Nothing Ventured…

July 28, 2008 at 7:09 PM (Uncategorized)

So, one of the benefits of newhouse, is that a grocery store is right across the street, thus enabling my own input into healthier choices by riding the scooter across the street….

The problem is, there’s this giant hill going up and down to the main parking lot of the store….I was able to avoid it going in by skirting the top of the parking lot… but…when leaving got myself into a blocked off space and had to go *backwards* down part of the hill to get to the base and then go straight up….

The entirety of my bravado disappeared and I became the scared five year old before they cross the street…

“Turn the thing and pray alot, pray alot…”

I did not get dumped out…or tipped over, but I did investigate a way to go three quarters of the way around the dang store to find a level entrance…not doing that acrobatic hill again on a scooter with no seatbelt…

Going into a store again, something I hadn’t done myself much since the mid 1990’s relying on others and/or grocery delivery services…

Everyone in the world told me that no one made fully cooked, grilled chicken strips anymore…

Liars, Liars all, because Tyson does…got myself some.

Roommate and myself seem to be adverse to eating the chicken we cook, so I thought of these….

Also a marvelous locally made black cherry soda with Splenda…tastes perfect

(Thankfully the movie theater next door is just a straight shot out of the complex…no hills…)

Learning the new neighborhood a bit at a time…

Inside begins to look more like home also…Wooden DVD rack handmade by a stepbrother, a beautiful thing… computer table, tables, refurbished recliners

(but I have to get rid of all of my books but twenty [Sob!] since the 7 foot wood bookcase given to me by my maternal parent has been inadvertently destroyed…and this space is *small*)

(and am saving only twenty VHS to convert to DVD’s  The rest are going….)

Moving is always difficult, but also interesting.

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‘Healing’

July 22, 2008 at 10:06 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I’m not trying to disrespect specific people that I know….

But ‘faith healing’ whether it is from an evangelical church, or from those who self describe as committed New Agers…from the right and from the left.

I submit that these belief systems are both:

Profoundly disrespectful of persons with disabilities or impairments.

And, actively *dangerous* to the mental health of people with disabilities.

Why?

First:

Those of us who see the Social Model of Disability as the correct way in, for the able, or others with disabilties to see us, means that we are people first [and here’s the radical part: correctly built, made, constructed ‘as is’ ! I ) Impairment is not tragedy, or something to wish away…It exists. (When I’m having lousy days, I do still run to the Medical Model to see if I can improve comfort and function, but I don’t view that as disrespecting how I’m built. I’m ‘shooting’ for the Social Model, just haven’t got there yet.)

The positive results of following this model cannot be underestimated. When a person with impairments first realizes that they are constructed correctly for their life, a great deal of energy that might have been directed at a ‘cure quest,’ gets shot off, hopefully in a direction that means you’re life gets richer, and more fun.

But the evangelical faith healing community… has two nasty uses for people with disabilities. First, the pure quackery of the quick set up, rent those wheelchairs, slap the able bodied assistant’s into them, and voila…for those still on the cure road, a devastating set up and lead in to false hope.

And, even if some sites or persons or groups *have* some sort of ability to ‘heal.’ What happens to you if those around you experience something, and you do not?

Then, the community tells you, “Your faith just isn’t strong enough.” In other words the only reason you aren’t healed is you, yourself. Wrong. Fallen short. or worse yet, Unworthy.

And the New Age:

In a nutshell, they tell you that the only reason you have a given impairment, illness or disability is because you *wanted* it in the first place. And that you have to find out what, in the yellow brick road of some past life, alternate reality made you pick certain conditions before you were born.

Good Gawd, what a load of acid laced cotton candy that is.

And last….’failure’ to heal at both of these altars, can take people into isolation, depression, even suicidal thoughts…

People of these belief systems: *Listen!* If you are a genuine person, a person who wishes good for all:

We’re good already. Right now. As is. Your misplaced desire to ‘help’ us keeps us from understanding the life we’re meant for. It keeps us from it, and can actually hurt us, rather than help. The best lives we can live don’t deserve to be blocked up or hazy or confused because of your fear of impairment.

Because *that’s* what it’s really about, down deep, isn’t it?

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Why I have to cop to “bitter” and “Judgemental” sometimes

July 20, 2008 at 3:51 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Part the first: Republican Senator Jesse Helms has died.

