Colleen’s Story: Part II – Marriage, Raising a Family & Going to Work
Colleen’s Story: Part II – Marriage, Raising a Family & Going to Work

Categories: Community Life, Employment, My Story

A photograph of Colleen Feldman and her daughter.

By Guest Blogger Colleen M. Feldman    

This is the second post in a three part series by Colleen M. Feldman, who contracted polio in 1941, just prior to her 13th birthday. In this post, she addresses her experiences in life as a wife and mother with a disability raising three children, and eventually entering the workforce. Mrs. Feldman brings a unique perspective to Disability.Blog, having lived with a disability more than 50 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. She is also the mother of Disability.gov’s Content Manager, Robert Goldstraw. 

At the age of 20, I married and subsequently, had three children. My generation of women didn’t seem to be motivated to enter the world of work, so I was reasonably content to be a housewife/homemaker. But when it came time for high school and college for my children, I began to think seriously about looking for a job.

At the age of 34, I went job hunting, and had my first of many experiences with employment discrimination. I would go to job interviews where it was openly talked about that the reason I wasn’t a “good fit” was because of my disability. I was bluntly rejected by two large companies. One personnel manager asked me, “Do you honestly think you could handle a job?” I clearly remember saying, “Do you honestly think I would waste my time being interviewed if I thought I couldn’t?” I was hurt and angry. I came home and furiously shampooed a rug on my hands and knees – that rug had never been so clean! 

I was advised to go to the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency for an interview and testing. Through VR, I was eventually hired by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. I worked in state government for 23 years and retired with a pension and good benefits. Yet even there, in a state government job, I experienced what I’d call harassment and discrimination by a supervisor. Things hadn’t changed much by 1980 it seems. One day, my supervisor asked me to pick up some heavy charts and medical records and bring them to her. After I did, and she said, in the presence of others, “I just wanted to see if you could do it.” I was so humiliated and embarrassed. Back then I don’t think many knew what, if any, actions could be taken when subjected to that kind of harassment and discrimination at work.

After the 1940s, I never once saw a doctor for polio again until the 1980s. I attended a meeting of people who had been living with polio for many years. It was held in the same hospital I had been in as a young girl. All sorts of medical professionals were there – doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and physical and occupational therapists. I walked out of that meeting and sat in the hallway as they discussed Post Polio Syndrome. Aggravated, I said, “There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with us, we’re just worn out from trying to act how you think is ’normal.’” Everyone within ear shot agreed with me. We pushed ourselves. I knew many people with polio from my three lengthy hospital stays, a social club and three years at a camp (Camp Greentop in Thurmont, MD) for children with disabilities. We were all considered “type A” and over achievers.

Throughout my 40s, I continued to work, but did not drive. One morning, I woke up to an announcement on the radio saying, “We excel at teaching older and disabled people how to drive.” I made an appointment with the company and the rest is history. I learned to drive with hand controls and continue to drive to this day at the age of 83. It’s a privilege and I am grateful that I am still able to drive, and for the technology that makes it possible.

To be continued….

(Check out Part I of the series.)

40 Responses to Colleen’s Story: Part II – Marriage, Raising a Family & Going to Work

  1. K.S. says:

    I just like the helpful info you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check back here regularly. Good luck!

  2. Glen says:

    I worked for the court itself for 4 years and was fired when I had a seizure. I have a severe tramatic brain injury. I cannot find an attorney to help me because they don’t want to go against the court itself.

    ANY HELP?

    • Disability.Blog Team says:

      Hi Glen. Have you contacted your state Protection and Advocacy Service (P&A). P&As provide individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness free assistance in making sure their rights to education, employment opportunities, health care and other services are not violated. Visit http://www.napas.org/en/ndrn-member-agencies.html and choose your state from the list on the right hand side to find contact information for your state’s P&A.

  3. M.Martin says:

    Great stories as far as how the system works. Do you have any stories regarding ADD in the workplace, Learning Disabilities in the workplace, and burnout of Professionals with graduate degrees and upper level positions in the workplace? If so, please send or post. Thank you very much.

