Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This is my little family taken last Christmas. Some of you know, but for others, he has been a Quadriplegic since 1982 after an accident. Luckily we had had our two lovely girls just before that...why muck about?

This man may be frail in body...and he is that, after all these years with rotten bones and teeth, dislocated hips which can't be mended, and levels of pain which would knock a horse...but he is mighty in spirit and with the advent of computers (he got his first in'82) he has been a real agitator for many causes which have made us unpopular with bureaucrats and others of that ilk...

Its been a tough road for him because he will not compromise his ethics and secretly (don't tell him) I am sooo proud of this. There is nothing namby about this man...nor is there about most Quads and Paras...they are people...full stop. Old attitudes do not die they just go underground ... today my heart broke a little for this mighty man...

He's independent when and where he can be. So when he had to go to the dentist this morning... I agreed to meet him at our favourite coffee shop... this is something we have done for years...we are too fiery to ever shop together.

I was horrified when he told me of his experience on the way from the dentist (only about 2 country town blocks) to the coffee shop. He had been crossing the road...safely...when for some reason known only to the electric wheelchair it lurched. He over balanced...but still in the chair just leaning over hard over the right armrest he was unable to get himself back upright... this would have been very painful for him as his ribs would have been up against the armrest hard.

He was in the middle of the road and unable to control the chair. I have never heard him sound so heartbroken as when he told me that there were about 10 cars banked up in front of him and not a one got out of their car to see what was wrong. It would have been totally obvious he was in distress.

Then he began to fall over forwards onto the controls and he knew if that happened he would be out of the chair on the ground... for him, with limited breathing and bones so rotten that any fall or excessive movement will break them, this is for the likes of us a tragedy. Bedbound means shortened life and life is pretty good while you have got it...no matter what.

(My husband explained to me how it felt as a Quad... that its like trying to balance your head and shoulders on a big plate of jelly.) but in his case that plate of jelly is usually racked with such pain that it takes Physeptone (methadone) to shift it.

It took all of 3 mins - they sat there angry because they could not move - for anyone to actually get out of their car and see what was wrong and only happened after this man's girlfriend yelled at him to do so.

May I add this was not out on the highway...all lonely and scary... no excuses for this pack of shits...this was in town...in the little shopping centre.

Some things shake my husband... not much after all these years and the crap we've dealt with from the'norms' who are anything but... but today he was shaken, scared and I feel had his faith in humanity tampered with a fair bit.

If EVER you see anyone in this situation, or an old lady fall on the train steps, or any one young or old, whatever fall, or in danger, please do not look away...to do so takes away your humanity nd the humanity of the person you ignore...

I wanted to write to the local paper re this but my husband said not to as the editor would think its just another whinging person in a wheelchair... and thats how it is in todays wonderful cvilised society...

If you can still scrunch your toes in the sand, walk on the grass, and have no great personal tragedy in your life...please look outwards to others...for "there but for the grace of god"...you know the rest...

You know we usually find that it is those who have other illnesses and things to deal with who "SEE"....a few too many norms are just too wrapped up in imaginings and self gratification and a crazy treadmill which allows them to sit on a road and watch a frail man in a high backed wheelchair in distress...and not even get out of their car to see why.

BASTARDS. Posted by Picasa

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

MC, what a terrible story. I feel so bad for your husband. I'm glad somebody finally got out and helped him.

You know, I actually feel sorry for callous people who haven't a clue. They can't be happy. Think about it. They really can't be. I have found that the only true way to gain happiness in life is to love and help others. Maybe it's just me, but nothing else really makes me truly happy.

Give my warmest regards to your husband and tell him I'm thinking about him.

By the way, your daughters are BEAUTIFUL!

Cazzie!!! said...

That picture warms my heart, I love it!!
People can be such assholes, they have not one clue of what life is do they?
As a nurse I have heard this too many times, people need a big reality check.
I have friends who are out there living day to day and doing the best with what they are able to do, being a para or a quad does not make them simpletons..I totally agree with you.
It makes me angry yet we cannot teach ignorant or dumb people....they will just have to learn the hard way themselves in the future. I know we don't wish it, but same time, it could happen to any one of them or their loved ones. It doesn't take much now does it?
I am hoping that I have taught my kids the right things too. They assist people, get up from a seat for an elderly or physically challenged person should they need the chair and they always walk their friends home to make sure thy are safe. I hope it continues.
Those who are selfless and help others will find peace in themselves.

