Ten days ago, a surgeon cut melanoma cells from my left arm. Since then, I have been grounded. The doctor refused to allow me to increase my heart rate up, to prevent inflammation and swelling around the stitches. I can’t do any of my favorite things…no golf, Pilates, Gyrotonics, swimming nor power walking.
My usual hectic routine of lifting grocery bags, and running errands has been hampered. I have had to ask people to help me pick up things, and improvise my carrying techniques, to do things that were once simple tasks.
This experience has made me think how people with disabilities learn to do things differently. My impairment is temporary, and I got the good news that the doctor cut out all the bad cancer cells. But having an arm with limitations, gave me a deeper understanding of how anyone can join the disability community at anytime. One in five Americans has a disability, either by birth, accident, illness or the aging process. It is a normal part of life.
Just as I needed supports to succeed in my tasks in the past few days, I better understood the benefit of assistive tools for people with disabilities. To me, it is all about adaptability. If we don’t learn how to adapt to the changes that are needed to succeed, we all risk being marginalized. Kathie Snow, author of www.disabilityisnatural.com said it best:
“I want to live in a society in which all people are valued, included and live the life of their dreams.”