    • Ritika says:

      Hey there! Well my oldest has Apraxia speech and motor so I just want to share what I have to go through and deal with. I try to stay positive but also have my venting moments like we all do at times. I’m just hoping that this helps anyone somehow in some way. I have heard of them, I get a lot actually so I just trash it. If people come across me then it was meant to be.

  4. Carol W. says:

    Hi Missy Colleen,

    I am disappointed in Frumpy’s comment. Until you know someone and their determination, that was an insensitive post. Missy Colleen unselfishly visited my mother in the hospital and assisted living. She is very alert, and has an able body and mind. She is a special person with as much life to live and give as God allows. Thank you Missy C. Love, Carol

  5. Nur M. says:

    Anything is possible with name of Lord, we believe that and I & my best want to work with the name of God.

    May God manage our job anywhere in the world. Amen.

    Ambassador Nur M.
    International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
    Bangladesh

  6. Philip F. says:

    I am presently married to a wonderful woman and have a 19 year old son.

    I was diagnosed at birth (1955) with Cerebral Palsy, which I’ve gotten as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain at birth. In 1960, I was brought to Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton, for schooling and various therapies. I’ve had Eye Surgery, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy. With the help of the Easter Seals, in cooperation with the school, I was discharged in 1967. Since my discharge, I have graduated from High School, graduated Vocational Technical School in Computers, graduated College in Computer Science. After which my employment history included worked in the computer room of Melrose High, subsidiary of Grumman Aerospace, Honeywell Information Systems, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Registration in Medicine and Lucent Technologies. I have been employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Board of Registration in Medicine) and was let go because they felt that I wasn’t working as quickly as they felt i should. I got laid-off from Lucent Technologies in 2002, they paid for me to go to school or Network Systems Administration with a 4.0 G.P.A. and I haven’t been able to find suitable employment in my field. Besides being over 50 years of age and having a physical disability, I still feel that companies still discriminate. It is sad that A.D.A. can’t prevent this from happening and allows individuals with disabilities and families to support to be employed in our respective fields.

  7. Philip F. says:

    I have been employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Board of Registration in Medicine) and was let go because they felt that I wasn’t working as quickly as they felt [I should]. I got laid-off from Lucent Technologies in 2002, they paid for me to go to school for Network Systems Administration with a 4.0 G.P.A. and I haven’t been able to find suitable employment in my field. I am at a point of contacting the Department of Justice A.D.A.

  8. Sophia says:

    To all of you you commented,

    Just to read all your stories is such an enlightment…I have wanted to communicate with other people that have a disability as I have, which is Epilepsy. It was not easy growing up with it.

    Yet as one of the ladies said, “You learn to endure,” and for me again as I have said, “Peace in my heart & soul.”

    I have one daughter that is so beautiful, and has a heart of gold, and I always read to her at night. Now she has a 4.0 gpa, 2 Masters degrees, and I am proud of her!

    Much Peace to all of you and thank you for letting me share my story. Most of all, Colleen, I really know what you are talking about. Life is hard, yet it is what we make of it.

    Sophia

  9. Sophia says:

    Hello Colleen,

    You have a brave story. I think all of us have a story to tell who have a disability. I was born with Epilepsy and it did not show up until 8th grade.
    I felt like you…what do I say, how do I tell people? My doctor did many tests on me. I had seizures that I did not even know of.

    I was beaten by my ex-husband, almost killed. The first child I had was born dead, from beatings, my daughter was born 2 years later. I was divorced, tired of running, sold my house, moved into an apartment. I was finally at peace, as you are now. I worked, but I was told I was slow, and laid off of every job. I finally was laid off [from my last job], then I retired.

    Now I also tried to collect Benefits because of a disability. I could not because I was told you had to have an arm, leg, etc. missing, then you can collect.
    I now live on Social Security, but do not have insurance. It is tough. However, my daughter has two Master degrees and a small job (not a teaching job). Yet we are not at peace.

    Colleen, the day I went back into my house after my divorce, I said to myself, “The Dove of Peace will always be on my shoulder & my daughters.” I guess what I am saying is it is not easy having a disability and not being able to collect what one is entitled to. I live my life Peacefully now, still taking medications. Hey, what can I say?

