Being a wheelchair user is not all bad. Sure it is complicated at times, but I still live life to the fullest. A lot of people see the wheelchair and automatically assume we can not do anything or they feel sorry for people like us. I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me, because I do not feel sorry for myself.
This is the life that God chose for me and I feel that I have been doing a good job of making the best of it. Living with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) has not stopped me from pampering myself and looking nice. I enjoy going shopping and getting my hair done like any other woman. I can recall a time when I went to the hair salon and the lady that was doing my hair said, “that’s good that you still like to get out and get your hair done.”
I was a little confused at first but I knew what she was insinuating. Many people have expressed that they are not used to seeing wheelchair users out and doing what able-bodied people do. To me, it is totally normal to go out and get my hair done. I am human and my disability does not stop me from getting dolled up. I like doing my make-up, dressing up, and making myself feel pretty.
When it comes to being disabled I do not want people to look at me like I’m just someone who sits in a chair all day and does nothing. Disabled people have lives too. Our lives do not only revolve around hospitals and sadness. We may be limited on some activities but we can still enjoy ourselves and we do. I have gotten to experience Six Flags Great America and that was something that I did not know I would be able to do. Of course, I was nervous about getting on rides because I knew it was going to be a little tough. My mom helped me from my chair to the ride and it was really fun. I have also experienced going to a concert.
My MD has not stopped me from experiencing some great things in life. Sometimes living with a rare disease, doctors will say we will not be able to do certain things in life or live long but that’s not true. We see disabled people beating the odds every day. Disabled people go to college and become very successful people in this world.
Disabled people are not always single either. We are desired and there are some people out in this world that want to get to know us. We date, get married, and have children just like anyone else. People should know that we make good spouses and parents although we are disabled. You just have to get to know us to understand us. I do not think anyone should be surprised when they see us out at a bar, or out at a karaoke bar, or even bowling. We go to the movies and arcades.
It is completely normal for us to be human and enjoy ourselves. We are all living this thing called life for the first time. So just like we all have had to learn life, I have had to learn my body throughout the years. It was all new to me at some point. I have had to learn what I can and can not do from different experiences, and to be honest, I am still learning.
I want people to know that you can be friends with someone who has a disability and be adventurous with them. We like to laugh and have fun like anyone else. Being disabled does not mean we are special. But I do feel like we are unique people because we always find ways to be independent and happy in spite of living with a disability. Disabilities should not be automatically looked at as a bad thing or like it’s the end of the world for us. We go through tough times like anyone else but we always make the most of it. We may do some things differently but we do it and we are happy people.