"Talk About" Question~

Which of the terms below do you consider yourself, if any?
Disabled - 53.8%
Handicapped - 23.1%
Inconvenienced - 15.4%
Have problems with pain now and then - 0.0%
Just another face in the crowd - 7.7%

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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 1/7/2012 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all...

With the hustle and frazzle of the early winter holidays over I hope to get back to a regular schedule for the Talk about-s. The thought came to me one day and I'm not sure how I'd answer it myself. If it's hard for you to post on this one feel free to just click your choice on the poll. If you have the time to explain your thoughts it sure does help others with how we feel about ourselves.

The question is> Using your own interpretation of these words, and considering why we are all here, do you consider yourself "Disabled"; "Handicapped"; "Inconvenienced"; "Have problems with pain now and then"; or "Just another face in the crowd".

These words can really bring up some negative emotions for some and some helpful ones for others. It can explain to people why you feel and act the way you do or it can be something you're worried about if your employer finds out. Are some of these words worse/harder to hear than others? If you overheard a friend or colleague tell another that you are Handicapped would it bother you? How we feel about ourselves can surely make a difference in how we survive or thrive on a daily basis.

There are times I hate most of the words in the poll and other times I don't mind or just don't care, some times I don't want to think about it.... but if I had to contemplate it for a while I think I would most likely come to an honest answer. I want to consider myself 'Inconvenienced' but I'm afraid much of the time I feel 'Disabled'...Maybe some discussion will help me and others decide just how we DO feel about ourselves and possibly upgrade our attitudes. I don't know about you but for those of us who are living in winter right now it can be a hard time for us who live in pain.

Warm hugs, <shiver>
Moderator ~ Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
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Screaming Eagle
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   Posted 1/8/2012 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Its more than good to see you here and posting again Chutz! wink

This question or at least the thought hit me this last week. I finally got my numbered parking stall at work, and while I was visiting with a friend about it who also has a numbered stall….he said "you know your registration that the tag office gave you says permanently disabled don't you?" …and I said I didn't know that!…..and took a quick peek at it!….sure enough!…there it was in big bold letters "Permanently Disabled"

That really struck me, as I hadn't thought much about…and really consider myself more handicapped if anything. It was kind of a quick blast of reality for me….and yet felt odd, because I still work a full time job…or at least try.

This weekend a friend and I went to pick up a dog run….and I had just taken my morning pain med….and the edge was off the pain…..so stupid me I picked up two of the heaviest panels and stacked them on the trailer….all the while thinking this might not be a good idea. Four hours later, I was right…back pain really kicked up, and I was done for the day…and here I am laying in bed as usual….thinking the pain pump process sure is taking a long time getting here and going.

So while I clicked on the handicapped button above…I really feel disabled….just shot!…not really able to do much of anything. At this point in my life, I can walk….well shoot!…thats about it,….cannot do much of anything else…..and I suppose while I do go to work…I'm not worth much of anything there either. rolleyes

OK!…who's next here! tongue

SE wink
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Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/8/2012 2:34:30 PM (GMT-7)

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   Posted 1/8/2012 12:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I hate labels with a passion, but I'm also a realist, and the reality is that I'm disabled. I'm probably 70% reliant on my wheelchair at home, 100% reliant on it away from home. I can cook for my family, but I can't do anything more than very basic housework, can't drive or shop on my own, so no real independence. I think that puts the big 'D' sticker on my forehead...

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White Beard
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   Posted 1/8/2012 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Chutzie I think for some of us this is easier to answer than for others, what I mean is, for some of us, that have been awarded SSD we legally have the title of being disabled! I am not sure how I really feel about that.  I have been awarded SSD and the VA says  I am 60%  disabled, but that might change as my VA doctor wants me to appeal to get in increased to 100%  So legally I do have the label of being disabled, whether I like it or not! I mean, I know that physically I am not "whole" and  never will be!! I  just can not do all the things I used to be able to do and with that realization, even though I know it is true, it really bothers me to think that other people think of me as being disabled and possibly inferior to that of others that are not!. I mean lets face it, to allot of people,.... rightly or wrongly ........ doesn't being disabled have the connotation of being inferior??? Sadly I think it does!
As for the title in the survey, well I think I am all of them, but I hope that others don't know that! I mean the the VA and SS say I am disabled and the state with its little card they give you to hang from your rear view mirror they says I am handicapped, I think I am inconvenienced, and I have problems now and then with accute severe pain and more or less constant problems with  lower chronic pain. But with all that said, I hope that I am just another face in the crowd and no one notices that I am in pain, and that I am inconvenienced, and disabled and handicapped!!!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 1/8/2012 12:20:28 AM (GMT-7)

Screaming Eagle
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   Posted 1/8/2012 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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"I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am" author unknown

