Understanding Challenges

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Chief Longwind Of The North

Aug 26, 2004
i;m opening this thread for all of us who experience physical challenges, due to afe, medical conditions, injury, ot whatever. This is the place where you can describe them, and help our younger, stronger members understand us a litrle better, and maybe avoid some of the mistakes we made, so tey don't have to make them, and suffer the same challenges.

This is not a thread to elicit sympathy, or to cry woe is me. It is a place to teach, and inform.

I';; start, and only describe my challenges that affect my ability to interact on DC.

First, eyesight.
About four years back, I developed cataracts on both eyes. I had them removed, and requested that I be far sighted (they put a lens i place of the part of they eye that's removed). At first, my eyesight was amazing. Everything was perfectly focused, and so bright and clear. The stars at night were bright, pin-points of light. And the illuminated sign at a gas station 3/4 of a mile away was easily readable. I was ecstatic.
Phase two - my retinas began to swell. I took the eye drops prescribed to reduce the selling. They did little, if anything. Then, there were shot put into each eye. again, they only helped a little. The right retina was permanently damaged, right in the center. I can clearly see things just to the right, lef, and up and down relative to dead center with that eye. The left eye is affected as well, but not as much. I see well enough to drive, but reading is more difficult as it relies on that dead center position to be properly focused.

The end result of this is that unless a word is flagged with a red underline, I sometimes don't see spelling mistakes.

The next hurdle - tactile sensation. Way back in 1953, I took a typing class in high school, and became a touch typist. I was fairly good at it, making few errors. My typing abilities, higher than normal vocabulary, and a natural aptitude with written skills served me well for most of my adult life. Then I had to have a fistula put into my left arm. During the surgery, a nerve was either damaged, or irritated to the point that I only have partial use, and partial sensation in the last two fingers of my left hand. I still touch-type with my right hand, but have to hunt and pack with left. This results in more typing errors still. I feel the fingers strike the keys, and my mind feels that i have typed what i wanted to type. Then I go back and look, and find that though I pressed the space bar, I didn't press it hard enough to create the required space between words, or there will be missing letters in a word, or adjacent letters on the keyboard. For instance, in the last sentence, I typed the word - though. After completing the sentence, I saw the underlined word. Looking closely at it, I had actually typed thought. Where the extra t came from, i have no idea. The word felt right when I typed it.

I enjoy tying fusing flies, some as small as size 28 (tiny little hooks). What used to take me ten minutes to tie, due to eyesight issues, now takes me thirty minutes. What use to take thirty minutes, now takes an hour. The same is true of my custom rod building. I expect all of my thread wraps to be perfect, and the guides to line up perfectly on the belly, or spine of the rod. I have to use good magnification for the thread wraps. I have to have someone with good eyes check the guide alignment before I wrap on the guides.

So, now you have a glimpse into my world. What caused these issues for me? First, lack of knowledge. All my life I tried to eat healthy meals. I used up energy like it was water over a waterfall. I ate large amounts of food a t each meal. If I didn't, I was so hungry that I was shaking by the time the next meal came. I thought orange juicer, and other fruit juices were healthy snaks, and consumed it like water. I ate highly processed flour products. Because I always included lots of meats, veggies, and dairy, I thought I was eating properly.

I am at least a quarter-blood Native American, chance for developing diabetes. And yep, about age 43, I was diagnosed with it. I learned more about nutrition. However, it's very easy to convince yourself that you deserve a little treat, because you've followed you diet restrictions so well.. And that treat, over time, becomes a daily ting. So that, coupled with extreme stress at the job, and at home, cause my blood sugar to skyrocket, which destroyed my kidneys. Hence the need for a fistula, and some retinal damage.

So, is apple pie a bad thing? It is if you eat it on Monday, followed by a cupcake or tow on Tuesday, followed by two glasses of juice on Wednesday, followed by...

So, take a lesson from my mistakes, so that you don't have the same challenges that I face.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Thank you for an interesting thread concerning your challenges, Chief. :)

My post is a bit of an "I enjoy my life" one and I Do Not recommend that anyone does as I do and have done.

Presently I'm 81 years old. Using family longevity history and my challenges, I figure I might be here for another year, maybe two or, I can be gone tomorrow.
I'm happy either way. :)
I have approx 25% of my heart not functioning properly. Heart surgery 20 years ago. I will not have surgery if my heart goes south again.
Approx 22% blockage in my carotid arteries. I will not have surgery if that worsens.
I am Type2 diabetic. My A1C is consistently below 7, my blood sugar consistently under 120.
My living will states, "No code blue". If it means artificial means to keep me alive, let me go.

I do not live as healthy a lifestyle as professional's recommend.
I still smoke, (65+ years) I love and eat sweets, I have never been consistent with exercise.

Despite all that, I am not an 81 year old mess. I get around well, I breath well and have no weight problems. I have a positive outlook on life, rarely become upset and, in general, live a happy, fulfilled life. I have been blessed with two wonderful wives (first wife passed @ 52) and much loved children, grand children and great grand children.

While I do not believe that others should do as I do, I have few life regrets.

To me, enjoying each day to its fullness, is key.

To all of you, living your life according to what you believe to be correct, is key.

Bless you all..


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