Archive | May 2015

Mobility on the Road

Technology can change very rapidly over twenty, thirty years.  We have advanced augmentative communication devices, power chairs.  I went from using a communication board to using a Dynavox.  But as the twenty-first century progresses, a new technology for driving a car is arising.  While this is great news, there are still many kinks to work out.

The first kink is that people can’t just buy this driving system.  They need proper training and assessment.  However, disorders like cerebral palsy and apraxia and people with spinal cord injuries might be limited to this technology.

The second kink is that not all vehicles are accessible for such driving technology.  Different vehicles need different accommodations and they just don’t have the accommodations for each car.

Lastly, the vendor will have to evaluate people for driving.  They will question them about their medical history, driving records and their ability to transfer.

I hope as all technology progresses, that technology specifically for people with movement disorders arises.  Maybe they could make a robotic arm stabilizer that could lessen the tremors as people drive or build a body support for those who don’t have the muscles to sit up.

I don’t know much about inventions, but I am excited to see what adaptive technologies come out within the next decade or so.

A Heartwarming Graduation

I was watching the news and there was a man that paralyzed from the neck down from playing football.  He was in college and the doctors said that he’ll never walk again.  Well he had a girlfriend and he was determined to walk for his college graduation.  His girlfriend stuck by his side and worked with him to walk again for his graduation.  He achieved his goal.  On graduation day, a thank-you gift was presented to the girlfriend.  The graduate popped the question and she said yes.

What a nice story that was.  But wait, there’s more.  The ex-football player plans to walk down the aisle at his wedding.  I think that we will see more people who are paralyzed gain more mobility back be it stem cell research or just plain determination.  It’s like fighting cancer.  The doctors say that it will kill someone and that patient will go elsewhere for treatment.  I really believe that new treatment for all disabilities will be available gradually.  Have a positive mental attitude and you’ll be fine.

I’m Still Standing

A friend walks up to me and asks how I am doing.  I may be tempted to moan and groan about the troubles I’ve been having or I can say “I’m still standing”.  My answer should be positive so that I stay positive.

I’ll give you a personal example.  I have to start exploring new augmentative communication devices because the Dynavox that I have now is getting old and the warranty is going to expire in November.  I started looking awhile ago and I was eying two possibilities.  One of them is off the market and I don’t know about the other one.  I glimpsed at the latest products the merged company Tobii Dynavox has, which occurred within the last year or so.  In my head, I’m worried that I would have to go back to the communication board, which is a horrible way for me to talk because it takes me to tap out messages by hand.  But I need to remind myself that just because my communication system changes doesn’t mean my life is over.  I need to stay thinking positively  because I will find a new way to express myself.

People are like palm trees.  They get blown over by a storm but they don’t break because the palm tree has the ability to bounce right back up.  Humans are the same way.  They are bent over psychologically by overbearing problems, but they never submit to the power of the problems.  They will find ways to succumb the weight and bounce back.  Never submit to the power of a strong storm.  Be that palm tree and bounce back to living a healthy life.  Change will not harm you.  They will just enhance your life.

Drama Has No Limits

Last night at my support group, I picked up the May issue of New Mobility magazine.  I was reading it today and I stumbled over the story of Reagan Linton.  Linton is a T4 paraplegic who had a dream of becoming an actress.  When she was first paralyzed, she, like any other person that struggles with losing independence, had to figure out how to live again, but she held onto her dream of acting.  She was exposed to Phamaly, an acting company for people with disabilities.  Now, originally, Linton didn’t want to join Phamaly because she didn’t feel it was real drama.  After finishing grad school, she decided to give it a shot.  It wound up that she really liked it and she played in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor, The Wiz, Slide Show And The Man of La Mancha.  She played tone of the twins adjoined at the hip, singing and dancing and she had a few solos.   Linton went on to play  Tin Woman in The Wiz.  She still has a fantastic acting career.

People may have a disability from birth or acquire one from a tragedy, but that should not  stop them from achieving their goals.  Look at Linton: she has an acting career.  Sara Pyzska is a motivational speaker that promotes Dynavox’s products.  And I graduated Rockland Community College with High Honors.  If we can achieve great things, then why can’t you?

