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lisa

Does anyone here class themselves as Disabled?

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This is always an interesting question to discuss... thanks for starting the thread, Lisa!

My overall view of the "disability" question is that I'm not disabled, but that I do face some challenges that ABs generally do not. I generally tell folks (if necessary) that I have some "mobility challenges." Lizzie put me on to an article recently that talked about disability in terms of people having "impairments" and society placing "impediments" in their way... that seems a pretty realistic way of thinking about the matter, for me.

However, there are times when my view of MYSELF as "disabled" changes, and I'm having to learn to recognize that fact and work around it. When I am very tired, stressed, and sore after a long and demanding day... I feel disabled. That's when I'm likely to have phantom pains... that's when I realize just how "different" walking with my prosthesis is... and that's when I can slip into self-pity. On the other hand, when I'm well-rested and well-fed, I'm likely to completely forget about my "disability."

I was "disabled" last night: I'd signed up for a bus tour to Solvang, a heavily Danish community that was having its annual "Danish Days" festival. After 14 hours of walking over uneven surfaces, climbing stairs, "snacking" my way through wine and cheese shops, sitting on a number of low-slung benches and planter-bed walls, working my way slowly through large crowds of people in plastic Viking helmets, and riding on a tour bus with no legroom... well, I was done-in! As I dragged myself up the bus stairs for the final time, I was tired, happy... and disabled. When I got home, I fixed myself a sandwich, crawled into bed, and passed out for nine hours straight.

And this morning, I'm not disabled any more.

Lisa, if my experience means anything, it's that getting -- and learning to USE -- your prosthesis will remove a great deal of "disability" from your life. And the better the fit of your limb, and the harder you work at learning to use it well, the easier it will be to think of yourself as non-disabled. However, you may find your own times and circumstances when "disability" comes crashing down to knock you for a loop. THAT's when mental toughness comes into play: the times when you have to tell yourself, "this too will pass," do whatever is needed to take care of yourself, and pull yourself out of that "disabled" mindset. It CAN be done... and it's a mighty good feeling when you do it!

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To me, the label "disabled" is really sort of a state of mind. You can be as disabled as you choose. Or not.

I got hurt very badly, and there's a huge amount of things that I can't do at all since then......however......There's a whole bunch of things that I can do that I would of never thought about doing.

I hadn't been ohome from the hospital for 2 days after a very long time there, when I started making my bed from my chair and even cooking as well as I could with only one good arm and a bum shoulder that still couldn't take much.. I know that my life will never be what it was, pre- accident, but, I thank the good Lord up above every day that I am not paralyzed. I could of been so easily..

I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well, and that you don't see your life as being over. It just presents different challenges..

With time, it does get easier with time...

So, you see, as they say, it really is a state of mind.

Higgy

In a chair without my leg I feel disabled, with my leg on I can do everything I could before and some things I couldn't.

JudyH

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To me, the label "disabled" is really sort of a state of mind. You can be as disabled as you choose. Or not..........................

So, you see, as they say, it really is a state of mind.

Higgy

In a chair without my leg I feel disabled, with my leg on I can do everything I could before and some things I couldn't.

JudyH

I completly agree with both of these. With my leg on, I go about my normal routine.... pretty much - normally. Without my leg however, I can't carry a cup of coffee across the room.

But, I don't have wings like the birds either, and therefore cannot fly, without a device. Am I then disabled to fly?

I do pretty well, but I've never been the fastest runner, the smartest mathematician, the best dancer, or the strongest athlete. Does that mean that compared to those who are better, am I disabled. I do the best that I can with what I have, and am satisfied with myself.

I know.... I'm getting way out into semantics, but just trying to make a point. If you think that you are disabled then..... you are - in my opinion. But - then where is the line between reality and denial? I offer, that that line is for each of us to draw for ourselves.

Personally, I don't consider myself disabled, but am aware that others might - until they get to know me.

Below are the technical descriptions of the word DISABLED.

Main Entry: disabled Pronunciation Guide

Function: adjective

Etymology: from past participle of disable

: incapacitated by or as if by illness, injury, or wounds : CRIPPLED <disabled war veterans>; also : broken down <disabled cars>

Main Entry: 3cripple Pronunciation Guide

Pronunciation: "

Function: verb

Inflected Form(S): crippled; crippled; crippling \-p()li\; cripples

Etymology: Middle English criplen, from cripel, n.

Transitive verb : to make a cripple of: as a : to deprive of the use of a limb (as a leg or foot) <those sorry thousands crippled by arthritis> B : to deprive of strength, efficiency, wholeness, or capability for service <strikes are crippling our basic industries> <such a sea would cripple any boat>

Intransitive verb : to be, become, or act like a cripple: a : to walk lamely : HOBBLE, HALT B : to become disabled, incapacitated, or weakened

Synonym see MAIM, WEAKEN

Citation format for this entry:

"cripple." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com ( 17 Sep. 2006).

