knee brace

10

#CripplePunk2016

[Image Description: a photo collage of Annie with different colors of hair and several different colorful outfits, in some photos she is in her wheelchair, in other photos she is standing with a cane, in other photos she is wearing wrist and knee braces, and in one photo she is exposing her hypermobile fingers as she speaks.]

Starting out with the intention of becoming reacquainted with my self-portraiteur and accidentally ending up taking outfit photos; which I have rarely ever done.

Getting to know my body as it is now… More disabled and much smaller than before, I feel like a stranger some days. Simultaneously learning to shed shame and embarrassment of doing things that make people stare. Even when I appeared fully able-bodied I struggled with this. Far too much scrutiny on the individual, at the same time, much of it is self inflicted.

2

Awhile ago, I saw a photo shoot featured on here titled “Impressions”. It showed the impressions that certain clothing leaves on the body in hopes to make it more beautiful. But what about the impressions that are left because of an injury? The braces and sleeves that we wear?

This is my daily impression. This photo was taken after having the brace on for 10 hours. I will always be in a sleeve. That’s my reality. (Or at least until I have a full knee replacement when I’m 50…) I have good days when I don’t wear it, but if I’m dancing, working out, or at work for long hours, I need it. And I have tried to help strengthen my knee, but there is more damage than a bunch of exercises can fix. But I am not held back by it. My injury/condition forces me to keep pushing forward. Yes, the brace is itchy and irritating. But it is a daily reminder that one day, I might permanently be without it.

List of creative things to say when people ask about your injured knee
  • (After two weeks of wearing a brace and having physical therapy, I might add.)
  • So I was wrestling this bear-
  • My grandmother pushed me down a flight of stairs.
  • I took a blunt arrow to the knee.
  • I was skydiving and-
  • I swear to God, the pool had water in it.
  • I was wrestling this crocodile-
  • Train wreck.
  • So I was taking this Ring to Mordor-
  • I was attacked by a hippogriff. I am lucky to be alive!
  • I was hiking and found Bigfoot, but he wasn't too happy to see me...
  • I was in the Hunger Games this summer. Won, by the way.
  • Jackie Chan kicked me during our fight-
  • -and the catapult backfired!
  • Tripped on my way to hug Obama.
  • What? Oh-Oh my God when did this brace get here?!? AAH
  • It's a fashion statement.
  • Two words. Extreme. Ironing.