#DisabilityLifestyle (my disability “journey”)
i have been disabled my whole life, but really never knew it or had been part of the community. i was born with a hole in my heart, asthma, and allergies. i had nose bleeds often, and needed a nebulizer pretty regularly. i was fortunate to have great friends—they would encourage and run with me in school during fitness exams after they had completed their times (they were much more athletic lmao).
around puberty, the hole went away and was confusing to doctors, but i have not had any heart issues otherwise. my asthma went away around that time as well. around that time my GAD/OCD came out, along with my food issues and i had heartburn often (GERD), couldn’t sleep, and missed school often due to these issues.
once i went to college, i experienced more trauma (my home was also traumatizing for various reasons) and i have considered myself disabled, and noticed my disability since then. i developed PTSD, and was in a constant state of hypervigilance for nearly ten years, without exaggeration. this caused more stomach issues—i had diarrhea literally every single day, for two years (2017-2019) before i was able to get tests done by doctors. they claimed food allergies, but it’s more extreme sensitivity in my gut (as most don’t make my mouth/throat itchy and swollen), after talking to an allergist of other allergies. i was diagnosed with GERD. i am bloated and in digestive pain Constantly, because i cannot afford a diet that is free from the top ten most common food allergies, and a few others that aren’t as common.
somewhere in that hypervigilant period i also got some sort of joint/nerve damage or just the stress causes me to be in constant join pain. some of it may be arthritis or carpal tunnel from desk work, but it is not limited to just my wrists. my entire body hurts always, usually feels like bone pain but sometimes muscular.
now, in the past few years my asthma has returned with vengeance. combined with it being exercised induced, it is also influenced by my air-borne allergies (dander, dust, mold, certain pollen, etc). i had a period of time in the past year where just literally out of bed took me out for 30+ min. then i had to walk down the hall, down the stairs, and take care of the dogs… i am now on more medication for this than i have ever been before. my own nebulizer, two inhalers i take daily, and a rescue inhaler, plus three allergy medications i take daily. i have not needed the nebulizer or rescue inhaler since i started the two daily ones, but previous i was using my nebulizer every six hours.
i still struggle with air in my own home (due to it being neglected before i even got here, but also my pets and the house is full of smokers) but outside of it is easier. i still struggle to walk or stand for long periods. i still have issues with my OCD/GAD/PTSD.
i haven’t taken the time to write this all out, but have been thinking about it a lot and how not being considered disabled when i was younger impacted how i view disability now. it has been difficult, but really i have been in this position for my whole life and just never knew it.