Friday, June 29, 2007

What will it take?

I came across two disturbing news items today. One is a of a diabetic man who was tossed off an Amtrak train in the middle of a forest by personnel who assumed he was drunk, when when he was actually suffering diabetic shock. The other is a report of a police officer who killed a suspect with cerebral palsy. At least the officer has been found guilty of negligent manslaughter and admits that he mistook the young man's jerky motion for threatening behavior.

If only this sort of story was an anomaly instead of one the constant fears of people with disability, that disability will be mistaken for disobedience and disorder. I don't expect everyone to know about every disability. But rather obviously, there are too many people who know essentially nothing about any disability and immediately interpret difference as danger. The result is that people get killed for spasticity, shot for being deaf, abandoned or jailed or tasered for diabetes and epilepsy, deported for developmental disability.

I don't for a moment think that anyone feels good or justified after making such terrible errors in judgment. So wouldn't it be a good idea to give some training to people who deal with the public? If there was at least some guarantee that an effort would be made to read medical alert bracelets, it would be a step in the right direction.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hey, what happened to Eschara?

I really liked Eschara. People sent in pictures and stories about scars they had gathered in life, and the general sense was of pride in life well lived. Every few weeks, I went Eschara to check out the new additions.

And now? Um. I think it is in Thai. And I have no idea what it is about, but even the archives are gone. How does that happen? Anyone know?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I am so easy when it comes to entertainment. A town half an hour away just got a brand-spanking new HEB Plus!, and I have so wanted to go to one for, oh, ever since they first started being built here and there. But more there than here, and I wasn't about to drive 2 hours just so I could go to what I was hearing was the most wonderful grocery store ever. But, dang, it's the most wonderful grocery store ever, and the closest I was getting was the TV commercials.

Until yesterday! Yay, I drove over there on the way back from work, me and MD, since we both work at the same place. First thing, there was lots of handicapped parking. Second thing, it seemed to all be full, except for one spot a bit up an incline. But that was the best we were going to get, so we took it.

We had already agreed that if there were no shopping scooters, we'd just go in the door and look to see how big the place was, but not actually try to do any shopping. However--get this!--despite there being so many gimps at the store that they had run out of gimp parking, there were still plenty of charged-up, ready-to-go, scooters! Plus!, indeed! So we each got a scooter, which was astounding, because usually we only get one and have to take turns.

And the aisles were wide!

And there were so many other people on scooters, it was like a convention.

And the people who weren't on scooters were all smiling and saying "Oh, excuse me, let me move out of the way." This even though they were coming across us scooty types on every aisle. Once, after I had put something in my cart that made it hard for me to see what sort of clearance I had, I clipped a display rack, sending manual can-openers tumbling to the floor. Three young men, none of them employees, rushed over and started picking them up, assuring me that they had it under control and not to worry.

I drove down the baking goods aisle, and came across something that made my eyes start to tear up: a whole section of GF cookies and baking mixes. With my favorite ginger snaps that must be torn into immediately just sitting there, waiting for me. I took them home and had my way with them.

OK, there was one guy in the entire store who seemed completely oblivious and constantly kept wandering over to where I had to be creative in order to miss him, but maybe he was trying to flirt? If so, he should have made eye contact, but as it was, he was just irritating. But not so irritating that my trip was spoiled.

Oh, then the scooters took us back up the incline to my car. And that was good, because you really can't get up hills very well by foot with only one properly working hip.

MD and I have decided to go back once a month. That's something, because she usually hates big stores and crowds.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Same old same old

Jeesh, I said to M.D. today, there are never any films about what it's really like to live with disability. For instance, there could be a film about someone applying for disability.

She doesn't miss a beat:

"They already made that film--Groundhog Day. Everyday, you wake up and have to fill out the same forms."