It seems that a former colleague, Elizabeth Dole, feels that Senator Helms eased his stance on HIV so much in recent years…that a global AIDS funding bill deserves his name, in the ‘named after category…After all,

He changed his view on foreign relief programs late in his Senate career and teamed with Irish rock star Bono to help populations suffering from the disease overseas. “Senator Helms played a critical role in moving the U.S. into a position where it’s devoting substantial resources to provide aid to those in need in Africa,” Dole’s spokesman Wes Climer said.

Part the second:

People may say, “Let’s give the man credit for learning….” “He’s come a long way…”

If those people wish to credit him for that, they may, and more power to them.
More power too, to God Himself, if he exists…rumor has it he has the power to forgive and exalt *anybody,* not just Jesse Helms. Let Him go and do that job. It belongs to him, and not to me.

Part the third:

From the same artlcle, attrributed to Helms:

“There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy,” he once said.

That’s factually inaccurate, but we’ll leave it lay there and steam on the sidewalk.

In 1991-1992, my late husband (an HIV positive hemophiliac and an evangelical pastor for those who aren’t longtime readers here) received materials from Senator Helms office opining that AIDS was a universal evil, caused by evil behavior, marking it’s sufferers as going straight to hell, etc etc etc.

There are only two times I saw my husband cry. Not rage or get angry, that happened alot. I’m talking actual tears, from a man that was desperately trying to emulate old school male stoicism. Once, understandably, the day he came home from the doctor’s office and had finally let himself hear and understand the name of the illness he had.

The second time, was when he flung a mailer from Helms down on the table…He was just back from church, still in his Pastor suit. He began to cry. Not quietly, but with his hands over his face….

“Why?”, he said. “How can this man think shaming dying people, condemning them to hell, is a good thing?” How can he shame *me,* without looking me in the eye and knowing me? ”

Then he couldn’t talk anymore. He put his hands up to his face and lowered his head and wept…for ten straight minutes. The picture of shame. But the reality of despair and anger.

So Mrs Dole: You have no clue how many people read his stuff and were unfairly portrayed, judged and convicted in the public mind while reading these missives of ignorant fear and hate.

Never let him be the face of the AIDS crisis. No matter his progress. It will never be enough. Never.

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Yes, it *does* take that long….

July 20, 2008 at 11:46 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

There’s the thing.  Or several things, it doesn’t matter.  That set of things that you can *do,* but the time you take to do them is foreign and frustrating to that able bodied friend, family member, or relative, or even the paid PCA types.

Some of us just want to go ahead and do the thing, even if it takes us four hours to the able bodied’s two.

But, the able, in their mounting frustration, just won’t allow it.

Their brain is thinking, “My-gods-I could-do-this-quicker-and-she-just-tried-for-a-third-go-round-to pull-the-last-pair-of-trousers-out-of-the-washtub…I’LL JUST *DO* IT!”

And then, just a splash of resentment, not much, because somewhere in their brains this has morphed into something they were *forced* to do….

And when we’re tired ourselves, we may not even do the thing, just ask that someone else do it, and then the level of resentment quadruples, understandably.

One thing that I try to do if I see someone has done for me unasked…make sure I thank them, and admit where it helps.

It has nothing to do with my physical limits then, it’s just (In my opinion) common courtesy to recognize a good thing….

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Reachers…

July 12, 2008 at 10:59 AM (Assistive Technology) ()

No, its not all about reachers as a great piece of assistive technology that some with impairments (myself included) and the elderly use to grab and grasp and things they cannot get to otherwise….

It is about another kind of assister, more about Lee Child, and the most addictive thriller series of books I have come across (thanks to a coworker generous with her books)

Lee Child’s ex military drifter Reacher has almost nothing in common with The Fugitive television show and Richard Kimble. Unlike Kimble he feels a bit confined by owning things, living in a permanent home or having a girlfriend that, however flexible, is more drawn to having a space to call home than he is.

Reacher is obvious about loving being a loner. His most longtime possession appears to be a toothbrush…and he buys clothes in every new town….(what he does for eating, clothing and shelter money is a mystery because we almost never see his day job when he isn’t being begged by some arm of government or other, or simply falls into a trouble spot…to remedy the situation, find the bad guy share a brief romance with an equally tough woman….

His moral compass is pretty straightforward even if his methods for getting the job done often come close to matching the bad guys for brutality. (You have to have some corner of yourself that is consistently bloody-minded, I think, not to have that part bother you)

The plotting is tight, the twists annoyingly difficult to figure ahead, even *after* you’ve read three or so and come to know Child’s style.

So between figuring out how to use the new washer (I haven’t done laundry for myself in some time, and have forgotten a few things) and helping to orchestrate gradually moving things from the old place to the new one…

That’s what I’ve done in between.

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