I recently had the pleasure of catching up with a close high school friend, and she’d mentioned that she’d taken part in a organization in which kids who had lost parents could get together. There was time each day for sharing feelings, there was therapy, and there was fun.
Once I moved past being proud of her decision to take part in the retreat, I became curious about the idea behind the organization. I’ve heard the adage that misery loves company, and I understand wanting to talk to people who can identify first-hand with your experience and feelings. So imagine my surprise when, days later, I saw someone in Starbucks who’s limp and pronated foot mirrored my own and, though I noticed our similar symptoms of CP, I said nothing.
I chose not to bond with someone over a shared experience. Why? Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, I saw a new show on the TLC network called “Abby and Brittany” (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. E.S.T.). The girls mentioned in the title, Abigail and Brittany Hensel, are conjoined twins who have two heads, two hearts, and four lungs, but one body. The show attempts to capture how the girls live their lives.
I have mixed feelings about the show. The premise concerns me slightly. Ostensibly, the program will show viewers that Abby and Brittany Hensel are people with the same feelings, dreams, hopes, and concerns as every other 22-year-old college graduate. Part of me wonders, though, if they’re being put on TV as the modern version of a freak show — and I’m not alone in that worry. Why else would an article about the series appear in the “Weird News” section of HuffPo?
I’ll admit that I enjoy watching the show, just but I think that the effect the show has will depend on the viewer. Some people will enjoy simply learning about the intricacies of a conjoined existence (like this) and others will find the value merely in making punchlines out of the unusual circumstance. For those people, Gawker has you covered.
I wonder, though, why conjoined twins get a prime slot on television with a full advertising blitz, but the Paralympics are mainly ignored? I started thinking, and I believe that this shows an upsetting pattern in how society views people with disabilities.
Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, I’m still here, and yes, I’m embarrassed that my once-weekly blog has devolved into a quarterly one, it seems. As usual, I apologize and offer the hope that I’ll soon be posting regularly again. The difference, this time, is that I fully intend to do so. In the meantime, thank you all for your patience.
Since I last posted, I’ve seen a few movies (thanks to streaming), been to a Jackson Browne concert (thanks to a friend), and checked out a Yankee game from just behind home plate (thanks to a SERIOUS, and seriously random, upgrade in my tickets). I’ve also gone to a museum exhibit, and had a few cups of coffee. It sounds great, doesn’t it? I’m embarrassed to admit, however, that I’ve wasted much of my time on bad television and stress and anxiety. So much so, in fact, that I was unable to write a blog post out of fear that I had nothing to say, that I wouldn’t say it right, that it wouldn’t make a difference, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
It has been said, specifically by Rob Lowe when he played Sam Seaborn on The West Wing, that good writers borrow from other writers and great writers steal from them outright. I aspire to be a great writer. Therefore, I’ve put together a list of quotes (all said by other people, of course) that relate to parenthood and disability. Read on and enjoy. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! Read the rest of this entry »
Hello, readers! I’ve missed you this past month. I can only hope the feeling is somewhat mutual.
I spent much of the last few weeks working on an article about animal-assisted therapy for a magazine by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. (Shameless self-promotion alert!) For those who are interested, the article will be in the Summer 2012 issue of People & Families Magazine.
In that time, there have been a lot of items in the media that caught my eye. I would have loved to comment on them, but then the time passed. Instead, I’ve chosen not to discount the intelligence of my readers. I’ll simply present the information to you in a media roundup, if you will, and then you can form your own opinions. In fact, I’d love to hear what they are (hint, hint: comments section). Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »
I’m very fortunate that I have friends and family that love me. With that love comes the desire to protect me from harm and hardship. Although I understand that this comes from a good place, I hate being babied. I almost purposely look for new activities to partake in and new places to visit that might be challenging. Then again, sometimes just walking around the city can be challenging enough, thus the bet with my parents.
I came across this story and felt compelled to comment. Here are the basics: a 5-year-old girl named LaKay with cerebral palsy and epilepsy has learned to use a walker after putting in hard work to strengthen her muscles. She’s been using a walker instead of a wheelchair for two years. She fell while using the walker on school grounds. Her mother was there at the time, but the school insists that the walker isn’t safe. After reading the article, and taking a few days to think about this, I have some points to make. Read the rest of this entry »
So, I promised a little more detail about my ER visit in San Francisco. The beginning is a little boring. Deanna and I checked in — handed over the necessary insurance cards and filled out the necessary paperwork — and then watched Anderson Cooper interview Adele on a small TV in the corner of a small waiting room.
Before we saw the doctor, I had to answer a few questions: Was I allergic to any medications? Have I ever experienced this before? Have I fallen at any time in the past six months?
I looked at Deanna, then back at the nurse. It was a second or two before I could answer her, because I thought she must be crazy. Of course I’d fallen in the past six months. Who hasn’t? Who only falls twice a year? Read the rest of this entry »
This is my 52nd post, and as I was aiming to write one post a week, this means The D Card is officially 1 year old. I’ve learned so much this year, and this blog has been a major cause of that. The blog has also been a force for change for me. I’ve had some time to reflect on it, and here’s what I’ve figured out. Read the rest of this entry »
Forgive me for my lack of posts lately. This one will, perhaps, partly explain why. I took a trip to California to visit my friend from college in February, and while I was thrilled to see her, the trip was marred by a pretty serious injury (one which I, nevertheless, tried to make light of).
The scary part goes like this: for some reason (stress, according to my father, who considers himself to be somewhat of a zen guru), muscles in my back tensed up. The pain was intense, radiating from my back and down my right leg. After a few days of struggling and a spasm in a crosswalk that brought me to my knees — I later told the doctor that I was Tebowing; he didn’t get it — my friend Deanna and I decided to go to the ER (more on this in a later post). There were some serious painkillers, some muscle relaxers, and, therefore, a complicated and strictly adhered to medicine schedule that Deanna helped me make. I spent a day on her kitchen floor, being unable to stand. When I was eventually able to stand, I used a walker that was in the house in case her 90+ -year-old grandfather ever needed it. At the airport, I was taken around in a wheelchair.
Despite having a disability since the day I was born, it was during this trip to San Francisco that I felt truly disabled for the first time in 26 years. Read the rest of this entry »
Based on the temperature, I’d say that winter officially started last week. I sat outside in Bryant Park for a few hours a couple of days ago, catching up with a close friend from college, and when I stood up my legs were slightly numb. Walking was difficult, especially on the stairs down to the subway.
I’ve been stuck on stairs before. If, for some reason, I start to feel unbalanced or I don’t trust the railing to steady me, my leg muscles will tense up. This makes it impossible to move. I’m forced to stand frozen, mid-stairway, clutching the railing with two hands while I focus on breathing slowly and trying to relax. I distinctly remember this happening in the Tufts campus center, during the busiest part of the day (obviously).
There are other ways to freeze up, too. Read the rest of this entry »