Coleen Jones Writes: Blog #3 How Becoming Disabled Turned Me Into A Thief!

I appreciate that your time is valuable and precious, and I am very thankful for the time you spend with me reading my weekly blog on disabilities, aging and more. I also look forward to, and very much enjoy, constructive criticism, because this is one way to learn. I actually plan to learn one single new piece of information each day, so if you can help me that will be awesome!

Two topics I will bring up often, will likely be safety and security. A stroke victim with a seizure disorder, who is also currently dealing with severe sudden drops in blood sugar from diabetes, needs to have various safety plans lined up for just about anything that comes along, as she goes out and about by herself. My biggest safety zone is my cell phone, if I get in a situation I cannot handle, I can call my trusty hubby or 911 if necessary.

But here is how it really works! If I need help, I just ask whoever is around. On one of my first trips, I landed on a bit of grass next to an ugly rotten piece of sidewalk and got stuck. I tried the “stuck car” rule of going forward, then backward back and forth. No luck. I waved to a couple in a parking lot and they were very happy to help me out. I have a small grey pillow that sits under my left hand to try and relieve some of the pain in my hand. It blew off my chair and landed on the sidewalk. As quick as a wink a man stopped his truck and gave me my pillow. It was so hot this week I had to stop and ask a student to take my sweater off. There is always somebody around to give us a hand. Don’t forget that people who help us get a personal sense of satisfaction, because they have done a good deed.

The worst danger for me in my wheelchair, is of all things, a crosswalk. This blows me away! Too many people DO NOT stop at crosswalks. My suggestion is that when the walk light comes on, any walker or wheelchair should advance from the sidewalk to the edge of the crosswalk and wait until you are positive that whoever is in each lane has come to a full stop. This tip has, at the very least, saved me two trips to St Martha’s in September. If I had thought to publish this tip earlier my friend might not have been killed in a crosswalk on Hawthorne street a few years ago. But be aware that in the future, sometime, I will have an undercover RCMP Officer with me, and I am very serious about this. Thanks to the kind strangers who come to my rescue and help me have a great day.

When I start writing, I often have no idea what will come out. Writing a blog never entered my mind, until last month. I’m still in shock about my writing getting so much positive attention. Apparently having 3000 reads in 48 hours is phenomenal. It’s a gift I will gladly accept. I’ve also been told not to expect these numbers for the next weeks as they will likely go down. Logically though, if the people who read my last blogs keep reading and passing it around on Facebook, forwarding the blog name to e-mail lists and new readers take interest, why wouldn’t it grow? Is there a math problem here? Maybe my children can shed some light on this equation for me. I do not understand blog jargon and maybe never will, I can live with that. What I need is everyone’s help in getting our safety messages across the country, in any way we can. YOU have the power to get our messages out and save a life! Truly, at the moment I write this while watching the CTV news they are reporting on a woman dying from a crosswalk accident this very afternoon in Nova Scotia, That just blew me away!

I had always wanted to write a book called “One Mother’s Story”, but once again the “game of life” took over and said “do not pass go and do not collect $200”. Maybe a magazine article would suffice instead. Only time will tell, along with how long my index finger continues to work. Every day, for me, is a gift.

Speaking of gifts reminds me of the very special gift I gave myself while laying in a hospital bed in July, celebrating my 65th birthday, very sick and lonely. The gift I gave myself was the freedom to say whatever I wished, as long as I did not intentionally hurt anyone. Freedom at last!

Medicine has always been of great interest to me. From the time I could speak, all I wanted was to become a doctor. I remember studying my mother’s St. John’s Ambulance Home Nursing book. I will never forget the day in grade 12 when I told my mother my plan. She informed me “no” that would not be possible because all girls did was get married and have babies! Also one of my twin brothers who was, apparently, smarter than me, was scheduled to begin St. F.X. next fall. There was no money for both of us. In those days you did not talk back, so I was on my own. I did a business education program, and later did courses at St. Francis Xavier University, both served me well. I think my brother paid for all of his political science degree himself, as well. I can tell you though, that there was financial support for our kids in university and community college as well, as our son went to both. When our grandson was born so was his educational trust fund, to which we still contribute monthly.

