Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
gaby6787

Should I be classified as disabled?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

This is my first post, but I just wanted to get some insight on something that happened to me today. I went in for my yearly cheek-up-I’m a cancer survivor. When I went in to see my doctor, I asked her if she could write something up saying that I was disabled. She said she couldn’t because I really wasn’t disabled and it was all a matter of technicality. As far as I knew, I thought I was disabled, at least by the definitions. I needed this letter for a bus discount else I would have to pay a much higher price. Since I am also a student, I like keeping letters like this describing my condition for scholarships or anything else that may arise. They just changed my doctors and I really didn’t expect this kind of response. However, she did say she would write something with only the facts about my treatment and that I use a prosthetic device.

I also mentioned something about parking and she just pretty much said she wouldn’t sign something for that because it would look weird if I came out of a car looking normal-like as if I care what people think when I’m going in or out of my car. I already have it and I use it mainly for school since it is a huge campus, parking is impossible and I’m so tired by the end of the day.

I wonder if this has anything to do with me being a bk amputee or that I’m young or is it true and I shouldn’t be classified as disabled or handicap.

Gaby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow....is that can of worms :P

Personally (note..personally) I think you are only as disabled as you think you are. I don't think i'm disabled at all and have never even tried to get things by claiming I am.

Do I care about what others think of me?...Lord no :D

Do I care about what I think about myself?....Yes yes yes :rolleyes:

Go see another doctor and get a second opinion if you want to.

Cat

P.S. welcome to the forum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gaby,

I READ YOUR POST!! I Will tell you, I am also a BK.. I tried to get disability check many times, and was denied, cause i am not "DISABLED".. Some people will argue both sides of the fence.. I will tell you I do have a handicapped sticker for parking.. How weird is that huh? I mean I can't get "disabled pay". but can get a parking permit? But now I have a full time job, (which I love) and yes my residual limb hurts everyday after work..Anyways, I hope this helps you!! Welcome to the family..

Samuel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gaby,

I READ YOUR POST!! I Will tell you, I am also a BK.. I tried to get disability check many times, and was denied, cause i am not "DISABLED".. Some people will argue both sides of the fence.. I will tell you I do have a handicapped sticker for parking.. How weird is that huh? I mean I can't get "disabled pay". but can get a parking permit? But now I have a full time job, (which I love) and yes my residual limb hurts everyday after work..Anyways, I hope this helps you!! Welcome to the family..

Samuel

Sam, I'd have to say they were right to deny you disablity, If they allowed you to go on disability then you'd be home sitting on your butt collection a check that was funded by hard working American tax payers. Since they didn't give you a free check you had to go out and get a job, proving that you are NOT disabled, However they did give you a HANDICAPPED parking stick to help you live like a normal person and to assit you when you go to your job. The difference is handicapped vs disabled they are NOT the same thing as you have proved. DISABLED = NOT ABLE and HANDICAPPED means you need some sort of help to go about a seminormal life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lot's of good advice here, Gaby. I'd have to agree in gneral that you are not "Disabled". However, the one point I would add is that in most cases the rules for eligability for things like scholarships are pretty clear,and if a BK amputee with a useful prosthesis qualifies, then you qualify and your doctor's note affirming you are amputee should be it. The rules for things like parking stickers are pretty clear, too, at least here in Ohio--if you can't ambulate normally without the prosthesis (hopping on one foot doesn't count!), you qualify for the card. Printed forms of these rules are usually available, often on the Net. If your doctor won't sign a form after reading the rules (assuming they're unambiguous), find another doctor.

The rules in Ohio do have a funny, but exasperating, side--your doctor has to reaffirm every five years that you are still an amputee. I always carry this image of my doctor studiously examining me and saying, "What, my good man, that thing hasn't grown back YET?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also know in California that if you have any lower leg imparments that you can walk (show up in person) into the department of motor vehicles and they will issue a parking permit there on the spot with OUT the need of a doctors note.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had that vision in a similar version at times... :lol:

In Illinois, they are about the same.. The paper work alone is some times enough to make a person feel "handicapped" However.. by Illinois, I am defined as having the one of the highest disabilities you can have. If you don't use something to ambulate or "move," i.e. prosthetics, crutches, wheelchair, then you can't move... But, I don't draw disability as I am able to work.. It might be one on my butt, behind a computer but I do it! Or on a tractor in the field. In our state, we have a lot of slackers, that will get their housing paid for, food/medical state paid for, but they are completely able bodied.. Even if I were classified as handicapped, I wouldn't be like them.. Day after day I see it in the office. For me, my life is too busy.....I don't have time for that stuff... Am I disabled, yes.... most certainly.. Most people hit by cars, don't walk afterward.. Me, I walk every step I can. Do I have a handicap parking placard.. yes....Do I always use it, no... But it's there for the days that I do need it.