    Peace to you, Colleen.

  10. DELO says:

    As I read most of the comments, I feel your pain as if it is my own. In a society of social and political correctness, we still remain neutral in the mentality towards those we co-exist with, who suffer constantly with the physical and emotion pains of disabilities. As one who was always strong and fought for her rights when wronged for over 13 yrs, to plod 2 steps forward & 5 steps back against a psuedo Federal Employer of 28 yrs. with benefits & services through (OWCP), (OSHA), (EEOC) to win a few and lose a lot – my marriage of 12 yrs., my overall health, credit rating and finacial stability, my job, close relationship with my only child and most of my friends.

    I was laid off by my employer (where I was injured 3 times) after working there for over 25 yrs. The reason they laid me off was they could no longer find appropriate work to accomodate my limitations. This is after they transferred me from a clerical/technical position I was trained for to a laborer/custodian position working nights. The set me up for failure and got me injured again in the process.

    I was also chastised by my shift manager for taking a sick day in leiu of OWCP because I was scheduled to work in violation of my restrictions and I was unable to get anyone of accepting authority to speak to me before the end of my shift when the schedule was posted. My union rep suggested I turn in a leave request to cover the missed schedule in question, which is what I did. The manager called me to his office @ 2:00 am without representation and told me he would not give me sick leave for the time after the fact, he called me names, he was angry I was dumped on him, I should be someone else’s problem, etc, etc….

    I had a wonderful front line superviser who did his best to treat me right, but he would get punished when he got caught by the manager or one of his snithes. I filed EEOs and fought reassessments and disciplinary actions filed against me, along with missing time cards when I needed to punch in and elevators in locked mode when I had to report somewhere. I was constantly being watched by one of the snitches and has all of my cloch rings and door security entries and camera triggers reviewed as if I was a risk. This type of treatment started in 2001 and escalated through the time I was laid off.

    I am still technically employed and on w/c benefits, but I am at risk of losing those on a daily basis. I have had to hire a w/c attorney and file numerous appeals, as well as involve state and fed. senators. I had an OSHA case regarding the treatment I received before I was laid off as a laborer/custodian, but had to drop it last yr because it was probably going to jeopardize pending w/c cases. It shouldn’t have, but my employers attorneys painted it that way. Right after that, I had a nervous breakdown and began having tinninitis as well as trouble controlling my high blood pressure again. I first acquired high blood pressure after a 90 lb weight gain from meds and immobility from my first w/c knee injury 13 yrs ago, plus all the added anxiety. I later was able to loose 40lbs, but still was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

    Shortly after the breakdown, I began passing out and falling and it has been diagnosed as stress caused episodes, as well as the tinninitus. I have been very depressed and I haven’t been able to concentrate on my paperwork, nor do I have any desire to. I hate to say I have given up, but I just don’t care even though I have inportant w/c reports past due to complete & others to do. I just can’t seem to make myself move, I actually feel overwelmed and wonder if it is all worth it anymore. And of course the pain and little to no sleep is always my constant companion, it is the only conpanion that doesn’t desert me.

    While my job and job connected injuries/disabilities (both knees, right leg, and both hands/wrist) have been my biggest source of discrimination in the work force, they are not my only disabilities. In 2005 and again in 2008, I was in auto accidents that caused me perminate spine injuries to my neck, mid back and lumbar/sacral spine as well as my clavical. My neck (cervical spine) is the worst, however. I have to be treated by a pain management nuerologist on a monthly basis and I am on a lot of meds. In the past 2 yrs, I have had surgery 5 times (knee reconstruction, both hands, and cervical) and I do 5 hours of home rehab on all of the injuries a day.

    I know I am lucky compared to a lot of you, but I guess I have become weak. I used to be strong, but I feel beat up and alone and I just don’t think fighting is very healthy for me, especially when I hit the ceramic floor, embarrass my daughter, annoy others, go bankrupt, or have a heart attach……My next step is to file for disability retirement at 56 yrs old (wait forever) and go through Fed occupational rehab so I can be a greeter at Walmart. For what??

