If you have read my blog since April last year you know I am a junky! Yes I mainline 20 hours a week I am hooked. Don’t call the rehab just yet I am hooked on the euphoric buzz of climbing, Rockwall climbing at Brooklyn Boulders to be exact.
I started with NYC adaptive climbing clinic under the tutelage of the amazing Kareemah batts,
but along the way names like Eric and Reid olmstead the very cool man in the picture below and experienced climber and great guy.
and Doug, a man who will make you laugh till you wet yourself, but at the same time is the most caring person you’ll ever meet. He coaches you like your his own.
and Nadia Bon an amazing young woman who fights on and lets nobody get in her way.
and Emma my little Danish friend and our latest rock monster, one brave kid who just gets it done and her great mum janee.
and Caxmee our gorgeous newest climber who was hooked after her first wall.
Just keep making the possibility of having a family again something more than a dream.
This family doesn’t care whom I love, they don’t care whom I marry and they care what gender I identify as and they sure as hell don’t care whether I have wheels under my ass or shake constantly from seizure disorder. When we get together on Thursdays and Sundays the bottom of the wall looks more like used medical stability aid warehouse than the floor of a rock wall gym.
These people clap when a newbie tops their first wall, we solve the problem of a broken prosthetic so a friend doesn’t have to miss out on climbing and we all call out moves and the next safe hand hold, so our comrades in climbing have the best shot of freeing themselves for as long as possible from the chains on their emotions that a prosthetic or wheelchair or walker can be to someone who lives with them.
When we climb it’s not just our group that cheers us on when one of us makes a gutsy move on a wall or graduates from a 5.6 to a 5.8 route, we find the silence erupts with cheers and applause from people we don’t even know because for those couple of hours were all family because we climb.
One night I heard a woman talking about aikido and she was speaking German to someone, I speak one and love the other so Kristina and I after conversing in German and discussing aikido became firm friends
and she became a climbing mentor who told me she thought I was a climber not just someone who climbs.
I didn’t get it then until she offered to coach me, and one day the idea of the stalactite became a goal, the stalactite as the name suggests is a climbing apparatus that looks like a wall but is suspended from the ceiling and doesn’t meet the floor by about 7 feet.
When she suggested the stalactite I laughed and said “I can’t use my legs so it’s impossible, she said “you don’t need your legs just your mind and nothing is impossible” so we began training towards that goal.
Along the way she had me attempt some of the toughest walls in the room, I didn’t make all of them but one wall in particular became as much as an obsession as the stalactite and that was wall 16.
Well this week became a week of achieving both wall 16 with the amazing help of Reid Olmsted,
and the stalactite became a reality because of Kristina,
I didn’t make the top of the stalactite but we proved my theory and her training work we just need to keep going.
To finish this up what I want you the dis and other wise abled to understand is nothing is impossible and for you to reclaim your life your pride your sense of self you must live by a few creeds first is fear is dead
The next is, I don’t stop when I’m tired I stop when I’m done
and lastly nothing is impossible NOTHING
Thanks to my hard working colleagues at CIDNY for the changes to the ehalth services affecting we the disabled an the rest of the community listed below.
The Prevention Agenda 2013 will serve as the blueprint for state and local community action to improve the health of New Yorkers and address health disparities. The New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council
‘s Public Health Committee established an Ad Hoc Committee
(PDF, 12KB, 3 pp.) to lead the development of New York’s next five-year state health improvement plan for the period 2013-2017. The Committee assessed progress to date on the Prevention Agenda 2008-12,
examined the current health status of New York State’s population; proposed a vision, overarching goals and new priorities for the 2013-2017 period, and obtained stakeholder feedback on the proposed priorities. Stakeholder feedback was used to finalize the priorities and committees were established to develop strategies to address the priority health issues.
Establishing Statewide Priorities
The Ad Hoc Committee established a vision, goals and proposed priorities, and obtained stakeholder feedback from over 40 organizations on the proposed priorities and other aspects of the community health planning process. The Ad Hoc Committee established five priority committees and a steering committee (PDF, 4204KB, 8 pp.) to develop priority specific action plans.
