Handbook for the Recently Disabled, Part I

Finding yourself recently disabled? Gimpy? Crippled? Love someone recently removed from the ranks of the TAB (temporarily able bodied)? Well, you have come to the right place, Dear Reader. Here are some practical bits of lived in situations for yours truly!


The Handbook for the Recently Disabled will show up sometimes, with a handful of bite-sized pieces of advice I wish I knew or have observed along the way. YMMV (your milage may vary), of course. I am not a medical professional in any way.


First, enjoy this picture of Lucky, a tiny, tawny chi-wowow.



First off, no one is actually allowed to call you a cripple and be seen as a reasonable adult in the US. You can call yourself whatever you want. I frequently use words like that to refer to myself because language is a tool I wield wildly.


Remember to get your disability parking! Indiana gives out both plates and tags, but you need documentation from your doctor that you need it. It comes in two flavors: 6 months and No Expy. So check with your BMV or doc to find out what you need to do if you qualify. I needed proof from my doc, so folks that think you can fake it need to know the following: faking is more complicated than parking – why bother? Not like you will get to use a special spot anyway, read on!


Third, remember when you go out of the house this hard learned lesson: there is never enough handicapped parking. The days you need it the most, those paltry places are never sufficient. No, it is not worth it to get into a conflict with a person that appears to be parked illegally – if they gave a damn they would not have parked there in the first place. You have no authority, most shops and stores will not make someone move, and you are already having a hard time getting around – do not waste your efforts on assholes.


Everything has changed. Maybe you just need a cane, maybe you can only move your eyelashes, I have no way of knowing, Dear Reader. The newly disabled, me and some of mine included, found ourselves reevaluating every movement of every day. Spoon theory sums this up incredibly well. Figure out what you must do, what you need to do, what you desire to do and prioritize as you see fit. 


Lastly for this piece: know your help. For me, help came mostly from family and a few close friends. Be honest with yourself about who you can really lean on and trust with your health, your emotional well being, and your business. Depending on your life and people, you may place a lot on a few or try to spread it out depending on the strengths of your folks or your trust. Some folks will let you down, be prepared. But be ready to be amazed, surprised, humbled, and deeply gratified, too. Folks will surprise you: users will disappear in puffs of jerk-shaped smoke, and some will leave you wondering how on earth you earned that kind of dedication and love.

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