I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12. Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees. After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement. ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip. In 1966.
So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.
I’ve lived my life this way. I’m used to it.
And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.
In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!
Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop. Childhood dreams dashed.
But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.
Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things. I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled. Which I was.
And I rarely felt sorry for myself. Well, sometimes.
But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.
And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.
As of age 58.
And I am still here, now approaching age 64. Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.
My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years. They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some. Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore. Too much walking.
But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers! I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.
She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one! And got hers!
This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!
It’s official – I’m a gimp!
*Ed Sullivan was an entertainment reporter who hosted a TV variety show, from 1948-1971. He would announce he had a really big show, but pronounced it as shoe – hence the pun.