He sits in a wheelchair because of diabetes and he suffers from neuropathy of the legs and feet. He told me, “Doctors describe walking with neuropathy as walking on pins and needles, well they know nothing, it’s nothing like that and it’s pure pain!” As the 65 year old man continued, “I wasn’t always in a wheelchair, I used to work in the automotive industry.”
Gary Rupp is from Detroit, Michigan, but moved away about three months ago because the dying city got too expensive to call home. After a little research, Gary found one of the cheapest places to live was Chattanooga, Tennessee – so he made the move.
The costs of Living for Gary (Detroit Vs. Chattanooga):
Gary currently calls the ChattCity Motel on East 20th Street in Chattanooga his home. He has a room that he rents for about $300 monthly, which is cheaper than some of the dirtiest motels in Nashville, Memphis and even Murfreesboro.
In Detroit, utilities average about $115 per month in a small apartment and that small apartment in a middle class neighborhood costs about $530 per month. The small apartment is only 480 square feet in size, which is a studio apartment.
In Chattanooga, you can get the same apartment for $483 per month and utilities will cost you $94 per month or less.
While saving $68 monthly would not convince most people to move, when you start factoring in the cost of food in Tennessee verses Detroit, transportation costs, etc. – it actually makes sense for someone on a fixed income to make that move.
What happens with neuropathy of the legs?
Some of the things that neuropathy causes in the legs include: burning pain, freezing pain, jabbing feelings as if you are being stabbed, extreme sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination and muscle weakness or paralysis.
Laughter beats pain:
I feel it is important to say that Gary laughed three times as we talked. The first time when I handed him an ice cold bottle of water, the second when I handed him a package of Oreo cookies and the third as we joked at nothingness.
"Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain." - Charlie Chaplin, English comic actor, filmmaker, composer (1889-1977)