Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends ... "

One of whom is the multi-published essayist, Dawn Goldsmith.

A few days ago she wrote me "Are you familiar with Barbara Ehrenreich and her political commentary "Nickel and Dimed" is one of her books. I sent a note to her website suggesting that she might be interested in reading your book and writing about the topic, too. And she actually responded. Brief "thank you, yadda yadda" but maybe she'll do something on it. I don't know if you want to offer her an advanced copy or not. Here's what I wrote to her:"

Do you ever consider writing about people with disabilities and the difficulties they face each day? A new memoir to be released this fall: Seven Wheelchairs by Gary Presley gives such insight into the life of someone struck with polio as he enters manhood and spends the next 50 years fighting his way back. He finds his place in a world that ignores people with disabilities or only see the disability and not the person. The book is published by University of Iowa Press.

My husband now fights for his life and quality of life against the insidious disease, ALS. He is fortunate in that his disease is slow to progress. Most die within six years of diagnosis and quality of life declines so rapidly that by the time Medicare approves the wheelchair, it is too late for the person to use it.

Gary has been helpful guiding us through the world of the disabled. So much we never considered. A wheelchair to get around -- that seems reasonable. So, how do you open doors from one? How do you close them? How do you get through power doors? What to do when it gets stuck. What to do in Chili's restaurant with a wheelchair or a cane or inability to stand or scoot in and out of a chair ... What to do when someone complains almost to your face about allowing motorized carts at a park or venue. Or say to a companion, "Well, if he'd taken care of himself, he wouldn't be needing a wheelchair ..."

Just a thought for future blogs. I've written a little bit on my blog about ALS, and Gary if you're interested.

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