Stereotype : Lazy Cripple

We’ve all seen it before— a huge guy rolling around Wal-Mart  in a motorized cart—- and our first thought is “how lazy is this guy?”  It’s easy to assume that he is responsible for his mobility problems because he chose to get fat and if he cared at all then he would get off the couch and exercise.  He seems even lazier because he’s not even walking.  We assume that the obesity caused the disability, but what if it’s the other way around?  Perhaps this person has chronic pain and limited mobility due to an illness and gained weight as a result.  Perhaps he is taking medicine such as steroids that causes weight gain .  Or even sadder— what if he eats for comfort and his weight is a sign of deep depression?  Another sign of so called laziness is chronic fatigue.  Pain is exhausting and drowsiness is a common side effect of many medications.  Many of us have to take naps to make it through the day.  I’m sure AB people would like to take a nap some days, but for us it is a necessity, not a luxury.  Imagine how frustrating it would be to be unable to do what you want or to have to sleep away several hours of your day, every day.  Imagine struggling with everyday tasks that most people take for granted.  Imagine bone crushing fatigue but having to push forward anyway.  Now imagine being called lazy by someone that has no idea how it feels to be so limited in strength and endurance.  The bottom line is that you never know someone’s life until you’ve walked a mile in his orthopedic shoes.

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