Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

No, I'm not talking about Christmas, I'm talking about BADD!!!! BADD stands for Blogging Against Disablism Day, and it's a truly spectacular collison of disability bloggers from across the globe. Disablism - or ableism - is basically disability discrimination of any kind. For a better explanation, go to Diary of A Goldfish and read all about it. The Goldfish has been hosting BADD for years now, and for the last two years - going on three now - I've been a part of it. So spread the word and encourage all those in the blogosphere to blog against disablism on May 1st! I'll be there...if I'm not buried under an avalance of homework somewhere.

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Balance, Or Lack Thereof

The very act of moving for me is a careful calculation of balance. In school, I swerve and stumble through the halls like an toy top spinning crazily this way and that. I have a ginormous backpack situated precisely on my shoulders, and if you're not careful, you will more than likely get smacked with it. My crutch stabs unmercifully the floor or unsuspecting people who are stupid enough to get in the way. My purse and AlphaSmart case swing crazily from my left arm and more often than not I have a Vitamin Water clutched spazzily in my left hand. The slightest gust of wind or nudge from behind can overbalance me and send me flying towards the floor. People who obliviously kick my crutch from behind by accident soon learn that yes, I am leaning on that, and yes, if you kick it I will fall. In the sea of people I cling to the nearest wall or locker, praying I won't get blown away like a leaf in the wind.

Balance issues, for me at least, are incredibly complex. Keeping my balance walking or standing is about the same as a non-disabled person trying to balance on a tightrope. And standing in one place takes a lot more muscle control and balance than walking does. At least with walking you have that momentum, that one foot in front of the other (or in my case, crashing into the other) pattern. With standing you are not moving, and there is no momentum. And yet people wonder why it is fairly impossible for me to stand on long lines, or on a moving train, etc...The coordination of muscles required is amazing.

I also need to learn how figuratively balance. The activities I do - all my advocacy work, dance, swimming - on top of my schoolwork (still wondering why no one talked me out of taking 4 AP classes my senior year...?) and planning for college - it's exhausting for anyone, to say nothing of people like me who have fatigue issues already. No wonder this blog usually goes by the wayside. On a regular basis, I get comments from people about how I'm always tired, or how I always need to sit, and it pisses me off. If they spent one day - ONE DAY - in my body, they would understand. I'm not lying or being lazy. I really am always tired. Wouldn't you be?

I'm hoping college will be easier for me in terms of balance - both kinds. I've recently started using two crutches instead of one in certain situations and it seems to improve my balance enormously. Also, in college my schedule will be more spread out, I will have more time in between classes to balance other things. I won't be sitting in school for six hours straight when I could be doing something more productive. It just will be a lot more flexible.

And....oh look! It's another one of those balancing times! I need to balance blogging and schoolwork! Outline for senior research paper due tomorrow! *leaps up with renewed vigor, overbalances, and falls over*

...it just figures.