Dear ones with a disability and their loved ones,
As one who had taught children with an IEP for years I owe you all an apology. I understood some of what you needed me to but other parts I HAD NO CLUE. I thought I did. But, now I know that I did not. Allow me to expound.
If I could go back in time prior to my accident I would have understood that you were trying. I always knew that you were, in manner of speaking, but I did not know how long and frustrating the paperwork trail was and the doctors search can take. I apologize for thinking that it must be easier than it seemed and for thinking that you were just making excuses. So often I heard people state that you did not seem to care and that you were not even trying. Who was I to judge you? Who were we to judge you? You, the ones who were in the middle of the battle. The battle to get the best care for your loved one or for yourself. You must have gone to doctor after doctor to just find one willing to fill out the paperwork. You must have seen doctors that looked at your records and told you that they could do nothing and did not even examine you. I know because I have. I have had those who we are supposed to be able to trust, lie to my face and tell me that the paperwork will be filled out in a manner in which I agree to. Then find the paperwork in my mailbox a few days later with statements that we had not agreed to and no attached paperwork. The one that came yesterday had never been sealed. Did the needed papers fall out? Who has my information? The list goes on and on.
Attorneys, the fees are exorbitant and what you get back in return is people who go to court with you and then quit the next day. (Mine did) Or how about the ones that tell you that they will get to your case when they can and that they are already missing their child’s game trying to just keep up with the caseloads that they have taken on. That is not our fault. That is not an adequate excuse when we are without an income for months, or years at a time to be able to afford the meds that we will be questioned about by those who sit on committees etc. I understand now why some of you had to cut meds in half or even choose to pay for only one med of the prescribed three. You needed to keep a roof over your heads and have food in the pantry. Free lunches and food handouts can only help so much.
I want to apologize to you for a system that seems to not care. One wherein you can ask them to dim the lights during a meeting for your loved ones eyes and then hear them complain that they are half brain dead from not being able to see. This comment alone stays with you for quite some time as you hear it in the light of one who has a loved one with dead brain cells who cannot see as they used to and never will again. Or how about the person in the hearing who you divulge your deepest concerns to that at the end of the meeting when time is almost up that asks, “What does any of that have to do with why we are meeting today?” Then they announce that it is time to wrap things up. In your mind you know even before the papers come that you lost again. You feel crushed. No more funds to live on for months to come and the paperwork will start all over again. Back to the doctors, calls to the lawyers and more. All costing money that you do not have.
I am so sorry that I treated you as I did. I am so sorry that the local schools I offered to go into to speak now did not even call me back. I cannot speak for you in their meetings but I can BLOG. I can fight and call the representatives and tell them that enough is enough. It is so hard to live with a disability but the feeling of being one nobody cares about is the worst to me. Know that I care. Know that God cares. I am here for you if you need a disabled retired teacher to talk to. I now get it. I now understand things that I never knew. Dear ones, you are loved. I am sorry. Keep on fighting for your rights. HUGZ
PS Thanks for letting me get that out. 🙂