What A Person With Hemiparesis Can Do

I am getting very, very tired of people making erroneous assumptions about what I can and can't do as a disabled individual. I get tired of people assuming that there are no simple adaptations for common tasks, therefore they can be used as discrimination points for jobs because they don't want to face the reminder of their own mortality that my presence brings to their life.

Learn to deal with the fact that the disabled have a right to live and work too.
Learn to deal with the fact that young people have strokes, and aren't always able-bodied, thin and fit.
Learn to deal with your own mortality, and don't use your unwillingness to be uncomfortable and unwillingness to be creative deny me a job and a livelihood.

The Ugly Truth

I was born in 1961. I had an AVM blow out as they were going in to remove it in 1995 - a hemorrhagic stroke. I have hemiparesis. This means I have decreased use of my right leg, and very, very limited use of my right arm and hand. I also have some balance problems. It is true that there are some things that it is literally impossible for me to do.

I weigh over 200 pounds at 5' 8". I do not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or any of the other "fat people" problems. The stroke was due to a congenital problem, not "bad lifestyle choices" or other such nonsense.

What I Can And Can't Do

The "can't do" items are actually limited to stuff that fully requires strength and/or dexterity in both arms, or good balance. The "can do" items are everything else, including stuff that a lot of folks assume is on the can't list, but is actually possible because of ingenuity and adaptation.

If You Need It, Ask!

As you can see, the list of things I can do is longer than most people might expect. I also have a pretty good sense of what is really posiible with a little ingenuity and adaptation (cheating, faking it, whatever you want to call it) and what I just can't do.

By Linda J Laubenheimer, ©2010
This page created May 25, 2010. Last updated 5/25/2010