Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Living Disabled in the United States



People with disabilities should not be treated with scorn and forced into a life of poverty.
For my own part, there are still things I can do. They just aren't the things I could do before. 
That doesn't make me "lazy" or "lesser," although sometimes I do feel like I'm "less" because I can no longer carry cases of beer up multiple flights of stairs as I did when I was a bartender, or help patients with mobility impairments to the bed, their wheelchair, the toilet, and sometimes off the floor.
I can deliver stuff. Y'all fuckers need stuff delivered, right? 
I just can't lift heavy stuff or climb multiple flights of stairs.
I can do clerical work. I just can't do it 9 to 5. Working normal people hours literally puts me into a horrible state of clinical depression because my circadian rhythms are totally whackadoodie.
I need access to a bathroom because my medical conditions and some of the medications I take make me pee a lot.
Other than that, my disabled ass is ready, willing, and able to work.
Putting value judgments on the type of work I can do doesn't help either. 
I do it to myself, which doesn't help.
I am actually no less valuable as a human being working delivering food than I was working as a nurse.
Nursing may be a more "noble" profession, but us non-noble plebes serve a necessary purpose too.
Making us live in poverty for being ignoble against our will due to health problems (both physical and mental) is, in fact, the sign of a failed society.
Now, I would like to address chronic pain.
I have chronic pain. My pain is usually low-grade. It's all over my body, it's constant, and it makes me tired all the time. It isn't what causes the activity intolerance I've been experiencing for the past year, though. I've had low-grade chronic widespread pain since I hit puberty, which coincides with when my thyroid decided it was going to immolate itself from within.
The approximately two months I spent with chronic severe pain in my left arm were a different beast entirely. I would gladly have taken any kind of painkiller that someone had thrown my way. I couldn't sit up for more than about 45 minutes. Typing anything was hell. I had to lay on the arm to try and make it go to sleep. If I was lucky, I'd end up falling asleep too.
I can't imagine living with pain like that every day for the rest of my life. 
Fortunately for me, physical therapy helped and at this point I only have numbness and tingling in the arm. That will probably never resolve, but it's a good trade. At least I can function.
When we tell people who live with chronic severe pain that they're being dramatic or exhibiting "drug-seeking behavior," it shows how little the person saying such a thing understands. In fact, it says a lot more (and not anything very good) about the person making the statement than it does about the sufferer.

~Cie~


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