Physical Disability - The Truth
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Today I am going to write about being physically disabled. Unfortunately, you can’t see my physical disability. It is, however, something that really affects me. I have Kyphosis of the cervical spine, an extra disc in my lumbar spine, and degeneration of the facet joints. I also have hypermobility in my knees and ankles. This causes me a lot of pain on a daily basis.
I have crutches for when my knees and ankles are hurting too much. Since having COVID last year I have been dealing with a lot of pain in my knees and ankles again. Unless you see me on crutches you don’t get to see that I have a disability.
Because of my spine, I have to carry a stool with me everywhere I go. This is so that I can sit down when I get too much pain. This can be something embarrassing as if it is raining, I need to put it into a different bag as I can't carry it on my shoulder. It can get me some weird looks when I have to put my stool up in a shop or outside the shop. It is really difficult for me.
It is even hard when I have to deal with when you have to justify your disabilities with the benefits agency every two years.
The problems with my knees and ankles could probably be helped by getting shoes that work for me. Unfortunately, I would probably need to get them made specifically for me and I do not have the money to do this. I have abnormally wide feet. Maybe if I get my back pay from my benefits, I will be able to get shoes, trainers, and walking boots in a way that will support me, fit for me, and be easy to get into. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to do that so I am currently stuck with wearing shoes too big for me.
Disabilities, especially hidden disabilities are still taboo. People hear the word disability and if you do not fit the look of a “disabled person” then people easily dismiss you as “faking” or something else. It is not fun and is not nice. I have to deal with a lot of pain every day, but I still do things that I am supposed to within my own limits.
Next time you speak to someone who says they have a disability, don’t judge them for not “looking disabled” but listen to them and try and understand.