This is a post to THANK my neighbourhood for making my life so much better than they would ever know. Even though living in pain has its’ challenges, it has given me many rewards. It is important to recognize the good out of adversity.
This disability is invisible and difficult to understand. Lack of mobility presents problems in going out to dinner, shopping or parties. Aside from the Pain, having small kids prevents me from having the Sex in the City lifestyle I once enjoyed. Ah….I miss high heels and cocktail dresses.
I have lost family members and friends who either don’t know how to interact with me anymore or just don’t have the time to invest. This is not a complaint, it is just the way it is.
Pre-kids we had a very close core group of friends. Around the time of my injury, many of them moved all across North America, had children and/or just got really busy with their own lives. My husband was left without alot of people around for him to let of steam with. This neighbourhood has solved that problem.
In 2000, we were smart enough to buy this little bungalow in a neighbourhood; I would have never considered before. It is surrounded by a large Park and Golf Course; offering minimal traffic, a cute elementary school and 3 playgrounds. The financial, cultural and religious backgrounds are varied
The past few weeks have been brutal. I had crippling pain leaving me bed ridden, extremely depressed and stressed out. I had to try to get a last minute Dr.s appointment with my pain specialist. My husband couldn’t leave work that last minute and I still had to deal with the children.
This is what happened:
I had 15 people, at least, I could call to ask for help.
I only had to make 1 phone call. The first person I called was happy to help.
I asked the large network of women in the neighbourhood if they knew of a new GP for me. I got 14 names, phone numbers and address in approximately 2 hours. All, willing to give me a personal referral.
I have to miss a family trip to Chicago because of my situation and some people have been worried about me being alone. I know, I am safer here than anywhere else. At 3am, I could call any number of people and they would be there to help me, no matter what.
I have been physically unable to make school events. The women in the neighbourhood have filled that void. All have taken a personal and kind interest in my girls.
These people have listened patiently to my boring stories about my life. They haven’t given suggestions or ideas, just listened and said, “That Sucks”. Which, is all I really need. They have NEVER made me feel like I am a burden or a bore.
This network of people have either suffered from a bout of long term pain or know someone who does. They share stories about the struggles. Although I don’ t relish anyone else suffering, it has made me feel less alone.
My husband has a group of guy friends, who have given him alot of support, fun and humour over the past 6 years. Least of which was organizing and planning his 40th bday. They have been awesome.
When there are tests, appointments or am just too sick to cope, this community has taken my children overnight.
This neighbourhood is a small town in a big city. Here are a few other things this neighbourhood offers.
A Spring Fair – that involves the whole community
A group of guys create, maintain and utilize a skating rink
A group of parents organize a rotating sports program in the park 2 nights a week for the JK-Gr2 children
An annual street garage sale
Halloween is amazing
A group of Women called the Minoes, who network regarding business, social events, neighbourhood information and lots more.
A group for all the Men who network regarding; nights out, trips, sports and information
Too many other things to count
I know that it is hard to find the positive when living in constant Chronic Pain. Try to focus on the people who have surprised you. The random stranger that has held a door for you, the nurse that has smiled at you or the person who made you laugh when you really wanted to cry.
Even though I have lost decade long friendships, family relationships and can’t see everyone I want to, I have found some really awesme people too. So, Thank You to my neighbourhood, I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for all you have done for me and my family.
Kathleen Hogg provides new and/or existing business with Creative Design and Business Consulting Services.