Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wheelchairs: why do they make SUCH a difference?

Today was a “Blech!” day in many areas I know I don’t want to talk about. So, what else?

I saw a 2007 film called He was a Quiet Man. It depressed me a great deal. It is about a quiet man who is stepped on in work and plans to shoot people; plans it every day and does nothing. Only one day, a co-worker DOES shoot people including what he thought was the office bitch, but instead hit Vanessa, who is described by everyone as “her smile could light up a room.” Only, that the ONLY description of her that is ever given....by everyone. When the shooter realizes that Vanessa is still alive he plans to shoot her and our ‘little man’ comes to her rescue (becuase she is the girl he fantasizes a relationship with...but never talks to).

I watched this film because it said it was about two people, from different worlds brought together by circumstance, and one was a female in a wheelchair. Only it turned out that this film articulates every spoken AND unspoken cliché about women in wheelchairs. Vanessa is a high level quad and thus hates the man who saved her; until he agrees to kill her. So, we have already gotten, in five minutes to Million Dollar Baby. But when he is to let her roll in front of a train, he stops her, and she gets so UPSET that her finger twitches. So....now there is hope and suddenly all the powerful men who loved Vanessa (and who she openly admits she manipulated and gave head to in order to advance) are interested in her again. Only our ‘little man’ HAS her, wants to be the only person she needs because it is the only way his dream can play out of beinging with her.

They go sing at a bar, and people look at her, and then don’t look at her, and then pity her. She is embarrassed and as she is wheeled out people turn to each other and say, “God, I am so glad I’m not in a wheelchair.” Which people who don’t realize how sensitive my hearing is have said about me. So this film takes a women who is a very beautiful woman but a manipulator and shows that life in a chair is only humiliation (including from former colleagues she stepped over pitying her), pity, and dependency. Meanwhile she is still being idolized and treated like a literal doll by the man who cannot handle her AS an able bodied person, or even as someone who disagrees with him. As for Vanessa, she learns nothing except that as more motion returns she can return to manipulate different men. So everything about women in chairs was reinforced: objects of pity, objects of desire, idealized women BECAUSE they are helpless, women clueless how embarrassing they are because they are still alive. The whole bag. No one seems to bring up that maybe it is who is IN the chair that makes a bit of difference. Nor is she ever in anything but a classic hospital chair. She never goes to rehab. Just, straight to fantasy land where she can be carried around and fed and her witty banter that kept so many men occupied now keeps this little man occupied. I would think it is not very affirming for guys either.

So nothing really about what being in a chair is like, nothing actually about the points OF feeling suicidal except the assumption that unless complete recovery is held out as hope, all people, and PARTICULARLY a woman would want to top herself. So I guess I am not giving this a high review. It was painful because I got to see in a blunt and unrelenting way for a few hours how many people see me. This was reinforced the next morning (today) as I was down at my wheelchair and medical equipment retailer getting my rental and taking to the new guy they hired while they had the chairs in the back. I explained how, for about 14 months I have looked for ANY work and he said, that I should try applying at Easter Seals and Queen Alexander Hospital (where I got my seating clinic done). I was irritated that again, the only place for crips is with crips but I listened. He said that the summer camps were doing their intake. He said that he was a counselor and while I couldn’t be a counselor I could be an “assistant” (he is 10 years younger than me). Oh, I can be an assistant? Okay, well, he worked there several years, how many people in wheelchairs did he see working there? He thought a bit and finally said, “well none, but there were people with other disabilities.” Quite frankly, I am really tired of this, the way that AB’s just don’t get that someone with acute diabetes and someone in a wheelchair are NOT the same – yes, both have a disability but NOT the same. So, while I refrained myself from screaming as this guy who knew nothing about my condition gave me career advice, I asked, "So how many CHILDREN did you help in wheelchairs?”

He stopped. “Well, they come in different weeks, like one week of autistic kids and one week of deaf kids.”

