Author Topic: Living with a Disability  (Read 352 times)

Offline nfd2004

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Living with a Disability
« on: September 09, 2019, 09:03:09 AM »
 September 11, 2001, is the day that America was ATTACKED and so many families lost their friends and "loved one's". A day that changed the way we live today. A day that we all prayed together. A day that so many people became hero's as they helped their neighbors. A Day WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

 But also on that day, a great guy, who I would become good friends with became a paraplegic:
 
 He would never walk or use his hands again.
 He would be dependent on others to get him up and put him to bed.
 He needed someone to shave for him, brush his teeth, wash him up, even clean him and his dirty diaper.
 He even needed somebody to use the TV remote and change the TV channel for him or adjust the volume.

 Yet he always kept a smile and appreciated all the people who helped him in his daily life's basic needs.

 His name was Ray Hocking and Ray was a Viet Nam Combat Veteran. After his military service, Ray went to work for an electric utility company in California where he worked surrounded by high voltage lines, 300 feet up in the air.

 I got to meet Ray a year or two after a tragic accident in his home. He became totally paralyzed after a simple ground level fall in his home. He went to reach for a glass in his kitchen cabinet and somehow tripped and fell, breaking his back. When he fell, he couldn't feel anything and he told his wife, Sandy, "Call an ambulance, I think I just became another Steve Reyes" (referring to the movie actor that played Superman and one day fell off a horse, becoming paralyzed as well).

 When Ray fell he was brought to the local hospital and then transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital to treat him for his serious spinal cord injury. He was brought there on September 11, 2001 as the attack on America was going on. That hospital was also preparing for what they were expecting to receive the numerous LESS injured from New York City's World Trade Center Attack who would be brought in on trains. The Emergency Room was getting ready for a mass causality situation of which No One Showed Up. Ray would face emergency surgery, but was stable and would be put on hold for awhile.

 I would like to tell you Ray and Sandy Hockings story and how we became friends. As well as I learned to appreciate being able to wake up and care for myself without being dependent on others to do it for me.

 Along with Ray and Sandy's story, I would like to pass on others stories as well, who tell them through youtube videos. Some that I follow pretty regularly. 

 Ray passed away about 2 or 3 years ago. His wife Sandy has since remarried and is now living "happy again" in Florida. Ray had the highest respect for police and firefighters. Naturally, that was a topic that I sure enjoyed talking about. He would ask me about "The Job" and I would tell him about it and of course some of my buffing stories too.

 Sandy, only left his side to go to her job from 1:00 - 9:00 pm. Other than that, she stayed at the nursing home with Ray. Helping him no matter what time it was if he needed something. The only time she went home was in the morning to make her meals and clean up to go to work. She never slept in her own bed from the time Ray got hurt until the day he passed away.

 During their struggle, Sandy wrote a book called: "Split Second - Life Change".

 I hope to post some videos and stories of those who are living with a disability. Both the victims as well as those who live with them and never leave them (basically the HERO's that we DON'T hear about).

 I will NEVER FORGET 9/11 and I will NEVER FORGET, Ray and Sandy Hocking.   

 

Nycfire.net

Living with a Disability
« on: September 09, 2019, 09:03:09 AM »

Offline Signal73

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Re: Living with a Disability
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 09:12:08 AM »
Willy D asked me to post these





Remember to take it coming in

Offline nfd2004

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Re: Living with a Disability
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 09:37:08 AM »
Willy D asked me to post these






 THANK YOU VERY MUCH BRAD.

 The top photo is Ray Hocking. It was taken in February, 2013. Ray would control that motorized wheel chair using only his mouth. The bracket that holds it would sometimes move a little and would have to be readjusted. Otherwise, within a half inch off, Ray could NOT control that chair.

 The second photo is of the book that Sandy wrote. She wrote that while Ray was in the nursing home and told of how their lives changed in a split second. Whatever she made on it she used to buy Ray a handicap van so that on her days off, she could take Ray out or to a scheduled doctors appointment. Sometimes, Ray and I would go out in it. I'd pick up a Dunks Coffee for myself and him and go to the park. Of course I'd hold the cup while Ray sipped from a straw. I enjoyed going out there too. I'd have a scanner with me and if the rigs were on a run nearby, "we'd take it in".

 I miss him, but I have to believe that he is in a much better place these days.

 Rest in Peace Ray.

 Thanks again Brad for your help.

Offline nfd2004

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Re: Living with a Disability
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 09:36:06 AM »
 As most of us know, frequently some of us more senior members joke among each other about how we "forget" things these days. Some refer to it as "A Senior Moment". Well, the truth is, in reality for many families living with "Dementia" it is NO JOKE. It's a difficult sentence for the ones who care and love that person, be it a husband or a wife. It is also felt by their kids, their grandkids, and even work associates who spent many years together with them.

