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It's everything I want to tell people when they make small talk and profound talk, but I often can't. Sickness, sex, and the process of dealing with aging parents feel unspeakable and sometimes unreachable, but they sure aren't here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Disabled Professional

DSC_0890 Originally uploaded by dogseat.

I often feel like I am being chased by limitations and shoved up against a wall by others. I'm a disabled professional. I realize that the politically correct way of expressing membership in this group is “person with disability” instead of “disabled person,” which is called (I believe) “person first” language. Likewise, I’m guessing that I should be saying “professional with a disability,” but that is not my reality. So I'm not doing it that way. Miss Confuckinggeniality I am not. My reality is that my disability comes first, no matter how strong my will or how powerful the medicine. Work, family, and fun all come second. My body has to be functional first to have access to any of those wonderful things, and even then, there still has to be a good deal of flexibility. I’m a disabled professional. That word order perfectly encapsulates what I experience in a day, a week, a year, etc. Yesterday was Wednesday. By the time I came home that afternoon, I realized that I had been in three different hospitals for three different things that week already, and I was headed out the door again for daily physical therapy that helps to maintain my weight and strength and to keep me off a walker. These events don’t make for a 9-5er life. This is a life less convenient.

Photo credit: "DSC 0890" by dogseat on flickr (click on the photo for more of this artist's work). Read his profile and see more of his work here.

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