Nancy Mairs has multiple sclerosis, because of her disease she prefers to be called a cripple. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease that attacks the nervous system. The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The symptoms are often disabling, causing numbness in the limbs, paralysis, or loss of vision (www.nationalmssociety.org). Nancy takes the term cripple very seriously and doesn’t like to be called anything else.
Nancy chose the term cripple over many others that she could of used like “handicapped” or “disabled”. She chose cripple because she wants people to wince when they hear, and she doesn’t feel people wince at the other terms. Nancy wants people to know that she is tough and life hasn’t been very kind to her. She is very clear that she doesn’t want to be called a disabled or handicapped person maybe because she doesn’t want others to think she is weak, she wants people to know she has had to go through tough trials in her life. Nancy says “ ‘Cripple’ seems to me a clean word, straightforward and precise.”
According to Nancy “Cripple,” means the loss of full use of the limbs, which explains her condition exact. Where as “disabled” is a physical or mental disability. “Handicapped” is a deliberate disadvantage by god, Nancy could never imagine her god as a handicapper. Nancy refuses to be called “differently abled”, she finds it like verbal garbage. She would never refer to anyone else as a cripple, it’s only a word she uses for herself.
Nancy is a lover of words, she puts lots of thoughts into words. Considering she loves them she is very passionate about what her multiple sclerosis is referred to as. Nancy is probably emotional about her condition and that’s why its such a big deal not to call her anything else. It offends her when you call her something else because she would feel like it’s a way of calling her weak. “I am a cripple. I choose this word to name me” Nancy says, she does not like to be...
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