Middle Child said...

Dan and Cazzie - Thanks for the response... I just felt bad for him to be left like that. Our daughters are beautiful and they are also really nice people with a lot of compassion...their childhood was "different" which maybe has helped them...maybe they would have just been nice people without all that...

Cazzie you have done the right thing by your kids and its only by doing this sort of parenting, even if we tear our hair out at them when they are teens...the good stuff will always come out and they will pass this on...thats the best legacy any parent can give their kids, than and remembering to be silly often.

Dan, By the way I tried to look at your blog last night but it said that the "blog profile was unavailable" are you aware of this

Anonymous said...

Hey MC: I know, I know...All day long at school there are only 3 of us adults to push 5 kids in wheelchairs...when we come up to doors, people see us and just stand there looking at us...DUUHH, do you think they could come hold the door for the kids...NOPE! It is soo bizarre. They even see us struggle holding doors and getting the kids through double doors and still they do nothing but wait for us to come through...and then they make small talk to us ...
Unbelievable.. I pray we never have a real fire at school because we will burn to death trying to get the kids out.

Sara said...

Jeez... just.. jeez. I'm glad that he's all right, though. It sounds like it was on the verge of being much, much worse. Good on him for making it out ok in the end!

The best to both of you, MC. :)

jin said...

This brought tears to my eyes.
People can be just HORRIBLE!
Gee...I thought it was just Americans...
that's just so shitty...

Tell him I'm sorry he had to go through that & give him a hug from me!

(re: Dan's blog...I believe he was switching to Beta & that's why the profile was unavailable, should be ok now.)

Middle Child said...

CS - this wierd behaviour appears like exageration unless you experience it...its got me beat... we are most certainly not paranoid, but despite all the PC and about these days sometimes the message is "what despite the sucky soundsthe bloody hell are you doing out of the closet?"

Sara - life is sweet when you know how easily it can change dramatically for the worse at any time on any day...you might know a bit more about that I think.

Jin - No its just a real reptilian part of the human psyche and no culture has dibbs on that...but there are always more decent people than the other.

Anonymous said...

I am always suprised how many people dont stop and ask "do you need a hand?" It is a good reminder to us all.

charlie said...

Hey MC, hugs to both of you from me and S1 and amy. OK?

Middle Child said...

thanks citymouse and charlie

Edy said...

I am glad that Don survived it. It is incredibly hard to believe, but I have seen behavior like it before. I want a different world. My heart goes out to him, and you.

Brownie said...

Dear Don - I am so pleased to hear that you were not physically injured.
I have seen this happen to a man in a wheelchair at a busy roundabout and I stopped my car and put the flashers on to block the other traffic and other drivers got out and righted him - so please take heart its not everyone who is callous.
and please try not to feel sorry for them and their despicable selfishness. much love ...
(good thing therese wasn't armed at the time)

Middle Child said...

Edy, happily the world is as it is regardless of how we humans are - its a one by one thing I guess with each person striving to be decent... sometimes the cruelty is overwhelming as you know...the trick is after tears not to become like them.

Brownie,
Unfortunately Brownie all I was armed with was a cup of coffee and a bottle of water, both of which could have done some harm to the precious paintwork of their airconditioned cars...but all I was doing was wondering if Don had wandered into the TAB for a little wager...

Anonymous said...

Got here from researching Fluoride!!
Read your post about the Wheelchair accident........
Humanity is a very wide spectrum, from angels to devils and we can only focus on the angels if we want a better world.
It is already too late to comment on those "people" who took no action, but for what it's worth, most of the Lower Order Homo Sapiens don't react to anything not personal.
But if you were to ask 100 people in the street how they feel about any "confrontation" with someone in a wheelchair, they have NO PRIMARY CONDITIONED SOCIAL RESPONSE available to them. There aren't any basic rules to follow, merely assumptions.

A great example was in the TV show "Comedy Inc" recently when in a skit, the two really great comedians were to interview "an Olympic Sportsman" who turned out to be in a wheelchair (Paralympics)and they treated him like a baby.
It was really very funny....... and poignant.

I personally was a bit stunned not long ago when I heard a paraplegic ASK for help getting through a shop door.
He was almost tipped over by the sudden rush of people responding!

For what it is worth, most people drive past "normal" road accidents and street-bashings, too.

But, a small point: Why not get your husband a 2nd-hand Cellphone and a $10 p.m. account. I won't let my valuable mate outside the door without that simple protection.