Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend Update

My heart/blood pressure issues were so much better for so long. And then I very nearly passed out last night, had to call my in-laws over. I'd let the pain get out of hand again. I just live with it. It's difficult for me to focus or rest when it's that high. It still hurts today, and though I want out, my body says no, bad idea. I feel so anti-intellectual, not my intent, but my state. I had thought I was over that, the heart/bp, not the not-smartness. Apparently not.

I went to a seminar on Saturday for people with whom I share a common disability. It was nice to be among others with the same issues. I wish there were more disability awareness among the group because I think that would help people cope a lot more and accept themselves. I was very careful about how I projected my own energies, as I was the only scooter user there (in discussion, I realized there were others who use them for distance but didn't bring them in). I wanted to make sure I was positive, suggesting it's okay to be me, it's okay to use my scooter when I need it. One woman was worrying about what would happen to her son someday, whether...and she silenced herself. There were a lot of people with difficulty walking and using canes, and a couple of people who had to go lie down partway through. I felt like I was in a roomful of "me"'s. There was some good information there, and I'll stay in touch with some of the other people to share information and tips.

Part of me wanted to say, "get a grip" to some people, that it's not fatal and you are blessed not to be dealing with a more difficult, life-threatening disability or health problem. You can live with very severe chronic pain. Many do. I know people are grieving life changes though or are confused about what they are facing. Again, disability awareness and self acceptance would help a great deal.


yanub said...

I know what you mean. One of the worst aspects of the ablism that afflicts society is how it renders people who are developing disabling symptoms so frightened, not for their health, but for how they can continue to pass as "normal." If there was widespread acceptance of body difference, then people would be more inclined to just "go with the flow." They wouldn't resist using canes or scooters or rollaters or wheelchairs. When they are at work, and need to use their coffee break as a nap break, there would be a quiet, dim, comfortable place they could do so without anyone so much as batting an eye. The end result would be people coping a lot better, not just folks with disabilities coping, but the folks who interact with us.

FridaWrites said...

Exactly! People are often confronting disability prejudices of their own or are unconsciously worried about experiencing such prejudice.

Though I like to be pain free, I'm fine the way I am. I am no less because of my disability.

Wheelchair Dancer said...

I wonder how much we all share that fear -- even when we identify. Post on that coming up in the next couple of days.


FridaWrites said...

Yes, probably! Honestly, I'd rather not have more pain myself, though I don't see having a wheelchair itself as a tragedy.

D Phoenix said...

Sorry you're dealing with the BP thing again. When I first read "when I want out," I thought you meant out of your life... but I think you just mean outside, right?

I've been to a few support groups with mixed results for me. It is good to feel "normal" but I've often found that the groups are poorly moderated and often one or two people tend to take up most of the air time. Nice you got some contacts from the group.

I agree with Yanub and would add two more things that increase the chances of someone with pain not identifying as having a disability: the most visible/vocal/officially recognized disability community is those who are paraplegic or quadriplegic and chronic pain or illness doesn't often get mentioned; and society's pressure to perform and produce. When I learned to identity as having a disability it really did help me in so many ways. I hope that people in the group could see your strength in that identity.

FridaWrites said...

Outside, outside, Donimo, just like the puppy dog! Let me out! :) Only that kind of out. Or out of pain.

Fortunately there were no air time issues, though I have dealt with that in other contexts--I know exactly what you mean.

I hope so too, that it helps them in the same way seeing others' disability identities helped me.