Friday, June 17, 2011

Taking Things for Granted


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)

4 comments:

kate said...

Thank you for this blog - people seem to forget that some of the greats were not perfect! Peoples ideas and opinions are sometimes a shock, even from loved ones but at least human being have the capacity to learn and grow and prejudice should always be fought against!

I found your blog when searching for similar blogs to my aunties http://bettebravoblog.blogspot.com/ you should take a look, i think it is something you would be interested in. She lives in Norwich and suffers from Primary Progressive MS. She has had it for a good few years now but it is only as i have got older that i realised she was suffering - she always seems to have a smile on her face, which humbled me with her braveness! She is currently waiting for the treatment CCSVI in Poland - apparently it is not available in the UK yet but if tests are positive they may roll it out here. As she says, this could be the beginning of a cure for this disease. We have every finger and toe crossed for improvement! She is having the operation in August and she is uploading a lot of videos to show her condition before and after the op. She is rather technically impaired hence why I am contacting you, but she would love to hear from you and your experiences and if you would like to know more about CCSVI please please get in contact.

kate said...

http://bettebravoblog.blogspot.com/

Rosemary said...

I think this was a very thought provoking and inspiring post - I agree that FDR was an incredible success story at a time when our society considered any disability as requiring the person to "retire" from life, to not be seen in public, etc. Thank goodness we know much more now.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I toured his Little White House in Warm Springs, GA. It was very interesting how they would hide his disability. His fancy wheelchair was no comparison to today's chairs. He was an inspiration to all of us...