Hi, I’m Alex and I can’t put on my socks.
It’s such a ridiculously simple task. One that people do everyday, but I can’t. I have a unique form of Hip Dysplasia. A disability that I have since childhood, but no doctor ever noticed. It wasn’t until my early 20s that one finally did, and by then it was a too late for any preventative surgery. The only real option for me is a hip replacement, but at my age that could greatly limit my options for future treatments.
So, instead I walk with a cane, park in handicap spots and sometimes I ask my mother to help me put on my socks.
If I am being honest my disability is one of my least favorite things to talk about. I feel like I always need to explain myself and people always feel the need to offer unsolicited advice. It’s so exhausting. Being constantly on guard, ready to field questions about it. It’s even more annoying coming from people like friends and family.
It has taken me a really long time to try and string these words together. I really hate talking about this. I hate thinking about it, but right now as I am typing this I am in pain. It hurts to sit. It hurts to lay down. It hurts to walk. I have my good and bad days, but today happens to be one of those bad days.
I am frustrated and annoyed at my own body. Why can’t I just bend and tie my shoes? Do I really need to walk with this cane? Can I sit through a three hour long movie today?
As much as I like to think that my disability only slightly inconveniences me or that it’s not a huge part of who I am, it is. That’s the thing. It’s a part of me. It doesn’t define me, but it is in my definition.
Alex: general vintage enthusiast, loves Benedict Cumberbatch and pop culture, has the right hip of a 70 year old woman.
I don’t want pity. I don’t want sad looks if you see me walking with a cane.( I could do without the judgmental ones though.) All I am asking for is what anybody asks for, compassion. Just a small amount of understanding. Not just for myself but others like me. People who’s disabilities or diseases that are not so obvious.
It feels a little silly to say this, but the world can use a little extra compassion.