Hello there and welcome to my blog – Yelling at Tenzin.
I suppose it makes sense to begin with a bit of background and why this blog exists.
My name is Ross I am a disabled man.
I have a cat named Tenzin – and I yell at her.
In fact, I say the nastiest most horrible things you could think of.
But I say it in a sort of sweet voice and as my cat does not speak English she thinks I am being nice.
This blog is about my journey, about becoming a proud disabled person. It is my hope that sharing this will help others, and be good for me as well.
So let’s talk about my “Medical Status” for a bit.
I’m a 42 year old man that has always been a computer geek.
This means I was sedentary, and fat, and tended to view going outside or participating in sports as a punishment.
From birth until 2013 I didn’t have much happen to me that was medically significant, I mean I had the chicken pox and a few other things but nothing extraordinary.
Then I started to have sore back problems.
These rapidly escalated to shocking back pain and I couldn’t get out of bed.
I thought it was “standard middle aged guy back problems” but when I finally got an MRI I found out it was pretty serious. I found out I had herniated discs L3-L5 with free floating fragments. That is the most serious type of herniation and those pieces of disc floating around in the spinal column are kind of dangerous.
So they planned for immediate surgery so they could try and fix me.
It worked – sort of.
I was able to walk but I was left with a tingling feeling in my toes, I was numb.
Over the course of the next year my numbness and tingling increased – and to make a long story short I was eventually diagnosed with Neuropathy.
I started walking with a cane and dealing with a lot of ongoing chronic pain problems. My legs sort of randomly fail or cramp up or just stop working sometimes.
I was offered “western” painkiller meds but made a decision that I didn’t want to go that route as they really don’t work well long term. I’m still in my 40’s and I might live a long time.
Instead I eat a bunch of vitamins and herbs and spend time in chinatown getting acupuncture and moxibustion treatments.
So fast forward a year and my neuropathy keeps degrading and then moves to my other leg.
The best summary of what happened is that my spine problems “crushed” my nerves and while pressure was released surgically the damage done had been done.
I have neuropathy from the waist down and it is chronic/degenerative.
Today / Why this Blog is Here
So recently I switched from a cane to cuff crutches – and these days I am experiencing muscle paralysis – sometimes I can’t move my legs.
As my legs get less functional there is a good possibility I’ll be in a wheelchair soon.
I’m kind of freaked out about it – and I’ve spent the last few months in a bad emotional spot as I have begun the process of coming to terms with what is happening with my body.
I’ve had a lot of shame issues about being disabled. Apparently that’s normal but I still don’t quite understand it.
I think I’m mad and bitter at the world, but I’m really trying hard not to be.
I have so much to be grateful for, so many amazing blessings and so much happiness opportunity.
It is my hope that I can make a journey – that I can move forward and not be ashamed about my disability. I hope that sharing it with the world might help someone else with an acquired disability.
My cat is named after the Dalai Lama – Im a Tibetan Buddhist – her name is Tenzin.
I yell at her almost every day – in a quiet sweet voice. It makes me feel better.