Posted by: silverstar98121 | July 9, 2008

Random Observations

Gentle readers: I do not aspire to be “inspiring”. I aspire to be hilarious. Disabled people get up and do what I did every. single. day. If you want to be inspired I will tell you about Alan. Alan is confined to an electric wheelchair, and has just enough mobilty to use his joystick and his computerized communication board. He can’t hold his head up very well, and he drools. I often see him on the bus on his way home. The other place I see him is at Pike Place Market, where he busks by playing songs on his comm board. And then he gets himself on the bus and goes home. That’s inspiring, I am a piker in comparison.

If you can’t see the hilarity of trying to shuffle two walkers and two dogs on a bus, then you just haven’t ridden the bus lately. And how about some long-haired, bushy-bearded guy hopping on a bus and giving a woman a purse? Oh, I hadn’t told you that The Boyo has long hair and a bushy beard. Never mind.

Disabled people for the most part don’t want to be inspiring, they just want to live. They aspire to the spirit of the American’s with Disabilities Act. They wish to “boldly go where everyone else has gone before.” Seventy per cent of the disabled are unemployed. There could be some Stephen Hawkings out there who are going to waste. But they have to choose between being able to live, and being able to work. That’s the system, and it’s a stupid system. For more background, you can read my kvetchings over at The View From the Bottom of the Shaft.

In other observations, it is the law that cars are supposed to stop for people in the crosswalks or at an intersection. It is my observation that the folks in BMWs and Lexi don’t stop, but the people in rusted out Hondas, do. And in my opinion, that’s whats wrong with this country. The folks who have the money have no care of ordinary folks, or even of the law.

I’m tired tonight. Maybe it was the trip yesterday, maybe it was spending an hour to go a block to the drug store to get some chicken broth and a loaf of bread. In 80° heat. I have good days and bad days. For every sparkling up day, there is a down day. Or two or three. So I think I will go to sleep soon, and hope tomorrow is better.

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Responses

  1. Got it… i happen to find you both inspiring and funny as hell! Still snorting over the “pee mail”…

    Had an acquaintance when i was first in college. She was a quadraplegic. Used to come over and hang out with me because i had no problem holding a beer can with a straw for her so she could have a beer… most folks were a bit weirded out. She helped sensitize me (at least a little bit) to the point of view from a wheel chair…

  2. oh, and here’s to a better Wednesday!

  3. Thanks Daisy Fae. I knew I would like to hang out with you. Anybody who would hold a beer for a quad is A-OK in my book. But I’ll bet visiting with somebody who wasn’t wierded out was more important than the beer.

  4. Oh, I get it Silverstar. Still, in reading your tales, I think you’re escapades are worthy of note.

    My late wife (finally – after raising our two kids) attended college in her late 30’s/early 40’s. She ultimately earned the degree needed to be a rec therapist. Her targeted population to work with was seniors. Along the way, she had to take courses that included things like mobility challenge. One assignment had the entire class spend the day in wheelchairs moving about campus in order to find out what it was really like that from that perspective. She tried out sledge hockey. Naturally I was the recipient of many debriefings on her learnings and so I learned too.

    Although it was a very (comparatively) brief time before she died, my late wife’s illness resulted in her needing to use a walker also and then a wheelchair. I have a little firsthand knowledge you could say.

    Contrast all that with my younger brother. His story is a sad one. He is now all of 30 years old. He has two little boys. His wife has grown tired of him and the caregiver role and left him. He was diagnosed with Lupus at the ripe old age of 20. Did he learn what he could to make the most of his life with this disease? No. Did he make any changes or choices in his lifestyle to help him prolong his life? No. He’s now down to zero kidney function. He is totally reliant on dialysis. He doesn’t work. (Can’t do the only thing he knows – manual labour.) He lives on an income from the government now. He focuses more on what he can’t do than on what he can. He has always had a bit of the “world owes me a living” mentality though. He spends all of his time playing computer games, often with others over the internet.

    He could do, but chooses not to. You can do, and choose to. To me, that’s all the difference.

    Good on your friend Alan. His willingness to do is also worthy of note.

    Don’t sell yourself short.

    You are funny too. I didn’t comment, but the yellow ribbon post you found cracked me up.

    Oh, I didn’t know that the plural of Lexus was Lexi. Reminds me of an old geek discussion on whether the plural of virus was viruses or virii.

    By the way, you’re right about the kind of people who drive those sorts of cars. Self-important shmoes, usually living off the avails of ….well, the labour of others.

  5. Hmmm… i wasn’t focusing on the disabled part when i responded before… i was looking at someone, disabled or otherwise, who met shitty circumstances (it could’ve been a busted ass car instead of a busted ass wheelchair) with humor (yes, you are a hoot) and optimism. no matter who you are, that’s something to strive for… meet life as an adventure, ups and downs, with humor and optimism.

  6. Thanks, Rob. I actually have no idea what the plural of Lexus is. I was just showing off that I had taken Latin in high school.

    And thank you, Gnukid. Good to know I have people like you at my back.


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