March 31, 2018

I Am Ormi...My Life in a Nutshell.

What is my life like?
Well I live at the seashore and that's very cool. It's lovely. It's a privilege really and I do love it.
My home is very tiny. You know the kind of house with the old fashioned little closets with the 24
inch doors on them and room for 3 items on the rack? Yeah, that kind of house.
Getting dressed is a joke sometimes
but only sometimes
There is one bathroom that once accommodated 5 people, a small oddly laid out living room and 3 little bedrooms on a rather big piece of land surrounded by the bay, ocean and pine barren forests.

The other part of me is that I am over 85% disabled due to spinal problems.  My spine is held together with titanium and I can't lift, twist or bend over but as a bionic person I CAN leap tall buildings in a single bound and stop speeding freight trains with one look.
I was in a wheel chair for a few years but about 4 years ago I had spinal surgery to fix my spine.
It only cost nearly 2 million dollars :).
I spent two months in a rehabilitation center to work on walking and standing up etc. and now I am a pro and you can't tell I am disabled at all when I walk.

 But having a fused spine means when I drop something it stays dropped until someone rescues me. I
have reachers but they don't handle a lot of things. For books and larger items I lift them with a long handled dust pan. When I drop the reacher I have my own ways to pick it up with my feet.  I am resourceful!

a tiny disaster
To look at me you would not know that I am disabled and that brings its own problems as people expect more than I can deliver.  Dropping something in the stores can be devastatingly embarrassing as people look at me as if  "Why doesn't she pick it up?"
I used to just turn red, but, now, I ask for help and most people are very happy to help me out.
It also means I can't  get things off low shelves. At home I just pull things out and make a mess but you can't make messes in the store, they frown on that. ;)
Preppy barrel knot for shoes

Can't tie my shoes, so I use the preppy knot.

I can't vacuum a floor.  I can't lift much over 5 lbs, and you would be astonished to know how many times you twist your body in a day. Even  putting dishes from the sink to the counter requires a slight twist of the body. I have to completely turn my whole body to do it. Making a braid in the back of your hair requires a slight back bend I can't do. I can't get in and out of bed like you do either but its no big deal.
 I can't reach things in the bottom cabinet and reachers just really don't solve the problem most of the time.
I make up ways of course but they don't always work out either and little catastrophes happen.
I sort of pitch my  pots and pans into the cabinet.
A chair dragged over to the refrigerator helps me access my bottom freezer.
I can't put on my own socks and forget panty hose.. impossible! I do use a little tool for socks but most of the time I don't bother. Too much trouble.
I spend a lot of time in the day cleaning up my  messes and dropped items and spend a lot of time doing things you take for granted.
To get my linens or clothing out I have to use a chair  to reach the bottom drawers.
My bottom dresser drawers are pretty much useless to me.
But I survive and nicely too and my home is more orderly and clean than most able bodied people. It just takes me more time, that's all.

Able bodied people do not get the thrill and joy of finishing a job that took you an hour longer than most people only to have it all fall down on you and need to be done again! What fun! Well, not true really but it just seems it happens to me a lot.

I used to ice skate very well. I played baseball on a team throughout my  earlier life. I danced for 18 years. I rode horses and did barrel racing.  I was a sprinter and very fast too. I could do hurdles and used to leap over park benches on the way to school.   I walked miles with my kids to and from school.
I built my own driveway, digging it in and leveling it and the sidewalk too and I built my big pond, no small feat.  I loved the ocean and could surf and swim. Now I can't go into the surf as it's too rough for me. I was very athletic, very active.
One lady at physical therapy was crying and asked me what she was going to do now that her athletic life was over. I told her she'd have a whole new life open  up for her with a lot of character building, patience learning and a good sense of humor coming her way. She will find other things to do.
As Pamela says, windows open up.  I no longer wonder why people do or don't do things because I learned that you never know until you walk in their shoes!

