Drawing Myself

August 29, Joy Murray

People often ask what’s wrong with me, or more rudely, “What happened to you?!?”  I try to give as short of an answer as possible because my story is complex and I know most people don’t want to hear all that.  “I have a degenerative disorder,” is my standard answer.

But terms and words jangle around people, and I caught myself wondering about these things, how to describe myself and others with dignity — you know short of just calling them by their name.  I usually don’t ask about a person’s physical make-up, unless I see someone in a cast or with stitches that weren’t there before.  And I know them and care for them.

Anyway, I had to go three places yesterday where using a wheelchair wasn’t an option.  I wonder sometimes when I’m in a wheelchair permanently, how I’ll get places.  I’m working on it, checking out medical transport and the Memphis PLUS bus.  But for now, I can still hobble a bit.  So sometimes I do — but only when others are with me, in case I fall and can’t get back up.

When I got settled and rested, I drew myself with a handy cap.

It cheered me considerably.


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10 thoughts on “Drawing Myself

    1. Thanks so much. It gets so complicated dealing with a handicap and then having to explain it all. People and relationships are often harder to navigate than physical barriers.

  1. lovely drawing and text. Thank you very much for exposing your thoughts on the disease and its coexistence here. I think it’s good to talk about these things that you never talk about (because people do not feel comfortable listening to it or reading about it) but all this is part of life and taking it naturally, it would help us all to live in a healthier world, less neurotic. A hug and all my love

  2. I love your handycap Joy! I feel like being sarcastic when strangers say, “What’s wrong with you?” I’m tempted to reply with something like, “I’m OK. What’s wrong with you?” I like your artistic response. Well done!

    1. When someone I don’t really know asks what happened to you, and I’m in a good mood, I make up a story about a terrible train wreck or falling down steps rescuing someone from a fire. Or a fight where “you should see the other guy.” Injecting humor into the situation always helps me regain my sense of self. Love your response. I’ll have to use that soon — because people always want to know. I think it stems from sympathy and curiosity but it gets annoying.

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