Walk A Mile By: Cindy Carusone

I’m often asked, how does it feel living with a disability? For me, living life with a disability is just living. I was born with my disability so, it’s no biggie. Living life with a disability is just like living life as a woman or a man which means, you’ll have challenges. Usually when I am asked how I do it, the follow-up response is, I couldn’t do it.  This always brings a chuckle to me, for I know, life is unpredictable, and things happen to make you put on your big boy or girl’s pants. My friend and co-worker Cindy is amid managing a temporary disability. Learn how she’s dealing with it as she serves as guest-blogger.


What does it mean to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? One definition is before judging someone, you must understand their experiences, challenges, thought processes, etc. Well, I must say, I found this to be true. Not by choice, but through an accident that sent me tumbling down a small hill.

I felt that I had empathy for people with disabilities, but you truly do not know the struggles and triumphs until you have to walk a day in their shoes, in this case, a wheelchair, crutches and a big boot on both of your feet.

Have you ever tried to just get dressed without the use of your legs? Or just wanting to get something to eat, but you are unable to reach what you need because you are stuck in a wheelchair?  Just try taking a shower, especially if you do not have any assistance or the necessary equipment. Or my latest attempt to get my own coffee, only to spill the hot mess all over my legs.

It has been a true struggle, without the ability to use my feet. I have had to rethink how I get ready in the morning and just how to plan out the day.  I am unable to drive anywhere, so I must rely on others to drive me around.  Can you imagine how it must feel to lose your independence through transportation? I don’t have to imagine anymore, it just sucks!  No other way to say it!

Before you judge anyone and try to critique your idea of what a “person with a disability” does with their life, remember, you truly don’t know, unless you have lived it. You don’t know the reality until you have walked a mile or two with them.

I am just temporarily disabled.  In about six weeks, I should be able to do all the things I was able to do before my accident.  I won’t have to worry about how I am going to do laundry, wash dishes, reach what I want to reach, take a shower without assistance, go places that I can’t go now because the wheelchair won’t fit. Or just be able to get into bed and sleep in a comfortable position.  All these things that I will be able to do again are not something a person with a permanent disability will ever be able to do.

It made me stop and really think about my friend Shari and others who make it seem like it’s not a big deal.  Because for me, it is, and I tip my hat off to all of you.  You are strong and beautiful, and I just don’t have empathy, but respect and love for your ability to triumph.

3 comments on “Walk A Mile By: Cindy Carusone

  1. Monae Dawson on

    Remarkable read you two. Thank you for sharing your story, Cindy. I must say that when I ran into you in the hall the other day, it was difficult watching you struggle, because you always have such a “pep in your step.” There are often things that happen in our lives that give us pause. I call it a time to reflect. We move about hurriedly, and unintentionally forget how very blessed we are. People can appear like machines. I can only speak from experience, that if we live long enough adversity will come our way. The way we handle what we go through is the true test. How will we come out of a situation? What if this is our life from here on out? It can truly be scary to think of how quickly our lives can change, almost instantaneously. This past February I had a sciatic nerve reach my tailbone/lower back. The pain was so excruciating that it nearly paralyzed me. I could not do anything for myself, and wind up missing a week of work. I went through every phase of emotions, from the pity party to everyone leave me alone, to wishing I would’ve taken care of somethings before experiencing this, to finally humbling myself and asking for help from those around me and thanking God for sustaining me. I too respect anyone who has to take a little extra care of themselves. Shari, you do it with such class;)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *