A Force of Nature
Srin is truly the real deal (“Srin Madipalli, Airbnb and the Quest to ‘Belong Anywhere,’” May 2019). When he had Accomable, he not only arranged accommodations for me and a group of American students on a study abroad trip but helped me beyond all expectations when British Airways severely damaged my power wheelchair and it would not work when I arrived in England. He really is a force of nature. I miss Accomable greatly, but I am glad he is at Airbnb and sincerely hope he makes the impact on that company that he is trying to make.
I am C4-5 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down, since May 2007 (“Dreamwalkers,” May 2019). I dream every time I sleep and pretty much in all of my dreams, except for maybe five, I am not paralyzed. I may mention it in my dream and/or legs and arms don’t work exactly right but they still work. Mostly though, nothing is wrong with me. It’s my way to escape the paralysis!
I am not solely a wheelchair user yet, but I do not dare walk without my walker. My left side is paralyzed, causing me to lose my grip on the walker and nearly fall several times a day. I have started to have dreams about walking without my walker and I’m always falling (“Dreamwalkers,” May 2019). I never hit the floor or the ground as I wake up first in fear. It seems to occur more if I fall asleep in my recliner without my CPAP machine on. I believe my brain creates the dreams when it is starving for oxygen. I wake up and the oxygen returns to my brain. I feel it is my subconscious mind waking me up before I suffocate.
A Common Bond
I never see myself in my dreams, but the chair is always there with me and it is always causing me stress in some way (“Dreamwalkers,” May 2019). Like, it gets a flat tire while I am pushing it up an endless hill or I worry someone is going to steal it when I have to go into a minute market for something. Who knew we all have this common thread?!
Only in Dreams
I once dreamt that I was walking to my wheelchair accessible van after going to a movie, and upon seeing my van, I realized we left my wheelchair in the theater and had to go back and get it!
William A. Miller
Not everyone likes to be hugged, so I have started asking “may I hug you?” when I feel like hugging someone I don’t know well (“U Can’t Touch This,” May 2019). Everything seems to go in cycles. Children were taught “don’t touch” for a long time. Then touching became acceptable. Then it went too far with unwelcome or inappropriate touching. Now is definitely the time to start conversations about appropriate and inappropriate touching. We want to stop the inappropriate kind and increase the wanted, needed, appropriate kind. We definitely don’t want to lose the beneficial effects of touching.
I am just turning 58 and have been running into these types of issues also after 35 years as a para (“Do I Throw in the Towel on a Close Friend Who Still Doesn’t Get My Access Needs?” May 2019). I will not go to a person’s home to have to be dragged up steps and then not be able to get to the only bathroom. I find myself staying home more and sometimes I don’t mind, but other times I do. I lived in southwest Florida for 20 years and wish I’d never left due to the fact it was a very accessible area. It is good to know I am not the only person who is going through these changes as I get older.