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But, I don't have wings like the birds either, and therefore cannot fly, without a device. Am I then disabled to fly?

Not exactly!!! :D :D :D :D

post-1563-1158531986_thumb.jpg

Taken today at practice ride.

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Neat picture Shane. You not only walk without a leg, but you fly without wings.

And who said that it couldn't be done? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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And who said that it couldn't be done? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Not sure, Jim. I wasn't listening at the time. :P :lol:

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And who said that it couldn't be done? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Not sure, Jim. I wasn't listening at the time. :P :lol:

:D :D :D :D :D Very Good!!

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Guest bearlover

NO! NO! And NO!! Iam not disabled and never thought if my self as disabled. Having a congentile birth defect and never having 2 "good" legs and later lost that leg to a bone infection. I never once thought of myself as disabled. I wore braces on my leg since infancy right up to amputation and feel Iam physically channanged in some things but nevr diabled! :)

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well...when i read all these posts, then i see that some people just fight for another word. "disabled" has a bad smell.....so you seek for a better word, but this does not change the situation. ;)

i have no problem with the word disabled...and i have no problem with the other words :lol:

i live my live and in this life its not important , that i am disabled...so why shouldn´t i feel disabled? when the word describes the situation?

here come many different disabilities ( ...is this ord allowed? B) ) together...yes...amputees on different levels feel different. so everybody will think in a different way.

ciao thomas

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this is quite a tricky one... do i see myself as disabled?.. No

Do others see me as disabled?... No

But yet when there is a box to tick... are you disabled? i tick yes!

Why is that...?

I just dont know.

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well...when i read all these posts, then i see that some people just fight for another word. "disabled" has a bad smell.....so you seek for a better word, but this does not change the situation. ;)

i have no problem with the word disabled...and i have no problem with the other words :lol:

i live my live and in this life its not important , that i am disabled...so why shouldn´t i feel disabled? when the word describes the situation?

here come many different disabilities ( ...is this ord allowed? B) ) together...yes...amputees on different levels feel different. so everybody will think in a different way.

I think, Thomas, that you probably summed our attitudes up quite well when you said ‘some people just fight for another word’. I’m not sure about in German, but in English, the word ‘disabled’ conjures up negative words, such as pity, sympathy, inability, …etc.

To illustrate what I mean, I’d like to tell you about the experience I had when I booked a ‘bed & breakfast’ last year:

I spent hours (2 solid days, in fact) trying to book a few nights away in a ‘bed and breakfast’ in Wales. I knew that I needed to use my wheelchair at night, so I looked for ‘wheelchair access’. I didn’t find much available – some people were helpful & replied and quite a few others didn’t. :huh: So I tried ‘disabled access’. Wonderful - there was suddenly more choice! :D However, it was also more expensive! <_<

Eventually, I decided to forget ‘wheelchair access’ searches & I did a search with ‘ground floor room’. Eureka!! :D I found a lovely place - I contacted the owner and asked about access 'because I had a bit of a mobility problem’. She was very sweet and she told me that apart from a couple of steps, everything was on the ground floor...so I booked it.

When we arrived there, the owners were dumbstruck, as first my crutches came out of the car and then later on, when I had given them time to get used to me, my wheelchair. However, they were very polite and helpful and they made us feel so at home. :) After a successful first night (i.e. no incidents) they relaxed and when they discovered that I had grown up with my mobility problems, they totally relaxed. However, they did admit that if I had told them on the telephone that I was disabled then they would have said that they were fully booked, because being disabled could mean that I had a whole host of problems that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to cater for.

Going back to your original point, Thomas, I think part of this difference in opinion about the word ‘disabled’ is cultural, probably because of the way in which people with a disability have been stigmatised by certain sections of society. I am certain that images of a disabled person in the minds of some people are still way back in the ‘Victorian era’ (circa 1830’s to 1900). Perhaps German culture is more accepting of people's differences...? :blink:

Part of the difference is semantics (the way we interpret a word or phrase), which in itself feeds into the cultural difference (i.e. the UK ‘prefers’ disabled whilst the US seems to ‘prefer’ handicapped).

And also, part of the difference, with those of us who have grown up having an amputation, has to do with not knowing anything different; most people view disability as not being able to do something they have been able to do beforehand and we don’t actually fit that category.

Like Andy, I acknowledge that I am a bilateral amputee and I acknowledge that some people view that as having a disability, but I don’t see myself as being disabled.

Lizzie :)

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Guest bearlover
OK, everyone here who is not disabled, line up over there to surrender your blue parking permits...