 Recently I was talking to TWO individuals that are in the beginning stages of Dementia. Two individuals that I have had the highest respect for. One being my 87 year old mother in law, and the other, a very well respected retired FDNY member.

 My 87 year old mother in law has always been healthy. Her and her husband raised Four Kids together, while both working fulltime jobs to support the family. They also owned and maintained a three family house they bought back in the 1950s.

 I met her when I met my future wife back in 1975, who I had been married to for 35 very HAPPY and Wonderful Years until she passed away back in 2011.

 Recently, in visiting and talking with my mother in law, she asked me if her daughter Helen, was working. I told her, "Helen passed away 8 years ago". She then got somewhat upset saying to me, "why didn't you tell me". I told her, "I did, you went to her funeral".

 When I left her that day, about 5 pm, her other daughter Chris, a RN Supervisor at a local hospital stopped by to see her mother. When Chris got there, the first thing her mother said to her was: 'Why didn't you tell me Helen died". But I had already told Chris about our conversation before she got there.

 Another individual who I had met a few years ago and considered to be a good friend, ask me if I could get his portable scanner checked out because it wasn't picking up anything. So I brought it to my brother who is a little more familiar with doing that than I am. When he checked it out, he found that there were No Channels programed in there.

 When I brought that scanner back to my friend, I told him there was nothing programmed in it, that's why he wasn't hearing anything. As I was leaving his house his wife told me that he was diagnosed in January with the first stages of Dementia. This guy was a well respected firefighter and he loved the job.

 It just doesn't seem fair. Why these people who were so good and helped so many people during their lives.

 Here is another similar story and there are thousands more like this.

      

Offline raybrag

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Re: Living with a Disability
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 01:58:21 PM »
You are totally correct, Willy.  Our next door neighbor about 25 years ago was a retired telephone company lineman. He was a helluva nice guy, but as he aged, his mind began to go.  One January morning, we had lost power due to a bad nor'easter that came through, leaving us with 8" of snow. My wife and I were huddled in our recliners in the family room, with the fireplace our only source of heat. Around 3 AM, I woke to put more logs on the fire, and looked out the window, there he was trudging down the street in his pajamas, with bare feet (it was 12 degrees).  I put on my boots, with a parka over my PJs, and went out to him.  "What are you doing, Cal" I asked him.  He said "checking for downed lines . . . this was a bad storm".  I gently took him back to the house, and we called his wife, who had slept through the whole thing. Unfortunately, shortly after this he had to go to a care facility. I just hope that I can avoid this sort of thing as I age.
Ray Braguglia
Newport News VA


Offline STAjo

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Re: Living with a Disability
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 04:11:21 PM »

 The Reason I returned to NY State after 10 Yr.s in St. Pete Beach, FL; was in response to my sister's
 frantic plea for help w/ our elderly and infirm Aunt Vivian who had a variety of Illnesses including Dementia. 
Vivian was 91 Yr.s Old when she passed and I spent the last couple of years of her life w/ her & my sister.
When Vivian was 82, she suffered a Hip Fracture and had successful surgery. However; during her Physical Re-hab
she insisted she had a 'a broken back' and refused to walk.
 My sister was a NY State Certified Nurse Aide at the time, and left her Nursing Home employment to attend
full-time to Aunt Viv. ( Against My Advice).
 After 2 Yr.s of caring for Vivian my sister called me in Fl. stating frantically that she could no longer care for Vivian alone
and needed my help. She told me she could not leave Vivian alone for more than 10 Min.s as she would become
hysterical screaming, often waking late at night/early A.M. screaming for help.

I told my sister, Mary, that I felt very badly for her, but was quite content living on the Gulf Coast. 'You don't
understand' I explained; 'I'm at The Beach'.
'No' she explained; You don't understand, Get On A Plane!'
Thus my presence here. Living with Vivian was an adventure with more episodes of drama than I can explain here.
 10 Days after Vivian died; and I was planning my return to the Land O' Sunshine, my sister had a Stroke, and I cared for her at home for a while. Mary now resides in a Nursing Home in Beacon, NY, as her Health worsened and she suffered another Stroke and a series of Mini-strokes, (CVA).
She's done well in Nursing Home Care, and I reside once again in NY.
I used to tell my friends in FL - "if I Never See Snow again; I'll Die a Happy Man'.
God Fell Off His Chair Laughing at That One; and as September turns to October in Binghamton, NY, I await
Snow any day now.   ;)