I am combining Gimp Stories with my writing blog, Journeys. If you are a follower of this blog, I hope you will migrate over to Journeys.
This post is reblogged from Journeys.
Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day! As always, a huge thank you to The Goldfish and Stephen who organize this yearly event! Click the icon above to find a list of bloggers writing pieces for today.
Disablism is an academic Gimp term covering all concepts, ideologies, and practices of discrimination against people of Disability. It reflects the painfully common belief that the abled body should be the model for what is normal, and the many narratives and practices that seek to assure the abilist model remains dominant. Its companion, the able-bodied gaze, is a stealthy and powerful ally in the effort to marginalize persons who happen to be differently bodied and abled.
This morning we listened, as we usually do, to Harmonia via our local Public Radio station. Today’s program explored the music of composers killed or affected by the Plague.
This set me to thinking about Polio. Polio was a plague – or rather remains a plague, as it is making a comeback. For those of you who came of age after the mid-fifties, missing the plague years, it may come as a surprise to learn that Polio terrified North Americans for decades.
Reblogged from Journeys
I have spent much of the past few months addressing Polio related issues. Working with a Polio knowledgeable therapist has helped me revisit the illness and its aftermath, understand some of the new challenges I, and other Polios face, and acknowledge some of the losses associated with Polio. The therapist has given me information to read and poked sore areas of my psyche with skill and kindness.
This morning I spent 45 minutes or so in our local bakery. That, of course, generated a journal post.
The other day I was speaking with the Polio Psychologist at Spaulding Rehab. As we were chatting she asked how it was to find myself aging more rapidly than my friends, and for this to have been of rather sudden onset. I considered this question as I sat in the bakery, surrounded by people much younger than myself, one of whom was clearly temporarily disabled. (The psychologist insists, rightly enough, that everyone who is not disabled is “temporarily able.” Continue reading
This winter’s ice and cold, along with some Post-Polio and other health issues, have kept me pretty much at home except for work. The majority of my journeys have been through books read on the sofa, where I’ve been curled up in an electric blanket.
Recently the psychologist at the Polio clinic suggested I read Breath, by Martha Mason. This is a memoir written by a woman who at age twelve contracted Bulbar Polio; she spent the rest of her life in the iron lung, dying in 2009. She is believed to hold the record for most years spent in the iron lung, 61. Her story puts my own Polio experience into perspective; although I spent a week or so in the iron lung, I am unlikely to have to return to it (a fear I share with many of those who used the iron lung). Continue reading