The fact that I have two disabilities means I walk the line between two communities. Often people in one don’t know how the other integrates into my life. So, with October being dwarfism awareness day, I thought I’d pose a Q and A session to facebook and see what people want to know.
How tall are you?
I am 3’8. My arms and legs are shorter than a person my age, but my body is typical for a 25 year old woman. There are over 200 types of dwarfism, which is a medical term for people under 4’10. My form is yet to be found.
Does being a little person effect your daily routine?
Yes and no. It does in the sense that I am always acutely aware of where things are and making sure they’re within my reach. I also spend a fair bit of energy climbing on and off chairs, into cars, etc. Lastly, us short people don’t walk as fast as others, so I have to take that into account when I navigate.
What is the most challenging thing about being blind and having dwarfism?
This made me think hard. Each comes with its challenges, but not much can be attributed to both blindness and dwarfism equally.
Both disabilities make finding things challenging. If I can’t reach something, I basically can’t see it. If I can’t reach it, I can’t climb for it, and even if I did, I still may not find what I’m looking for.
Is it difficult to find clothes in your size for your age?
The fact that my body is that of an average woman makes finding clothing a lot easier. Pants, shirts, sweaters etc can all be hemmed to my arm and leg length. 3/4 length sleeves and warm weather things work great. No modification needed. Shoes are harder because my foot size is small and I’d rather not wear bright, sparkle patterned kid footwear.
If you were to build a house, would you want it modified for you?
For the most part, no. I am the type who likes to have people over, and most of the people would most likely be average height. I shouldn’t have guests sit low to the ground or bend over to access amenities of my house when I’m capable of adapting to an average height world. My only exceptions might be a side-by-side fridge freezer combo, and a stove which raises and lowers (yes, they have those.) Also, an elevator would be sweet!
Do you wish you were taller?
Sometimes I wouldn’t mind an extra couple inches, just to minimize the climbing. I don’t wish to be average height, and I don’t want those added inches enough to do something about it.
Did or do you get picked on because of your height?
Not really. I get a lot of curious kids who don’t always understand what they’re saying when they say things. Once in a while I get comments from someone just being rude, and to those I reply with a wave of the middle finger. I always had a lot of friends in school who I think fended off most the grade school cruelty.
Have a question of your own? Find me on social media via the social links menu or toss it in the comments.