Monday, April 25, 2011

Define Handicapped......

"Although handicapped is widely used in both law and everyday speech to refer to people having physical or mental disabilities, those described by the word tend to prefer the expressions disabled or people with disabilities. Handicapped, a somewhat euphemistic term, may imply a helplessness that is not suggested by the more forthright disabled. It is also felt that some stigma may attach to the word handicapped because of its origin in the phrase hand in cap, actually derived from a game of chance but sometimes mistakenly believed to involve the image of a beggar." ~Usage note listed with the definition of handicapped on

So, this was the weekend. The weekend that I broke down and visited my local BMV to pick up my handicapped placards for my car. I'm still not happy about it, but my husband is now insistant that I have them in both of our vehicles and USE THEM. I keep choking each time I attempt to swallow my pride on the subject. I understand my husband's concern for my safety, especially with the disease as out of control as it is right now, but I'm having trouble considering myself as handicapped. I know that some of it is pride, but there's another part of it that just has me dumbstruck and asking....."am I REALLY handicapped?"

hand·i·capped (hănˈdē-kăptˌ)adj. Physically or mentally disabled.
dis·a·bled (dĭs-āˈbəld) adj not in proper working order; out of commission:

Yep.....I guess so.

I like the definition "not in proper working order." It makes me smile, because that is the best way I have heard myself described. I am, indeed, not in proper working order, especially compared to what I used to be. I am working, and I am able, but perhaps not 100%. Kind of like a car that has a squeaky belt or a coffee pot that continues to leak. You can still get some use out of it, but maybe not the exact results that you are accustom to. That's me alright.

"Out of commission"? Yep, that's sometimes me as well. When my body, which is not in proper working order, has a tendency to poop out altogether. The day after overexertion or too much travel can all be days when I may consider myself "out of commission." Don't call me, don't Facebook me, don't text me. I'm grumpy and "out of commission". These are the days when my body is placed in the impound lot and waiting for someone to pay the fine for me. More specifically, I'm laying in bed waiting for my meds to do their job.

Okay, so I admit it....perhaps handicapped is the correct term. Question is, how do I change my attitude so that I can be positive about being labeled as such? I know I've referenced it before, but I keep coming back to this passage in The Message:

"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." ~2 Corinthians 12:7

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