Fantastic article and kudos to those out there “doing it”! (“Disabled Doctors: Healing the Medical Model?,” March 2019). I am a C6-7 complete quad and was initially denied access to a demanding clinical psychology program in the late ’80s for similar reasons, including uncertainty about how I’d handle administering test materials using quad hands. Now I’ve got 30-plus years practicing as a clinical psychologist! The perspective and drive of an individual who has been physically — and mentally — put to the disability test, yet has the tenacity to get through the educational roadblocks, persevere for years and focus their energy on humanity is … priceless! These folks are out there trailblazing in regard to what does matter most: the human spirit of caring, hard work, empathy, seeking of knowledge, sharing your expertise, refusing to settle.
U.K. Still Behind
Thank you so much for posting this article (“Disabled Doctors,” March 2019). It is so relatable for all of us who are disabled medics. I’m a deaf-blind medical student from the United Kingdom who was lucky enough to meet Dr. Stanley F. Wainapel while in practice in New York City. He and four other blind doctors I met in the U.S. were proof that we can practice medicine if we are surrounded by the good acceptance and support of colleagues and the right tech to allow us reasonable adjustments. So far, this is very difficult in the U.K. Prejudicial attitudes indeed already shape what we’re allowed and not allowed to do, and it is ever so difficult to access up-to-date equipment.
I Want One!
I would love to have a wheeler doctor, especially for my primary care! It’s frustrating to consistently run into physicians, most of whom are well-meaning, but who have little knowledge and even less experience with some of the most common medical issues we deal with.
Thank you, Eddie Crouch, for sharing your techniques (“Pushing the Edge of SCI Function,” March 2019). You demonstrate so well something I hammered into the heads of my PT students — the absolute importance of functional tightness in the hands of a quad and not overstretching the hand/fingers when teaching transfers and weight shifting. It upsets me tremendously when I meet a quad whose hands have been overstretched and have a flat palm, hyperextended fingers and zero tenodesis with wrist extension.
Jeannie Reiner Senter
A Bridge of Hope
I certainly hope that this bridge (“3D Printed Implants May Offer a Unique Approach for Treating Spinal Cord Injury,” News, March 13, Newmobility.com) will result in positive trials very soon. I have been paralyzed 55 years and need to bridge the injury gap between C4 and C6 before I have no function left. It would be wonderful to regain function to my still healthy body in my 80s.
Ronald W. Hull
Dry Skin Solution
For those dry cracks around my fingernails, I cut a tip off of a vinyl glove, squirt lotion in it, then pull that over my finger and tape it with skin tape (“Wintertime SCI Skin Protection,” Para/Medic, March 2019). I can only do this at night, but it helps a lot.
I have suffered dry and cracked skin much of my life and use tons of body cream, but I got an unexpected boost over the last month from a supplement. I never believe the hype on supplements, but I was searching for a protein supplement that would not aggravate my touchy digestion. For a month I’ve been using a collagen powder and am surprised to find my skin improved all over. There are two spots that chafe: one from my underpants on my belly and one in the gluteal crack, which must come from the chafing of my panty pads. Darned if those haven’t smoothed out a lot and feel softer. Who knew?