I said, “And what about kids with Spina Bifida? What about the kids with CP? What about Spinal injuries? Any kids in wheelchairs at all?”

He thought some more and then said, “Uh, no, none that I worked with.”

Okay, so here is a guy in a wheelchair store, talking to someone who is on the ground because her chair is being fitted and telling her how to get a job where he has never worked with or seen anyone in a chair in a camp for disabled children where he has never worked (or seen)any children in wheelchairs. Super!

It became so clear to me at that point how fucked and unemployable I was. Because these people have NO IDEA the amount of accommodation is required. They think that if they go, “Hey, I know you have a disability and that is okay” it is enough accommodation. They don’t realize they need doors, washrooms, special headsets, computer programs, keypads, etc. And why would ANYONE in a country where no one is given any incentive (much less idea HOW to do it) hire someone like me?

I went to Badminton tonight because I am having problems with two fingers which are losing circulation and getting frostbite (and turning funny purple and white colours) and I needed to sweat to improve my circulation. Only no one would play with me. Even with Linda with me. I put my racquet in the queue. But it was obvious when I went onto the court and all the people went on the other side of the net to me that no one was going to play with me. So Linda came with me. Our opponents wouldn’t even speak to us. They had a “I can’t believe I queued up to waste my time with this” attitude. So we warmed up and played to 15 points without our opponents saying a SINGLE word to us. Though we talked to them.

My fingers turned very dark and weren’t getting oxygen, and then my nerve cluster went and my hand was useless but I tried using my left hand to play. That didn’t go well so with my right hand locked in a fist Linda jammed the racquet into my fist and they lobbed a "take it easy on her" birdie at me which I smoked back so hard it appeared to hit one of them in the head. I looked across and said, “My SHOULDER works just fine, so don’t take it easy” (we were down like 12-3).

After we lost I left and went to talk to the director and explained about my circulation and decided to put my racket in a queue separate from Linda to FORCE them to play with me. I ended up playing two more games, both with mostly females so those were a better games. Afterward I talked to J. who is tall and takes no nonsense and she was my double partner and has been going to the Y for a few years. I explained that this was the second time I had come to have the guys do a “cluster away” thing. She said to go down and tell the Y because these people need to be reminded that this is RECREATIONAL badminton. Though there is one guy who plays here who plays for Team Taiwan (so kinda competitive!). I said, which is true, “Every time I come, people watch me, and EVERY time I come I have to bring a solid game because otherwise no one will play with me.” I didn’t mention that I was sick of it and that I will play anyone and lose any amount if they will just play the damn game with me and not act like it is a 'waste of time'. The last game I went with J. and no one would join us. Now, I was having a beaten down day but J. was having none of it and went and pulled some people on to make doubles. It if wasn’t for people like J. and boxing coach Ian I think I would have quit trying. I’m not a machine, and though if you prick me actually I DON’T bleed, but I still feel and there is only so long I will continue against opposition.

I get tired of people not getting it on such a profound level. Fuck, get to know me before you either write me off or assume all over me. No, I’m actually NOT 'exactly like you except I happen to be sitting down'; even if I WAS an SCI. And the wheelchair does not dictate what the limits or the attitudes of the person in it so WHY so often does the chair dictate the attitudes and actions of the people TOWARD the person in it?

24 comments:

em said...

I just want to say from me and all the rest of ignorant AB types out there, sorry for our lameness. People do their best I think, and there is stuff you just don't understand until you either live it or have someone who is living it explain it to you.

There are things you write about experiencing that I'm shocked that anyone would think was okay. But speaking from my intimate experience, we humans are a bunch of insulated clueless idiots sometimes.

((a hug for you))

Elizabeth McClung said...

Em: sorry, I didn't mean for this to be a rant about AB people or anything is just, sometimes I get so tired of the brave front, the "i'm not going to take any shit", the fighting three battles a day - and maybe it is just me and maybe it is just today but, I don't think so - And just to let you know, Linda sometimes makes very wheelchair stupid comments like, "Why can't you go faster uphill" and she's been here with me every step of the way - I think I just ran out of buffer zone today.