  11. Roxanne C. says:

    I want to say that I really appreciate your story. It is true that those of us with disabilities have to push ourselves to show the public that we are as human and capable as the so-called normal person. But my question is, “How do we know if anyone is normal?” Just because they can walk, don’t have seizures, don’t speak with a speech impediment, etc. does not mean they are normal.

    I lived with epilepsy since I was 6 months of age and now I am 55 years old. I was discriminated since I was old enough to work and/or drive, which was my teen years, because I had seizures. I was typing 90 wpm on an electric typewriter at 16 years of age and no one would hire me. When I went to take my Driver’s Exam the officer asked me, “Do you take medication?” After I told him yes, he handed my the packet to take my test. I handed it back to him and after he graded it, it was then that I found out that Ohio had “Restriction Laws” on people with epilepsy. At that time a person had to go for one year without a seizure before they could get their license. I am sorry to say, but I went off on the officer because he knew of the restrictions prior to his handing me the test.

    In 1976, my first job was at Frisch’s “Big Boy” Restaurant. I was given permission to stop whatever it was I was doing whenever I felt a seizure coming on and walk away so I could fight it off. However, after doing that the manager at the restaurant I was placed at fired me. Then it happened again in 1980 at a McDonald’s Restaurant. Again in 1986 when I applied for a job at a Nursing Home as a Nurses Aide. They hired me knowing of the epilepsy, but used it against me to fire me. This time I went to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and was told that I had a good case. However, after they interviewed the President of the nursing home, I was told that I did not have a case. It boils down to, if a company does not hire you because of your illness/disability, then it is discrimination. But if they hire you and then use it against you to fire you, then it is not discrimination. It is a way to avoid a liability suit. It is actually a “Catch 22″ sort of. This time there was an article in the Toledo Blade Newspaper, I was on four Toledo TV Stations, and there was an article in the Cleveland Plains Newspaper.

    It happened a total of seven between jobs and my driver’s license. Then it happened with insurance companies when I filed for a life insurance policy. I was actually told that I was a risk. If I wasn’t hearing that for jobs or driving, now I am hearing it for a life insurance policy. I am a risk, but they’ll give them to people who are addicts or alcoholics.

    In 1993, I was finally told that I qualified to go through the head surgery to have the epilepsy cut out. There were a total of five surgeries, three MRIs, two Electoencephalograms (EEG), visual field exams, Neuropsych Evaluations, Wescheler Exams (IQ), and many others. The good thing about it is it has been 19 years this May that I have not had a seizure, however, the discrimination continues.

    One thing good about being a person with a disability, it made me to be a fighter and a strong person. One thing I can say about those of us with a disability, “We are more able and kind hearted than a normal person.” We don’t take advantage of things/people because we know what it is about to have to fight just to make it in society. I can say we need to all stand together to show Society that we are human beings with feelings, too.

    • Sophia says:

      Hello,

      I am a lady with Epilepsy also. I know of the discrimanation that one goes through. I am 64 & still do not have a Drivers License.
      I know how to drive, yet the money for a car.

      I like you had seizures in restaurants, I was so embarassed. One thing that was good, my father (bless his soul) took me to the restaurant, we sat down to have coffee and the owner came up to me & said “I am also an Epileptic, so I do feel for you.” I had tears in my eyes, because finally one person knew, accepted me.

      It’s been a tough road, yet I am at peace, go swimming and am back at school.

      Peace to you, have a nice weekend.

      Sophia

    • Selim says:

      I’m commenting on behalf of unemployed veterans who have ventured out to start their own businesses. The Wounded Warrior Directory is a directory of almost 6000 Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses where the veteran owner has a disability that occured in the service to his or her country and deserves our support. Please help us in this mission to promote and support Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses by linking to Wounded Warriors Directory at VeteransDirectory.com and helping to promote this cause. Thank you for your support!

