Born Crips/Made Crips

There's a difference, but we're the same.

So, in my beginning life...Again post, I mentioned the term born crip when referring to my wife, Joey. I'd be considered a born crip, because I've been in a wheelchair all my life from Spina Bifida with Cerebral Palsy in my hands. Joey has Cerebral Palsy, and is also in a wheelchair, but she can get out easier than I can. 

My brother, also named Joey, was a born crip with Spina Bifida. He died in ’00 at 27. I didn’t really get him in life growing up, but during his illness and death, I learned what a real OG crip was (see my Life From Two Feet Below blog for those terms). 

My best friend, Noe, had Muscular Dystrophy and died from it when I was 14. When I met him, I’d have put him the “Handicapped” demographic and wanted to kill him more often than not, but we persisted, and when he died, he was definitely an OG Crip. So, early in life, I learned mortality’s a bitch. I’ll talk about them in a later post.

Anyhoo, Joey and I have both stood with the help of leg braces (think Forest Gump) and standies, which was essentially a platform that may or may not roll with a back that had straps for the legs and the chest for support. It had a detachable tray to put things on to keep the kid occupied. For me, it was added support. These contraptions were normally wood or maybe hardened plastic. 

We were put in this for at least an hour a day as kids if I remember right…it sucked for a kid that could’ve been playing Atari or Nintendo instead of sweating off pounds in the damned things. So, we can stand with aids, but our world really consists of being two feet below.

On the other hand, there're the made crips. Most of the time, these are people, who've been in accidents for whatever the reason by their own stupidity or through forces not with their control. I know some surgeries require peopled be laid up for a bit. I had one on my arm, where I had to wear a cast in traction. Can you imagine a dude already in a wheelchair with PVC pipe and a sling attached to the right side of his chair with his arm up in the air? 

Now, I’m not immune to my own stupidity, because, God knows I’ve pulled some stupid shit that should’ve canceled me, so I’m, in no way, pointing fingers. It’s the born crips that make me laugh, because they're the ones that think we automatically have a kinship when they say, "I know how you feel..." during their temporary stay. 

Really, have you been bullied by other kids because you are a kid in a chair…and deemed helpless? Have you been left out of activities, because someone couldn’t think a little outside the box to include you? Have you had to spend a day or days in bed, because there was no one that would or could come to get you up…for work, no doubt. No, I didn’t think so.

Then, there's the made crip I have the utmost respect for: the vets that've sacrificed for my freedom to be able to write this blog. Those are the ones I want to reach with my posts as well as the kids, born or made, coming up, the ones that will undoubtedly go through what Joey and I went through growing up…who might need advice how to traverse this world they were either born into or the new world fate has placed them in.

So, class dismissed until the next time.

Read next: What Is Kava?
Jason Rhode
Jason Rhode

Jason Rhode is a writer of all things.  He's written movie and album reviews for the online magazine, CrypticRock.  Personally, he writes poetry and horror and children's stories.  He's currently shopping his first books to publishers.

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Born Crips/Made Crips
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What Is Kava?