Sometimes those of us who have physical disabilities get upset when we have to be excluded from fun things such as family holiday games, keeping up pace with friends at the gym, or tolerating the heat of July mixed with the noise of fireworks on the 4th. Knowing there are some things in life you just aren't able to do, or misery will prevail if you choose to do them, really freaking sucks. At 19 years old, it makes you wonder what some of the bigger steps in life will look like. However, I do know I can't take the steps and the elevator is the safest option currently.
You might see it as laziness for not going up one flight of stairs, while I know it's saving my body from collapsing. Five years of living with a collapsed iliac leg vein, intractable migraine, daily persistent headaches, Ehlers Daniels Syndrome (EDS), neuropathy in my hands and feet, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and immense brain fog is REALLY challenging. It's not only physically draining, but mentally as well. This is especially true as a full time college student living out of state. So at the end of a long day or in the morning right after I've gotten out of bed, stairs are really dangerous.
I've missed steps and fallen forward down compete flights of stairs. The danger in that is EDS equals loose connective muscle causes for a looseness in joints; this leads for them to easily pop out of the socket. I have the vascular version so I bruise extremely easily. Simply bumping into the counter will leave a huge bruise, never mind tripping up a few steps. With POTS, I get dizzy and blackout frequently. If I'm going to fall, I'd prefer it not to be down a flight of stairs on a rough surface. I already have major issues with migraine pain; the goal is no concussions meaning not increasing chronic migraine pain.
So you can think one flight of stairs is nothing and you are able to think that. However, I guarantee that to a person with an invisible disability, stairs are everything. They are the difference between a surgery and no surgery. They are the difference between life long injuries and continuing on with our current battle. They are the difference between exasperated pain and making it where we have to be while staying at our current pain level.
Elevators are lifesavers. They are a simple solution for those of us unable to take the stairs; that's why we have first right to them. If you've never noticed, there's little signs outside most elevators stating that. On the downside, they lead to cruelty from careless strangers; the quiet comments you just can't shake. The comments are an inconsiderate method of being ignorant, while choosing to pass up a learning opportunity.
Invisible Disabilities are everywhere. Use your ability of kindness we all have to be more understanding and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Remember that just because you cannot see something doesn't mean it's not there or isn't happening. So beware of your gift; challenge yourself to be the one to take the stairs.