Even though I thought I knew a lot about Franklin Roosevelt (FDR), I never gave it much thought, that he was struggling with himself and his surroundings when he was diagnosed with polio. To me he is a rolemodel, since he became president of the USA after he got disabled and refused to give up.
A couple a weeks ago - actually when I went to the attack treatment - I watched a programme about Warm Springs, the places where he "claimed" his life back.
His surroundings labelled him, when he was diagnosed - especially his mother gave up and thought that his life was over thus condemming him to be a couch potato. He felt/saw discrimination at first hand and had to surpass that and his gloomy thoughts about his condition to return to life. He had to ask Eleanor to talk to him like he was. Warm Springs offered him a vague hope about being able to walk again, which he wanted to try and found out how to keep on living despite being labelled as disabled - even run for president.
The Eleanor quote that I saw on a memorial in Washington now makes even more sense and got more powerful after having watched this programme.
Chills was running down my spine when I watched this - the day I got the MS diagnosis, I was in a wheel chair. The doctor asked me to think about early retirement since my world was now limited. Makes me happy that I realised that the lady in the bed next to me had a very active life despite being paralysed from the waist down, hence giving me the courage to seek out exactly what I could do. I have encountered people's perceptions of MS as being disabled and not able to have a normal life, even within in my family - but also opened other peoples' eyes to the possibilities you still have even with MS. I choose to try to see if I could get back to normal - carpe diem - and doing things that people without ilness does not even do :o)