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Well, this year I’m in no mood for Thanksgiving. Quite frankly, the general state of my life, health, and the world in general has me feeling grumpier than a starving vegan in a steakhouse. Between being increasingly decimated by a progressively crippling disease, forced to witness a nation and a planet gone mad and suffering through the worst fantasy football season I’ve had in over a decade, I find myself more inclined this year to say “no thanks” than “thanks.” So, I’ve decided to invent my own little holiday: No-Thanksgiving, a day when one can feel free to share their disdain and disgust with freedom and pride.
No-Thanksgiving coincides precisely with Thanksgiving, so those who find themselves forced this Thursday to sit around a table of people gushing with gratitude while feeling only varying shades of repulsion are hereby granted license to let loose with a bile laced torrent of grievances when it comes your turn to speak. You’ll feel a whole lot better, and you can tell the others at the table – as they look at you horrified in slack-jawed bewilderment – to pull up their big boy pants and just carve the freaking bird. And then you must swallow some air and unceremoniously burp out a hearty “Happy No-Thanksgiving!”. A burped “Happy No-Thanksgiving” is the only mandatory ritual required of those celebrating this new holiday.
So, what am I especially not thankful for this year? Oh, let the litany begin…
I’m pleased to announce that Wheelchair Kamikaze has been named one of Healthlabs.com’s top 25 MS blogs (click here). WK nabbed the fifth spot on the list, just behind the blogs of such huge organizations as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the UK’s MS Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. While this is a tremendous honor, the best part is that Healthlabs.com is offering all US-based Wheelchair Kamikaze readers a free Comprehensive Health Panel, including blood tests and urinalysis.
Wheelchair Kamikaze has achieved success beyond anything I ever could’ve dreamed when I started these pages back in 2009. I honestly never expected more than a few dozen people to ever give this blog a gander. Now, nearly 9 years later, WK is approaching 3 million page views. Amazing. Heartfelt thanks to all Wheelchair Kamikaze readers, and of course to Healthlabs.com.
Back when I was first diagnosed in 2003, the Internet was a far different place. Facebook and Twitter had yet to be invented, and Apple’s first iPhone was still four years away. As a newly minted MSer, I plunged headlong into what now seems like a relatively barren virtual landscape seeking information about the disease and interaction with other patients dealing with it. I found some MS web forums (often called bulletin boards back then), and a handful of MS themed blogs, along with some general medical information sites that made some mention of multiple sclerosis.
An able-bodied friend and I recently discussed the swirl of issues surrounding transgendered people, spurred by the President’s sudden tweeted edict banning transgendered volunteers from serving in the military. My friend expressed mixed thoughts on these matters, most of them based on the fact he just couldn’t identify with a person feeling they were somehow born into a body of the wrong sex. I replied that I too couldn’t entirely relate to the emotional and cultural pain and trauma experienced by transgendered folks, but my feelings should have no bearing on issues of fairness and equality. If all people are indeed created equal, any person's standing as an equal should not rely on my ability to fully grasp the intricacies of their circumstances.
As those thoughts turned into words and left my lips, the realization hit that in many respects I can and do identify with the plight of the transgendered. I’m in no way equating my own situation with theirs, but thanks to Creeping Paralysis the inner me is now almost entirely divorced from the body in which it exists. I’m not transgendered, but I am transabled.