Wednesday, March 30, 2011

sports I could dig

I propose an addition to the Olympics sports roster: Disabled Parenting. Think about it. Have you ever tried to wrestle an eight-armed flying spaghetti monster (aka a 4-year-old boy) into clean clothes when your arms are numb and you can't move faster than a snail's pace? Or tried to catch said flying spaghetti monster before he bolts into a busy parking lot? (Canes make excellent arm extensions in that scenario, for the record.) Have you ever tried to keep up with a flock of social butterflies zooming in all directions, constantly making plans to be somewhere, doing something (aka a 6-year-old's desired social schedule) when you can't even add 2+2, much less drive, because you're so fuzzy-headed from medications and lack of sleep?

You could divide it up by activity and age range. Changing your baby's diaper with numb fingers? Go for the gold if you don't get poop on yourself, the baby, or the wall. (Well, yes, the baby already has poop on it, but imagine the possibilities if you don't corral those tiny hands and feet in time.) Shopping at the grocery store in an electric cart: the gold medal means you didn't run over your preschoolers (or anyone else moving erratically around you) even once. Bonus points for getting everything on your list. Getting children out the door for school on time, with their lunches and homework, and only using five spoons in the process? Definitely a gold medal performance. (Bonus points for getting the spoon reference.) Navigating the college search process with your teen, filling out paperwork, doing the college tours without crippling yourself or losing your sanity (hard enough when you're able-bodied!) -- that one should probably be considered a marathon event.

Winter events, hmm. That may be a whole 'nother post.

Friday, March 25, 2011

humor me

One of the funnier moments in my day has been coming here to post and completely forgetting what it was that I was going to post. I had it all thought out, had changed up the phrasing a few times, ironed out the wrinkles, added some sparkle . . . and it's gone. Ah well. Such is the life of the chronic pain wizard.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

what would you have done?

The definition of an awkward social situation:

Parking in the last handicap spot at your child's school and realizing that the parent parked in the handicap spot next to you is A) the parent of your child's best friend and B) not in possession of a handicap parking tag (nor is the parent handicapped).

Monday, March 14, 2011

let's play a game called "what they really mean"

Round Two of attempting to get approval for Social Security Disability benefits.

What they say:
We estimate that it will take about one hour to read the instructions, gather the facts, and answer the questions.

What they really mean:
We handed an able-bodied intern an espresso, a dossier containing a brief bio and two or three medical facts, and asked them to fill out the paperwork based on what they were given. It took him an hour, so that sounds good. We didn't take into account your potential disabilities and how they might affect your ability to write, your medications and how they might affect your ability to think, or how much paperwork 15 years of medical and job history can generate. We willfully ignored the fact that your average person won't keep every single piece of paper generated by said medical and job histories in one place, filed by date, just waiting for the day they become disabled and can experience the joy of losing their ability to provide for their family and filing appeal after appeal with Social Security to prove that multiple hospitalizations and the inability to function on a daily basis does in fact interfere with one's ability to work.

What they say:
We comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act.

What they really mean:
You should have seen the size of this sucker originally! The Postal Workers Union complained after receiving numerous reports of back injury (ironic, huh?) and we were forced to reduce the volume by half. To remain on good terms with your mail carrier, we generously offer the option of faxing your application in. Twenty-four pages at $2.00 per page (plus the animosity of everyone in line behind you) isn't too much of a burden, is it?

After photocopying the work history section with my answers from last time, since they haven't changed in the last five months, it only took me eight days to fill out the rest of the appeals application. I achieved a kind of regularity to my work, writing three or four answers before my hand cramped up. So really, I suppose I AM employable. I just need to find an office that requires a very slow writer who takes frequent breaks and finishes ten lines of writing a day. Yippee skippee!

Friday, March 4, 2011

irony revisited

Irony is taking medication that kills your appetite and also causes you to gain 30 pounds. Who the heck came up with that one?