Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Am I a "High-Functioning" Cripple?


Ever since I was a kid I’ve heard certain cripples referred to as “high-functioning.”

Every cripple wants to be thought of as high-functioning, even though nobody knows exactly what it means. But it sure sounds nice, doesn’t it? People take you a lot more seriously when they think you’re high-functioning. It separates you from the lowly cripples. It puts you among the cripple elite.

So I’ve thought a lot over the years about whether or not I can rightfully call myself high-functioning. But I still don’t know. I guess the problem is I don’t know the calculation for determining which cripples are high-functioning. It seems to me that the way this is done by comparing one cripple to another.

But even when I do that, I still don’t know where I stand. Because what if you compare me to some brawny cripple who’s won a zillion gold medals in the Paralympics? In that case, I always come out looking like Tiny fucking Tim.

Is that fair? It’s like comparing apples to cerebral palsies. Maybe the only fair way to determine if a cripple is high-functioning is to compare them just to cripples of the same genre. But is that fair? It might distort the concept of high-functioning all to hell. I mean, if you compare two cripples who have Lou Gehrig’s disease, then the one who blinks is high-functioning.

It looks to me like there is no officially recognized standard for determining which cripples deserve to be deemed high-functioning. It’s all subjective. So I’ll stick to comparing myself only to cripples within my own genre. Because according to a lot of dumbass doctors, cripples of my genre are supposed to die before we get very far into adulthood. And I’m still alive, so I guess that makes me high-functioning.

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