Sunday, 28 June 2009

Dissed and Abled !

(revised version)

To echo the words of Bickenbach, ‘disability is actually a fluid and continuous condition which has no boundaries...the essence of the human condition...experienced by all at some point in our lives...disability is in fact ‘normal.’

'I can see you looking at me, but you need to be told that you can’t see?' AndromedaHeightz+

When I am, am I disabled?

I am not disabled in my arm chair watching the television (not that I particularly want to...I prefer to live outside of the box!),
I am not disabled when I write my university assignments on my laptop,(but, thank my stars, i've graduated now..."Yipee" more assignments on the Russian Revolution!),
I am not disabled when I read a book, or listen to a piece of music (whatever style it may be!),
I am not disabled when I take a shower, or when I brush my long hair,
I am not disabled when I cook my three children a meal or when I eat it,
I am not disabled because I walk very slowly and notice the cracks on the pavements.
I am not disabled because I have to sit down.

I am disabled when I’ve ticked the wrong box, on the vital but endless bureaucratic tree-killing forms we always have to fill,
I am considered disabled when my consultant says I can not care for myself 'properly'...'and your condition can affect your internal organs'?'(and I have a book of medication to fill in!)
I am disabled when I am told I will deteriorate as I get 'older'?
I am disabled when the lifts are out of order and my lecture is on the seventh floor?
I am disabled when the accessible toilet is locked and the key holder has gone to lunch!
I am disabled when you leave me to stand alone on the bus with no hand rails,
But you don't need to worry or look at the floor 'cause I have a stick i don't expect you to give up your seat either!
I am disabled when the shop floor has so many fixtures even spiderman would have a job to get round them,
I am disabled when you do not notice my stick or crutch and knock it out of my hand,
I am disabled when you ask my friends or children what is wrong with me?
I am disabled when you stare at me because the beeps have finished for me to cross the road!
I am disabled when you presume I cannot, before you ask if I can.
I am disabled when I stop being a person and start becoming a problem !!!

However, I am also not 'disabled'? when I use my walking stick because it is decorative and fashionable, so I use the turnstile to clock into the library and get stuck in it, and when I use my crutches and the barrier is opened for me?!

However, I am also not considered 'disabled' enough?!? because I can walk 'too' well some days, too many steps? and I don't fall?...and becauseI try to walk my kids to school instead of getting a Taxi (like I can afford one twice a day?)...confused ...I am!!! (please refer to the DLA forms!!!)

I take my medication because I am in pain and because I am I have an auto-immune disease!
I fall down because I loose my balance or because it’s just a bad day,
And if my painkillers don’t work, it’s because I pushed myself just too hard.

It is I believe, a predominantly 'non-disabled'? culture that labels what is 'disabled'? a aspect of our culture that is based on mostly outdated stereotypes, yet, one that readily conforms to its cultural norms.

Indeed an ever expanding Westernised culture replete with negative images reinforcing its norms and values for the human being to fit the box!!!.Maybe if we stopped taking on board the 'fear' that our media generates to sell things...we could learn to love ourselves a little more?

...and then we could maybe hate each other a little less...imagine how many wars we could have stopped if we could have spoken to each other (in such a multi-cultural society and country like 'ours'...why do we only; mainly; learn to speak English, French, Spanish and German in our mainstream schools? surely there are other languages we should take into consideration fisrt!!!...)

I believe our diversity is a natural condition that we need to welcome and embrace, and that ‘difference’ is simply a construction of ideology, not a state of reality, since we are all connected with the same life force flowing through our veins.

Hopefully our creativity can unite us...'I will plant a Woodland of Wish Trees to help our children to believe in themselves when we are gone' AndromedaHeightz+

Boring Medical Bit

Just incase anyone is wondering...I have an auto-immune arthritic diseases...rheumatoid arthritis; which I control with injections; unfortunately this condition is shared with psoriatic arthritis...which affects many of my joints (on the surface as a skin condition (plaque) and internally around the joint...which affects only 10% (lucky me!)of people who suffer with the skin disorder... (which I also control through various methods/medications).Unfortunately my right knee has become too damaged to repair now (over the years of dancing/tree climbing/falling...when I was alot younger!)...and has broken/loose pieces and worn bones...due to be sucked out (eewww!)

Due to the nature of these diseases; which I have encountered intermittently throughout my life (they are also hereditary my family too!...but you don't always know your family history, do you?)...the conditions are not easy to diagnose (it's taken many years for me!!!); especially if you are mostly in denial (like myself I suppose?) and you question the highly-educated (highly-paid) consultants on their methods (they don't know everything! you know!...and I reckon, it depends which pharmaceutical companies your health provder is friendly with/or not with (or can afford!)that can affect their judgement!)

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