Having four sisters has been a complete blessing and I am very grateful that I have sisters. There are many challenges when you are the only person that is disabled. I will explain the joys and frustrations of having four abled sisters.
Surgery- Whenever I have surgery, I don’t have to worry about being alone. My sisters are always more than willing to visit me and stay pretty much all day. If I ask them to leave, they are considerate and will leave. Hospital food is no gourmet meal so when you have four sisters, they will almost always bring you something that tastes good!
Advice- All of my sisters are super smart, so if I ever need advice from any of them I always have someone to go to.
Travel- My sisters travel up north to visit family we have up there, but I can’t go unless my parents go. They don’t always go. You might be thinking my sisters can carry my luggage for me, why can’t I travel without my parents? The reason I do not travel is I need someone who has sufficient knowledge of my medical condition so if I were to need to go to a hospital and I was unable to speak for myself, the correct information could get relayed. My sisters could not do that to the extent my mother could because my mom takes me to all my doctor’s appointments.
A couple of years ago I was on vacation up north and I had my first seizure and I almost face planted on brick. Luckily, someone caught me. I don’t know who it was because I don’t really remember the whole incident. I am grateful someone saw me fall because if they didn’t there could have been some serious injuries. I would love to travel on my own, but the truth is it’s unsafe. Some disabled people can but for me, it would be incredibly dangerous.
Weddings- No I am not getting married nor am I planning to be anytime soon. I was a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding it took a lot of preparation because I cannot wear certain things that a normal person can wear. I wear braces so I cannot wear whatever shoes I want. I have to wear shoes that are designed for my braces. It can be hard to coordinate all the colors so my shoes and everyone else’s shoes don’t clash since I am limited to what I can wear. Some disabled people don’t have this problem and can wear whatever they want.
Social Life- There are some things that I am unable to do that my sisters are. For example. when we go to the beach my sisters like to play volleyball or they will throw a Frisbee to each other. I cannot play either of those games because they require you to stand. I don’t expect them to change the game because I am unable to stand and play. My sisters don’t exclude me in things on purpose there are just some things you are unable to do when you are disabled.
Comfort- Have you ever been upset, but had no one to talk to? When you have four sisters you don’t have that problem. Having four sisters makes it so you always have someone to talk to. All my sisters have different personalities so you usually want to go to someone closest to your personality because they will do a better job at comforting you. If you go to someone with the opposite personality as you, they will have a harder time at comforting you.
Being the only one that is disabled has its perks and frustrations. Having siblings that are not disabled can be very helpful because when I need help with something they can help me without difficulty. If they had a disability, they would also have difficulties with some things and would be unable to help me as much as they do now. If you have any questions about what it is like to be the only sibling with a disability, please leave them in the comments below.
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!