As I was sitting at home last night, I was thinking about my daughter and how I feel bad that I might be a burden to her as she grows up.
I’m 41 years old, but have the body of a 96 year old man. Along with my military disability I am now having trouble with my legs, thanks to Covid. When I got rid of Covid, the only issues I had was covid cough. Basically coughing non stop out of the blue. However, a week or so later, I began having issues with my legs. Pain from my hips to my feet along with numbness. Lately I have been having trouble walking up steps and being able to get out of the car or off the couch. I’ve read that people who have had covid are experiencing lose of motor skills. Then again, maybe it’s just a pinched nerve.
Back to my daughter. The best moment of my life so far has been the birth of my daughter. I envisioned playing ball with her. Holding her bike while she learns to ride. Staying up late to yell at her for not being home on time. Seeing her graduate high school. And having a father daughter dance at her wedding.
As i stated, last night I was thinking about all these things. If im in pain at 41, how will it be when im 60 and she’s 20? I say I’m sorry because I don’t know if I’ll be able to be the active dad that her friends might have. As a diabetic, I have my eyes and my feet to worry about. I can still dance with no feet (I dance like i don’t have feet now anyways lol) and I can dance without my sight. But how do you dance in a wheelchair? How unfair is it that she sees her friends dancing with their dads, while she dances and Im rolling around?
Please understand that I know I can be a great dad while in a wheelchair. But not being able to give her a great childhood because of a disability, makes me sad. I also understand that at this point, this is all an assumption. Hell, I will hopefully step on her toes during the father daughter dance.
I didn’t really give this much thought as a diabetic. Maybe it was me not taking it seriously, or maybe because i wasn’t showing any symptoms. But after Covid, this has really made me scared. Just the other day, my dad saw how hard it was for me to get off the couch as I was holding my daughter. What’s going to happen when she’s a 9 year old who falls and twist her ankle and I have to pick her up?
I know there are those who will say “at least she’ll have a dad”. That’s true, but what’s the point of having a car with a blown transmission. Yeah, having a car is nice but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t help much.
This Christmas I think meant more to me than any others in the past. Around 6 family members, along with myself, had Covid. Watching those around us get sick and knowing that the hospitals can’t help, was draining. And although we all felt like death, we pulled through. Being a diabetic, what scares me right now is that I have noticed my eyesight is worse after having Covid. As I said, we pulled through it, but I think we all know someone, whether it be family or friends that has experienced a loss of someone from Covid. We also have to remember our troops who are overseas right now missing their families, not knowing if there family is healthy or if their spouse is being faithful. 20 years ago this week, I called my then girlfriend who was also in the service, to wish her a Merry Christmas. Her mom answered and said she was in the hospital, recovering from her abortion. I should have a 20 year old son right now, but she went behind my back, 5 months pregnant and gave into her moms demands that she aborts it. So I know first hand how our troops overseas right now on this Christmas day are feeling and what kind of thoughts are going through their head about their loved ones back home. As I stated, this Christmas meant more to me because it made you realize that its not the presents around the tree, but the presence of those around you, is what matters.
“You get what you fucking deserve”- Joker
When I hear this dialog in the movie Joker, it totally makes sense. I think about those who are mentally ill that can’t get the help they need. Then, when they snap and kill themselves or others, people question what could have been done to stop this person. Well, for starters, better mental health facilities with qualified staff would work.
From my personal experience, the VA comes to mind. You have staff there that has not dealt with or been trained to handle people with PTSD or mental illness. Of course you have a few psychologist or therapist that understand it, but even then you are pushed out into the civil sector with people who have no life experiences or can’t relate to the patient. All they have is a piece of paper or two hanging in a frame on the wall showing that they can write a thesis.
Around the later part of 2000, as Security Forces, I was in a foxhole with another SF member on our post. Like most SF members do when guarding something, you do “one up, one down” which basically means one person sleeps while the other stays awake. Of course this is frowned upon, but when you are working 12 hours shifts in the dark, it tends to happen. Anyways, one night it was my partners turn to stay up while I slept. Well, I woke up to something tapping the back of my head. When I opened my eyes, my partner was staring at me wide eyed. Then I hear “Airman Gonzales, you are fkn dead.” The staff sergeant took my loaded m16 and stuck it to the back of my head. That was the tapping that woke me up. My stupid mfkn partner fell asleep after me and could have gotten us killed. From that day forward, I do not like when people are behind me. Someone from my civilian job once came up behind me and flicked the back of my neck. Mind you I already told my coworkers not to come up behind me, yet this dumb shit thought it would be a good idea. Well, I turned around, made a fist and told him that if he ever did that again that I would fkn kill him. His smile didn’t last long when he noticed I wasn’t playing. Now of course I wasn’t really going to kill him, but I really would have jaw jacked him if I didn’t think before I acted.
