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Am I disabled?

Am I disabled?

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Posted by CC on September 17, 2000 at 20:54:37:

I don't get it. I'm not sure if I'm disabled or not. Let see...I'll start from the begining, but I'll try to be brief. I was in a car accident in Aug. '94. (unrestrained passenger) I was ejected as the car rolled. I was air-lifted to Harborview in Seattle, where I spent the next 2 weeks in a coma. I'm just telling you what they told me-I don't remember anything from about an hour before I got hurt, till about a month after I woke up. Anyway, turns out, I busted one clavicle, dislocated the other one, had a compression fracture in my spine,(T-8) and a severe closed head injury. Now, I'm no Brain Surgeon,
but this ain't the kind of thing you can just brush off your sleeves, and keep on goin'. When I was in-patient for rehabiltation, I was in a wheelchair, to a walker,
to a cane, and eventually weined myself that. Physical Therapy took on a whole new meaning for me. These days, I spend a lot of time in the gym, where as before, I spent a lot of time drinkin' beer and...well chasin' women. My speech is a little
bit slurred, and I walk with a slight limp, but to everone else who didn't know me before I got hurt, I'm
just "weird". I basicly severed all ties (or most) that I had before, because I didn't want that sort of lifestyle anymore- I was very self-consious about my speech and my gait. I still am, though not nearly as much. I applied for SSI, but was denied. I know, I know
I should have appealed their decision, but fact is, there's no such thing as a free picnic. Anyway, the point is, do I call myself disabled, or not? Iv'e worked very, very hard to at least appear normal, but then again, I have a huge, gnarly lookin' scar on the backa' my head that would beg to differ. I am seizure free, (knock on wood) 100% independent, work fulltime as a welder, and am going to school Fall 2000. The way I see it, I could've layed down and died, OR started swinging. I chose the latter. How come everone thinks I'm just "not right"?


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