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Bad Words Make For Bad Days

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Zephyr | 00:24 UK time, Saturday, 14 July 2007

It's Friday the 13th, and my editor requested I write on the theme of 'bad disability days.' Truth be told, I don't have bad days. I have bad *periods*. Readers of Arthritic Young Thing know that I've had a migraine for the last year, and only recently started getting relief from a new drug called Topamax.
Almost every day for the last year has been a bad day for me. Fun, eh? But that's life with a chronic pain disorder.

I've also been blogging a lot about disability terminology. I think I'll share with you all my least favorite words that I've been called in the past. I don't mind being called 'crippled' or 'disabled', but by George, do those words from childhood bug me. They certainly did create some bad days for me when I was a kid.

When I was a wee tot in grade school, kids would run alongside of me and start walking like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. 'Robot' and 'CP3O' were some of the clever titles thrown my way. Right. Because arthritics and robots both move stiffly. Brilliant. 'Stiffy' was also popular, especially when my classmates found out my middle name is Stephanie.

It dawned on me as an adult that some of those kids were actually trying to make friends with me with good-natured teasing. Some of them were just being jerks. Some of them were even flirting with me. What the hell kind of dating tactic is that? Treating someone like a freak isn't going to make them fall into your arms. It WILL make them want to hit you under the knee-caps with their walking stick.

I don't get little boys.

My boyfriend cheered me up immensely when I told him about those schoolmates of yesteryear. He turned to me and said "I hear those people fell down a mineshaft. Onto tall sharp spikes." Isn't he great? See why I keep him around?

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