Thanks for the hug.

Victor Kellar said...

I learn something from your blog every time I read it. Perception is such a precarious thing. As a film maker, its something I am becoming so aware of. I imagine the producers of that movie saw their message in a totally different way, a perspective they came to without the aid of someone who live it, ie an actual disabled person

Years ago I saw an Australian movie called Shame. I saw it as a movie about female empowerment and reccomended it to all my female friends. I was shocked at their reactions, they saw the movie totally differently, and it left them sad and depressed. I wondered, then, if the film makers had created from my perspective or that of my friends, or if they understood the juxtaposition of viewpoints and that was their message.

Living is the process of learning and no matter how many books you've absorbed thru your life, you really only learn the important shit when you hear another person's voice.

Thank you for letting me hear your voice and learning a little bit more every day

yanub said...

I'd play badminton with you. And you'd win, too, because, while I'm not in a wheelchair, my shoulders don't work properly and I don't have full control of my left leg. I nearly always get overestimated when I'm with TABs I don't know, and then get impatient people demanding that I stop fooling around or don't get the assistance that I need. Goes to show how stupid it is to judge people by their method of locomotion.

I frankly can't understand the unwillingness of people to make even minor accomodations, or their misunderstandings about disability. Our office is poorly set up--the architects didn't even take into account the physical needs of people without disabilities, so we are stuck into the foreseeable future adapting ourselves into a poor space instead of having a space adapted for humans. In discussing what an ideal space would be, MD and I said that wheelchair accomodations need to be taken into account. The reply to that was that people in wheelchairs couldn't work the job because wheelchairs are too noisy and would be too disruptive. So here was someone--a really nice person, too--arguing against making a wheelchair friendly space on false assumptions about people with wheelchairs. No wonder you can't get a job, Beth.

And I don't apologize for my lameness (er, em.... it's ok, I know what you mean).

Dawn Allenbach said...

Try cajoling them -- when the guys all scurry away, yell after them, "What? Are you afraid of being beaten by a girl? Afraid to tell your friends you got stomped by a gimp?" Those kinds of reactions are so ingrained in people that the majority of them don't realize anymore they do it until you shock them about it. I know you get tired of doing it. I do, too. But we can't quit doing it because if we do, things will only get worse for us. People care very little now for our physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs -- but they won't care AT ALL if we disappear and hide in our homes.

If the Easter Seals camp DID have kids in wheelchairs, why NOT apply to work with them? With all the stupid attitudes going around about PWDs, don't you think these kids could do with a strong (attitude, mental state) adult PWD mentor? One of my PWD friends works with a program in San Diego in which kids with disabilities are actually mentored by adults with disabilities. It's not the only mentoring program in the US for kids with disabilities, but it IS the only mentoring program in the US that has adults with disabilities as the mentors -- DESPITE the fact it seems so obviously beneficial.

As for the movie -- yet another reason why we need to write a screenplay.

cheryl g said...

I am still puzzling away at the mystery of the color changing fingers. It's like being the medical Nancy Drew...

It's a good thing to poke people out of their comfort zones and to remind the guys that it is recreational badminton.

Lene Andersen said...

1. I loathe when some idiot decides to use disability as a plot point, yet shows that they hadn't thought about it at all. Or maybe they had - could it be that this woman is being punished for her previous bad behaviour? So now it's penance, she sees the error of her ways et voila! She's CURED! pardon me while I throw up.

2. You were ON THE FLOOR??? They didn't have another chair you could use? WTF??

3. Your best chance of finding a job, is to create one. And no, dude, a woman with a Ph.D should NOT be your assistant. Sigh.

4."WHY so often does the chair dictate the attitudes and actions of the people TOWARD the person in it?" Because people like labels. Because people like putting others in niches. Because complexity and thinking - in general and outside the box, in particular - makes their wee brains hurt. And from our point of view, it's bloody exhausting.

