MS and Self-Image: Having a Visible Disability
Big Wheels Keep on Turning, Proud Amy Keeps on Burning (rubber!)
Two weeks ago I, along with my family of three, went on a vacation to Seattle. We'd never been there and had heard that the coffee is spectacular. It had been many years since our last vacation, back when we were a family of two, and I knew this would be very different.
My ability palette has a few less tools than it did 10 years ago when I climbed Masada in Israel. On this trip I had a motor and a comfy seat held in the front of the plane, waiting patiently for me.
Although I got my scooter over a year ago, I've had to force myself to use it planning trips to museums, sculpture parks, and zoos. Things that I want do, but can't without wheels. This reality is so hard to accept; scooting makes it obvious to everyone that sees me.
I am very aware of how people treat me with more concern, getting out of my way as I move through a crowd, (This may be standard behavior in Seattle even without a scooter, but New Yorkers need a clear signal to not to plow you down on the street with eyes rolling.) I can't help but to feel that this image isn't me.
I know all that this vehicle affords me. (Can you call it a vehicle?) I know that I can participate in ways I never could without it. But somehow I'm uncomfortable with how it feels to be hip-high in a crowd, eliciting question marked faces and sympathy from everyone I "run" in to.
What is your experience with your MS image?