Because in the 6 years I’ve been an above knee amputee (AKA) due to diabetic gangrene I’ve been pushed around by the Ministry of Health and its parasitic goons too many times over.
Because instead of worrying about how to get healthier, exercise and walk on my prosthetic leg, to somehow reintegrate myself back into this society, I’ve been busy fighting a medieval system that treats amputees (I only can vouch for what I know best) like inferior expendable species.
Because most of the sites I saw in Japanese are under discreet or not so discreet control by the very same Ministry of Health and the cartels that fill their deep greedy pockets with gold thanks to out misery and pain.
Because I’m fed up of waiting for my prosthetist-in-charge and the so-called Rehab Center TETSUDO KOSAIKAI with old geezers for quacks, to start to do what they are there for and not only PRETENDING to be busy when the Paralympic Games and Winter Olympic games are coming.
Because unlike many of those in that rehab center that lost limbs due to accidents and are otherwise healthy, I and others like me, can not and never will become an active member of the “Health Angels”, the praetorian puppets under the auspices of that very same chief prosthetist (Usui Fumiyo) that served me with a cumbersome and painful socket. I don’t want to be a marathon runner. I want to walk. Be mobile. Many amputees that are there had suffered and still suffer from all kind of diseases have to stoically stand aside while the elite members get by on their supper duper state of art expensive C-legs and sporty aerodynamic artificial feet. Like storm troopers, I often thought.
Because many of us who are left out and treated like inferior beings need a place to vent their dreams,hopes, pain and frustrations on a billboard and discuss ideas and experiences on the AAJ forum. A sort of oasis that is not controlled by Otto Bock, Ossür nor the Japanese Ministry of Health, etc… I’m not good at polite speech but the fact that I can’t walk still, due to the trauma I’ve been thru during these past six years has became too much to stand, and thanks to testimonies from amputees like Steve Vinnie Gonzo and many others I won’t mention yet, including the Amputee Coalition members, I’ve decided that enough is enough.
Time to Walk the Walk.
Because I believe that mobility is a heritage every human is born with.
Because I’m sick and tired of not being able to look others at eye level and equally sick and tired of seeing navel and belt buckles, smell odors that normal standing people don’t notice specially well riding the urban transports. Sick and tired of avoiding lit cigarettes from burning my face or a hole on my sweater. Sick and tired of being hit on my good knee, elbow and face by over night brand named bags. Sick and tired of waiting in the cold or heat for the station staff to haul the ramp to able me to enter urban trains. Sick and tired of having to stop those trains because nobody is waiting for me at the station I need to get off and wait sometimes as long as ten minutes for the station staff to bring the ramp while behind me some people smear or whisper the word katawa yaro, a discriminative word given to any disabled individual till not long ago. Sick and tired of waiting for moms and their brats to get out of the facilities that for some reason I do not know are reserved for the disabled as well and inside the women toilet section. Not rare to get dirty looks from some females as well. Sick and tired that because I know some public toilets reserved for the handicapped are shut down after 5:00pm for the simple reason that the homeless occupy them till early morning. And finally but not last, sick and tired of having to wait for bad mannered able bodied to let me in elevators with priority signs for wheelchair bearers and baby cars and unless I get mad enough to shout get out! and threaten to chop their ankles off do these “people” suddenly remember that there are three and sometimes four elevators next to the one for the disabled.
If I get to walk, I’ll be there to held the doors open to others in need.
Be patient with me, advise and guide me and as time goes by with your postings and eventually, even if I won’t live to see the light at the end of the tunnel, others will…
Jun Itabashi in Tokyo