Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just because I Have Brain Damage, It Doesn't Mean I'm Stupid

I am continually amazed by people who treat disabled people like they are mentally incompetent!

What in the world does missing a limb have to do with I.Q. anyway? Or being blind? Nothin'.

Now, I have a diagnosis of "brain damage," but that doesn't mean that makes me stupid either... Not anymore than an individual that receives a concussion. A concussion is physical damage caused by a blow, or shaking, that damages brain cells. Toxic Injuries cause damage by chemical actions that harm brain cells. Just as with physical trauma to the brain, chemical trauma can cause functional abnormalities, too. You'll see the same types of symptoms: swelling in the brain tissue, confusion, disoriented, slurred speech, dizziness, sometimes blindness, and loss of cognitive function, etc.

Have I been mentally impaired? Yes. Severely. Did I feel "stupid?" Yes. Because I could no longer do the things I used to. And I knew it. During that time period I suffered extensive cognitive impairment, couldn't track time, lost most of my vocabulary, couldn't type or write, lost both fine and gross motor skills, my speech was slurred and I experienced visual disturbances, including blindness. My ability to communicate with others was grossly diminished.

BUT, I wasn't stupid! Inside me, in my brain, where it couldn't get out, I still knew. I knew what I felt. I knew who people were, even if I couldn't name them. I knew what they were saying, even if it took me longer to comprehend what they meant. It wasn't that I lost my intelligence; it was just slower, like someone with a broken leg, learning to walk again. The second part of it was that I had lost my ability to communicate and relate to the outside world. It is the same thing that stroke victims experience. We're trapped in our bodies, with no way to make contact.

Before I became disabled by pesticides (and plug-in air fresheners) I worked a lot in the Special Needs rooms in the schools. That's the classroom for students with mental and developmental disabilities. I always believed that their brains were still functioning in there. They just couldn't bridge the communication gap. Since experiencing these types of injuries, myself, I now know it's true.

Research has proven that all neurological impairments are due to environmental and consumer product toxins. Therefore, the "special needs kids" are toxically injured. As are all other persons with neurodegenerative diseases.

Do I get treated like I'm stupid? Oh, yeah. The most ironic thing is that it's usually by some one that's not even as competent as I am in my injured condition. That one always stuns me. There seems to be a direct correlation between real stupidity and bigotry. The more bigoted one is, the more stupidly they behave. They exhibit a complete absence of logic, once bigotry is applied. For instance: I called The Oregon Advocacy for the Disabled, one time when I was desperately trying to get some help. They told me, "They Don't serve (my) kind."

Are you kidding me?! That statement, right there, defies all logic! They're supposed to help all disabled and guarantee equal rights... But they refused to serve me, because I'm disabled with chemical sensitivities. I tell them that I have brain damage. The woman says they don't help people with my kind of brain damage! Are we splitting hairs now? How logical is that! I become upset and she says she will send me some complaint forms to fill out. All forms are toxic due to the chemicals they use to fix the ink to the page!! I tell her this and she says she can send me some forms to complain about it... They then give me numbers of other people I'm supposed to call who should help me. People who I've already called and they refused to help me because they had never heard of my disability, as well. Most of these very bigoted people will even make comments about how very burdensome my life is and then state emphatcally (and erroneously) that my disability is not recognized by the ADA! That is the very definition of disability under the ADA! I can only deduce that they are being deliberatly obtuse.

Deliberatly stupid.

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