But then again, I have a standing vehicle permit.. I can shoot a gun from a vehicle as long as it doesn't have the key in the ignition... (dang coyotes!)

As to the doctor... I think I would question as to if I would want to pursue another doctor.. Some of that doctor's reasoning seems a little whacked to me...Who cares about "looks"? Does it mean that the only handicapped person is the one who has disabilities that you can see? And why is she worrying about what others might think of you? Her job is your health....not appearances.. You could always get a second opinion..I would at least consider the option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only disabled when I'm legless and on crutches. There are those days when Stumpy hurts. This disables me for that moment in time.

With that being said, I do have a handicapped parking sticker which I use only when the nearest space is way far away. It was my understanding that no amputee could be denied a parking sticker. That should be the case in acquiring a bus pass also.

I would get another docs opinion. There are those days when the best of us have a 'bad leg day'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I needed this letter for a bus discount else I would have to pay a much higher price. Since I am also a student, I like keeping letters like this describing my condition for scholarships or anything else that may arise.

.Gaby

Are we talking money or mobility here? <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi everyone,

This is my first post, but I just wanted to get some insight on something that happened to me today. I went in for my yearly cheek-up-I’m a cancer survivor. When I went in to see my doctor, I asked her if she could write something up saying that I was disabled. She said she couldn’t because I really wasn’t disabled and it was all a matter of technicality. As far as I knew, I thought I was disabled, at least by the definitions. I needed this letter for a bus discount else I would have to pay a much higher price. Since I am also a student, I like keeping letters like this describing my condition for scholarships or anything else that may arise. They just changed my doctors and I really didn’t expect this kind of response. However, she did say she would write something with only the facts about my treatment and that I use a prosthetic device.

I also mentioned something about parking and she just pretty much said she wouldn’t sign something for that because it would look weird if I came out of a car looking normal-like as if I care what people think when I’m going in or out of my car. I already have it and I use it mainly for school since it is a huge campus, parking is impossible and I’m so tired by the end of the day.

I wonder if this has anything to do with me being a bk amputee or that I’m young or is it true and I shouldn’t be classified as disabled or handicap.

Gaby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if this has anything to do with me being a bk amputee or that I’m young or is it true and I shouldn’t be classified as disabled or handicap.

Gaby

Ooops sorry didn't mean to do that.

This is always a bit of a tricky one because we can go from seemingly not disabled to looking very disabled just by taking off our limbs.

I was also young when I became a bilateral b/k and once I got walking didn't really consider myself as disabled, in those days there were hardly any concessions anyway, so the question didn't really arise.

These days, like others, I do go for things like the parking badge etc., do not always use it all the time but appreciate having it on difficult days when legs are playing up, or, the only available parking space is right at the very back of the car park. Trouble is you need these things, when you least expect to need them and if you haven't got them in place it can be difficult to get hold of them quickly, plus if you don't have one and park where you shouldn't you are going to get aggro, if not a fine, so all in all it makes life difficult.

I think what your doctor said about people giving you odd looks, if you got out a car looking "normal" is very poor coming from a doctor and quite judgemental. People have these parking permits etc. for conditions that are not always obvious, like a heart condition etc. I have had people query me parking in spaces over the years and its really no one else's business, if you have a parking badge that should be enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I am from (Arizona), one is classified as disabled when they cannot perform any gainful employment. In other words, if you can sit in a toll booth and collect tolls or have a telephone strapped to your head to do phone soliciting, you are classified as handicapped. Most amputees will fall into the handicapped catagory unless there are extenuating circumstances.

As far as the handicapped plate for your car, find another doctor. You are entitled to that plate with no questions asked. It's easy for bipedal doctors to voice their opinions when they are sitting on the other side of the fence. Go see another doctor and get your plate.

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have NEVER considered myself disabled. Maybe because I was so young when I got my amputation and I don't know anything different. I also do not have any trouble with my leg, so I never even thought of getting a parking sticker. I always park far away. Not just because my PE teacher from last semester gave me a pedometer that she gives to her physical conditioning class (she won't leave me alone!) but it makes me feel good walking in.

The other day, I was in my uniform (skirt and knee highs) getting gas and there was this older man filling up his motorcycle. He goes 'hey lady?' (never been called that before!) I was like 'um yes?' and he asked me how long I had been an amputee. I said 14 years and he said he had been one for 36 years. We were talking and he said he doesn't even notice anymore. I guess when some people have had it for so long, they don't even notice it, like me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be off kilter here but I feel like we are getting hung up on the definition of disability. While the question is concerning disability in general her reasoning is to know if she should be able to collect assistance which asks what the state governments definition of disability is and whether we collectively fall within those guidlines. The first question of whether we are disabled as individuals is a private/personal question that at least I have been asking myself since day one. I can do less physically than I could before but I can still do more than those I know around me, so by comparison does that make me disabled and others not?

