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Volume 2, Issue 2
Summer 2006:


Carol Martinez Weber

Cell 2 Soul. 2006 Summer; 2(2):a9

Standing on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Twelfth Street, I considered my options. One block to my right the green awning of my favorite coffee shop jutted out over the sidewalk. My taste buds were already on alert for the pungent sweetness of a soy latte. One of the counter ladies molds the foam into beautiful designs. She once created a tree so lovely that I hesitated to spoil it by tilting the cup and sipping her foamy sculpture.

Home with a comfy couch and a wide-screen television awaited me in the other direction. Wistfully, I turned left and headed for the comforts that have brought me so much delight and diversion from my stiff and aching joints. That is what being disabled means to me. No matter how much I desired that latte, I just couldn't face walking the extra few steps to obtain it.

My friends are envious that I don't have a job and that my disability income covers my expenses. They say, "You're so lucky to be free." As always, my inner world continues to flourish uninhibited. But my disease strips me of freedom in the external world. An intense regime of physical therapy, rest and medical visits punctuates my days. Otherwise, I laze on the couch, often in pain, wishing I could do something productive. This "freedom" I would trade in an instant to work full-time if I could have my health back.

Living with pain and disability is a long way from being free.

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