Exploring the Term Disabled

I just read “Demystifying Disability” by Emily Ladau. I wish this was required reading for everyone. I was on page 11 of my library copy when I ordered one to own (and loan!)!

I’m not super sensitive with the terms people use and such but I do recognize, as the book hints at, how people can be easily offended. My biggest takeaways? Just ask what people prefer and don’t walk on pins and needles you may offend someone. If you say something wrong? Just apologize and move on!

I understand and am ok with, in the eyes of society, I’m disabled. Some people act like “disabled” is a horrid word; me not so much. I need the accessible stall in the bathroom, have a car placard that lets us park in accessible parking spots, and I use a mobility device, to name a few things many people don’t have to deal with in their own life.

But in my mind I’m not defined by the term disabled…I’m Logan. Mostly because for the first 30 years of my life I was not disabled. I also see, especially after reading this book, how lucky I am. Some people have other, more difficult limitations that I do not.

When I was admitted, my surgeon really under prepared me for how this would impact me. Probably for a year after my surgery when doctors or therapists would explain the length expected I incorrectly thought ok it’s hard now but I’d more easily get back to exactly how I was pre-surgery.

I still daily have bouts of being like “this isn’t fair”. But as it says in the book; “disabled lives are worth living”. So true. I’m not going to NOT continue my life because I’m now disabled. C’mon.

Though I have one qualm. The author chastises the plot of book/move Me Before You for implying life isn’t worth living with a disability. Unlike the author, the main character Will, and me, lived a whole life before being disabled. So is life not worth living? no, of course not. But is it drastically different to the point of not feeling life is worth it? I can attest this is a very real thing to process. Hopefully, like I did, a person can move past that. But what Will grapples with is realistic.

That aside, this a quick must read. Honestly this could be the best thing I’ve read.

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Author: loganmer

Chicago CPA. Passionate about many things; mildly OCD.

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