An Expected End

Let’s compare this to creative writing.  When someone writes a book, they are supposed to write the end first and then work backwards.  I don’t necessarily do that each time I write (shame on me), but that’s the general rule of thumb.  Similarly, that’s how God plans our lives.  Say I’m supposed to become a great writer of my time.  God writes that part of my life first and then works backwards.  Here’s the most important part: God means to make the ending spectacular.  O.K., you went through a horrendous divorce, didn’t get a raise.  Don’t walk around with a tick on your  shoulder.  Shake it off, because greater glory is coming.

A Voice Against Animal Cruelty

Alongside being a voice for people with disabilities, I also hate when animals are abused.  I’ll share Cici’s adoption story.  Cici is some kind of mutt and we adopted her in 2013.  We got her from a pet store in Connecticut and when we picked her up she was malnourished. We picked her up and she was a cute, shy puppy, but when we got her home, she turned into a terror.  But anyway, do you realize that if we didn’t adopt her, she probably would have died from either neglect or abuse?  Now we don’t know that for sure, but I’ve seen mistreated animals on Facebook and it’s heartbreaking that people do this.  It really is a sin.

I say we start a movement to stop animal cruelty.  If you see an animal being abused, stop the abuse or call the police.  Call the ASPCA or tell the neighbors.  But please don’t let them suffer.  Animals are too cute and innocent to die a horrible death.

Back to my Book

I’m getting back to my first novel A Ride Through the Wind and the Rain.  I have a lot to edit, but I am content with its progress .  I’m trying to highlight the drama and cover up the boring parts.  I have a few questions that I need to ask, but I don’t know who to go to.  Also, I need to apply to publishing companies, but I don’t know how to apply.  Can anyone please help me?  I’d appreciate it.

Thank you

Don’t Let a Disability Stop You From a Gorgeous Ride

I’m about to say something controversial: You don’t need your disability to stop you from participating in your favorite sport.  I’ve played softball, soccer and rode horses despite the movement disorder.  Watch this video of a paralyzed girl get back on the horse without the use of her legs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7pGEYL0jYU.  I watched this for the first time and I was amazed at how Amberly fought to become a cowgirl again despite her disability due to her accident.  It’s so easy to say, “I’m hurt, my life is over”.  My first question to that reaction is “why?”.  Why say that when society can accommodate you?  Places like Helen Hayes can accommodate anybody with any disability to do sports from baseball to fishing.  So this summer, stop thinking that your life is over and get out and have some fun.

A Poem for Today

Hi guys, I thought that I would share my latest poem with you.  I would like to submit it to my church magazine.  I hope that you enjoy it

A Summer’s Ride

I’m up on my horse where the valley soars.  The air is calm, no one around, and it’s only the angels and I.  The sun is rising, moon sets and everything was green.  The brook is jogging along its path.  And I dismounting my horse and I start to fly my kite.  I let my stallion roam vicariously.  The angels watch him because the stones could trip him.

My stallion has seen dark and light days.  That one strong pony stood them all.  I, too, ride over sticks and stone.  I sit the smooth ride and bounce the bumps.  The night is illuminated by the angels’ glow.  The way home they will show.

I approach a tree with a broken branch hanging low.  It creaks and cracks, but has nowhere to go.  The angels throw it away, like it was judged poorly.  And onward I go.

Suddenly, I reach a golden-lit meadow, with a ten thousand gathering.  No sticks or stones can hurt me and I have only a few more steps to go.  Just like the cowgirls and cowboys before me, I will enter in a great peace.  And I will go to the river to get washed before the banquet.

 

And… Hello Summer

I got my grades today for the spring semester.  I got two C’s, one B and a B+.  It seemed perpetual at the end because I had final tests and projects.  My mind is in beach world right now.  I want to go swimming and relax since the weather where I live has been very warm.  But anyway, I pulled off five major projects that occupied most of my time.  One was a group project and the others I did individually.  The longest one was the research proposal, and I did ten pages for that.  I did a military PowerPoint for Group Dynamics, a paper on test anxiety for Behavior Modification and an analysis of strawberry meringue for Scientists Food for Thought.  It was exhausting, but I got it done.  Now I am waiting to start work and get away for a fun time.

Message of the day: Don’t let any project overwhelm you.  If necessary, break the task down and do it inch by inch.  I did that and it really helped me.  Once everything is over, go treat yourself to some relaxation.