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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 1/8/2012 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
This was such an interesting topic that I just had to jump in.  I suffer from chronic pain from fibromyalgia and it's usually in the 6-7 pain range and worse when I'm in a flare.  I have my handicap placard and my social security disability but I don't feel either handicapped or disabled.  I'm definitely not just inconvenienced and not a face in the crowd either. 
This made me stop to think how I really do think of myself and I guess the best way to describe my feelings is that I'm a loving person who happens to suffer from chronic pain.  If I considered myself handicapped or disabled, I'm afraid I would accept that and start acting handicapped or disabled.  Those words sure bring up strong images in my mind and I could easily limit myself in attempting things.
So, just considering myself as a person with chronic pain, I will attempt things I might not do otherwise and lots of time I do surprise myself.  I try to figure a way around things so I can do what I want but I also know there are things that I have tried but can't do.  That's okay, too.  I don't have to be able to do everything but I like the hope this gives me.
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

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   Posted 1/8/2012 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I tend to use the word "disabled" when referring to my health issues.

There's really no good reason why I use that specific word as opposed to others though.


Betsey Ross
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Date Joined Mar 2011
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   Posted 1/8/2012 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, SSDisability has deemed me disabled. I have a permanent handicapp placard for my car.

To top everything the new ortho doc told me that my knee implant that I will get in March wont bend any better than my natural knee that is screwed up. I just pray that I can have a reduction of pain and walk straighter. Just wait and see what happens. I am very determined that the implant will bend better.

So right now I am disabled but after March I will see how I am.

crushed lower knee and vertical fx of tibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected leg continously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/ metal removed in July//then total knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take oxycontin,flexeril,cymbalta,vicadin for BT

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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 1/8/2012 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a good one. SSD says I am disabled like WhiteBeard. But I have to be honest, I cannot stand that label. I have long since accepted my health issues, but that does not mean I like them either, lol. The best way I like to describe myself is, I am limited. There are many things I can no longer do, but then I am 58 now and some of those things a 58 yr old has no business doing. I can still do a lot but its in a different way, takes me much, much longer that it use to. I push myself, I always have and most likely always will, but thats also why I can still do many things. I refuse to give in, I did for a year and hated it and me at the same time.

So just called me limited and its all good for the moment, lol.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Date Joined Sep 2006
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   Posted 1/8/2012 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I suffer from fibro, CP, MDD and a bunch of back and hip problems.

I would have to say it depends on the day-sometimes I am bedridden, some days I do quite a bit. Maybe one of the categories should have bee "a mess"-lol11 That 's what i feel like most days.

I see other people who are truly 100% disabled and I cannot comfortably say that is me. But there are days that that designation fits me too.

I guess I am lucky that I have days where i am just a little slow and limited in my activities...and thru the grace of God and sheer stubbornness, bedridden days are further apart.


How's that for NOT answering the question Chutz-lol!!
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

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   Posted 1/8/2012 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   
What I might have is not whom I am, I'm a person with a handicap...even though I have Sjogren's, Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis,
Fibro, CP, Back Problems mostly stenosis and two buldges, Osteoarthritis, Gerd, Depression, enlarge pituitary gland, acl problems with right knee, with a lot of medicine allergies...I'm still just a person...we all can put a label on ourselves but when it comes to it
we are all just human's trying to make this world a better place...this is my opinion, please not asking for any arguements...
So, I'm a Person (Human) with handicapps...no matter how hard a day is for me, it might not be all that hard for others...
Many well wishes to all
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

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Date Joined Oct 2010
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   Posted 1/9/2012 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure if any of the options capture how I view myself. I am definitely "inconvenienced" and I have a handicap parking pass (which I rarely use).

Pain results from putting much weight on my right hip either by sitting without adequate cushioning, lying on my right, jumping, walking too fast, or taking stairs incautiously.

I cannot outstretch my arms or raise my left arm above 45 degrees without a major pain flair --so I cannot (without pain) use the arm for eating, doing some chores, holding cards during a game, chopping vegetables at the kitchen counter, etc..

From an hour after I get out of bed until an hour after I return to bed, I am in a pain state around a 2/3 on a good day, 4/5 on a bad, with short flairs up to 7-8 when I do something like lean forward and outstretch my left arm.

But if my life depended on it, I could run a mile or lift a 100lb box. I can still do just about everything I used to be able to do, except that it causes me pain and drains me of energy.

So what am I?
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

Monty's Mom
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   Posted 1/9/2012 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Reading these brought to mind some of the negative connotations of the words disabled and handicapped. We all can't be healthy, and who is to saw what is normal or not? Even medical diagnoses and the human body all have different ranges of "normal."

That being said, I am disabled. I can still do many things that I used to, but am not able to care for my home without help. A ride to appointments, the store, house hold chores. I can still do many things with adjustments to accommodate my needs and a lot of time to get them done.

Way to make me think!
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI dysfunction, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, 11 pelvic surgeries for pain, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and ovarian remnant syndrome.
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