Comments: 11
Murder by Death 3 years ago
I love this - congratulations! It sounds like you've found your groove. :)

Was your mom able to recover any of her nerve function in her hands? She sounds like a mighty powerful woman; you two must be so proud of each other.
So while she learned to use her hands better over the following 20-25 years, nerves grow back incredibly slowly so at most it would be noticed probably closest to her elbows (no feeling on the surface of her skin on her forearms, I believe she had at least some feeling on the surface by her elbows, basically deadest at her finger tips and a gradual increase going up her arms). Considering it wasn't an normal injury but inflammation and then dying off/withering away of inflamed nerves the damage from this bout was largely permanent (note: she had suffered a bout when she was a child, but that bout didn't really leave permanent damage, perhaps because of her age).

She could type and write and generally function with her hands, but had difficulty with motor control and grip strength due to the damaged nerves - hence my role as the pill bottle opener as a rather young child. She often didn't notice injury until she saw it - she couldn't feel the cuts and bruises. When we had goats she'd deal with the lack of grip strength by simply hooking her arms under their horns and steering them that way. Muscles in her hands and arms atrophied noticeably She went from someone who would go on bicycle tours of states and had a custom built road bike to someone who couldn't physically support herself on a traditional bicycle due to the load it forced on the hands and wrists.

She also had several other health issues, including Hep C (which was finally gotten under control in my late teens after TWO separate year-long treatments with Interferon). She died two and a half years ago, when she suffered a blood pressure spike while under anesthesia for a 'simple' surgery and a brain aneyurism burst.

She was known to a number of state legislators as a bit of a pain in the ass, but in quite a few cases, in a good way. Of course, I also know a few town governments (and quite a few landlords) who became less than a fan of hers b/c she would call them on failing to meet accessibility needs for their residents. I grew up hearing about the challenges and prejudices encountered, about landlords who would try not to rent their accessible apartments to disabled individuals, people she worked with to help get out of nursing homes and into independent living situations with aid support, and even about helping people fight for the right to chose death rather than indefinite prolongment on life support.
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Ah, I wasn't sure about the differences between inflammation and injury recovery; I have nerve damage from injury and know how slow that recovery can be, thanks for explaining that there is a difference. :)

Your mom was truly remarkable - and I'm a little jealous about the goats, lol. Your comment about the legislators and town governments made me laugh: my dad, in his last years, drove the Army Corps of Engineers crazy (in a mostly good way) trying to convince them that dredging the waterways in Florida was destroying the ecosystem. He'd laid out an alternative and championed it tirelessly before he passed on.

I think maybe we were lucky to have parents we could see as heroic. :)
When it comes down to it, there is a huge family of conditions classified as 'neuritis' - since really all the word means is 'inflammation of nerves' (from Mayo Clinic "More than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy have been identified, each with its own symptoms and prognosis. In general, peripheral neuropathies are classified according to the type of damage to the nerves"). So I also am at fault for speaking of it as a single condition.

In my mom's case it was triggered by a systemic infection/illness (I think it's triggered by viral, but I can't remember, I'll have to ask my aunt who has experienced a bout as an adult but one that left less damage). All I know is I have a number of physical indicators for congenital predisposition to the condition, but I've been lucky so far.

I think for many of us our parents are our heroes. It's been kind of humbling to discover that she managed to be a hero for other people as well, even though I knew her work literally saved lives. I actually have what I said at her funeral here:
Kitty Horror 3 years ago
Congrats, that's fantastic news. :)
Char's Horror Corner 3 years ago
Excellent news! Congratulations!

Thank you for sharing your experiences with your mom. It's weird if you think about how such things shape your life, isn't it? If your mom hadn't gone through what she did, how would your life be different now? I love that you're trying to bring attention to disabilities and how to bring about awareness of the real situations.
My life would be different, but some area of civil rights and diversity awareness would still probably be very present - I mean my mom is someone who (I learned this after she died from letters my god mother gave me) was accepted to law school but instead went to work for a solar company because ecology and making the world a better place mattered to her. She literally met my dad b/c of anti-nuke protest efforts.
She sounds like a truly remarkable person.
Char's Horror Corner 3 years ago
Themis-Athena has it right. She sounds truly remarkable.
Kudos to your mom, what an achievement in life ... and congrats to you for the offer!