibly brave. I saw that you had some trials and tribulations through school, more than some others, but you always met it with a smile and a pleasant outlook. I think there were many who were unfair to you, and in retrospect, I feel bad for not personally trying to reach out to you more at the time.

Its funny about school, we get so wrapped up in our own problems, ands assume everyone is judging us. Its partially true, but wholly unimportant later. The teenage brain is so narcissistic and self serving, and usually at the expenses of others.

I often thought of you after high school, and assumed that being a bright, friendly and personable person would carry you far beyond the cleeks and social out casting that school so often fosters. I envisioned that you had blossomed beyond the cruelty that kids can impose on one another.

I was glad to hear of your success in radio…but increasingly disillusioned that your heath and your physical mobility have been limited.. I always thought that you would be ultimately rewarded for enduring and rising above it all.

I am glad to see you are still fighting the brave fight.

I really want you to know I support you…and want you to know that your writing both entertains and encourages me.

I think you were a great person then, and now. All of us, and especially you, need to occasionally hear that from unexpected places.

Thanks

Richard Johnston

21 03 2012
Jim Todd

Thank you, Richard. Your name sounds familiar, but my memory is not as good as it used to be. You’d mentioned the bus ride that we shared to and from school. Were you from the same grade/year that I was?

21 03 2012
Richard J.

I think one year ahead (born in 67)…I use to see you with Mr McPherson of the chemistry department quite often. While I was not good at chemistry..I really enjoyed him as a teacher

21 03 2012
Jim Todd

Yes, chemistry was one of my faves in school. Mr McPherson was a great teacher.

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