The Eighth Page

The Trials and Tribulations of a … “CRIPPLE”

It is no fun being physically and mentally hampered by a crippling injury, especially when it was the result of a “freak accident.” Most of us have endured it before: the unbearable pain we feel, the disgusted and disapproving looks we receive from passersby and the long nights we spend weeping in bed. And, consequently, changing our adult diapers. But cripples need not hide in the shadows and dark places of the world any longer, looking to escape the cries of “Freak!” and “Loser!” from the “normal folk.” The following journal entries of a PA student cripple should shed some light on these poor souls. Jan. 27th: I got a surprise visit from Sugar King today. I wasn’t expecting him until next week, but apparently, I was farther behind on my payments than I thought. He (and his two big, strong, muscular enforcers) kindly informed me that I hadn’t made due on the last two shipments. Needless to say, they hurt me. And not just physically. I felt like that small, skinny prison inmate that always drops his soap in the shower. Jan. 28th: The doctor says that I broke my clavicle. I’ve broken bones before, but not this badly. The rest of the physical exam didn’t go so well either. I never knew “dinner and a movie” was a medical procedure. Feb. 7th: I’m having difficulty doing some of the simple things that I used to take for granted. This morning, I had to have my roommate dress me. How embarrassing! Feb. 16th: This is miserable. I can’t even cut my own food. This has to be the most emasculating thing that’s ever happened to me, except for when my girlfriend ordered my food for me when we went out to eat two days ago. Since when do I eat parsley salad? So now I’m not only crippled, but fat, too? Feb. 25th: I went back to the doctor this week. It was a new doctor, though. He said I could take my sling off, but he added that I shouldn’t undergo physical contact for another two weeks. I asked him if he meant any physical contact with a sheepish grin and a slight raise of my eyebrow, just to show him how much of a player I am. He responded by beginning to dim the lights and lighting some candles. I left immediately. What is it with doctors? Mar. 2nd: Well, I’m totally healed. Back to contact and everything. Yes, any kind of contact. I feel like I have learned from all of these experiences. One thing is to never be in debt to drug-dealers. And the phrase, “trust me, I’m a doctor” isn’t always an accurate one. -Peter Nelson