Started a new job – first day – a form asked if I was disabled – along with race. Hmmmm. I checked yes. Last week, went to a church function with my mom. Several people with canes and walkers, including me. Buffet style meal. Disabled first in line with gentle insistent assistance. I was guided to that pre-served group. I can manage my own plate with my cane hooked on my arm, but what the heck, they were nice.
According to the World Health Organization: Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.
I have Multiple Sclerosis. I drive to my full-time job, I play my saxophone 4-6 hours a week. I can ride my recumbent trike 10-15 miles at a time. I can walk about a mile, then my left foot drags. I play with my grandkids. Takes me a while to get up from the floor. I can’t run. I can’t dance. I can’t stand in place too long. If I spin around I go kaboom (as my 2-year-old grandson says). I need a cane about half the time, I just don’t know which half. When asked what jungle animal I should be, my four-year old grandson says, one with balance. I have double vision some of the time. Can be annoying when I’m reading music. I have trouble reading white on pastel. I often don’t know where my body is. I will run into the door jamb if I’m not careful. I have to hold on going up and down stairs. So I guess I’m a person with disabilities. It’s a health hat.