It is quite fitting on this International Day of People with Disability that my own chronic illness has somewhat disabled me. I am writing this from under the covers (even if you imagine really hard, it’s not a sexy situation I am in). I am sore, finding it hard and very painful to walk, a little bit miserable, and unable to go to work. The chemist gave me a doctor’s certificate, and suggested home-based treatments. I am now on a second dose of antibiotics and nauseating pain killers. If I am not better by Sunday I will take myself to the emergency ward for a consult with the dermatologist, to receive IV antibiotics rather than a hospital stay. And I’m concerned that I’ll be too unwell to go to my own birthday party tomorrow night. It sucks.
I had a shower at my friend’s house this morning. As I mentioned, I never look my best first thing in the morning, so to have kisses blown to me and smiles from her beautiful one year old daughter made me feel good about myself. There’s nothing like the unconditional love from a baby to cheer you up when you’re feeling your worst.
Something else that’s put a smile on my face today, and made me very proud is the launch of the ABC’s disability portal, Ramp Up.
My introductory article has been published.
I’ve not had a lot to do with International Day of People with Disability until very recently. I never thought it applied to me. But it does, and even if I didn’t have a chronic illness, it should apply to me. This day is very important to raise awareness about disabilities and chronic illnesses, and to celebrate ability.
For the past three years I’ve had greater involvement in International Day of People with Disability. I coordinate events for it in my workplace. I’ve spoken at some of these events in 2008 and 2009. This week I have coordinated and assisted with two events at work – giving the opportunity to young staff and friends to share their stories about their disabilities. Hearing their stories – some struggles but mostly triumphs – moves me to tears.
In her editorial welcome on Ramp Up, Stella Young writes ‘In a lot of ways, International Day still doesn’t mean a great deal to me. It’s just a day. I’m proud of who I am every day, and I know dozens of other disabled people who feel exactly the same way.’
I feel a bit the same. But this year International Day of People with Disability feels more special for me because I am now a contributor to Ramp Up, in the company of many other talented writers.
I am going to rest up now, under the covers. Read the newspaper and sleep. And hope that my infection heals soon.