I have brown hair and brown eyes. I am short and a little overweight. I like dogs even though I have cats. My political beliefs lean towards liberal. I am Caucasian. I am a US citizen, born in Pennsylvania. I rarely get dressed up and hate wearing heels. I could go on but you have a fair idea of me from that description. Am I leaving anything out?
Oh. Yes. The dreaded "D" word. The word I try never to use. I am disabled. Why is that so hard for me to include? (As I write it my breath catches in my throat, I swallow, hard, my stomach clenches up.)
I hesitate whenever I fill out a form, any form, even medical. All the answers come easily: phone number, address, name, date of birth. Then the one that stumps me. 'Occupation' Oh no. I have to write disabled. There is no choice with the answer, but it is only very recently that I stopped putting the parenthetical extension,(at present).
An earlier post refers to the difficulty I have when talking about the pain. My fingers start to hesitate at the keys even as I write the words here.
Pain caused very weird things to happen. Brain surgery was for someone with tumors or something horrendous. It was an astonishment to me that 'only' pain brought the neurosurgeon into my hospital room and into my brain. Disabled also has its very specific niche, one that does not include the foreign invader into my life called trigeminal neuralgia, the face the only part of my body involved. Disabled means the body.
I discriminate not between mind and body but rather above the neck and below the neck. My disability does not stop me from walking, moving, or physically being able to do the things a body needs to do. It never has, not in the sense of inability to use my limbs and get around. My body always was ready to go. It was the face that said "No. there is a breeze, or cold, or wind, or rain, or, or, or." I think being 'able', absent the pain, has always made it harder to accept my inability to work and be a real participant in life.
I do not accept the pain. Not a day has gone by, not one in the 30 years and counting (except for the wonderful, fantastic 3 months when the first surgery worked and the pain was gone) where I have not awakened and expected that today is the day. No more pain, I can look for work, I can do anything. No, strike that. It is the day I can do everything.
Instead each day is another day I am disabled. Now that I have written it here maybe it will be easier to write it elsewhere.