This little cartoon is a joy for me since it shows my life in a nutshell and in an amusing way.
I am Ormi.. though I am not pink really and my nose is pretty small  and my ears are not so floppy.
But trying to do somethings makes me look like Ormi or a contestant on the old show Beat the Clock.
You know how that went right? Or you've seen it on YouTube. There were old episodes on a cable channel that I found lots of  fun.
"Contestant one, you have 60 seconds to lift this book and place it on the shelf using only your feet and you cannot twist or bend at all! NOW....GO!" 
I thought you might enjoy this peek into my life.  I laugh so hard when I see this because it is me! (only I am not as cute as Ormi)

Oh by the way, my insurance covered every single dollar of my surgery except for pain pills after I came home that cost me 40 Cents. Woo Hoo!


  1. Hi Annie, I really enjoyed your post today and getting to know you more. I am so glad you had insurance! I admire your positive look in life. I use to be quite active too but a few work injuries put a limit on activities. I just added a picture of a watercolor I did last year for Easter. I really enjoy illustrating my faith in my journaling Bible. Have a blessed Easter! Hugs

  2. Annie I really learned a lot more of the life of my friend today. What a beautiful positive outlook you have on your life. I'm so grateful to have you as a friend. I pray you and your family have a blessed Easter.

  3. You never cease to amaze me, Annie. And I LOVE Ormi! What I love about you is even though you have these physical limitations in your life, you have not allowed it to keep you from "living" your life...and you have found other very beautiful and positive ways to express yourself through painting, photography and writing. I always enjoy visiting with you here, and wish that we weren't so far apart, just up the coast a ways...I would love to sit and visit with you in person and take some art lessons! I understand your physical limitations to a certain degree, as I have also had a spinal fusion, but not to the extent that you have apparently. I also used to be more "athletic" (but again, not quite to the extreme you enjoyed), and now I tend to be rather clumsy and have to remind myself to pick up my feet when walking or else I trip on the dumbest little things and go splat on my face. I also have to be careful about bending, twisting and lifting, but again, not to the extreme you are experiencing. My heart goes out to you as you struggle through your days, and yet you seem to do it with grace and a peaceful heart. ANd your paintings...I am in awe of this gift you've been given. Thank you for being so transparent with us here today. I feel so honored to be your "friend', and I pray that God will continue to give you grace and comfort...and renewed strength and agility. Have a blessed and glorious Easter day. Thank you for being YOU.

  4. You never cease to amaze mentor marveled the other day at all the bad things (cancer, loosing a home to a EF 5 tornado , my husband's stroke, my son's open heart surgery, my numerous health issues etc) and she wondered how in the world I'm still standing. By God's grace....

    Thank you for sharing my friend.

  5. Annie, I really enjoyed learning more about your life. I suppose we adjust to whatever life throws at us. God gets us through. I do know how much the back can shut you down. Mine is not permanent, the chiropractor fixes me, but it has been hurt so badly before that I had trouble standing and walking. You are right, we just do not realize how much we depend on our back working for us. I am so glad insurance paid for your surgery!! Yay!!! Ormie is so cute!!
    Happy Easter sweet friend!

  6. Friends share personal trials with each other-for comfort,strength,understanding and prayers.
    Sending you all of the above,wrapped in love !
    Ormi is adorable !

  7. Thanks for sharing with us about your disability Annie. I remember (seems so long ago now) when I first started becoming disabled. It was a time of adjusting my thinking and learning how to survive in new ways. I admire you for figuring out how to do that in ways that work for you. It is difficult I know dealing with people who look at you and don't see any limitations but by God's grace He will help you through it. Happy Easter dear Annie and thank you so much for praying for my needs at this time. Hugs. xx

  8. Dear Annie, thank you ever so much for sharing about your life. One would never have guessed this simply by reading and enjoying your beautiful blog. It definitely has changed your life but you have made the best of it and that is what is so encouraging about reading this. You are an inspiration.


I love hearing your thoughts and your visits mean a lot to me.