Only kidding.

They should be Physically challanged permits! ;)

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Take the word apart : dis-abled aka not able , unable ....but unable to do what ? :lol:

This term is too general and will always be a cause for debate as we humans are all different shapes, colours and sizes :P .... and a generalisation is just not possible.

My prosthesis allows me to be ABLE. Without it i guess i'm DIS'ed ... :blink:

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Guest bearlover
Take the word apart : dis-abled aka not able , unable ....but unable to do what ? :lol:

This term is too general and will always be a cause for debate as we humans are all different shapes, colours and sizes :P .... and a generalisation is just not possible.

My prosthesis allows me to be ABLE. Without it i guess i'm DIS'ed ... :blink:

;) :) That is a good way to put it Kaz!

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Let's see. Most of you know that I have just finished remodeling our 1920 farm house and built new buildings on the property, including the plumbing, wiring, drywall and siding, floor and roof - by myself.

(And yes it has taken me 4-5 times as long as it used to, but I attribute that to my lack of circulation and my age more than my leg.)

Without going into all of that again, I can't imagine being considered disabled. To do what?

But then, I come in and take my leg off, and I can't carry coffee across the room.

I can also sit in a car, or truck and drive - with or without my leg on, so I'm not disabled to drive - but, without my leg, or crutches, I can't walk.

In short, that makes disabled a circumstantial thing, and not an arbitrary one.

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Hi Lisa

I am 19 and I was really good at walking, when I got my leg. I am disabled... but everyone around me acts and tells me that I am still the person I was, I just have a physical difference.

But we all have our own opinion! I just bounce back more easily,

I have one question. Do you ever just wish you could have a normal foot, like to stand up in the shower, or to jump in the pool? I just was wondering. I am proud to be an amputee. It's apart of who I am.

Lesley

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Guest bearlover

Well Lisa, I never had 2 good legs at all. Since my amputation is due to a birth defect. I never considered my self as "disabled" and never will. I wore braces all my life and had many major operations which only lead to amputation 3 years ago. Do I wish I had 2 good "real" legs yes i do at times and have since I was about 8 years old. But this is what i have been handed in life and i accepted that as a child. It could be a lot worse. A amputation dose not identify who we are. It is not what we are. ;)

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Lesley, most of the time now, I'm pretty well used to being one-legged... but I miss my foot at the strangest times! This morning, for instance, I needed to take my smoke alarm down from the wall to check the battery (it was beeping at me at 3:00 a.m.) The smoke alarm is above my bedroom door: I walked over there, leg on, and then realized that I was going to have to try to stand on tiptoe one-footed. I was NEVER particularly graceful, even with two legs, so you can imagine how clumsy THAT motion was!

Wanting to stand in the shower... just for a minute or two... or trying to kick the blankets off with my stump... Yes, even though I'm doing well and proud to be part of this "amp community," there are times when I REALLY miss my foot!

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However when i get my new leg i would probably consider myself as able as anyone else.

really? when i go downstairs i am quite normal...but upstairs i feel disabled. or maybe the stairs disable me?

:lol:

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Hi

This is really strange because I too really miss my foot. Whether it's because they took my foot first after my accident and I was in shock, I don't know. It's difficult to explain how I feel about what has happened as I won't accept this has happened but I'm not ashamed of how I look or that I'm disabled. I admit that my stump leg looks absolutley gross but I didn't ask for this like any of us and therefore I don't care if I upset or offend anyone. I'm proud of myself for coping aswell as I have, even though at times I do go into a deep depression. I've said before in another thread that my job as an amputee is to make as many people stare at my stump as possible because people never see them, I know I didn't.

Lisa

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Guest bearlover

When I was a new amp. When people stared at me i waved my stump sometimes :rolleyes: :o They would laugh or smile or just look the other way! :lol: :lol:

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I am disabled... it's just a word... I don't feel disabled, they're two different things... being and feeling... so I class myself as disabled because it's easier than going into detail about the fact that my body is different and expalining in what way etc. disabled... it's merely a catch all word... doesn't bother me in the slightest.

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I think everyone has done a great job explaining the word *Disabled* and what it means to them personaly. ;) Good topic Lisa!

For me, I have lived half of my life as a non-disabled person, or have I? You know, even though I had all my extremities for many years, I still had a problem with being short! It was mostly in stores, having to ask for assistance, where they'd place things for Giants! :o However, not once was I considered disabled b/c of it! Therefore my feeling is, if that didn't label me, then why should the word amputee label me! To me, I just see it as living in two different worlds, one where I am normal (?) :lol: and the other, where I need help to be normal!! :rolleyes: :lol: No comments please!! ;)

Sheila :)

LBK

post-452-1158797873.gif

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