vote chronic pain

Voting With Chronic Pain

Dear friends;

Greetings from my recliner and a heating pad!

Did you get to vote in the elections this week? My husband and I managed to get out and vote yesterday in spite of knowing that the lines would be long. And indeed, they were. When we arrived we saw a line that extended outside and through the filled parking lot. We figured as much since there were cars lining the streets as we approached. We decided to park in the school parking lot across the street and walk over.

As we walked onto the campus where the voting was taking place we were reminded of two years ago when the lines extended as far for the presidential election. Wow! It’s surprising, no not really with the political atmosphere we have been in for two years, but midterm elections are usually not that big of a deal.

Anyway, we were told by someone leaving that the wait would be 2.5 hours. We looked at each other and said, “We’ll never make it.” But we decided to give it a try and proceeded to the end of the long curving line that curved on and off the sidewalks and into the parking lot.

Big Mistake? ~ Getting Out to Vote

Here’s when we wondered if we made a big mistake by not taking advantage of early voting. But we don’t live anywhere near the city offices where they allow early voting and it meant a trip into the city to do it. So we took our chances. We did bring a bottle of water with us but my measly cane was not going to be enough to hold me up and my “senior” husband feared that he wouldn’t be able to stand in line that long either.

Voting can be enjoyable

At least there were friendly citizens around us and our chit-chat helped make the time go a bit quicker. Mike texted the children and they quickly offered to bring us water and a lawn chair but we declined. The line moved fast enough that having a chair would probably be more cumbersome than anything.

Finally, after about an hour, some officials came by and said that since I was disabled I could go to the front of the line, and my husband, too. This was very nice but I really felt bad about cutting in front of people that had been waiting all this time. They were kind enough but it just felt awkward.

There is help for the disabled

Anyway, we did get in and vote rather quickly after that. My knees and feet were glad that I didn’t have to stand any longer! When we arrived home, I crashed on the couch. My husband brought me some OTC painkillers, my neck pillow, and a blanket. (Crazy, I know. It was 80 some degrees outside but that blanket gives me so much comfort.) I slept for an hour or two and felt much better.

Later last night, when we got into our bath routine, I realized that the hour in the sun had given me a mild sunburn. That’s a fist in a long, long time. And today! Oh my goodness am I stiff. And my pure little derriere muscles are so sore. I did figure that I probably haven’t used those muscles to stand for an hour at a time. They say, after using new muscles the best thing to do it use them again so I took me a little walk around the neighborhood today.

For those who are in the same situation as me, I made myself a few notes for future Election Days.

1. Absentee voting. In Georgia, anyone can request a mail-in ballot. Just make sure you get it back to your county seat before the end of election day.  This is probably the easiest and best way to vote since it doesn’t involve leaving your home! Here’s the information for my home state of Georgia.

2. Early Voting. While this time, early voting still had an hour wait, it usually s a good option. Just be sure to register in advance and then go online to find the places and times to vote. It’s that easy.

3. A wheelchair or a walker with a seat. If you really want to be a little more involved and get out of your home, then maybe a walker with a seat would be helpful. There was a lady at the Elections office with one of the walkers, I thought that really would be a good thing to have stored in my car trunk for situations just as this. Depending on your need, these types of aids are sometimes covered by Medicare if your physician deems it necessary. We’ve talked before about having one of these in the trunk for situations like these. While I can walk about and sometimes may not need my cane to do so, I can suddenly have pain in my knee that makes walking quite difficult. Plus other time, I know in advance that the walking required for certain activities is too much for me and I will pay a dear cost after the fact.

4. One More thing.  Take some OTC pain meds BEFORE you leave the house. That way they can begin to work and maybe keep some of the pain at bay.

5. Ask when you arrive about Disability Assistance. Duh!

Mandy Farmer

 

Writer/Speaker sharing about how to make it through anything. I married a pastor with two boys who just lost their mom, I homeschooled my own children, led children’s ministries and women’s ministries in the church, and founded and led a homeschool support group. Had to give up much of this due to chronic pain. Like the Insurance, I know a lot because I’ve seen a lot.

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