At Through the Roof we’re aware of many people with various hidden disabilities who struggle daily – not just with their impairment, but with the misunderstandings of others. We hope the following article by Kay Morgan-Gurr and link to a Christian TV programme about ME from Revelation TV on You Tube: follow this link to watch the show on YouTube, will encourage you that you’re not alone. Why not comment via our Facebook page by following this link.
Today I’ll be having a blood test to see if I have a third hidden disability to add to my list – another one to try and explain - because other than a walking stick, I look really well!
My body doesn’t multi-task - I can’t stand… and sing, so I sit down for church services. But I can stand and drink a coffee. Actually, that is because sitting down with my hands full is impossible - I need both hands to steady myself as I sit. Plus, all the seats near the coffee area are usually taken and walking with a full up of coffee is also bodily multi-tasking - so drinking the coffee standing up is easier!
For my friends, my disabilities are confusing and hard to understand, so imagine what it is like for those who don’t know me! I got so fed up of explaining things, I put a page on my blog (follow this link to visit Kay's blog)and direct people there which has really helped.
In the outside world it is often a very different tale. I can’t do long queues, walking is slow and laboured, bright lights and sudden sounds hurt. When shop assistants help me by opening a new till I get comments such as “I think I’ll feign an illness to get help too”. Remaining positive in a world designed for the healthy is difficult. But I find my biggest weapons are my smile and my sense of humour.
Wherever I am, I find calm explanation is very helpful, whether the explaining is done by me or a friend. Most ‘unfair’ things happen due to lack of understanding, so to say, “This happened and it made me feel….” is far better than “This happened and it’s obvious you don’t care”. I’ve managed to change a lot of issues that way! There will always be situations that I cannot change - I will keep chipping away at those, but I will not waste the little energy I have on getting angry about it. From experience - It doesn’t work.
Today I resolve to show the grace I am given daily to live with my disabilities and point to God as the one who gives me that Grace. It’s not easy and many days I fail, but I will try.
Kay Morgan-Gurr, Director, Children Worldwide
Tales from Nyeri
Sue Pimentel took part in Wheels' 2012 distribution to Nyeri as an occupational therapist. Since returning, she's spoken at her church (St. Paul's, Barton) about her experiences, and, thanks to the power of the internet, you can listen to her talk and watch her slides by following the links below. The talk is a wonderful insight into the work on the ground of Wheels for the World, as well as containing many moving stories about the real need for wheelchairs in Nyeri. Have a listen!
- Follow this link to download an MP3 of Sue speaking at St. Paul's
- Follow this link to view the slides accompanying the talk in PDF
- Follow this link to read more about St. Paul's and Sue's support and work for Wheels