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Are We Disabled or What?
from Ira-Jane W.

Well Ed
It is time you have a no..sense letter; from a Canadian flake.
Well, actually, it might be serious...might...??

Do you ever wonder at what point you are (a) normal or (b) disabled?
Or even (c) handicapped? As in, what is your perception of self?
Or does that jump around, according to your mood, or
who you are talking to?
For instance I can be very normal out in the world, and act (feel) disabled
at home.
Mostly I feel normal, but that tends to make me neglect skin treatment; so better
I should always think of myself as disabled; then I'd get at it more.
I think that I am a normal person with a handicap, or if you prefer, a
d i s a b i l i t y.

I think the words (a) handicapped or (b) disability
have significance for funding and legal matters, mainly.
Anyhow; what it boils down to:
Am I normal or Am I disabled?
And how should I represent that to others?

Next Martini you are sipping on; please ponder your view of self, in light of
what psoriasis has done for your own image
and the perception of others.

Tee hee.... I know this can go much deeper, but I gotta run.
Chuckle.. chuckle.....chuckle.
Maybe life is one big insanity; participated in by the insane...
Chuckle....
Which cream are you using today?
Teehee..... you greasy guy.
Love, from sunny Ontario.
Oh! Summer! It should be year round.
Take care.
From your friend in the north,
Ira-Jane W., BIG FLAKE of the North!!!!!

*****

Ed's Response: I always love to hear from you, Ira-Jane. A profound poem is a double treat. But now I must answer, and if I were completely reciprocal I supposed I'd do it in haiku, but I'm broke, time-wise, and burdened by pockets full of prose only.

You do have a knack for raising just the right issue at just the right time. I hadn't thought about the disability-ness of my P for some time. The last time I thought about it, it was in the context of semantics (see Don't Call it a Disease in the Archives). But this Spring I went through a frightening bout with psoriatic arthritis (PA). My skin P has occasionally been so bad that I was emotionally disabled, but being unable to walk unassisted, or to drive a car, redefined for me, personally, the concept of disability. From hence forward I'm disinclined to think of my lesions as disabling—unless they take on new terrible characteristics I've yet to experience.

Also ... Yesterday I read Jean-Dominique Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I would imagine many of you have read this as it has been on the international best-seller lists. It is a small book by a man paralyzed by stroke at age 43. He wrote the book by blinking out code with one eyelid. He died two days after the book was published in France (his native country). It's an amazing read that I heartily recommend. For those of you addicted to Amazon.com (like me), the paperback is available for about $9; $12 when shipped. It would be impossible for me to consider myself disabled while still under the spell of that book.

Also ... If you're not fed up with my self-aggrandizing, yet, the article "My Role Model" further considers my relationship with self-pity.

Write more often, Ira-Jane. I never get tired of your Canadian accent! -Ed

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