They are good right?
I know they are.
But there are the 'disability choices' that I have to make. These are, often, the hardest kinds. In the split second before making them, I sometimes envy the easy way the non-disabled live with choicelessness.
I was in the hall yesterday morning. It was Monday. It felt like Monday. My bus pick up time was ridiculously early, at least 20 minutes earlier than normal. This has me in the hallway, up and showered and shaved and dressed, at 5:55 in the morning. In my chair I am making sure that my footrests are firmly attached and that Joe has remembered to put my lunch bag on the back of my chair.
One of my neighbours came out of her apartment. She looked like I felt. She nodded in dim awareness that we were there, turned and trudged down the hallway. Choicelessness. Easy, simple, choicelessness. She's non-disabled, she has no choice but to be non-disabled. She turned and walked down the hallway.
Me, I am realizing as it nears time to push off down the hallway that I have a choice. I can push myself. I can ask to be pushed. Or, thirdly, yes a richness of choices, Joe and I can push together.
My brain wants me to be independent. Every other part of me wants to just be disabled and let Joe push me down the hallway. It's easier and faster.
And aside ... I am often referred to as lazy when I'm in my manual chair pushing myself somewhere. People who walk using the big strong muscles of the legs thinking it's easier, easier, to push a wheelchair. They have no idea how much extra work it takes, how much more effort goes into it. Lazy freaking walkers.
Another aside ... I am almost never called lazy in my power chair. Neither chair is an experience in lazy lounging - one involves the significant work of pushing, the other involves the significant work of driving on narrow sidewalks full of oblivious two-footers. I think that because my power chair is so tall, and I sit tall in it, it's harder for someone to verbally and physically look down on me.
Anyways, back to choices.
I've seen other people with different kinds of disabilities make the same kinds of decisions, the 'will I be disabled today' kind of decision. There is a coffee shop we sometimes stop at which employs people with intellectual disabilities. I was there one morning, just after they opened. A bleary-eyed young woman with Down Syndrome was working the till. I ordered a tea and paid with the only bill I had, a 20. She punched in the numbers, saw the big number representing the change I need to get back. She slyly looked over at a non-disabled co-worker, trying to decide if she should just work up the energy to give me my change or ask for help. She made my change.
I said to her, "I saw what you did there, you almost asked for help." She blushed and laughed, "You saw that?" I said that I had seen it and that I only noticed because sometimes I have to decide to be disabled or not. "My mom still makes my bed," she said and began to laugh, in seconds we were both howling as I understood the implication of her statement.
Yesterday, I made the decision to push myself. As I do most mornings. The mornings where I choose otherwise, I'm not proud of ... but then, what the hell ... it's my choice.