Friday, March 9, 2007
The Story of My Life
My daughter's school has an annual talent show. The show
was yesterday during school hours, and tonight there is
At yesterday's show, kids were sitting on the floor infront
of the stage, and there were chairs set up behind the kids
for the parents/friends to sit. Obviously I couldn't sit in
front of the kids, so I sat in the back, up against the wall.
There was a row of chairs set up a couple feet ahead of me.
A lady sat in the chair directly infront of me and she turned
around and asked me if I could see okay. I said, yes, thank
So I'm watching the show and I can see the stage fine. My
daughter was the 3rd to the last act. During the 4th to the
last act, a lady planted herself directly infront of me. She
didn't sit. She stood there. For a second I thought she was
joking with me and she was going to turn around and laugh and
touch my arm and tell me she was just giving me a hard time
and then proceed to stand BESIDE me. That's how absurd it was.
For about 5 feet to the left of me, there was no one. She could
have stood there. To the right of me were other parents standing
against the wall. She could have stood there. There was no
point in saying "excuse me" because she didn't have any ears
on her ass to hear me. So I snapped this picture and moved
over a little. It was so strange that she had a million other
places to stand yet she chose to stand directly infront of me.
It was also strange that it happened right before my daughter's
You know what's funny? If I had my iBOT, I would have been in
Balance Function and it would not have been an issue. Funny.
When I dropped my daughter off at school this morning, I asked
the custodian if he could reserve a spot for me up front. I
hate being a pain in the butt, but it's going to be super crowded
tonight and I just don't feel like staring at people's butts.
If the iBOT didn't exist, I would have been only slightly
irritated about that lady standing infront of me. I don't
think she did it on purpose. But knowing that there is a chair
available that would be such a fantastic thing for so many
wheelchair users, yet it's completely unobtainable to the
majority because it's so damn expensive and insurance companies
consider it a "luxury", completely pisses me off.
Yesterday I pushed myself around more than normal, because there
were a lot of places I needed to go. This morning I took the
dogs to the park and when I left, I realized that my shoulders
hurt. My left arm is tingly as I write this. The fact that my
insurance company would rather pay for painful, debilitating,
and expensive rotator cuff surgery instead of a wheelchair that
would make my life so much better completely pisses me off. Due
to a few unfortunate events (drunk driver, no seatbelt, bad timing,
incompetent doctors) my shoulders have been used for 28 years to
do things shoulders aren't meant to do.
There is no cure for spinal cord injuries. There are things that
can greatly improve the lives of many people with spinal cord
injuries though. The iBOT is a perfect example. I have no idea
how insurance companies decide what is necessary and what is a
"luxury", but I would bet my life that none of those people have
any clue about what it is like to live in a wheelchair.
I'm not pissed off that I am paralyzed. I don't like that I am,
and I wish I wasn't, but bad things happen to people all the
time. It's part of life. Besides, there is absolutely nothing
I can do to make me unparalyzed. There is something that can
make my life so much better though. But I don't have it. And
loads of people who would love to have one can't have it either.
THAT pisses me off.
I don't doubt that I will get an iBOT someday. It's going to
happen. (Hopefully it will happen before I get committed.) But
what about all the people who have no hope of getting one because
of their financial situation? That needs to change.
Have I mentioned that I'm completely pissed off today?
Okay, rant over. I feel slightly better to get that off my chest.
Now I'm going to go take care of some photography related business
so that I can start selling my work to pay for the damn thing.
P.S. There may be some spinal cord injured people reading this who
are pissed off that I'm so focused on getting an iBOT as opposed
to fighting for a cure. I believe there will be a cure someday,
especially after the dumbass gets out of the White House. For me
personally, I won't benefit from a cure. I've been paralyzed for
too long. My legs are unable to support weight. Lots of wheelchair
users, like myself, hope for a cure, but know they will never, for
various reasons, benefit from one. I'm choosing to fight this
battle. I am more interested in care than cure, and I do and will
continue to focus my energy on care. To those of you who are
fighting for a cure, I wish you the very best. Keep doing what
BTW, today's photograph is available for sale. Asking price is