  12. William C. says:

    My stories are many – they show where I am in my life. My story starts in 1981. I am in good health…perfect. I am working out, doing p.t. (called the Rose Garden) on Paris island. I have a sharp pain in my back doing my over 100 sit-ups under 3 mins. I am taken to a doctor and put on light duty. It is weeks before I am back to even 1/2 where I was. Well, years go on and in 1985, I am working as a plant manager for data support systems. I am running it and we are short employees, so I am in the office 16 hours a day and working in the plant. I am running as fast as I can on the 20 ton punch press to get the back plates run because I am behind on an order. I’m set up with the steel right next to me. I just twist, get punch twist put down and repeat…I’m knocking them out fast. Then the old pain I felt in ’81 was nothing to how I feel now. I am on the ground…take 30 mins to get up. It is late and I’m in the plant alone. I end up fighting it like a 90 year old trying get out of bed. The owner of data support systems makes me go get back adjustments. I try, but nothing helps, it only gets worse. I go to UAB Birmingham by rescue squad ambulance. 3 teams see me. After the MRI, I’m asked, “How can you walk? You stopped taking lorset 10 and what was it you were doing last night sitting up?” I tell them I’m taking 3 a day and don’t know if I’m in my life or not, I’m medicated all the time. Well, then they tell me if I go under the knife, it’s 50/50 I’ll ever walk again. So I go home, fight this with working out, but the pain sometimes is unreal. I end up on worker’s comp.

    When this happened, I was doing kung-fu for many years, but being very careful in my movement, then going into over-drive. But after this, I get lazy, I’m not working out and become very overweight. In 1995, I’ve been urinating too much, always drinking, have cotton mouth. I stop at a Wal-Mart pharmacy. I’m told what’s wrong (diabetes). The guy tells me he called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I say “No, where is it? I’ll drive.” So on way out, I see apple juice on sale, 2 for one. I drink one down, a big bottle, and the other on the way. I wake up days later. I’m told I was in coma, given insulin ever hour. I say I don’t remember driving there. (I have a 60 inch sleeper white GMC Volvo and 53 ft. trailer). Well, I fight that.

    Years go by, then I’m told in 2001 I can’t get a physical to work, I should file for disability. So I go. I meet a woman at the window, she says to wait, then I go to the other window when I’m called. I remember her name, Mary. She reviews my read out, says come back in maybe 6 months. There are new policies that will get me more money. She says I would only get about $1,880 now. So I come back later. They tell me Mary retired. Well another interviewer, she goes over my read out and says I can get about $880. I say, “What?” She says I waited too long, my earnings show if I applied 6 month ago, I’d get more. Well, I lose everything waiting for my check.

    I go to doctors, they say they want me to get check ups, so I do, only to find out after I’m told to go in to get my heart checked that my heart is messed up- I have an enlarged valve, 40% right side, 60% left. 50% of my heart totally does not function. I’m told to get my life in order, make my will, but if I lose weight and try eating right, maybe I’ve got a few more years. I’m poor and I’m told chances of getting a heart for transplant are not good. Well, with my back hurting, diabetic, and having a heart condition, I move to the Philippines because with my little check, I can’t make it in the USA. Oh, and I’m told the medical care is not good here. Well, I’m still living, only 1 heart attack. People, it is good to be a hard worker, but not to work so hard you forget to take care of your health.

    • William C. says:

      It was the owner of the data support company that kept pushing me to do back adjustments to get me back to work…and I was told I have o- blood and that I’m too poor to get a heart or even get a transplant…[it will] not happen….and it’s 40% right side, 60% left with enlarged valve….50% of my heart totally does not function. Thank you for even posted it….even the part where I was fooled out of money I should of gotten!!

  13. Judith N. says:

    I do not have Polio or any other disability. I am physically and mentally fit. I got a BS degree and worked in the Medical Field for 40 years in 3 different states in this country. But I got treated like I was handicapped many times. I know how that felt, you feel like an outcast no matter what. The majority of the people think they can mistreat you, push you around when you can do the job as well as anyone. They humiliate you, strip you of your capabilites, see you as incompetent. I just want to let you all know that even those of us with no handicaps get this kind of treatment sometimes, unfortunately. Hopefully this disability act law existing will help some people with handicaps or disabilities. Now I am a caregiver of a mentally challenged sister and I am going through the same treatment wherever we go. Let’s hope for the best. All I can say is things could get better soon. Colleen’s adventures are exceptional, surreal. Thanks for sharing all that with us.

