A Lovely Reminder
Wow, what a beautifully written article (“‘Doing Life’: Pushing Beyond Fear,” December 2018)! One day I would love to meet Kenny Salvini. He is one of my heroes. Thank you for this wonderful article that gives insight into your struggles and victories and what determination can accomplish.
Doing Great Things
What a wonderful story about Habitat for Humanity (“An Affordable Path to Home Ownership,” December 2018). They certainly can do great things, especially for those that need wheelchair accessible homes.
David R. Coffield
Way to go Habitat (“An Affordable Path to Home Ownership,” December 2018)! These are encouraging stories of what can be done to include universal design features in an affordable house that accommodates people who use wheelchairs.
How about these additions to the “Gawker Classification System,” (Bully Pulpit, December 2018):
Hot Damn, He’s in a Chair: 7 — These individuals are checking you out, but then glance down and look away.
Over-helpers: 9.25 — These people tend to go out of their way to make a big production over helping you. For example, a guy driving a good 100 feet from me as I’m going in or exiting a store who insists on stopping everything to let me go by. If he would have gone by, things would have proceeded flawlessly.
Ashamed Parkers: 10 — This is a common species rocking a disabled placard from when Aunt Flo had hip surgery. When they see me exiting my vehicle with my chair in the access lane, suddenly they remember they are parking illegally. While most nod and hang their heads, the talented ones develop a limp! All-stars.
I thought I was the only one that gets annoyed at the ignorance of people (“Gawker Classification System,” December 2018). Over 20 years in a chair and it still gets to me at times. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I have an addition, “You’re pretty! What are you doing in a chair?!” Eye roll.
This is a great idea for people who have little functional movement below their shoulders (“New Tech Allows Users to Drive Wheelchairs With Facial Expressions,” Newmobility.com, Dec. 28). The only two drawbacks are the difficulty for those who have spasms that create problems with facial movements and the cost of a $300 per month subscription. Really?
[Kary Wright,] you are so creative (“A Berry, Berry Big Find,” December 2018). Picking saskatoons is one of my favorite things to do as well, and when the harvest is as bountiful as it was this year and the year past, a person tends to get a lot of berries! What did you do with your berries? Jam? Pie? Ice cream topping? I ask this because I have bags and bags of frozen berries. Seems I am really good at picking them but not so good at doing anything with them!
Kary Wright responds: Lately we have been dehydrating them, as the flavor in these “raisins” is so concentrated it is awesome. Then we add them to nuts for a trail-mix snack.
After reading Mike Ervin’s article “Very Special Effects” in the December 2018 NEW MOBILITY, I had to dry the tears from the article after my uncontrollable laughter. I am a fan of many movies over my short time on our earth, 66 years. I’ve lived with my spinal cord injury for 51 of those years, after a high school wrestling accident. I’m a C5-6 quad cripple, using Mike’s vernacular. After seeing the few movies in 2018 that were worth watching, no more superheroes for me please. I would recommend that Mike inaugurate his movie writing, directing and acting career. I would like to go out on a limb and highly encourage Mike to headline as the main actor portraying himself. I’ve seen Tom Cruise acting like one of us SCI folks and believe me, he tested my patience. No expensive special effects are necessary. Mike, you would be nominated for an Oscar in the best writing, picture, director and actor categories.
Stephen C. Grams
St. Peter, Minnesota
People Don’t Get It
Thank you, Seth McBride (“Mainstream Epistim Coverage and the Obsession With Walking,” December 2018). The majority of the public thinks using a wheelchair is abhorrent. Few understand the freedom it gave me to be independent again. It’s the old comment, “Oh my dear, I used one for four months when I shattered my leg skiing.” My politically incorrect reply is, “How is your bowel and bladder program now? Still using catheters to urinate and suppositories to empty your bowels?” (With overt sweet, sarcastic tone and smile.)
An Ounce of Prevention
This is a good article but, more importantly, there should be mention of ways to prevent all of this (“Where to Turn When Wounds Won’t Heal,” October 2018). Talk about an ounce of prevention is worth a pound (or tons) of cure! There are many little things that can and should be done to at least minimize the chances of getting a pressure sore.
First off, and hopefully obvious, is to protect your skin at all costs. We all want to be active and live a full life, but also be mindful that certain activities are hazardous to your skin. Is it worth it? Make sure you factor in the “worth it” angle. Months in bed recovering from a wound is not really worth it in my book.
Also, once you experience a wound, your skin is never the same. You are much more likely to get another wound and sooner. Next, remember that your skin gets more fragile as you get older. Actions you took in younger years and got by with now become more risky to your health. Make sure you realize that your skin isn’t as resilient as you get older and act appropriately.
Third, the proper equipment, chairs and cushions are critical! Make sure you are using a cushion that provides the protection you need!
Lastly, everyday actions can incrementally work against our healthy skin. Small “traumas” every day can gradually break down our skin, especially as we continue to age. I have been using specially-constructed underwear from a place called GlideWear that provide a seriously slippery “anti-friction” seamless construction against my skin every day. I love them! Every time I transfer, which is often, I am applying small trauma to my rear end. The GlideWear helps mitigate that stress and trauma, and helps minimize potential skin breakdown. We need to do what we can to protect ourselves over the long haul!
Great article (“Collector Cars,” Motorvation, October 2018)! It would be really helpful if all of these folks would post videos and/or descriptions of their methods to get themselves and their chairs into and out of their vehicles. Most of them are kind of obvious, but having been in a Corvette, I can’t figure out where Jemal puts his chair.
Editor: Jemal says he generally puts his chair in the passenger seat, but it will also fit in the hatch if it’s disassembled.