About Being Disabled

There are different kinds of disabilities, some more severe than others, but unless you have a disability, or more than one, you can't imagine what it is like.

Suddenly, after always taking care of yourself, and being able to come and go as you please, you find yourself dependent on others, and unable to do the things that you once considered "a Piece of cake". Little things like taking a walk to the corner, or walking around a grocery or department store. Things like being able to spend all day walking around the State Fair, or wading in the water at the beach. You find yourself unable to climb the flight of stairs that leads to a friends second floor apartment, or find you have to move to a home that is all on one floor because you can't climb the stairs to the second floor bedrooms.

These are little things to some, I know, but these are the things that I contend with everyday. I know that there are people who would love the chance to be able to walk, with or without the assistance of a cane, and that I should be grateful that I can still walk at all, but some days it is hard. The days when a friend says "Lets go shopping" or "Lets browse the mall". I can't do these things anymore. I love the beach and always have. I would like nothing better than to walk along the sand tossing pebbles into the surf, but it is very hard to maintian your balance with a can in the sand!

I guess what I am trying to say, is that we should all be a bit more sympathetic as to the needs and limitations of others. We never know what burdens they carry with them. To look at me, you would think that I am healthy and not at all limited as to what I can do. If you were to spend the day with me, you would see, by mid afternoon, that the pain in my legs from simply walking up and down the hall to the bathroom, or back and forth to the kitchen seven or eight times,has made me so that I am ready to cry or go to bed, just so the pain will stop.

When I go to Wal-Mart, ot the grocery stores and sit in one of the electric carts to do my shopping, I get the strangest looks from people. I am not a white haired little old lady, but none the less, I can't walk the stores. People assume that I am being lazy. It used to bother me, and it bothered me a lot. I got to the point where I wouldn't go to the stores at all. I would sit and wait in the car. Fortunately I have a very good husband who doesn't mind doing those things, but I was getting to the point where I was becoming a recluse. I never left the house because I couldn't get around. It was getting too comfortable to just sit and let others do all of the shopping and everything for me. It was hard for me to make myself get out and do for myself, but I am determined to do all that I can until I absolutely can't do it anymore!

I teach Sunday School, and I wouldn't give that up for all of the "tea in China" as my Mother used to say. I limp my way out of the church after mass, and down the ramp to the classroom. Children are much more understanding about these things than adults are, and they think nothing of it when I have a day, where I have to just sit, instead of walking around and helping them. They come to me to save me the walk, and smile just as sincerely when I help them from my desk as when I walk over to them.

I thank God everyday that I am still able to do the things that I can do, and pray that I will be able to do them for a long while to come. When the day comes that I can't do them, I pray that there will be someone there to help me out, and not make me feel like I am imposing on them for doing so.

So, think twice next time you see someone that looks perfectly healthy, parked in a handicapped spot, before you mutter under your breath that there is nothing wrong with them, or that they are too lazy to walk from the end of the parking lot. After you have thought twice, thank God that you are able to walk from whatever place you park in. Some of us wish that we could too!

Guestbook by GuestWorld