Wednesday, 2 February 2011
In the last week or so, I've had to face up to the reality of being told that I, a medical student, an intelligent, stubborn, arsey young woman, am disabled. I'm not disabled in a stereotypical way. I'm not in a wheelchair, or deaf or blind. I don't have a walking stick or a guide dog. I have a complex medical condition. It affects my mobility in a way that most people can't see. It affects my vision in an undetectable (to most people) way. I can't walk far, or do things that are seen as normal. I can't easily cook myself a meal from scratch any more. I can't often read my textbooks with much ease. I can't write my own name or get out of bed some days. But I look almost completely normal. I have an invisible disabilty. I'm treated the same as everyone else because they can't see what's wrong. Some days, I love this. On days like today when I'm in excruciating pain and quite frankly want to hide under my duvet and cry, all I want is a shoulder to cry on and an offer of small help, but because it's invisible, so am I.