Goodbye 2015

2015 was a pretty great year.  It had it’s ups and downs, as any year does.  But I think overall I had a good time.  2015 saw my 2 year mark in the wheelchair.  That hit me harder than the 1 year anniversary.  Sorry, 2015 but 2014* was a better year as far as that went.  The one year anniversary was still full of promise and hope of walking again.  The 2 year anniversary was more solid in the knowledge that walking isn’t likely at this point, though I’ll never give up hope.

The beginning of 2015 brought the pain of a miscarriage, but the joy of the news that we were finally expecting our first child.  And it brought all the fun of shopping that expecting a new child entails as well.  (Any excuse to go shopping is a winner in my book!  And if it’s sanctioned by the hubs, then that’s an even bigger win!)

Work wise, 2015 didn’t really do much.  No huge wins or losses.  But I continued in helping people who found themselves in bad situations.  I think the biggest win of 2015 was one of my favorite longtime clients texting me out of the blue that she was graduating early from drug court.  I had helped get her the tools to get herself clean and she made the most of it.  I had told her I couldn’t go see her graduation, but ended up getting my conflicting cases covered by an awesome colleague and surprised her at graduation.  That was the 2015 work high for sure!

The hubs, dogs and I had an amazing trip to Wyoming which resulted in picking up a couple acres for our someday vacation home.  The trip further solidified our bond to the little piece of Heaven they call Wyoming and to a perfect 960-ish person town.  They have a webcam in the town and I call it “My Happy Place.”  When I need a break, I can instantly go to My Happy Place.  So, thanks for that 2015!

2015, you made me a published writer.  It’s always been my dream to get paid for writing.  And New Mobility Magazine made that happen as I write blogs for them.  That was a huge accomplishment in 2015 which I hope to grow in 2016!

The hubs and I had the joy of welcoming a new niece (born to one of his sisters) and a nephew (born to my sister) this year.  Both were healthy, super adorable and perfect!  And the fact that they will be so close in age to our upcoming bundle of joy is awesome!

Handi-hack wise, we came up with a lot of helpful tricks to make being in a wheelchair work this year.  The hubs rocked the modification of the crib, which he basically just came up with and put into action.  And then he figured out how he could put up new door jams so I could fit through a couple doorways with the doors on.  These doors had been off since I came home in the wheelchair, as it was just slightly too snug a fit.  But, he put on new hinges, and voila!  I can fit!  But, I think the 2015 win was the awesome sink addition that my dad came up with and engineered in my house.  Instead of tearing apart the existing island sink, he dropped the counter overhang and now we have back to back sinks.  I can actually wash things like a normal person now!  So that is the major win of 2015!  (The crib was a close contender, but since I didn’t actually need to use it in 2015, the sink won out.  Sorry crib.  You were just ahead of your time, I suppose.)

handicap sink

2015, you were good to this paralyzed girl.  I really can’t complain about anything.  I’m sorry to see you go, since you were the last of my selfish, kidless years.  But, I’m really not sorry to welcome 2016 and see all the joy, struggle, exhaustion and exuberance that it will bring with it!

 

*2014, otherwise, you’re kind of on my sh*t list: you’re the year that Iggy Azalea came out with “Fancy”, which my husband has recently taken to quoting.  If I hear him say “Who dat, who dat” one more time when my phone rings, 2016 may see me behind bars for murder.  Just kidding.  I know a lot of really good defense attorneys.

Stop it!

Stop. Stop it.  Seriously.  Stop.  I’m talking to you.  And you.  You’re ok.  But you.  You stop!  Stop being offended by EVERYTHING!  I can’t handle the overly sensitive mentality of people these days.  It’s like people wake up in the morning wondering what they can be offended by today.  Then they spew their hatred all over social media and if you don’t agree with them, you’re the moron.  Why don’t we put on our big gender-neutral pants and agree that you can’t please everyone, so just worry about yourself.  And don’t be a sensitive ninny.  (Oh great, I just made enemies of the sensitive ninny population.)

My rant is directed at the new “ableism” campaign.  Apparently if you can walk then you’re a big jerk for pointing out that all of us cripples can’t.  I think that’s the basic gist.  People are all up in arms over Kylie Jenner and her Interview magazine photo shoot in which she posed with a gold wheelchair.  I saw the pictures and my first thought was “solid gold or gold-plated and either way I wonder if my insurance will cover one of those bad boys for me?”  It didn’t even cross my mind to be offended because she’s in a wheelchair.  But she can walk.  Wait a minute!  If she can walk, then she doesn’t need a wheelchair.  But she’s in a wheelchair.  Please excuse me while my head explodes over this.

Ok, I’m back, head in tact.  I seriously don’t see the issue.  I tried to see it from the point of view of the people who were all butt-hurt over it.  (Oh great, now I’ve gone and offended those people without butts.)  But (pun intended) as I looked at them, I still don’t see it.  She’s a model.  She’s in a wheelchair.  It’s a picture.  Her job is taking pictures.  She looks amazing.  The photographer didn’t make it blurry.  The clothes fit.  Good job by all people whose jobs were involved in the shoot.  Where’s the issue?