Lene Andersen said...

Yanub - "So here was someone--a really nice person, too--arguing against making a wheelchair friendly space on false assumptions about people with wheelchairs." And a discriminatory argument at that. By which I mean, against the freakin' law!

I'm thisclose to going postal. I've had it with always being all educational and patient with the poor ignorant dolts. How about requiring the preence of basic thought processes before some of these nitwits get a job?

Veralidaine said...

I agree about taunting the AB guys as they run away. Maybe something like, "I know you're scared of losing to a gimp girl, but hey, I'm a former national-level athlete, if you lose you can just tell your buddies you took a beat down from a top athlete!"

Neil said...

I'm mostly AB, though age is starting to take its toll, so please understand that I DON'T understand a lot of little things that bother you. I see things from the only perspective I've ever had. If I do make mistakes, I'll try to learn from them, and hope that you'll remember that while it's happened to you eleventyseven times, it could be the first time it's happened to me.

Of course, it could also be the hundredth time it's happened to me, but I'm an asshole that doesn't get it. Your dilemma is that you don't know which I am, and I understand that would be frustrating, or worse.

I wouldn't have put the strips of nails in front of your apartment, but not specifically because of wheelchairs - anyone could step on the stupid thing and end up with huge infections.

I was a St. John Ambulance volunteer for a decade or so; we had two folding wheelchairs for times of need, but they always had flat tires when needed. I got tired of hauling my bicycle pum to inflate the tires and talked the brigade into having non-inflating tires installed. When I picked the re-tired chairs up, I took one into my single-floor workplace to see how well the building was designed for accessibility. No trouble at all to get everywhere in the building, though the computer I use is on top of a four-foot tall desk, and it would have to be moved to the electric-powered desk section that lowers to wheelchair height.

But when the City sent a fellow around to check ot how well we are really set up, he had over a dozen recommendations; one was that the men's washroom accessible stall doesn't have a handle to pull it open. And while one of the two sinks has levered handles, it's not the sink beside the soap dispenser. Thus (I presume), you might get soap on your wheels moving from soap to water unless you have even longer arms than mine. And the towel dispenser is on the wall behind you while you wash, so the wheels would be wet and soapy by the time you leave.

A friend of mine was visiting Chinese friends in Toronto; they went to a Chinese restaurant, and the waiter brought chopsticks for the Chinese family, and a fork for the white friend; he waited until the waiter turned his back, then said, "And a fork for the honky?" The waiter was insulted until he saw the good-natured grins. And the friend was brought chopsticks. Lesson: never assume.

I have noticed the slant of some sidewalks, and the ramps at the street corners that are a bizarre angle as a result; plus the streets that are sometimes crowned very high; I can't imagine how a wheelchair user would navigate some of our intersections!

This is all my way of explaining that I'm here partly to learn from you, Beth dear. I WANT to learn from you, and avoid being an asshole. So you go ahead and rant; it's good for you to get it off your chest, and it's good for me to learn how stupid I am (or can be).

I don't *think* I'm an asshole, but that's only my perspective. As least I'm aware and can admit that I am sometimes an ignorant, insulated, clueless idiot. When you point things out, they make sense, but often I wouldn't have seen the sense without your pointing. So point away, ducks, and scream and rant as needed. Brave front be damned!

Manymany hugs for you and Linda, and thanks (and hugs) to em for the lovely quote.

Gaina said...

What you saw in that movie was one person's very narrow minded and unintelligent view of disabled people (FYI calling someone 'unintelligent' rather than just plain stupid is so much more deliberate, it gets to the point AND humiliates your victim. I know, I'm evil).

And why the HELL can't you be a counsellor? Don't children who use wheelchairs go to Summer Camp? Actually I think that's disability discrimination. I bet that wouldn't happen as often in America.

You know what I'd do? Ask the guy which Summer Camp he worked at then email them and ask if it's true they have a policy of not employing disabled people as counsellors. It may be a case of him talking out of his ass, and actually they WOULD be interested in that idea, but nobody has suggested it to them until now.

