When situations like these occur, we are all faced with a psychological challenge. I could have become really embarrassed and closed off and decided never to go out in public to prevent my leg or wig from falling off or to prevent hearing the words "she has no hands." But wouldn't that be avoiding life?
Relationships and friendships have come and gone, illnesses have brought me to the brink of death and back to full health, medications have changed, many deaths have been mourned, careers have been thwarted and reimagined, often multiple times on the same day. But I have always kept a gym membership.
Schools' role in responding to campus sexual assault is essential, because students' civil rights -- an equal opportunity to education -- are on the line. I fear, however, that many do not understand that these civil rights concerns stand separate from any criminal proceedings that may or may not transpire.
For over a decade, my primary focus had been to stay alive -- one day, one breath, at a time. Everything else became secondary. I lived in the country of AIDS, on another planet, in another century, speaking a foreign language, in what Virginia Woolf described as the "undiscovered country" of illness.