In reading stories on the matter as further research (oh man, now I’ve gone and pissed off the anti-researchers and the illiterate) it seems to me that the issue is that the photographer could have used a wheelchair-user in the photos.  There’s like a million (uh oh, there goes my readers who can’t count) handicapped people who are all saying they could have been in the picture instead.  So, it stems from selfish motivations.  (I’m not worried about losing the selfish crowd cause they’re too self-absorbed to realize I’m talking about them.  They’re perfect- not overly compensating in awarding themselves self-worth.)  They wish they were in the photo.  But, unless you actually are Kylie Jenner, YOU AREN’T KYLIE JENNER!  If you want to be in that photo, go buy some latex and take a picture yourself.  The world, and Interview magazine, doesn’t owe you anything.  If you want to do something, go do it.  If you want to be a model in a wheelchair, then go pitch yourself to an agency and show them why they need you.  How do you think Kylie Jenner, or any of the Jenners/Kardashians made it?  They made the world think that we couldn’t survive if their names and images weren’t plastered on everything everywhere.  SO go do that!  Don’t sit back and whine that you aren’t in that photo.  Go make your own.

I read some tweet from some wheelchair user saying that people can’t even look her in the eye but Kylie Jenner gets to model in a wheelchair.  And something about her not being able to wheel around her town or take pictures in her wheelchair.  That sounds like a her problem.  Not a world problem.  Gangs, prison overcrowding, ISIS, too many animals in shelters and kids in foster care…those are world problems.  Those are things we should be discussing en masse.  Not some person who doesn’t use a wheelchair posing for a picture in a wheelchair.  Does that mean that blondes everywhere should be offended because Khloe Kardashian has blonde hair now and if she’s in a picture, that means they should have been in the picture instead?  (I know that was a major rambling sentence, which probably made me lose my grammar police crowd.  And if the sentence didn’t, the grammar police comment probably did.  But, you get my point.)  One person doing something benign like posing for a picture in a wheelchair does not negate all the people who are in wheelchairs for real.

How does Kylie Jenner’s photo affect me?  It doesn’t!  (Other than the fact that I think it’s a pretty picture.)  At the end of the day, I am a badass chick.  I am an attorney who holds her own in the courtroom.  I uphold the constitution and helps people on a daily basis.  I am a wife who does really amazing things for her husband like make a special trip to the grocery store to make sure he has the type of egg nog which our normal store doesn’t have.  But it’s his favorite, so I do that for him.  I am a fur baby mom (and soon to be human baby mom) who would do anything for her little ones.  I am a person who can talk herself out of doing terrible things like dieting or working out.  So I ask again: how does Kylie Jenner taking a picture in a wheelchair affect me and my life?  It doesn’t.  And I implore the rest of you to realize that it doesn’t have an impact on your life either.  GET OVER IT!!

Paraple-pancake

Today I almost became a paraple-pancake in the Target shopping center near my house.  (I hope that you’re picturing Wile E. Coyote after the large boulder meant for the road runner lands on him and he walks away like a smooshed pancake on legs. Cause that’s what could have happened!!)  Let me set the scene.  I had gone into Target to get some things, like a toy to donate to a 6 year old boy through my church.  (And some ugly Christmas sweaters and nail polish, but the toy makes me sound way more angelic which makes almost getting run over even sadder!  People would probably care more about the Pope being hit by a car than Kim K.)  The way the Target parking lot is set up there is a row closest to the entrance that has about 10 disabled spaces.  And there’s a slight decline away from the store.

So there I was, rolling toward my car with one hand on my wheel and one hand holding the basket with all my newly purchased wares.  I passed a couple parked cars.  Then all of a sudden, this dbag in an SUV throws his car into reverse and hits the gas without even looking.  I was seriously INCHES from his bumper.  I always watch for reverse lights because I never trust that people will see me.  There was seriously no pause between light coming in and car backing out at a very fast speed!  I immediately yank on the wheel, but since I only had 1 hand on my wheel, it throws my chair into a gnarly 360 spin.  My other hand is clutching the basket which is about to go spilling.  The spin I do in my chair causes me to go out of control and nearly hit the car next to the dbag in the SUV.  He looks at me like “Whoops, sorry” and points to the car I almost splattered against to see if that’s where I am going.  He’s lucky that my hands were on my wheels and basket or else I would have been pointing with a very specific finger!  So he stops and I keep going behind him to my car, which was parked on the other side of him.  His girlfriend is staring at me with this look of complete amusement on her face.  I nearly LOST IT!  I’m hoping they were lip readers, because while my hands were occupied, my mouth was spewing some very colorful and choice words which I will not repeat, lest I lose my “PG” rating on this blog.  I called the hubs, but he was working and couldn’t answer.  So then I called my mom, because after you’re nearly smooshed into the pavement, you have to call someone!  And, do you know how hard it is to edit the colorful language out of a story when half of it involves directing said language toward a person?  Just like on this blog, I try to not cuss around my parents.  But, I think I used the word dbag like 50 times in the retelling of the story to her.  I said I tried to clean up the language, not that I was able.

The burn of it is that this JERK was parked in a disabled space too.  So either he’s the most selfish dbag on the planet who can’t watch out for anyone else.  Or, he’s not really supposed to be parking there.  I find that most handicapped people tend to be a little more cautious because we know how scary it can be to not be seen as easily by people.  At least, I know that’s how I drive.  When I back out of a space, I turn my head in true Exorcist fashion 25 times to make sure no one is behind me.  And I watch my mirrors and back up camera.  It might seem extreme, but I never want to be like the dbag in the SUV today.

The moral of the story ladies and gents: please, please, please be cautious in parking lots.  Not just in the handicapped area, but everywhere.  There’s always a chance that you may miss seeing a kid or a wheelchair.  And if it weren’t for my cat like reflexes and the a couple guardian angels, I could be all kinds of hurt right now! (But, my wheelchair would be OK, cause it’s titanium and that beyotch is indestructible!)