Grant To Help Accident Disabled Woman Reinstate Oregon Drivers License
by Patricia Moulder
(Montevallo, Alabama, USA)
I am a 53-year-old woman who has done just about every type of job there is during my working life.
I've baked donuts and cleaned hotel rooms. I drove school busses and then big trucks. I drove a truck in the lower 48 states and also in Canada.
I've always been pretty much a tomboy. I grew up in an area of southern California where, back then, we had no sidewalks. We could ride our horses all over town and it was a very usual sight.
I am the youngest of four children. My brother and oldest sister are from my mother's first marriage, but never knew their father because they were very young when she married my dad.
My mom passed away in August of 1993 and my dad in October of 2006.
While all of us siblings are still alive we are not close enough in distance or in getting along to see each other, although my oldest half sister and I have always had a special connection and still talk almost every day.
Well I guess I would have to go as far back as the severe head injury I had when I was only four years old, back in 1963/64.
Both of my parents worked and we had a lot of livestock such as pigs, cows and horses as well as chickens for fresh eggs.
My grandmother lived with us and would take me out with her and she would fill all the watering troughs so that all my dad had to do was to feed all of them.
I was following her around with a stick between my legs pretending I was riding a horse.
We had two big old cast iron wash pots that were going to be filled and she was already filling the first one.
While she did that I was running around with my stick horse and somehow got my feet tangled up with the stick. I went flying face first onto the side of the other pot that was still less than half full.
When I hit the side, I hit right on the bridge of my nose and at an angle towards the inside of the pot. Since that one was not filled yet there was nothing at all to cushion my fall.
It broke my nose, but since I was so little, it didn't stop there. I just kept falling and tore my face so bad that the membrane that holds the fluid your eyeballs float in was torn as well.
They had to do plastic surgery or I would've gone blind. They also had to wire my mouth shut for six weeks. I was in surgery for eight hours and when they brought me out my whole head was wrapped in gauze bandages.
It wasn't until I was in my late twenties the doctor I had told me that was a severe head injury. He asked if my parents had ever had me checked for any permanent damage or symptoms.
He was more than a little surprised when I told him they hadn't.
I was a straight A student until middle school but was average and graduated from high school with all the same kids I had pretty much grown up with.
I was to find out later that my mom had some miscarriages before they tried a new hormone. With it, if she stayed in bed the last few months she could hopefully carry me to term.
I had to have a hysterectomy at 21 and found out many years later that literally 100% of the female babies born to the women that used that hormone were sterile and are actually called DES Daughters.
I also acquired a compression fracture from the fall when I was four. I am bipolar and was finally diagnosed when I was 40 years old.
I finally found out why I could never hold onto a job even though I never had any problem getting jobs.
I have COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and depression. These issues have made it very difficult to be stable and have any permanent things like residence and relationships.
The worst thing happened five years ago the 25th of this month.
I hurt my right shoulder in a bicycle accident about 10 or 11 years ago and I was finally going to be able to have surgery on it.
I got out of my car pretty much right outside the doors where I had to enter to get some pre-admission testing done before they scheduled the surgery.
What makes this kind of ironic is that the parking lot at this particular hospital is on a pretty steep incline.
I remember being relieved that they were having valet parking because they were doing some renovating and they were trying to help because it was very hard to find a parking spot close by.
I also don't like the severe heat here in Alabama and my cars A/C didn't work so before I got fully in front of my car I turned around to ask him to please leave my windows down because of that.
As I turned back around toward the double doors I really felt light headed and a bit dizzy but I just told myself surely I could make it.
Before I even made it two more steps, the next thing I remember is opening my eyes and seeing my left leg bent completely backwards at the knee. It was turned inward so far that my left toes were pointing up at my right armpit!
Then I just started screaming OMG, OMG, OMG! I screamed over and over, begging someone to help me.
Thank the Lord for that valet parking.
I don't know how I could have survived if I had been somewhere else when it happened because when it bent it so far it damaged the artery that goes up the back of your leg. They had to have a vascular surgeon repair that because they told me I could have bled out and died!
That scared me so bad. Little did I know at the time that I had just had a life changer of an accident and what was supposed to be two maybe three surgeries would end up being eight with two external fixation devices later.
And I would spend almost a year in a hospital bed in my living room literally trapped in my own home except for many painful trips to the doctor and the hospital for more surgeries.
I was not to put any weight at all on my left leg and my doctor told me that if I'd been an athlete this would've been a career ender.
Since my injury I have had no quality of life. I've gained over 100 pounds and I have no more self-esteem or confidence. I've always been a plus sized gal but this has got to get better.
I so wish I could pay my fines in Oregon so I could get my driver's license again. I want to be self-sufficient and not have to always be dependent on others any more for the most part.
The only way to describe my money issues would be that I don't have any. It's always because of not being able to hold a job long enough to be financially stable.
I've been homeless before. I was living in my car off and on while trying to scrape up enough for a motel for me and my two Schnauzers that I raised in my big truck when I was driving all over the country.
It's very hard being an ex driver of so many things because my license and driving record was the one thing in my life that I was the most proud of.
Now I can't even drive myself to the market or to a doctor's appointment.
I did have a car, a really dependable car that I was forced to sell to my nephew. I could not stay at my sister's unless I sold him my car.
I'm very grateful that I finally was approved for SSI after trying to get it for six years. That was in 2006.
Well I've done lots of things to try to make money.
When I was still living in Oregon I did a lot of collecting aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles. In the state of Oregon there's a five-cent deposit on all of those things.
I was on food stamps. That was and still is mainly how I'm able to buy groceries.
I've been on SSI since March of 2006 when I finally got approved after fighting for almost six years.
I've tried to make extra money online doing surveys and that's just terribly depressing and futile.
I am seeking a grant that will allow me to get my driver's license reinstated in Oregon and then to get my license here in Alabama.
Then I will need a dependable vehicle, probably used, but I've never had a brand new car. This would allow me to take myself every place I need go to become almost completely independent.
I feel like I don't have a life because I live outside the city in a very small town and have nothing to do but watch way too much TV.
I have not been able to even try to make any friends.
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