  14. A. Kocer says:

    I agree and share the same pain. So I am in the condition to be crossing the line. I have hope and patience and belief in the reality of life. Life goes on. Some 1% of humans using the power and trying to control the 99%, but nature is going to take care of them soon or later. History will tell, as the past told us.

  15. Gertrude says:

    Tears streamed my face as I read this heart-wrenching true-life story. I only became disabled a few months ago and was already retired, so I had only suspected the horrors of employment disabled persons contend with. This is a reflection of the callousness and discompassionate world we live in. The world is so ignorant that they can’t see Jesus working through us. Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. Our suffering is just about to end. The meek will inherit the earth! Praise be to our Lord and Saviour!

  16. Oliver I. says:

    Marriage is more blessed and full of love than any other things. I am going to meet my loving wife so we can enjoy our full love.

    • Sophia says:

      Oliver,

      I hope you have a happy life together. Maybe someday I will meet some nice man that will accept me for me.

      Good luck to you and much happiness to both of you.

      Sophia

  17. David K. says:

    I was in a logging accident in 1997. Broke my back at L1 and L2, crushed my spinal cord at the same place my back was broken. And my right leg from my ankle upwards a foot – the big bone was crushed so bad, they had to use an external fixator. Had to wear that thing for 3 years. My back healed in a years time, but my leg took longer to heal. Broke each rib bone twice, and wore a brace for that. Was always able to move my legs, which has amazed all of my doctors, even as of today – 15 years later. I am able to walk with the use of a cane and years of therapy, thank God. Just remember, after you are approved, it will take 2 years before you can get your money and medical assistance.

  18. Laurie Z. says:

    The world needs more empathy and better discrimination laws.

  19. Susantate T. says:

    Beautiful!!

  20. Sandra G. says:

    Those who have not suffered have no knowledge of what life is like for those of us with chronic pain and/or disability. Recently, I qualified for disability benefits. I was born with a significant disability but only now, at 60 years of age, have found help. If your disability is not immediately obvious to those around you, others believe you are just complaining too much. We smile on the outside so others won’t know. No one wants to be considered a whiner. When God gives you a challenge, you will learn to be strong or you won’t have a life worth living. Chronic pain is not what I would have chosen for myself, but I wouldn’t give anything for what it has taught me. My prayers are with all who suffer with chronic pain. God does have a plan for you!

    • BILL says:

      I know what you’re talking about. I was recently turned down and the letter I received was insulting. Find it hard to believe they even read my case.

  21. Ken says:

    Colleen,
    The more we learn about you, the more admiration we have for you. You have proven to yourself and to others that the determination to be an overcomer will take one far in life. Thanks for reminding us of that.

  22. Frumpy says:

    Your story is inspiring. However, with my little knowledge of your disability and your age, at the time your article was posted, I am hesitant to believe you should be on the road. It may behoove local government to place greater restrictions on drivers after a given age for the safety of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. I do hope you are not offended by my honesty. Good luck to you and God bless you, nevertheless.

    • Roxanne C. says:

      I have a few questions for you: a) Did you ever have to rely on people to take you anywhere and then have them throw it up in your face, including your own family? b) Did you ever have to walk miles as a child to a grocery story because your mother never learned how to drive and now suffer with shin splints and knee replacements? c) Did you ever have medical restrictions put on you to where you are not able to do anything? d) Would you rather have a person with polio, epilepsy, etc. drive or an alcoholic or a drug addict? Truthfully, I would rather a person that is handicapped drive than an alcoholic/addict. Until you actually go through these situations, you do not know what you are actually talking about.

    • Offended says:

      Prejudices like yours, Frumpy, are exactly what the folks with disabilities butt their heads against day after day. You have provided a perfect illustration of what we DON’T want to be!