Concerning the governments definition of disability, I can say that I use my tag every day and if I got a 50 percent discount on the bus I would probably spring for that too. I didnt even have to ask, my doctor filled out the form and sent it in. Maybe the doctor you talked to is mixing up his definition of personal disablement and the states definition. I would talk to a doctor that knows the states definition and doesnt mix that with his/her personal feelings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone here have made it clear that the question of "disabled" is partly how you feel about yourself but I think the bottom line here is what your government standards are and what laws are on the books that will help you. Since we do not know where Gaby lives we can only say what our opinions are and hope that she lives somewhere with similar laws that protect the rights of the disabled. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are so right Tigertatt... It's not, who can do how much..For each one of us, I'm sure it's different in some sense..What works for one, isn't going to work for all...am I handicapped, hell yes, being broke in half will do that. Do I think I'm disabled, not really.. I can work at some things..others, nope, not any more.

Back to the point......was the doctor right or wrong, and how do each of us define disabled..

I think the nail was hit square on the head when Jerry (kahunamahalo)defined the difference between being handicapped and disabled... I don't think it could of been said any better...

What ever the point.. as long as we don't brow beat each other, this is a really interesting subject..to see each others opinions on this one...

PS, I still think I'd be looking for another doctor that has a little more compassion and a little broader view of things though.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always had the opposite problem with my doctors. I've had some real problems trying to get one to say I was able over the years. When I went back to work after my aputation, work made me have a medical and that fight lasted nearly a year - still working.

I tick all the boxes in the (UK) government criteria concerning disabilities and as my "condition" will never improve, I get written off automatically without my consent. My battle as always been that I am able and all I want is to be left alone to get on with my life as I see fit.

Gaby, find a doctor that will see things your way, I've always had to.

I think you are only as disabled as you think you are.

I really believe in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really interesting question, here!

Gaby, like a lot of the others here, I view my "disabled status" as variable. Most of the time, i don't "feel" disabled, I don't "look" disabled, I'm perfectly mobile, I live alone, take care of myself, and hold down a full-time job. When all is going well, I am not aware of being "disabled" and dislike the label when it's applied to me.

But then there are days or weeks when things aren't going well at all. At those times, I may not feel "disabled," but I certainly DO feel "handicapped" and I take advantage of whatever assistance I need and qualify for.

My doctor is the one who proposed certifying me as qualifying for a parking placard (which automatically qualified me for handicapped transit services of various types). When things are bad, those little "perks" are very welcome... when things are good, I don't need or use them.

Being an amputee -- especially something like a singel BK -- puts one in a strange "between-worlds" position... sometimes handicapped / sometimes perfectly able. Better to my mind to have the potential for aid in place, and then not have to use it, than to have to go without it when you need it.

I'd also consider finding another doctor, if I were you........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't do what I used to do since losing my leg above the knee at the end of '06. I still do a lot. Don't think of myself as disabled.... "frustrated able" fits the bill quite well, 'coz i can't do what I used to do without (on occasion) a lot of effort.

I am happy to be "disabled" at airports to shorten large security queues.

Just spent 4 full days walking around Vienna for my wife's 50th- wonderful and tiring. Not "disabled". It was a delay from last year as was totally wheel-chair and a mess.

It seems in France and Austria that personal ID states handicap/disability, this facilitates discounted fares and tickets to public places. A good idea. Tapping socket does the job or showing a metal ankle does the job too!

On discharge from hospital last year, didn't qualify for incapacity benefit despite being totally non-weight bearing on remaining leg, a recent amputee and totally unable to work. 30 mins to get out of the house and a need to climb ladders etc....To get any thing would have had to wind up my one man company which I knew I would need in a few months time. Generous friends pulled me through. But some people get it for what I would call no "true" incapacity. Lot of abuse of the welfare system in the UK. Abuse of the blue badge for parking really winds me up.

I am rambling, sorry,

Think enabled, use the system, get a new doctor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

s far as parking plaques that docotr needs a slap upside the head. If you limb is not fitting right or you have been on it all day, you will be sore when you get home. No doubt you will be removing the leg for the rest of the day. Now you are chalanged right? Your normal day of being normal acording to the docs or governments has just changed to chalanged. I wonder if they thought about that before chalanging a amputee to saying they are not disabled. Over the last 7 to 10 yesrs or so they government here in canada has ordered the chalanged to redo there appllication for tax disability credit. After that was done almost all of the people were refused Over 70000 letters were to be sent out to the mentally chalanged and when the do do hit the fan the letters were held back. The government decided not to cause an uprising of physically chalanged people by sending out a few letters here and there over the years instead of sending them all out at once. Very sneaky and crafty peeps that would do that. I can use better names but dont want to get booted form the form. hehehehe :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×