Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thinking your way around...

Good story about engaging the severely paralyzed (or otherwise disabled) into cyber life...which is becoming more real every day!

Disabled could think their way around Second Life - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Saturday...

Jodie likes to tackle the crowds at the mall during the holidays. I prefer to stay away.

In past years we have discovered that the best time to hit the mall for Christmas shopping is dinnertime, right after work.

For the last few years Jodie has expressed more and more interest in being one of the crowd waiting in line at a 4 a.m. Black Friday store opening. One of these years I will be waiting in the van as Jodie shops.

Shopping from a scooter under normal circumstances is tricky enough. People don't see you because you are just below eye level. When they do see you, people try to get around you anyway they can...but they won't let you get around them.

During Black Friday, any semblance of civility when people happen to see me would be off. That scares me to death!

Saturday afternoon after Jodie and E had finished putting the decorations up outside the house, I asked if they wanted to go to the mall to do some shopping. Jodie asked, "Are you sure?" She knows how much I hate the crowds.

We drove Jet White over to Clackamas Town Center. We got there about 3:30. Nowhere to park in back, so we went to the front of the mall. We finally saw an open disabled parking spot. I thought the car coming the other way would take many people have the disabled parking placards anymore. Jet White is big and intimidating, but small cars are quicker and sassier. But behold, the spot was ours.

I took Eric shopping for Jodie first. An hour and a half later we met for dinner at Chili's. They were very accommodating for us with our two scooters...a very pleasant dining experience. Then, Jodie took Eric shopping for me. With one vehicle and one driver in the family, this is a good example of how we do things differently.

To my pleasant surprise, I did not find the crowds too intimidating...the parking lot was way worse. I didn't go in any of the small shops -- scooting around in some of those are impossible.

I found some additional elevators in the mall. The only 2 elevators I knew of before was the one at Sears on the one end, and the one at Penney's on the other end. Now there is a elevator in the middle of the mall (it is glass...I had to convince E that it was safe to go on), and I found a elevator at Barnes & Noble.

We left about 8. We actually had a good time at the mall...on Black Saturday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Visit with Dr. Molly

I went back to Dr. Molly yesterday.

I pulled up to the valet parking area. They thought I was delivering a person in a wheelchair...until they saw me. I have been there enough that they know me by face.

I gave them my name...I think "Croy" is what they got...almost "Troy".

They took the keys to Jet White. I figured they would know enough to not take our 8 in-a-half-foot tall monstrosity into the parking garage...unlike yours truly.

I made it to Molly's office at 2:30...right on time.

"Troy," the sweet voice behind the window asked, "Did you know your appointment is at 3:30?"

Uh, no I didn't. They got me in a half hour early.

I told Dr. Molly about the episode I had about a month ago. My chest was hurting, so I went and saw my main dr., and internist.

It was not my heart. It was the pleurisy, or whatever it is causing my chest pain. I had stopped taking the muscle relaxant and the pain reliever because Molly had told me to wean myself off them after the summer.

So on to yesterday's visit with Molly. She kind of left it up to me as to what to do. Take the least needed doses of the muscle relaxant and pain reliever needed to maintain. I told her that the pain in my chest mis aggravated when I do excessive walking. She said that we may eventually need to discuss mobility aides. I told her I have a scooter and a walker, but that each presents it's own hassles -- getting them in and out of the car. Molly empathized. Her daughter has cp and uses a walker sometimes.

In the end, it's all up to me. How much of the meds to take, when to use my walker or scooter.

It's up to me.

I have always liked to dr. to tell me what to do. I guess they don't know. In the past Molly seems in favor of more meds, but she has come to appreciate that I drive and I work. I need to function with clarity, rather than in the fog of total pain relief.

I left. I gave the guy my ticket to get my car. He came back, asking if there was a secret to starting my car. I could see Jet White parked on the street about a block down. I told him I could get it. My long walk down the street I thought "Gosh, I really could use my walker!"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Work discrimination....

...From across the pond...

Disabled employees experience discrimination and prejudice at work as one in 10 pay for workplace ad

Have I experienced prejudice or discrimination in the work place? Interesting question...

I don't really know.

Early in my career with the state, I typed case notes. A caseworker insisted that I misspelled the word "inconsistent". I use to be a copy editor. The word was not misspelled. I wanted to copy the dictionary entry for the word...but I didn't. Was the caseworker prejudice against me? I don't know.

I have been overlooked for a couple promotions. Sometimes I feel that if I were not disabled that I would have gotten more of the promotions I have gone for over the years. The job I have now I applied for three years before I got it. I had one person up against me. I had more of the technical skills needed for the job; she got it because she was more social. I figured if I did not have the speech difficulty I have that I would have gotten the job.

I try to let stuff roll off as quick as I can. You only hurt yourself hanging onto stuff.

Bad stuff happens....good stuff roll on.

But Judge....sir...

My scooter technically is not a motor vehicle...or is it?

Disabled scooter rider facing DUI charge - The Money Times

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Disabled in cartoons....

BBC has a story about Aardman Animations introducing 6 new animal characters with disbilities.

Here is a website for "Creature Discomforts".

I can't figure out if this will air on this side of the Pond...

Break Dance.....

....dasabled style!

Handicap Dance Competition - Watch more free videos

Black eye for Oregon

The Oregonian broke this story.

One in five adults with developmental disabilities who are in state care have been abused. Nearlly 7 in 10 caretakers quit in their first year due to low pay.

I am thankful for my independence. I feel for those who are dependent on a system that is so taxed and under funded.

I pray that the Guv and the legislature can do the right thing.

Being a government worker, I know that doing the right thing usually takes money...and getting the money depends on how hight it gets on the priority list.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More parking antics....

I drove Jodie to a chiropractor that we have not seen in years yesterday. He has moved from downtown portland to 20th and burnside.

I saw a disabled parking space available, so I turned into the lot.


Not enough room for Jet White, our big Dodge Sprinter,...again!

Backing out onto burnside would be impossible. Pulling into the space might be possible, but pulling out would not.

What to do!

I tried to back in, but as I turned the wheel I was too close to the building. I kept pulling up perpemdiculer, closer and closer to the parkes cars. I cranked the wheel real hard. Cleared the end car and the building, and I parked.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Joba Chamberlain and his dad

I read this article from Sports Illustrated at the shop while having our lift in our van looked at.

The part that describes Joba helping his father get his scooter out of the car reminded me of how my own son helps Jodie and I with ours.

I also like that his dad has a scooter just like mine.

Sorry that it is a 17 page article. A very good read!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Catch me at Disaboom

I have a blog up and going over at Disaboom.

I blogged about the site in August before it was up.

I like it over there. It is an upbeat encouraging outlet for us differently abled folks.

My dilemma now is what to blog here and what to blog there.

A coach getting his due honor

Mark Speckman is an inspirational coach. Not by his choosing, I'm sure.

Mark was born with no hands. His bio is impressive.

He will be honored this weekend as one of Liberty Mutual coaches of the year.

I can't find a reference to it online, but in a local newscast Mark said when a player goes down he likes to put up both his arms and ask "How many fingers am I holding up?" It made me laugh.