If you’re reading this – though I expect not many people will be just yet – welcome to my blog! My name is Stephanie, AKA the East Coast Cripple.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to come up with the name. It has a meaning, though, and that will be explained in this post. So, if you’re interested in finding out how this blog came into existence, just keep reading! I’m about to explain who I am, what I’ll be blogging about, and why… and I would love if you would all come along with me for the ride!
So, let’s start out with the basics, shall we?
As I said, my name is Stephanie. I’m a 21 year-old Psychology student, born and raised in Nova Scotia – and yes, if you guessed that’s where the ‘East Coast’ in East Coast Cripple came from, you would be right! I’m also queer, feminist, and of course, disabled.
My primary diagnosis is a (relatively) rare genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Type III, Hypermobility Type). Essentially, this means that I was born with a defect in my connective tissue – the tissue that provides support to my muscles, ligaments, and even skin! Thanks to this nasty little bugger of a defect, my body has trouble holding itself together.
Basically, I’m falling apart at the seams.
This isn’t my only diagnosis, though. In fact, A diagnosis of EDS often comes with a number of other diagnoses. For me, those secondary diagnoses include:
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Cervical Rib
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
I bet you understand the ‘Cripple’ part of the name now, eh?
The combination of all of those (not-so-)lovely diagnoses means that I live a very interesting life. I deal with chronic pain, fatigue, joint dislocations, circulation problems, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. As you may have guessed, it’s not always easy to deal with – especially as a lowly university student in the “have-not” province of Nova Scotia.
But here I am! I’m still here, still kickin’, and I’ve got lots to say about accessibility and disability politics here on the good ol’ East Coast. So here at East Coast Cripple, I’m gonna do what others around here don’t seem to be doing – I’m gonna try and open up an honest dialogue about disability, and living as a disabled person in Nova Scotia. I’ll talk about my own struggles, touch on issues of accessibility, and maybe delve into disability politics on a broader scale, eventually.
It’s a new journey for me, but it’s one that I think has the potential to change not only my own outlook, but yours, too. So like I said… keep reading and come along for the ride. I can’t guarantee it’ll be a smooth one (knowing me, it’ll probably be the opposite) but I’m betting it’ll be educational, and hopefully fun!
– Stephanie, ECC