I really wish you could come to Uni with me and meet my friends because they absolutely don't treat me any differently - they just acknowledge my disability with no fuss, and do everything they can to help me get the most out of my time there, which I love. Actually if you go to 'Made by Milla' she's one of my best friends in class, very funny and interesting.

...she's a really CRAP wheelchair driver, though! LOL.

I'm going to ring 'Wheelchair Services' tomorrow to see about getting a new chair. It's a pain in the ass to go all the way up to Bristol for the assessment but it's no worse that the pain in the ass I'm getting from this badly-fitting chair! :P

I deliberately chose a black wheelchair so that I look damn snazzy when I'm all 'Goth'd Up' and that's what hits people in the eye first....although I have to admit I've been giving the image a miss for the last few days for the sake of getting dressed and out the door on time :D.

FridaWrites said...

I'll rant about AB people, Elizabeth. :) But not the AB people here who are listening and learning.

Neil, you already get it. Anyone who borrows a wheelchair to see how accessible things are definitely gets it, even if there are minor points you miss from lack of experience. I've recently argued with others that all store, restaurant, general business owners should rent a wheelchair for a day and see if their businesses are accessible or how they can be more accessible. And try the same thing with a cane or walker. I've tried to use some of those ramps that you've described, especially where the sidewalk and the ramp intersect--they're dangerous!

Marla said...

I have picked up that movie a thousand times thinking about renting it. Now I really don't know if I will see it or not? I think I will probably pass on it. So many movies lately seem to have potential and they just suck. The only one I saw lately that I liked was I am Legend.

Anonymous said...

Neil, I don't get why you would say the wheelchairs can't navigate. Half the cars in the city can't navigate our roads! Wheelchairs have nothing to do with it, we have aweful roads :P And we don't even have bike lanes!....don't mind me, I just think you made a huge understatement...I drove my car into a hole in a parking lot the other day...
Beth: I'd play badminton with you! And you'd probably win. And I am AB, but I get rather excited and overswing and miss the birdie...a lot. :D And I can't play tennis at all. But I draw so I know there must be some hand eye coordination in there somewhere...
-Cat (also, sorry for AB lameness)

Elizabeth McClung said...

Victor Kellar: I completely agree with you on perception. I mean, I really didn't talk about the main character, the male, who it seems if often compared to falling down becuase I had the "Oh yes, a female in a wheelchair!" anticipation and this won awards and so, maybe, MAYBE this wouldn't be horrid or sappy or painful.

You mention the film Shame which I will have to look up and see but I noticed this gender split with the french film "Innocence" which is about girls in a "school" they have been kidnapped to go to and are not allowed to do anything but play in white dresses and ribbons and if they try to learn or leave, they are killed and they dance in front of strange men every so often. Male reviewers talked about how this was the nostalgia of innocence or the best portrayal of childhood (making me think: Where the creepyville did YOU grow up if this was YOUR childhood?), and all about innocence and natural children (remember - only female children shown, male reviewers saying this). The females who saw it said: "This is a fucking pedophile film." And that's about it. And since the director was a female and her previous film as about pedophiles and sexuality and attraction. I have to agree.

And thanks for listening, I am interested to in perspetive and in this case I was completely biased and it skewed what might have been other valid points of the film (non-wheelchair points).

Yanub: Well, see that's why I recommend people play in the wheelchair because it makes the game a lot more fun - when guys remember that YES everyone DOES have to play.

I have to say the architect with "Wheelchairs too noisy" is made me laugh because a manual on a hard surface is so silent you sneak up on people and scare the beejeeses out of them. I know they are nice people but often nice people can be really ignorant too and some days, I guess I can be a little less tolerant of the learning curve.

Dawn: Is that cajoling, I thought that was directly insulting thier manhood. Yes, it does go against the "play nice" and "be a nice girl and get along" to just go, "Hey, this isn't fair!" but it has to be done.

