Some of the conversations I have with others can be amusing. I suppose I should find them offensive. However, I am a very politically incorrect person myself. That should be apparent to those who follow this blog. After all what disabled person would refer to themselves as “crippled?”
Just a couple of weeks ago I was at the gas station filling up before heading out on a road trip. One of the attendants approached me and said, “Hey, I have been on those things before.” Having had many such conversations in the past, I instantly knew he was referring to my crutches. This gentleman proceeded to recount his experiences of walking with “those things” after turning his hip bone into “powder” as a result of an automobile accident he had been in as a young man.
This man was kind and polite, however, I wonder if he realized that my crutches are more than just “things” to me. They are essentially an extension of my being. They serve as my legs. Likewise, they often operate as hands. I use them to grab things that are often out of reach of my normal wingspan.
I did not find this man’s comments hurtful or disrespectful, as he was just trying to make conversation. However, his experiences with “those things” are far diffent from my own. My use of them is not temporary. I have walked with crutches for over 30 years. God willing, I will walk with them for at least 30 more. They will never just be “things” to me. Are your legs just “things” to you?