The VA set me up with a therapist on the outside and it didn’t go so well. When the person says “well Robert, you know you should have probably stayed awake” it doesn’t sit well with me. No shit sherlock, I’m glad you studied a college text book to tell me that. This is why the VA needs to attract more healthcare veterans to work at the VA. You want to be able to talk to someone who possibly had the same or similar experiences as yourself.
At least the VA pays for my sessions. Honestly, I saw what they charged the VA and couldn’t believe it. How can someone who is mentally ill and homeless or living paycheck to paycheck be expected to pay these crazy amounts? Of course you may have health insurance, but you are only allotted so many times per year. You see someone for 12 sessions because that’s is all you are allowed, but a 13th session could have been the session that prevented you from killing yourself that night.
The system is not set up to help you, it is set up to help itself. When you are denied being seen by a mental health professional because you are homeless, have no insurance, no money, no means of payment, well …you get what you fucking deserve.
In just a few hours, President Trump and Joe Biden will be center stage for the 1st Presidential debate of 2020. As of right now, here are a few things we know. For starters, Trump wants Biden to take a drug test. I’m not really sure why and I honestly don’t care if he is taking something. Second, Biden’s staff has asked that there be small breaks throughout the debate. That’s not a very good sign of Biden’s stamina or lack thereof. Third, Trump has asked that Biden not be able to use a teleprompter or a “hearing aid”. This should be a no brainer. I want to hear answers that are in the moment, from the actual candidate, not someone speaking into Biden’s ear piece. This reminds me of the bs that Hilary pulled in 2016. She was given the questions prior to the debates and still had her ass handed to her. At least she was being sneaky about it I guess.
I’m not a fan of Biden, however I feel bad for the guy. He is being used and probably doesn’t even realize it. I think we can agree that Biden’s mind is not all there and watching him give his interviews is embarrassing. You have a guy who seems to be going through early onset dementia and the Democratic party is using him to gain power. And are we to believe that he personally picked Kamala Harris? His family should be ashamed. They are making this man look like an idiot who can’t even recite the Pledge of Allegiance and it’s not even his fault.
Now what? Well, now it’s a waiting game. Trump is going to go in on Biden and not pull back. I think Biden’s group is going to have to do a lot of damage control and break out the Covid card for the 2nd debates.
Before I picked up my daughter from her moms house, I decided to go to the McDonald’s drive through and get her some nuggets and fries. My daughter is 16 months old and like any kid her age, is very picky.
Anyways I figured I’d just get myself the nuggets and fries and give her a few of mine. As I’m looking at the menu, I see they still have the happy meals. I say “still” because I know the fun police is trying to stop anything that may lead to obesity because of a toy in a bag. Stupid I know.
So i grab the happy meal and start to think of all the times my parents bought me and my sister one. If I had to lift a finger on one hand as to how many times, I’d still be making a fist. I honestly can not remember us ever getting happy meals. That’s besides the point i guess.
So I get my daughter, strap her in her car seat and we start our way back to my apartment. I look in the rear view mirror and see her little face staring out of the window. I reach in my bag and grab a fry to give to her. I reach back and i can see her little hand move up to grab it.
It’s like watching a fighter jet refuel while still in the air. The pilot must be thinking “steady…steady..”. Well that’s how it felt. I’m trying to make sure her little hand has a hold of this golden fry. With a little bit of movement, we have success.
Back to the happy meal. So we get home and i put her in her high chair, grab her the chocolate milk, the nuggets and the fries. She goes straight for the fries, which I don’t blame her…it was a good batch today. But then I pulled out the toy. The look on her face was as if she witnessed King Arthur pull Excalibur from the stone. Her face lit up with a smile and she started clapping. I pulled the Minions toy out of the plastic and handed it to her. Sure, I could have waited to give it to her, but why?
For those that don’t know me, I have always wanted kids. I didn’t get blessed with one until I was 39, so it was kind of a late start. As my friends are getting excited for their kids high school or even college graduation, I am getting excited about a happy meal.
Will she remember this happy meal? Of course not. And to be honest, I probably wont either. But right now at this moment in time, a small box with golden arches and a toy put a smile on both of our faces.
This morning I set up my equipment at my sisters house so I could record my niece announcing which college she was going to. Sitting across from me was a young lady who is taking the next step in her life. Wish she would have chosen a school closer to Chicago (only so my dad and i have a place to stay after the Blackhawks game) but she picked the one that was right for her. I have watched a little girl grow up to be a beautiful young woman. The memory I will always have of us is her sitting on my lap as i read her a book. As I sat there listening to her trying to get her words out, I thought about Chichi and listening to her talking gibberish. It’s basically listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher, wha wha wha wha wha. It’s kind of funny how my niece can do numerous news interviews for her winning state in wrestling, but can’t get out a college announcement. So now she will be on a new journey, one that I passed up to go to the military. I hope that she takes it all in and remembers that life is short. Make those friends, go to those parties, make stupid choices. But also get the job done. Get your education, be not only the best female wrestler the school has had, but be the best wrestler period. And just as I have told my other niece, fuck what other people think, do you.