I probably would work with them, I was just VERY leary about taking info from someone who thought "a person with a disability" and "a person in a wheelchair" were the same in the same way someone telling someone who is blind, "Yeah, I saw a deaf person do that job, you could do that." is not the best resource.

Neil said...

Beth, I've never played badminton and sucked at tennis when I was 10, but I'll happily let you trounce me, just for the experience and being able to say how cool it is to be allowed to play with or against you.

Cat: yes, our streets suck bilge water. And we do have those new "Bike Lanes" downtown that I'm convinced are a creation of someone who hates cyclists. Drivers are busy ignoring them every time I pass by them. But Regina drivers would have to give up their cell phones, newspapers, makeup kits, hair drers, cigarettes, coffee, mail-opening, and Game Boys (yup, Game Boy - Premiere Taxi, Jan 2000 at Pasqua and Lewvan in a blizzard at morning rush hour), and begin actually watching the road and obeying piddling things like one-way signs and traffic lights. But let's not go any further, 'cause I'll only start ranting.

Beth: thanks for the reading recommendations. I'll have to convince the little darling to try some of them. Hmmph - little my arse... his new sneakers are too big for his mother.

Yanub: Wheelchair too noisy? Maybe an electric chair with onboard recharging system powered by a Formula 1 engine with poorly tuned exhaust... Damn, I can scare people with my bicycle if I'm not careful. I have a bell that I use lots, and some people swear at me for scaring them with THAT. They must be architects.

Raccoon said...

Sorry if this is a repeated post. I'm having problems posting. Not reading any of the replies, mind you. Just posting.

*********

Would you believe that people in the medical field have, quite often, never even SAT in a wheelchair? Never mind actually using one?

One of my case managers, 10 years ago. I put her in a manual wheelchair and we went out for the afternoon. Paratransit to a movie theater, regular transit (a bus) home. A roll through the corner grocery, a pint at the local pulp.

What she found: sidewalks with cracks and patches that were difficult to get over, intersections where the light was too short to cross, aisles with boxes and displays, bathrooms that you couldn't fit a wheelchair into; the counter to the refreshment stand at the movies was a little over 4 feet from the floor! The movie that we wanted to see was upstairs; the building didn't have an elevator...

And this was in Oakland, right across the bay from San Francisco! So, I entirely believe that wheelchairs are a blind spot for the AB, except when we run them over.

Keep running them over.

BTW, Elizabeth does live in America. Remember, North America consists of two countries: the United States AND Canada...

Raccoon

Neil, I had a friend in college who, one school break, read a book for the entire four-hour ride home. Other of them stupid stunts like that, he was a pretty intelligent person.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Lene: Point 1 - ditto, point 2 - they were taking "inventory" so no, I guess they didn't want to disturb their count? 3. I guess, I just am so tired, and I don't know I have the energy to start another business from scratch 4. It is exhausting and painful. Automatically to be dismissed again and again in everything from intellect to athletics. ARG!

Veralidaine: I am more of the "Not fair" and quivering chin and then smashing them in the face with the birdie when they do play (hey, I play mean...to mean people).

Neil: The difference between you and an asshole:

1) you care about the perspective of someone IN a wheelchair

2) You have tried to get an understanding of it

3) I don't think you would ever dismiss and exclude someone who paid the same amount to be there as you did becuase 'they might bring down your game' - that is so selfish, that some form of discrimination is always around the corner. My issue wasn't so much with the way things were set up as the attitudes people had - which you don't.

Gaina: Actually you are right, why can't I, I will ask them, at least I might meet some interesting people and get out in the summer heat....oh wait, that might not be the BEST idea.

Hope you get the right wheelchair, or the right fitting one.

Frida: Same here - it is just when someone says, hey, I know someone with a limp who delivers papers, why don't you? It is like, What, are we ALL the same now?

