Monday, April 14, 2003

A disturbing thought from nowhere.

Am I now disabled?

It hadn’t occured to me for a second before. I had a bad accident, I’m recovering, and one day I’ll be well again. Except for one thing – that length of skin and bone that once stretched from midway down my right leg before taking a 90 degree turn and terminating in five stubby, hairy toes. It’s gone, never to return.

I never liked those toes very much anyway….but will they now define who I am? In the short term, almost certainly yes. For a while I’ll be a “wheelchair user” and am fully expecting to shout, in a loud voice “I’M NOT MENTALLY RETARDED. I JUST HAD BY FOOT BLOWN OFF BY AN IRAQI LAND MINE. I HAVE A DEGREE AND EVERYTHING AND I’M LEARNING ARABIC” at people on more than one occasion in the coming weeks.

But what about after that? If I were to enter the London Marathon (the chances of which were remote even BEFORE the accident) would I be labelled a disabled runner? My car will have an orange badge – a considerable perk in and around London for sure but another obvious label. I’ll be entitled to some sort of disability benefit from the state so I MUST be disabled, right? Maybe, but I’m not going to accept it. Anyone who calls me disabled gets struck off my Christmas card list ---- for life.

Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond


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