Wedding Woes

Am I not disabled enough?

Dear Prudence,

I got COVID at the very beginning of the pandemic and have been suffering from long-COVID ever since. My life has completely changed. I no longer have the energy for my previously very active life. It’s been really hard not being able to do much besides work. Through the process, I’ve made some local friends who have chronic illnesses as well. They’ve recommended so much to help me and now I have a limited social life, but I still can’t do any physical activities besides very easy yoga.

One thing they recommended was using a wheelchair or scooter when I have to go out and run errands. It doesn’t happen a lot, as I usually opt for grocery pickup, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. It should be noted that I can walk but it does exhaust me somewhat easily. I was in the store the other day when I came across someone who was also in a wheelchair. I heard them talking on the phone about a game of wheelchair basketball. I asked them about this and they gave me some information. When I got home, I started watching some videos. I asked my neighbor to use their basketball hoop. I absolutely love doing this! Furthermore, it’s one of the only physical things I can actually do that doesn’t seem to tire me out.

I would like to join a wheelchair basketball league, however, my friends said this would be inappropriate since I don’t have a physical disability and since I don’t absolutely need a wheelchair all the time. Even some of my chronic illness friends were concerned this might not be the space for me. I realize I could reach out to the league and they would maybe allow me to join, but I really don’t want to take away a spot on a team from someone who has so much more difficulty in life. What do you think?

— Basketball Blues

Re: Am I not disabled enough?

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    Why not call the team?  Mention that you are among the many people suffering from long Covid and find that the chair is immensely helpful.  You're interested in joining the team however if they think that isn't the right place for you  then you also understand. 
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    Call the team, tell them about your situation, and ask what they think. I think LWs friends don’t really understand what a disability truly is. I work with a lot of rheumatology patients and I am one myself. They're invisible illnesses a lot of the time. But I can assure you it doesn’t change the fact that many of us are harshly physically disabled. 

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    Take this up with the wheelchair league.  I imagine that you are not the only person on the team who has an invisible disabiity and while not 100% confined to a wheelchair, must use it for most of their lives.
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    To me, the only people's opinions who should matter are the folks running the basketball league.  People are super ignorant about disabilities.  To astounding levels.  I don't care if her friends are chronically ill also.  Their disabilities' are not her disability.  I doubt they know what her day-to-day life is like and they have no right to judge.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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