Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Am Not a Victim

Normally I shy away from allowing my political views to influence what I write in this blog, however, given the  events the have transpired recently in the political arena, I feel compelled to comment on the cold and callous remarks made by presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney.

I feel one of the greatest qualities a person can possess is their compassion for their fellow man. Without compassion, imagine what this world would be like. By showing compassion, sympathy and understanding to people whose lives have taken some hard hits, we demonstrate the humane side of our existence. A willingness to offer help and support to those who are less fortunate than ourselves exemplifies the very qualities that make us different from all other life forms, in essence it is what makes us human.

The comments made by Mitt Romney to a room full of wealthy political prospective donors, was reprehensible. Some may say that Mitt Romney was placating those donors, simply telling them what they wanted to hear, making sure they got some bang for their bucks, all in order to achieve his ultimate goal of receiving money to further his political agenda.

Even if he was placating those donors, the ease with which the words he spoke flowed forth, leads me to believe he was speaking from his heart. I believe this was the first time in American history that a presidential nominee has so utterly and completely dismissed half of the country he hopes to lead.

I suppose if I had to choose what part of his dismissive rant was the most offensive, it would be his belief that those who are poor, downtrodden, disabled, or uneducated see themselves as victims. As if to add more indignation to his disdain for half of the US population, he said that we of that group were unwilling to take responsibility for our lives.

I can only speak for myself by objecting adamantly that his evaluation and judgments are morally wrong and disheartening to say the least. Regarding his opinion that those of us who find ourselves in that infamous 47% feel entitled, I for one worked thirty five years for those alleged entitlements, how is that different from Mr. Romney expecting dividends from stock he has invested in?

You may wonder how all of this relates to my blog concerning limb loss. I have tried wholeheartedly and I believe successfully at not being a victim of my circumstances. Granted I have reached out for help from family and friends but that does not undermine all of the work both mentally and physically I have exerted to insure my independence.

 I am not unlike thousands, if not millions, of others who have suffered hardship, in all of its forms, to overcome and work diligently to remain an  automous person and  productive citizen of my community.

How can a priviledged man, like Mitt Romey, pass on his vile and convoluted opinions about those who are not like him and dismiss them so readily? Is passing judgment and writing off an entire segment of the population part of what God, Christ and the Mormon Church has taught him?

Although I may not have reached my ultimate goal of walking full time and learning new job skills to become gainfully employed, I have taken full responsibility for my life. As I continue down my path I am constantly seeking ways to better my life and lift any burden of responsibility from my family and friends.

There are many other people in the disabled community who have overcome even greater obstacles than mine, risen above their disabilities and achieved great feats. Do you think they view themselves as victims?

When you suffer a debilitating loss, it is important to retain your personal dignity. It seems unfair, unjust and wrong for another individual, or group of individuals to attempt to rob you of the dignity and the accomplishments you have worked so hard to retain and achieve.

I saw Ann Romney commenting about how hard it has been for she and Mitt to be subjected to the rigors of political life, exposing every aspect of their personal lives to public scrunity. Guess what Governor and Mrs. Romney, I have a difficult time identifying with your version of how difficult your lives have been.

It is difficult for me to walk in your shoes because I have no feet or legs and yet I persevere, remain optimistic about the future and take responsibility for my life.

*To leave a comment hit the comment area below, to contact me personally write me at:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

I received a letter from MediCare on August 27 stating I had reached $1700 of the$1880 allotment for physical therapy for the calendar year 2012.

I realize I have received a great deal of physical therapy at an extremely high monetary cost, but what was so disheartening was that this newly imposed cap on physical therapy was done retroactively. In other words, had we, my physical therapist and myself, known at the beginning of this year that there was a cap on the coverage, we would have spaced the PT sessions appropriately, thus spreading them out to last the entire year.

As of the writing of this blog entry I have no more physical therapy until January 2013, if then. Bear in mind I have been going to PT for way over a year continuously and have become somewhat dependent upon it.

I did not begin this blog segment to start a complaint session about the pitfalls of our MediCare system, but rather I wanted to explain to my readers that when you are in a situation similar to mine and have been going to PT at least once a week for over a year, you become accustomed to going.

It may sound strange to some people that you would look forward to physical therapy, but I in fact do look forward to it. I look forward to it for many reasons.

First and foremost it has helped me tremendously to regain my strength and put in place the necessary tools needed to learn to walk again.

Secondly, the encouragement and advice I received at PT made me feel good about myself and my accomplishments. As I have stated in previous blog passages, I have developed very special relationships  not only with my physical therapist, Chris, but also everyone in the physical therapy department from the receptionists Akella and Eddie Mae to the supervisor, Chuck.

I suppose a person could have treated PT as a way of reaching a goal, but it was so much more than that to me. I feel I took a situation that some could have chosen to dread and turned it into a fun and funny endeavor, laughing, joking, having fun and at the same time learning and also helping to teach others.

My weekly visits to PT became a part of my life's routine. I have developed relationships with a lot of people at PT and I know they looked forward to seeing me as much as I looked forward to seeing them.

I will probably return to physical therapy in 2013 periodically to have my progress monitored and I am happy about that.

One of the regrettable things about having a good attitude toward medical treatments and developing relationships with those who are helping you, is that inevitably it must come to an end. If I were honest with myself, I could have cut back on PT a while ago but I became dependent upon going, getting out of the house, and surrounding myself with people I grew to love and appreciate.

I am happy and thankful that I have met so many wonderful people through my experience as out patient at Rush University Medical Center's Physical Therapy Department.

I hope I have touched the lives of those whom I have had the peasure of interacting with as much as they have touched my life.

By the way, Chris you still have not written the guest blog spot you promised me you would. I am sure you will get to it.

