Before My Disability in My Younger Years — Scope | Disability forum
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Before My Disability in My Younger Years

Ookpik Member Posts: 101 Courageous
edited December 2021 in Coffee lounge
l sometimes wonder whether this is a good idea to post my past. But l will let people know how a disability can ruin someone's career. This is me in the British downhill championships of 1975. l was 20 years old at the time.  My ambition was to stay on because l knew things were improving. But, the disability took hold, and l had no choice, but to not sign on .l left the army for one reason. To find out what l was wrong with me. 
The '70s was far more difficult when l was around human activity because people viewed me as a weak timid person. l had people laugh at me, poked insults, and even bully me. l know there is a stigma attached to this. But people made it a lot worse for me and just essacibated the condition.
l spent many decades to find out what l had. , and at last. in 2015,l was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, which l never heard of. And then l thought, how my dad was. He also had dystonia. l saw him having difficulties moving his head, and at times he did shake a little. But, l have it a whole lot worse than my dad. Now l know, this condition l had, was nothing to do with being timid, shy etc, lt was a genetic disorder passed onto me from my dad side.
And then l thought back to my skiing carer. lf l did not have this disorder. Where would l have been, and how far l would have gone in achieving rewards. The dystonia has destroyed my career, but one thing l have achieved is the strength to carry on in life with this disorder
lf anyone had similar situations where your disorder ruined your career. Please, by all means. comment if you so please to do

Nature has all the answers. All we have to do is listen, and peace will prevail


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,052 Disability Gamechanger
    i got to the grand old age of 38 before my disability ruined my career, I was determined after I got to accept it that whilst it robbed me of the career I loved and enjoyed that it would not rob me of me (if that makes sense?).

    Be kind to newer members
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,697

    Scope community team

    Hello @Ookpik

    Thanks for making this post to share your experience, I'm sure it will be useful for others to read, particularly if they are going through something similar. 

    I'm sorry to hear that your condition had an impact on your career, but again I thank you for sharing your experience with the community.

    It seems as though you went a long while without knowing what your condition was, it must have been a relief to finally get those answers.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,272 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing with us about yourself and the effects your disability has had 

    I became disabled at the age of 50 as the surgeon amputated my leg due to severe infection and the next year losing my sight in one eye taking away my ability to return to driving and some independence

    I had to give up a successful career I had worked hard to accomplish over many years and with that you lose the social interaction of working too 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,600 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Ookpik - you have brought back memories of my love of ski-ing, not that I did anywhere as good as you. However apparently I was the fastest downhill skier my secondary school had seen. I had a ski-ing accident which then later seemed, in my GP & consultant's eyes, to define the problems I had.
    I hid my problems to get into physio school, but they were picked up upon once there. Then a friend put my arm in a half nelson in a drunken moment. I should probably have been OK, but at that time I didn't know about my genetic disorder & I consequently have lasting damage to my right arm & wrist.
    It wasn't until my eldest daughter asked me to look into what seemed an obvious genetic disorder that I found out what it was; then we had to find specialists to confirm this.
    I do think what we go through can make us stronger, & the work we've done/ career we've had does not define us, & yet in part it can; the knowledge we've gained, the insights it gives us, & the help we can then offer to others.
  • Ookpik
    Ookpik Member Posts: 101 Courageous
    Thanks to all who have commented here about their past experience with a disorder. l find this does help me as well as helping others. That we are not alone in dealing with a disability .
    l always have flashbacks of that time , how things could be so different if l did not have this disorder. But, what l really want to do is explain to the team as well as my commanding officer why l had to leave. But due to a stigma attached to such a disability,l just could not. and of all places, l know for sure the army is not the right place to get the proper right treatment and diagnosis. 
    l just want them to understand why l left a great career. But,l had no choice. The bullying, the fear, and the dreadful vibes l got from others tell me, l had to leave. Dystonia was hardly recognized in those days. lt was viewed as someone who is a coward, weak, and timid. And that is why l had to leave.

    But. there is one great achievement l did do. was one of my teammates fell, and it was up to me to get through and onto the next level of the competition. l got through and achieved the next level, which led to our team as the Army champions. Many trophies were won that year. And l knew,[deep within me] if l stayed. The opportunities would've been at a high level.
    After all those decades gone by. lt is amazing how these negative flashbacks keep on hitting me 

    Nature has all the answers. All we have to do is listen, and peace will prevail


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