Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm not dead yet!

Today I'd like to deal with a common misconception.

The myth I'd like dispel is the one that disabled people ALL have diminished lifespans due to their disability.

There are of course, many disabilities that come with innumerable health complications. That includes CP in some instances. Many people who have the disabiltiy of CP also have feeding and digestive issues, communication issues, epilepsy and asthma to mention just a few. Mr A does not.

There are other disabilities such as Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Motor Neurone Disease, which sadly, do lead to a diminished lifespan and my heart goes out to families and their loved ones who are affected by these.

Mr A is not affected by such issues and for that I am eternally grateful. I used to say that to my Mum when she was still alive. She would shake her head at the sadness of her grandson having such a 'terrible disability' and wondered how I could make light of it at all.

But that's the truth of it. Mr A's physical limitations do not affect his health and wellbeing and he is actually a more healthy specimen than I, by a long shot. He doesn't and won't drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or take illegal substances. He can't, and he doesn't want to anyway. Oh...and I don't either, just to clear up any confusion...he-he!

Not for us the worry of where our 21 year old is at night or what he's up to. We know pretty much where he is all day every day.

Barring some terrible accident or tragedy, Mr A has the same life expectancy as the rest of us. Long and happy, one would hope.

This is the case for many people with a disability.

So if you're reticence to befriend, work with or socialise with a person who is disabled is influenced by an idea that you'll have to deal with their passing, then put that concern aside.

On the other hand, if you DID socialise, work with or befriend a person with a life limiting disability, there may be much for you to gain, and a great deal more to contribute.

People with all kinds of disabilites, life limiting or not, still deserve the experiences the rest of us take for granted. Love, companionship and simple human touch.

Instead, they often get the reverse. Ignorance, loneliness, heartache and disappointment. The impact of those things on the human race are well documented. And mostly that's in relation to the able bodied amongst us. Consider how those elements impact on someone already limited by their disability. It's very sad, isn't it?

So, please don't pre-judge. The fact that someone is disabled and 'might die soon' is not a valid reason to ignore, ostracize or segregate them. ALL of us 'might die soon'. We don't stop living life, making friends or falling in love based upon that premise.

Bring a disabled person into your heart and home. Take the risk and apply for a job as a Personal Assistant or Support Worker. I promise you'll get as much or more from the experience as they do.


  1. I came across your blog randomly and all I have to say is wow! Your story, as well as your son's story, are truly inspiring and touch close to home for me, who deals with the realities of cerebral palsy on a daily basis. I wish this post in particular could be spread across for everyone in our country to see. So much pre-judgements go on by others who might not be familiar with CP or other disabilities. I'm sure the folks at the Cerebral Palsy Family Network might be interested in possibly sharing your story.

    Posted by Glenn Roberts to Cerebral Palsy Grapevine at August 31, 2012 8:02 AM

    1. Please note that I published Glenns comment to me, as it came through on my email, but for some odd reason, is not appearing here. Thankyou Glenn for your kind words. I checked out Cerebral Palsy Family Network and note it is a U.S. based site, so wondered how relevant our situation would be. However I will contact them as per your suggestion. Thankyou. Mimi.