Heartfelt thanks and love to those at the Physical Therapy Department at Rush.
Love, Glenn

*To post a comment click the comments button below, to contact to me personally write to me at:


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Finding a Roommate

I have been trying to find a roommate for the last three months. I don't know why it has been so difficult.

When I first began searching for someone to help share living expenses I never dreamt it would be such a arduous task. I joined a couple of roommate search websites, they proved futile. Even though they advertise to be free, the only thing that is free is posting the ad itself. After that, in order to respond to an interested party you had to purchase the "premium membership" which cost thirty dollars.

I paid  the premium membership fee for a month on two different websites. I never had one response that led to a face to face meeting to view my condo. I reluctantly decided to try Craigslist, much to my surprise I have received more responses from that than from either pay as you go website.

Nevertheless, nothing has actually worked out as far as finding a suitable roommate.Of course it should go without saying I have had endless attempted scam artists trying their best to bilk me out of money. It saddens me to know that dishonest people put so much time and energy into these elaborate scams to try to cheat honest people out of their money.  What is even sadder is that they sometimes succeed in cheating some people, who are more trusting than I, despite my reputation that has been described as a Pollyanna.

When I first began placing my "roommate wanted" ad on Craigslist, I felt compelled to disclose that I was disabled, a wheelchair user. I felt I was being honest and upfront about myself and I didn't want to be deceitful or misleading. After talking to several people, it was determined that I was revealing too much information too quickly.

After all, I wouldn't put in the ad that I was 500 pounds overweight, even if I really were, nor would I put that I was Africian American or that I wore glasses, why then would I put that I was disabled?

I decided the right time to mention my disability was after a person has expressed a real interest in viewing my condo, before they actually arrived at my doorstep. My sister advised she would never verbally tell them, she would simply open the door seated in a wheelchair.

As the three months have gone by, I have had six or eight face to face meetings with prospective roommates none of these have worked out for various reasons. I have begun to wonder if my disability has hindered my success in finding a roommate.

I understand that people might have the misconception that I am looking for a roommate/caretaker. I have tried to reassure people I was simply looking for a suitable roommate to help share living expenses, nothing less, nothing more. I have explained I have a personal assistant that works for me three days a week, who assists me in doing things I am no longer able to do myself.

Perhaps I am fooling myself by feeling as if I do not look or act like a helpless person, dependent upon others for everything in my life. I feel as if I look healthy, strong, not overweight, and in good shape, all things considered.

I have been trying to put myself in the prospective roommate's position as best I can. I wonder if a younger person, whose life experiences have not yet revealed the pitfalls that life can present, who still feels invinicible and immuned to physical casualities, would want to be roommates with someone who has physical issues?

I wonder would I have been willing to "deal with" a disabled person when I myself was not  physically disabled, young and healthy, I am not sure.

Am I crazy to think this whole disability and wheelchair thing has a stigma attached to it that is hindering me from finding a roommate? Do some people not want to face another person who has suffered a debilitating loss, perhaps because it forces them to face their own human vunerability?

I think about my beautiful condo, the price I am asking, and the location, which seem to be on target with every other ad I have reviewed on Craigslist and I cannot help but wonder what, if any, my disability has played in my search for a roommate.

I know eventually I will find the right person but it sure has been tough so far. What do you think have I gone off the deep end?

*To leave a comment , hit the comments word below, to contact to me personally write me at:  



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Climbing the Ladder Figuratively

Some people, including myself, never seem to cut themselves any slack. In an attempt to accomplish and gain more, we sometimes forget to take a step back and examine our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, Chris, my physical therapist, said that she was thinking about me and what I was able to do after the loss of my second leg in January 2011. What she was really referring to was the fact that after having lost both legs I was able and allowed to go immediately back home. She explained most people in that situation would have ended up in a nursing home, at least for a while.

I never really gave it much thought, I guess  because I never realized that the situation, at that time, was so precarious. It never dawned on me that I would not be going directly home from the hospital, isn't that what everyone does? Apparently not.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that even in my position, I still take some things for granted, have a tendency to be too self critical, and not allow myself to actually be proud of what I have accomplished, given my circumstances.

It is almost like walking a tight rope, or balancing on two prosthetic legs, to strike a compromise between accomplishment and complacency. I feel that if I become too satisified with the way things are, it will preclude me from accomplishing more. This is not all together true.

After reflecting upon this balance of accomplishment versus complacency, I realize you reach a point where you can and should give yourself credit for what has already been achieved regardless of whether or not you achieve more in the future.

Without playing into that old comparison game, we all tend to do from time to time, it is perfectly alright to take a breather and be proud of who you are and what you have done.

If we as individuals can look at our lives and feel any sense of attainment, we owe it to ourselves to acknowledge and appreciate what we have done, even if that means, in our own minds, we have not arrived at where we ultimately want to be.

Spending our lives being dissatisfied with what we have not yet completed can prevent us from realizing and being cognizant of what we have already done. It can become a futile merry-go-round robbing us of our well deserved happiness.

I sometimes forget how amazing it is that I am able to live on my own, drive my own car, and even climb stairs, without the benefit of either one of my legs. If these are not accomplishments,  than I have forgotten what accomplishment means.

I feel I have the type of personality that is always driven, I strive for a sense of accomplishment, always reaching for the next rung on the ladder, seeking to climb higher and higher.

Sometimes when we are climbing those rungs on the ladder of our life, we need to look down and see how far we have already climbed. Who knows we may learn to enjoy the view from this height, if not, we will climb higher.

The point is we need to stop and enjoy the view from where we are, be thankful and proud we were able to reach the point where we now find ourselves, and realize the long climb has already been worth it.

*If you would like to leave a comment, click the comment box below. To reach me personally, write to my email address: