You know I just wish people would think before they opened their mouths to speak.
Do I sound annoyed? Well yes, you could say that.
It’s been 18 months now since I had a bad accident on my bike in Vietnam. And I have been battling ACC this whole time to accept my claim for a cartilage tear in my knee. Now for those of you who don’t know what ACC is, it is an entitlement to all New Zealanders to treatment after an accident. Entitlement – not a gift that you have to prove yourself worthy of – an entitlement. ACC insists that my cartilage tear is degeneration. I have a letter from my surgeon saying I have no degeneration, I have photos of the inside of my knee taken after surgery to show it is a ‘perfect’ knee, and I fit into their own description of a sports induced trauma, but do you think that changes their mind? No. I have a lawyer battling them and I’ve had a trial hearing, but I still suffer constant pain while they deliberate and procrastinate.
Now 18 months is a long time for my other knee to take all my weight. Standing at the counter at work for 6 to 8 hours a day on one leg isn’t easy – try it and you will find out. If the frustration of ACC and the pain and discomfort of standing one legged for so long isn’t bad enough, I’ve just had 3 weeks of working, and standing one legged for 5 days a week instead of the usual 2, as a colleague is away. So the consequence of this is that my ‘good knee’ is now so strained and inflamed that is ‘burning’ and I cannot put any weight on it. So I have one knee with a cartilage tear that won’t support me, and the other knee is now so wrecked with pain that it won’t support me either. Now this is where the frustration really lies. I need to sit on a stool at the counter at work, use a walking stick to walk and pop Anti-inflammatories to cope with the pain, BUT I CAN ride my bike – very well in fact. Every doctor and specialist I’ve seen, even the emergency one I saw yesterday, all say “get on your bike”.
|Swellings and lumps and bumps all around my knees, and all my weight on one leg, t Rabbit Island beach.|
Now this is where I’m going mentally spare. Everyone sees a walking stick and I constantly get smart aleck comments. The one that grates the most is: “You won’t be able to ride your bike”. Then there’s the other stupid ones like: “Where’s your skis”, and “Don’t hit me”. Do they make stupid comments to older people with a walking stick? No they assume something is wrong, why don’t they assume the same with me?
And yes someone with a walking stick can ride a bike, can ride a bike really well, even if they can barely walk, what is more it is doctor’s orders to ride a bike. So think before you open your mouth.
And I challenge all of you to stand on one leg for 8 hours 5 days a week.