I dislike the term “disabled” being applied to myself or others. I prefer “handicapped“: I am handicapped by architectural barriers or attitudes or income or my body. And, so, you may begin to see why I’ve called this the “Handicapper’s” Journey.
I’ve been a wheelchair user for more that 52 years – the result of Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive neuromuscular disease. That’s a long time no matter how ya slice it!
But, I am NOT disabled. My van became disabled (stopped working) and stranded me on the side of the road! I, and many like me, are differently-abled. Things which most people do rather easily, such as walk or lift, we need to find alternative ways of doing: we use machines, electronics and other aids to assist us. Perhaps you wear glasses. You are not disabled by your weak vision, you are handicapped — by your less than 20/20 vision! You use glasses or contact lenses to give you an opportunity to see better. And, I use a mobility aid (an electrically-powered wheelchair) to move around my apartment and outside it.
During my 62 years of life (thus far): I’ve won a baby contest, relocated from the West Coast to the East Coast, graduated from high school, got married (twice), fathered a daughter, welcomed 2 foster-daughters into our home, owned 2 houses, worked for the University of Delaware for 30 years 1 month, was nominated twice for Disabled Employee of the Year in the State of Delaware, operated several part-time businesses, and drove more than 750,000 miles (that’s equivalent to 30 times around the earth at the equator). And, while accomplishing all that, I’ve survived getting beaten-up, rather frequently by my younger brother, a hairline fracture with mild-concussion while intoxicated, and two bouts of pneumonia — The first was rather mild: hospitalized 10 days. The second was severe: MRSA pneumonia, following abdominal surgery, which kept me in ICU for weeks and in the hospital continuously for 3 1/2 months (feeding tube, tracheotomy, breathing machine and the whole-nine-yards)!
It is my hope that during your visit to my blog you can find something interesting or inspiring. Or, at the very least, will cause you to think about what is being said here!
Please feel free to comment, or not. Your choice! And, please return again 😎