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English: Heath Lane Hospital. This hospital in...

English: Heath Lane Hospital. This hospital in Heath Lane specialises in care for those with learning disabilities and in need of complex health care. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disabilities come in various forms, so many of them glaringly obvious that one can scarcely help but look; on the other hand, there are just as many if not more disabilities that the naked eye cannot see. It is the latter of these disabilities that most often cause us to react angrily, “What’s wrong with him/her!?” or “What the heck does s/he need a disability parking permit for?!”

I am guilty. Someone may be a two-footed drive (i.e.; the vehicle is moving while the brake lights are continuously lit up, making me think I need to slow down the entire time); someone may let their animals defecate on my welcome mat (excuse me, I did not mean you are welcome to do that!!); someone may park in a handicap spot and get out of the car looking perfectly healthy (or even ‘simply’ overweight); someone may look at me snidely when I’ve gone out of my way to be nice (were they really looking at me, or at the world in general?)…

Disabilities, as the encompassing article discusses, range from physical disfigurement to emotional issues. And sometimes people with disabilities that others cannot see wish, even for just a moment, that others could see it; It would allow for so much more understanding.

I came across this article and was surprised to see how many people fall into this category. Myself, included, at times. No one wants to go on and on about the same ‘ol chronic illness; in fact, I’ve asked people to inquire about things other than my health, but of course they always want to know. But do they? Really? The ups, the downs, the ins and outs, the frustrations? I rather think they, like me, want to just rest assured that everything’s good now (that I’ve had another transplant). I want to say that. I want to bury it away and move on as though I were normal. After all, it’s not a cure; it’s a treatment.

The author laments that some people with challenges (that are not obvious) do not have what I am so fortunate to have: “…[those who] often support, encourage or even applaud… for… courage and determination,” like my Mom, my sister, my Aunt Carolynne and Uncle Rokus, Gary, my dear friend Vicky and others.

Living with an invisible disability.

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