Marla: On your recommendation, I will see I am legend - thanks

Cat: yeah, what is it with Sask, no money for roads - what is WORSE is the beautiful oil paid for roads in Alberta - I always hated when I lived up in Battlefords going from dinky Sask roads to the beautiful alberta roads, didn't seem fair to me.

I will totally play badminton with you and we can have fun learning together - I don't bring my top game to everyone, it is just I feel if I don't give it, I won't get anyone to play with me.

Neil: Badminton is actually a really fun game with the right people, these people were just a bit...stand off ish but later I had a lot of fun and when people don't get all upset when you miss it lets you take chances and learn and I am sure that in no time you would be a great player (maybe not the same as the professional player from Taiwan....)

Raccoon: I believe it - I find that most homecare people haven't either. I was surprised to find out that Linda had never tried to go to the Y in a wheelchair and told her, NEXT time, we both go in chairs - then you will "get it" - but the weather has been so bad - no way I am putting her out in a wheelchair first day in the SNOW.

I live in America! Woo Hoo! And actually, I AM an american, I hold many citizenships due to having many parents, or rather parents and grandparents from many lands.

ms bond said...

Wow. I read this and thought "How dare they"! I am not sure who I am mad at. I would play badminton with you in a second. You'd win because although I love badminton the thing I loved most is seeing how far or how hard I can hit the birdie. I have never taken time to learn the rules (horrible admission but my family always just played to see how many nose dives and complicated back hands we could make the other team do- no nose dives in a chair...will not work to my advantage). But the good news is I am a fantasic loser and always want to play another game (and hey...I could learn the rules...I am literate). Next...I don't ever want to see that film. Ever. I got this need to vomit now feeling just reading about it. I have gotten one job offer since becoming visably disabled. When I got my wheelchair I went on the search for wheelchair gloves. I never found the gloves but did get a job offer. I could be the token disability girl (they were all AB). Oh...and I finally had to settle for weight-lifting gloves.

em said...

Oh shit. See what I mean about being clueless? There I am apologizing and I use a charge word to do it. Neil said it a lot better than I did.

Please don't apologize for blowing off steam about this stuff, because (though I am slow) I am learning from reading you. And I'm grateful for that.

saraarts said...

Geez, what a hateful piece of crap that movie sounds! Bleccccch. Thanks for the warning.

Yay for Ian and J., and may the rest of the world evolve to join them. Immediately, please.

Gaina said...

Have you seen Passion Fish? I haven't watched it for a while but I remember liking it because it wasn't the typical corny 'Isn't she brave?' shit.

Also she's not terribly likeable, which is very refreshing for a central disabled character.

Give it a spin and let me know what you thought.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Ms Bond: There aren't that many rules to learn in badminton. I'm sure you could pick them up quickly. Those drop shots that land just out of your reach in front of you are impossible in a wheelchair if you don't want to do the nose-dive thing. As for hard hits, Linda says when I hit the birdie it went so fast she couldn't tell whether it hit him in the face or his racket.

Weightlifting gloves, huh? Never thought of that one.

Em: Thanks for continuing to read when I'm blowing some steam.

Saraarts: You're welcome. Yeah, stay clear.

Gaina: I'm not familiar with Passion Fish, but a main character in a wheelchair who isn't likeable sounds worth watching. I'll have to look into it.

francis der said...

Hi! I was looking for advice/comfort(?) about using wheelchairs, and I read your blog. It really is the chair, cane, lameness that alot of people see; and who never consider that there's nothing wrong with the person's brain. I'm seriously considering using a chair now. I know you don't have a choice in the matter, but i'm thinking of using one because it's getting too painful to walk (arthritis), and I'm tired of the side effect from the painkillers. My family thinks I'm giving up with this decision, but I wonder how long they expect me to continue to tolerate each step feeling as though I'm walking on knives? The lameness also makes me a Murphey's Law in falling over my own feet, and compounding my problems with the resulting injuries. I'm being karma'd for laughing at all those "I fell down, and I can't get up!" commercials. There are respectful and considerate people out there, and I hope you run into your share. Thanks for you perspective on life!