Speaking of medicine brings me to the topic of drugs. Two things that will never, ever, be controlled are illegal drugs and guns. Take a moment to think about this. Then take another moment to think about how much money is spent on drug and gun control and with that include, medical costs involved with gun shots, drugs overdoses, etc.  Think what might happen if some of that money went to strong health care, especially mental health care which is integral to both. What are your thoughts? Am I delusional? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

One nice fall morning I took a trip to the Farmers Market. Just inside the barn door I spied a small beautiful green leather purse.  It just happened to be the same colour as my chair wheels. Could I ever be that lucky? But I wanted a bigger one so I just bought earrings, planning to come back next week and order one designed for me with a Velcro fastener.

That afternoon my nurse asked me why my purse was on the floor?  I responded “I don’t own a purse!” “Yes you do” she replied holding it up in the air. I turned and sure enough there was my envisioned green leather purse. My mouth fell open as I realized that a purse attached itself to my wheelchair and despite all the odds of rough sidewalks and roads made it all the way from the Farmers Market to the nursing home. This confirmed for me that I needed a purse like this to match my green wheels.

Next week I went again to the market returning the stolen small purse and ordered a larger one, which I now love and use. It was meant to be! I explained to Keith how without my knowledge the purse just attached itself to my chair, and that I had never stolen anything in my life until now! He looked at me, smiled, and said “I saw you going with the purse and decided that maybe you needed it more than I did!” I almost broke down. I hope I can get to know him better as I need more of these kind of people in my life. His company name is Lily Pond Designs. What caught my attention first was how professionally his display was arranged. I know that I will see him again to get some Christmas gifts and have a chat.

15 thoughts on “Coleen Jones Writes: Blog #3 How Becoming Disabled Turned Me Into A Thief!

  1. just enjoyed your 3rd blog gaining more knowledge all the time it’s about the little things we take for granite as able bodies which disable people find a struggle with and need a helping hand looking forward to next blog

  2. Coleen, you are truly amazing. I am so happy for you. Keep it up I enjoy your blogs.

  3. Thank you for writing. Reading reminds me of the joys of home, and time spent in your lovely home conversing with you and your husband en route to adventures in the basement and beyond with Christopher and our High School friends. My parents are minutes away from arriving to stay with us in Texas as their first grandchild is about to enter the world. I look forward to your next blog.

  4. Hey Coleen … I love reading your blog because it seems like we are having one of our chats. You are always so insightful and informative. I don’t really agree with your comment about not investing in gun control or illegal drug control. We have to keep both these killers out of our schools and communities. Have a good evening… untl next time. Jill

  5. Colleen once again thank you!! I look forward to reading and learning from your blog!! You truly have a gift!

  6. One if my favorite blogs so far, Colleen. You certainly have a talent for writing, keep it up. ❤

  7. Great inspiration. Thanks for the heads up concerning crosswalks, not only for those with disabilities but also for all drivers. So happy you are out and about, interacting with the community and sharing your experiences.

  8. Hi Colleen. I just came upon your blog, and want to add that I really enjoyed your stories. Looking forward to reading more. So glad to hear that your are feeling back to yourself . Hope to see you around in your “green wheelchair, and green purse”.

  9. Very well done, Coleen. Now that you have found your voice again; indeed, a voice that is more informed, more energized and more highly focused than it had been before your “darkest hour” of the six lost years, I would strongly encourage you to continue sharing your life experiences, your observations about current issues facing the elderly and those with disabilities, by way of your blog.
    For a variety of reasons including inability, fear of reprisals, feelings of inadequacy, social isolation, dementia, etc., many seniors and those who care about them and for them, do not voice their opinions about the challenges that seniors and people with disabilities face in their often unique and always very personal circumstances. But one fact in this regard is inescapable; unless we die young, we will undergo our own personal version of life’s journey toward the natural conclusion of ‘being’, described by the bard as, “not to be” ( Hamlet, act III, scene 1) .
    As we each make our way along life’s path, any kindness, empathy, understanding, love or time that we share with those who are in need of the same, will enhance the life experience of the giver more than that of he or she who was in need of someone to continue to recognize them as a person. Go girl, Go…

  10. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are wonderful! Thanks! gaaebdkcdcgfbead

  11. Great writing, Coleen – am enjoying your positive outlook in your blog. Maybe I can come for a visit next summer when I’m in Guysborough.

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