Welcome to my new blog -hopefully not just another blog, but one that is designed to be a voice for people with disabilities, their families, and the healthcare professionals who care for them. All three categories – survivors, families, and healthcare professionals – are minorities whose voices have a hard time being heard above the loud voices of so many others.
As I was recently heading home and sitting in the Idaho Falls Airport, I picked up USA Today and on the front page was an article about Bill Gates’ charitable foundation. “Its goal is to help 150 million of the world’s poorest families lift themselves out of extreme poverty by 2025.” Its CEO, Jeff Raikes, was quoted as saying that part of their mission statement was that, “All lives are important.” I found that statement immediately resonated with what we are trying to accomplish on a much smaller scale – one voice at a time.
In the same newspaper was a large, color photograph and article with the headline, “Couple take in older animals and inspire a community.” A noble cause, but I wondered if an article about a couple taking in someone with a disability would get such prominence. I don’t think so, and it reinforced my belief that another blog, another voice, was needed.
This particular issue of USA Today was loaded with fodder for this first blog entry, for the next page reviewed a book entitled Getting To The Heart of Simple Living; Seven Paths To Better Life. It reminded me of a book proposal I sent to a publisher several years ago. The book, Living With Chronic Pain, interested the editor but they said I needed to change the focus to seven or less steps to being pain-free. She said people wouldn’t buy a book about having to live with pain; they wanted a “simple” method to get rid of their pain and it has to be less than seven steps. The book was never written.
The journalist and curmudgeon, H. L. Mencken, once said that, “For every complex problem, there is a simple solution that doesn’t work.” It is easy to see that there are not just seven easy steps to being pain-free, nor are there seven easy steps to a “better life”. Life, particularly for the disabled, is complex, filled with physical and societal barriers; while healthcare and rehabilitation are complex for the professionals who work in its multifaceted system.
On these pages, we hope to provide a forum to discuss, explore and debate the issues of the day and recognize that they are not so simple. We hope to cover the full range of problems that face people with disabilities, their families and the healthcare professionals who care for them. We strongly encourage comments and input from all groups. A few topics we plan to write about include:
- Dealing with day-to-day problems of people with disabilities
- Identifying barriers and how to overcome them
- Reporting the latest advances in neurology and neurorehabilitation
- Discussing the changes in healthcare policy that affects the disabled and healthcare professionals
- Stories and anecdotes that ring true to our goals
- Personal observations on life in the medical and rehabilitation world
Our success will depend on your participation and we encourage you to become part of our community. Let’s build a community with a voice that will be heard, for we know that despite the fact that simple solutions don’t always exist, people in rehabilitation are experts at solving problems…