Effectively Coping with Disabilities and Raising Awareness

Rudy Sims

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Related Topics: Disability Nexus

Disability Nexus: Article

How 1/10th of a second CAN change your whole life! (my story) Part two

an article written by Dave Breezy (A.K.A. Chairdozer)

Here’s what happened. My medical insurance on my motorcycle paid it’s maximum right up front, no problem. Progressive is awesome! My insurance through work, they balked at some stuff, paid some stuff, and refused some stuff outright, even though my doctors said I had to have it. And then there’s title 19. They will only pay the absolute minimum. Here’s an example of how they work. I’m in a wheelchair, with only one good arm, so I need a power wheelchair. They only wanted to pay for a manual wheelchair. What am I suppose to do, go around in circles all day?

And as far as long term disability, they pay 60% of my base net wage, minus what SSI. pays. So I get only about 50% of what I used to Take home, not earn, not counting overtime, holidays, ect. And then they take out taxes. And their idea of "long term" is 29 months! Then all we will have to live on is my S.S.I. I went from making so much per month to making 60% of that per month and when my "long term runs out we will be bringing in about 50% of my long term per month. So to make a long story short, I have many medical bills, a house I will soon loose because I’m falling behind on the payments, And my credit is ruined because of these medical bills, so I can’t even sell my house and get one we can afford.

To make matters worse, my home is an old Victorian home, 14 rooms, built in 1895. Not even close to handicapped accessible. Not to mention not energy efficient and way too big, Now that our kids have all grown up and started families of their own, We would like to be in a much smaller, more energy efficient home. We have done what we can through family, church donations, friends, ect. And I thank God for each and every one of them. But as it stands, when I loose my long term disability, which will happen soon, just my house payment with insurance & property tax, and my light bill will be more than we get each month! Leaving nothing for water, phone, groceries, trash, gas, ect.

I don’t know where to turn. I’ve worked hard all my life to have a place I could call my own. And now, because of an accident, I’m loosing it all! I’m 44 years old, I don’t want to go into a nursing home. I want to have a life, to be there to watch my grandkids grow up, to take them out for ice cream, ect. And there’s no reason I can’t, except I’ll soon have no place to live.

I never was one, even before my accident, that would shy away from someone handicapped. My take on life is we’re all people, If some people treated colored people the way they treat us (the handicapped), they would be up on charges. Besides, just because someone’s handicapped, doesn’t mean they might not be able to have a positive effect on my life. Maybe they know something that could help me. Maybe they could just be a good friend. Someone to talk to. Maybe the next time you pass a handicapped person, Instead of asking yourself what he / she is missing (what’s wrong with him / her), you should ask yourself, what am I missing out on?

All I ask is think about this, how can you affect the people that you pass by every day? You may not know it, but you do. The next time you see a handicapped individual, regardless what their handicap may be, treat them with the respect you would want. A 1/10th of a second CAN change your whole life! That’s all it takes. A 1/10th of a second and you too may join the "invisible minority". I never thought it would happen to me either. But it did! I tell people "I’m this way by (because of an) accident, you’re that way on purpose!"

More Stories By Rudy Sims

I am currently 31 years old I have a disability called cerebral palsy and I am in a wheelchair I was born with cerebral palsy and I have had three operations to try and manage it. My last operation went badly and I experienced very severe postoperative chronic pain for 10 years. I am doing great now and I want to help others with disabilities and chronic illnesses cope effectively with their conditions.