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Don't dis their ability!

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The other day I was organising stinger suit photos for my social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Tumblr) when it struck me how you often don’t appreciate what you have until it is taken away.

When I was 23, due to an industrial accident, I burnt and crushed my index finger on my right hand. The doctors at the time tried to ‘rebuild’ it and I spent a year without the use of my right arm (as I had to keep the hand elevated at all times) until they finally gave up and cut the finger off. For that year, as I’m right handed, it made some tasks difficult; particularly as a mother of a 6 month old and a 3 year old. You really have no understanding of how much you need 2 hands until one is taken away from you. Try unscrewing the lid off a jar with one hand for example! Or writing with your other hand or pulling your hair up into a pony tail or changing a diaper on a wriggling baby. But I Iearned to adapt because I had to.

Fast track to 2016 and over the years people have rarely noticed that the finger is missing as I could do anything I used to, using my middle finger instead. However lately my poor middle finger has had enough, worked too hard over the years doing the work of 2 fingers and decided to go on strike. The distal phalanx (Neil’s words for the little bone from the last knuckle to the fingertip; handy to have medical partner!) started pointing off to the side, plus I developed some joint bumps that were ultra tender to the touch. 

A visit to the hand surgeon confirmed something needed to be done and we would fuse the joint. Well, actually, he’d operate and I would sleep!

I was told to take 2 weeks off work and that it would take up to 6 weeks to heal. So there I was, sitting at the computer trying to select photos and brand them with my left hand and this big bulbous bandage on my right. 


I was feeling a tad clumsy and remembering what it was like for that year being one handed. Then I saw that the Paralympics had begun.

Not too familiar with these games, I ‘googled’ them and found there are 10 disability categories including physical, visual and intellectual impairment. Athletes with one of these disabilities can compete in the Paralympics though not every sport can allow for every disability category.

When you see just what these courageous athletes achieve, it’s hard to think of them as disabled. They are inspirational, motivational achievers, a shining example to us all that if you really put your mind to it, the sky truly is the limit! I have such a tiny disability compared to these extraordinary people! Prepare yourself to be blown away by this wheelchair stunt at the opening of the games! 

Do yourself a favor, click on the link/pic below and watch these super humans in action. It brought tears to my eyes, I dare you not to be moved by the experience. 

We'd love to see one of these amazing superhumans in our stinger suits!

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