Mike ErvinI’ll tell you another good thing about being a lifelong cripple. I don’t waste time longing for a return to the good old days.

If I became crippled later in life, maybe it would be a different story. Maybe I would yearn to go back to that wonderful, carefree time when I could run like the wind, feel the cool green grass under my bare feet, not have to worry about my leg bag springing a leak in the middle of a hot date, etc.

But for lifelong cripples like me, there are no good old days. Looking backward for hope and strength just makes me break out in hives, both physically and psychologically. Forget about going back to any point in time before around 1965. Maybe life began 200,000 years ago for the rest of Homo sapiens. But for Homo sapiens crippleus, life began around 1965, at least in the U.S. I mean, cripples like me didn’t even have motorized wheelchairs before then, except for those inventive cripples who fashioned makeshift motorized wheelchairs out of two lawnmowers and an ironing board or something like that. How the hell did anybody who was crippled like me survive before there were motorized wheelchairs?

How about 1970 or so? No thanks. Any public school from kindergarten to college could turn any crippled kid away back then, no questions asked. And they did, too.

1980? Yeah right. Have fun finding a public transit bus or train that was wheelchair accessible back then. And have fun finding any newly constructed housing that was even remotely accessible, because there was no Fair Housing Amendments Act requiring basic access. Oh, and if you needed somebody to wipe your butt every day without going broke paying someone to do that for you, have fun finding that, too. Most programs like the one I use where the state pays the wages of the people I hire to assist me in the home and com