Sunday, July 13, 2008

In which I take a moment to complain

I taught today, which means I was on my feet, up and down, for three hours. I feel it now. For a change-up it is my right leg that is killing me instead of my left. I shouldn't whine. I've had two really good weeks. Even though I have felt pretty much constantly like I was going to fall over at any moment, I only fell over once, and I have only had one incident of that horrible electric burning stabbing pain in the past 14 days, instead of having more like 14 in one day. So, all in all, good. But I have to repeat today's performance again on Sunday, and then every weekend until the second week of August. On top of working during the week. I hope the legs hold out, because I would very much like to go to the beach after all this is over, and the only way I am going to get there is if I drive myself.

OK, moment of complaint is over. On to other things. Elizabeth is talking about how some asshats think she is faking it. Apparently, you aren't allowed to be severely disabled and still get anything accomplished. Please. May I present Ivar the Boneless, Viking berserker? I particularly like how the Wikipedia article says that after his invasion of East Anglia, "An accommodation was quickly reached with the East Anglians." Yes, I know what it really means, but I prefer to envision old Ivar putting accessible transportation in his list of demands. Then there was Timur the Lame, who would totally have kicked your ass if you so much as hinted that, just because he took over all the territiory between the Levant and India, and was on his way to taking over China, that he was lying about being lame. Yes, and after he was done kicking your ass, he'd set you on fire and then toss your skull onto the closest big pile of skulls he had at hand.

Fortunately, most people with disabilities are nice folks who don't spend an inordinate amount of time plotting to take over the world. But the point is that people with disabilities, with diseases, with even terminal conditions aren't dead yet and have no intention of practicing being dead before drawing the last breath makes it mandatory. Harriet McBryde Johnson is one of the best known faces of that spirit of living fully. When she died, it was, as she had planned, while she was alive, not in a state of mournful waiting, but a state of planning for the next day and the next year, in a condition of action.

What about people in pain? Should they be out pushing themselves? Of course, they should! Distraction is necessary for living with pain. Sometimes, pain is too much to keep going in the way you had before, but life doesn't stop for pain. Usually, you have to do things simply because you have to do them. Not everyone is as full-bore determind as Elizabeth to push physical limits, but everyone stays as busy as possible for their situation. Boredom only makes everything worse. And spending part of your day in seizures doesn't count as boredom relieving. You can check ask my daughter about that. She constantly has projects going, different ones for different levels of daily ability. That's not unusual. That's what people do.

Me, I'm going to finish the laundry and go to sleep. And in five weeks time, I hope I will be driving two hundred miles to salt water and setting up camp.


Carapace said...

Jeez, woman, what's it going to take to make you SIT during classes? Blahblahblah it goes against your teaching style, or whatever. Learn a new technique. What would you do if you broke both ankles, or something? SIT. DOWN. Or I shall tickle you unmercifully next time you complain.

yanub said...

I did sit down. And then I had to stand right up again. The layout of the teaching area is haphazard at best. I did use the chair (no stool available) as a knee crutch while at the podium. Which is probably why my left leg was OK while my right one wasn't.