What immediately comes to your mind when you see or hear that word? A wheelchair? Someone who is bedridden? Maybe blind? Or deaf? What about an amputee? Surely they are disabled.
What about me? I am a stay at home mom. I have a very active almost 4 year old son. Just a quick glance at me and you would think I was pretty normal. I’ve been married for almost 10 years to an amazing man.
I can drive.
I can see.
I can hear.
Yet I am “disabled.”
I looked up disability in my Synonym Finder (next to the Bible, my favorite book on the planet). Read these words, and tell me what images they convey. Incapacity. Unfitness. Impotence. Helplessness. Powerlessness.
Well, I say powerless no more! As many of you know who follow my blog, I have a neuromuscular disease called Myasthenia Gravis. It is rare. I may look completely normal to many people, except I do have a trach.
I can go to a store, be just fine walking in, and on the way out, need to use a cane. I’m not yet 40 years old.
I have frequent double vision, so sometimes I have to wear an eye patch…either that or go around winking at the whole world. The eye strain causes terrible headaches and exhaustion.
I am unable to work outside my home.
I live on a small farm and have 3 dogs and a child I am 100% responsible for when my husband is at work (and 75% responsible for when he’s home, but that IS getting better!), so I very definitely work at home. I am technically disabled. I worked my whole life up until I got sick, so I receive disability. I am fortunate that I can contribute to my family income.
But you know what? I. AM. NOT. POWERLESS.
Did you get that? Just want to make sure. I am NOT powerless. I am NOT helpless. I don’t want pity, and I don’t need you to feel sorry for me. I need you to understand. I need you to work with me. I need you to encourage me with the things you see me doing that I am good at.
I don’t need a lecture. Sometimes I just need someone to listen to me vent my frustrations when my body is betraying me yet again. I am the same person in my mind and in my heart that I have always been. My brain can’t seem to comprehend that my body isn’t cooperating!
And I’m glad. I will never completely accept this damn disease. I will fight it tooth and nail till the day I die. Will I take care of myself? Of course. Will I get my necessary medical treatments and take my medications? Surely.
But I will not lie down and let this disease claim my life! It has taken enough from me, and it will get no more. It will NOT get my laughter. It can NOT claim my sanity. It will NEVER steal my compassion. It can NOT abduct my faith. And I will NEVER give up HOPE.
Please check out the button on the very top of the right hand column of my blog. It will send you to a website called Bloggers Unite. Today we unite for the disabled. Today we take back our power. And you can make a difference. Please go to www.bloggersunite.org