Not everyone who pulls into a handicap spot with a handicap placard is in a wheelchair. I see the way you glare at me as I walk by you. I’ve considered getting an emblem and attaching it to the back of my jacket “not all disabilities are visible.” Although you have just labeled me “normal” you didn’t get to see me check myself in the mirror before I left the car to make sure saliva was not seeping from the corners of my mouth because my disability has left me with weakened muscles, not always able to swallow. You were not there when I picked out my clothes for the day; which could I handle pull over or buttons? You did not know that before I began my day I had to fight pain and fatigue that was so overwhelming I was not sure movement was possible.
You weren’t there when I lost my ability to play tennis because the physical pain became too much or the days I cannot read or draw because my vision is too blurry. Little by little this disease seems to chip away at the very things that bring me joy, let alone the things that define my independence. There are some disabilities you cannot see until they are right in your face and I am choking on my food or going into respiratory crisis and in ICU and I may or may not make it out, because doctors may or may not be aware of how to treat my particular respiratory crisis, but you didn’t know because sometimes there are disabilities that you can’t see.
But we can agree on this: you do not believe I have a disability and I do not want to believe that I do.
Deb Correia 12/12/2016 ©
I have to add that I write about Myasthenia Gravis because it is a rare disease and little is known about it. I do not write for sympathy. I write to share the struggles, to bring awareness, and so that others who are ill know that they are not alone. This illness can be very isolating and if one person can read this and know that she/he can reach out and say hey that’s me can I talk to you then this article has done something. Or on the other hand, if someone sees a person get out of vehicle that is parked in a handicapped spot and they look “fine” before you cast that judgement, maybe you stop and pause and think that not all disabilities are visible. The person you are getting ready to cast your judgment on has probably already had quite a difficult day without hearing your opinion on whether you believe they deserve to have that placard. If that person has held their tongue – again, what a wonderful thing.
Thank you all for your time and your support.
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