Thursday, October 18, 2007

Recurring Dreams/The Importance of Balance Function

For at least the past 15 years I've had a recurring dream
in that I am back in high school and I cannot find my
locker. There's more to the dream than that, but that's
basically it. Eventually I start to feel a bit panicky
because I cannot find my locker and I've looked and looked
all over the entire school for it. Just as I feel I'm
about to panic (which actually is something I've never
even felt in real life), I wake up.

The 2nd recurring dream I have has been happening for
about the past 8 years. I used to be extremely near-
sighted. About eight years ago I had Lasik surgery
and now my vision is better than 20/20. In the dream
that I keep having, I wake up in the morning and my
vision has gone back to the way it was before my surgery.
At first I'm fairly calm but then I start to realize
the gravity of the situation. When I start to feel
panicky, I wake up.

My 3rd recurring dream has just recently developed.
I enter my local grocery store and I'm in my manual
wheelchair. I immediately feel uncomfortable because
everyone is so much taller than me. I think to myself
"Where's my iBOT so that I can go into Balance?" My
body and my wheelchair start to shrink until I'm about
2 feet tall. I start to feel panicky because people
aren't seeing me because I'm so little. I'm afraid
everyone is going to trip over me. For some reason I
cannot leave the store and I when I feel like I'm about
to panic, I wake up.

I know why I have these dreams. I don't know if I'll
ever be able to rid myself of them. My point in
blogging about them here is to reiterate that the
Balance Function has had a huge impact in my life.
I'm scared that someday it will be taken away from
me.

It's funny how some people have no empathy about being
an adult person but living it at the level of less than
4 feet tall, while other people totally get it. That
stupid jerk, or jerks, at Medicare who say the iBOT
is a luxury, don't get it. Dean Kamen obviously gets
it. Most of my friends get it. When I first got my
iBOT, my friends would say things like, "That's so
awesome that you and I are eye level now!" Then there
are other people, who are by no means bad people, who
don't get it. Like at the party on Saturday, a friend
of a friend said to me, "It's neat that it balances
like that, but what is the purpose of it?" I told her
that mainly it is so I can have conversations with
an average standing adult eye to eye. I told her that
if I was in a regular wheelchair, I'd have everyone's
butts in my face right now. She said, "Oh" and still
had a confused look on her face. Two days ago I was at
the grocery store (in Balance) and a really nice older
man approached me and wanted to know how it was balancing.
After I explained it to him the best I could, he asked,
"And why would you want to be balancing on two wheels like
that?" I told him that it was partly so that I could reach
things better, but mostly it is so I can have a
conversation with him eye to eye. I saw a lightbulb
turn on in his head and he got a big smile and he said,
"I never thought about that before!"

Lets say that a person breaks into someone else's house
with the intention of robbing them. The owner of the
house has a baseball bat and decides to smash the robbers
knees with the bat. Will insurance pay for the robber to
have knee reconstructive surgery so that the man can go
back to his normal life eventually? Of course!!! Now
lets say a little girl gets run over by a drunk driver.
Her spinal cord is injured so badly that there is
absolutely no chance she will ever walk again. Does
insurance buy her a wheelchair that will allow her
to go up and down stairs and curbs, allow her to do
things like go on the beach, and allow her the ability
to put herself at a level that is much the same as the
rest of the world? No chance - being able to do those
things are considered a LUXURY.

I hope I don't come across as bitter. I'm really not
a bitter person. Or at least by my definition of the
word. Pissed off would be a better word to describe
the way I feel about insurance companies. This is
where you might be saying, "Yeah, well, lots of things
in life aren't fair." That's very true. But I'm not
going to just sit here quietly and let it happen. I
was raised to accept whatever life throws at me. That's
bullshit. Although I don't know what I can do to change
the current iBOT/insurance situation, at least I'm trying
to do something. True, it's only ranting about it right
now. Hopefully I will soon come up with a better plan.

7 comments:

rfbdorf said...

That's an excellent analogy (reconstructive knee surgery vs. iBOT)!

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Thanks Richard.

I don't know how much reconstructive knee surgery costs, but with rehab and all that, I bet insurance companies end up paying way more than $24,000.

Daniel said...

What is the $24,000 in reference to? I find your blog very insightful and look forward to reading more of your adventures. It's a shame that some people just don't get it.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Thanks Daniel. The $24,000 is in reference to the cost of the iBOT. ($23,900 to be exact!)

Anonymous said...

How many appeals did you go through with your insurance or are you on Medicare?? I am on my 5 appeal right now so we will see I'm am sure they will deny again.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

I only tried once. The people at IT told me that Medicare has not helped pay for the iBOT for anyone. I figured there was no point in appealing, but looking back, I suppose it wouldn't have hurt. I don't think Medicare will be paying for the iBOT for anyone anytime soon, but I'm sure you are doing a good thing by continuing to appeal.

Best wishes to you!

P said...

I am amazed that you only see yourself as ranting about it!

You are for one lighting to many lightbulbs mine included, and two you are raising awareness, and in my opion as humble as it may be counts for a lot.

By the way do you have a name for your friend yet? maybe looking at the comment on your next blog it should be Betty!