  23. Maria P. says:

    Hi,
    I commend you for your courage and strength. May GOD Bless you. Unfortunately, my experience with the local VR services office (Rochester, NY) has not been successful in employing me at any company. I have been working with them for over 8 years without being able to get employed. Yes, they assisted in my education, but that’s where it ends.

  24. Manana G. says:

    I want to say how glad I am to hear about your strong steadfast soul and the power that has allowed you to be stronger than others. It is said that those whom GOD have exposed to tests he has also exposed to trust and love. I know something about how important it is to not surrender when you think it’s impossible to continue. When you pass one test (pass the line) and suddenly it is obvious that there are many more lines and that is life. Of course, I would prefer to be in the best health condition, but, for example, if I wasn’t in my past fisical condition – if my health allowed me each day to go to work – then I wouldn’t have had the chance to find the exclusive gift GOD has for me. It is hard to live in pain, especially when you’re forced to live in a place where a lot of people do not have sympathy or understanding, even after they have been fully informed about how incredibly hard your life is. You must be a really strongly, positive person, GOD save us, to not find yourself becoming very similar to them.

    And here is a point along the same lines, when you keep in your head and the middle of your heart what you have gone through all along, when you feel almost only pain, what helps you to understand is that you came to be free. It’s not so tragic anymore that you still have a disability or constant health condition, because you are now part of his plan – an indissoluble part.

    A lot of people do not understand how it’s possible to do work if you have a disability, they cannot understand what I mean by “pass the line.” When the pain we people with disabilities have only very rarely, for a while, disappears, only then we feel the difference of how it is without it. Because of this specific difference, this condition, we have determination as people with disabilities. But, unfortunately, people do not have our interest at heart, or need information. We who are forced to live our lives with this mark have a more difficult life when there are those who are so very impudently and aggressively trying to close the door. These are the lines through which we have to pass which don’t leave, even for a moment, the middle of our heart. Inside we have such a beautiful, amazing world that we are ready to share with all those who crossed those lines.

    Thank you,
    Manana

  25. Bob S. says:

    I really get this story. I grew up in the Polio years. Looking forward to more of her story.

  26. SHOUKTH A. says:

    Thanks

  27. Randall W. says:

    I have a sister that had to drop out of high school because of polio. That was in the 40s. She has never been able to get anything but meanial jobs because of her lack of education. She is 76 now and disabled and living on $777 a month. Her lot rent for her trailer is $400 a month. All because she had to quit high school because of polio and she was learning impared as a result of her lack of education when she needed it the most. She is now displaying the early signs of dementia and with her problems walking, it’s going to be very hard on her. I’ve done all I can, but I have to care for my 96 year old mother who has level 5 dementia, or alzheimers, and I’m disabled myself. I have inquired at several different departments of Medicare and can find no assistance anywhere. We cannot get any help through Social Services here locally, either. Please, if you know of any sections or divisions in Medicare/disabled persons that can extend any help, please let me know.

    • Sherran H. says:

      I don’t know where you live, but I have learned in the southeast where I reside, Disability Rights and Resources has been very beneficial to me and others who are disabled. See if you can find this resource possibly by contacting someone within the ADA. Social Services leaves little to be desired when needing assistance with the issues your sister has to deal with. Hopefully this will help.

    • David says:

      I don’t know of any level to help you, but this is what I know from personal experience. My wife had a stroke, and tried to get on SSI, and was turned down. She kept trying, and finally was told she had an appointment to see a doctor to be evaluated by a doctor that would report their findings. Did all of that, and was told she could still work. Our son got a lawyer, and told him what happened. Months went on, and she heard from them saying she would start receiving $XXX.
      She tried to tell them she would rather get disability instead of the money. They told her take it or leave it in so many words. Hope this helps you out. If and when you get approved, it still will take 2 years wait before you get your first check. Good luck…

  28. Jimmie E. says:

    I, myself, grieve also with you. I’m 57 years old. I feel down some stairs at work about 2 years ago or more, and have been trying to get disability, but I have too go through the ringer and maybe then I may get what I so deserve. Believe me, I feel for a lot of you also.