[TAE] Spoonie Recap

Monday, August 22, 2016

So, over the last year and a half that I haven’t really been blogging, I’ve grown a lot as a person. However, that doesn’t change the realities I deal with every day.

As I’ve written about before, I’m a sufferer of chronic pain. My back is all but missing two discs, and those that are left are degenerating. In my body’s attempts to “fix” this, it’s grown bone spurs from the effected vertebrae, which grate together and cause even more pain. I have arthritis in my knees and hips, nerve damage and carpal tunnel in my hands, and of course I have a hormone deficiency which only makes my life more difficult on multiple levels.

I have high blood pressure, caused partially by my weight (and my spinal issues make it almost impossible to exercise, though I do what I can), and partially by stress and genetics. My degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis are both genetic as well. And while there are surgeries to replace the disks, they have unreasonably high possibilities of me ending up paralyzed. Not to mention that they’re cost-prohibitive. cervical_stenosis_pic

I also suffer from mild depression, something that can make it a bit harder to motivate me to do things like blog, or do art (beyond commissions – I’m always very driven to do commissions – but as a result, I don’t really get anything I want to do done), or even do seemingly simple things like clean the house.

I’m stuck in a situation where my body won’t let me do the things I need to do – simple things, like bending over to pick up something that falls on the floor, or twist to reach something behind me – due to pain. My wife, due to her strokes, isn’t medically allowed to bend over or do several other things due to it increasing her risk of stroke. She has her own issues from the damage she suffered from her three strokes and seventeen TIAs over the course of the last three years – not the least of which being that my once very outgoing and extroverted wife is dealing with social anxiety for the first time in her life.

However, I’ve been determined not to let these disabilities make me lose out on life. For six months, I worked regularly as a delivery driver for DoorDash. This involved a LOT of walking, and climbing stairs. For awhile, I could do it…then the job caused so much wear and tear on my car that I couldn’t continue with it. While it was good for me to be getting exercise and making money, the repairs to the car were astronomical and ended up putting us even deeper into debt. With that avenue of income cut off, I’ve been forced to fall back on my artwork commissions as my sole source of income – and I am just not that big of a name yet.

Now, I’m on a set work schedule. I spend six hours a day working – be it on books, blog posts, art commissions, or any other thing that comes my way that I can do to make a little cash, I work. But unlike DoorDash, that now means I’m sitting for six hours a day. This, and being unable to afford my pain and depression medications, has caused me to fall into a bit of a rut where I’ve stopped exercising and have gained back a lot of the weight I lost.

But I still have hope – a lot of hope, actually. There’s light on the horizon, if I can just get there, everything will be alright. In the mean time, I can only continue as I have been – keep on keeping on, as my father says. After all, even with all of this against us – I still have hope.

Hope strengthens, fear kills.

And I am not afraid.