New York State Prevention Agenda 2013-2017
- Summary of the New York State Prevention Agenda 2013-2017 (PDF, 146KB, 2pp.)
- New York State Prevention Agenda 2013-2017: Priorities, Focus Areas, Goals and Objectives (PDF, 146KB, 15pp.)
- Prevent Chronic Diseases(PDF, 1.3MB, 42pp.)
- Promote a Healthy and Safe Environment (PDF, 1.2MB, 48pp.)
- Promote Healthy Women, Infants and Children (PDF, 1.2MB, 48pp.)
- Promote Mental Health and Prevent Substance Abuse (PDF, 953KB, 30pp.)
- Prevent HIV, STDs, Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Healthcare Associated Infections
When I was first diagnosed with PTSD It was during my 6 months back In Australia to finish my book,I found a counsellor. It was free counseling but all the same they had a receptionist she handled the bookings the phone in short the business side of the therapists life.
When I returned to New York The problem I have Is That there is no separation between business and therapy time, The standard therapy session Is 50 minutes but more and more I found that the first 5 minutes was on the niceties and the last ten minutes was paying the bill and working out their next available time. In total 15 minutes of my 50 was being taken up with her office work yet I was being charged for the whole 50?.
We came to logger heads over it, and I decided I would put payment in envelopes and put it on her desk the moment I rolled in and she was to pick a permanent time for me and stick to it.
Then a close girlfriend died back in Australia and I was devastated and had to cancel the day before, so the subject of what is “decent notice” came up she decided that 2 working days was sufficient to avoid me having to pay. During the time when I was grieving she rang me, she never said do you want to have a session about your loss over the phone she said” oh you poor thing you must be torn apart I have two minutes do you want to chat”?
Fast forward a month later, she tells me I am behind on payment and it can’t be tolerated? “No I am not I said” yes you are remember when I gave you a phone session about your girlfriend? Wtf if you want to make money tell the patient, but when you ring for ten minutes sounding like nothing more than a friend passing on their condolences where do you get off charging me for it?. so that was another road block, shortly after this I changed doctors.
When this new one asked me what do I require? I said that you are plain in your intention if it’s a session tell me, no phone sessions and what is your cancellation policy? I thought we sorted it ou.t Again I find myself paying for 50 minutes yet 10 of it is her book work? Am I the only one that thinks I should not be paying for her accounting practices?
Now this one has decided that her cancellation policy is no cancellation, yesterday I received an email telling me, that even though I have cancelled 6 days in advance according to her I should still pay. When I questioned her about “decent notice” I asked her what about if I am injured, say in an ER do I still have to pay? her reply was yes. This is just giving the patient another problem, besides the one you go to the therapist for you now have the fear that even on your death bed you can’t miss the appointment because she must be paid?
I am sorry these people need to have a receptionist where after you leave you pay you make your next appointment leaving the whole 50 minutes for what you are there for, and then if you need to cancel or reappoint you call the office manager and work it out with them.
Should I be paying for 20% of the session not used by me?
Should I be paying for an appointment I never have and I gave weeks of notice of non attendance for?
Should I be cancelled as a patient not for anything I have done wrong, but simply because I object to being treated like her own personal ATM?
Maybe the therapist should come with a loan application or a forensic accountant.
Anyway looks like I’m looking for a new therapist.
The United nations has declared today the international day of the disabled and today the UN will vote on a message to the world to put in place laws everywhere for we the dis and otherwise abled to have equal rights.
Sounds like a shoe in doesn’t it? I mean who wouldn’t want that? well I can tell you the newyork landlords association and the American retailers association the New York taxi cab owners association and the groups who own private buses for hire and the restaurant owners association, the hotel and bar owners association just to name a few. I could keep going on because all these groups have hired lobbyists to jump into action, whenever the topic is brought up.
In the recent election debacle Romney said he thought the Americans with disabilities act was oppressive and unnecessary.
What kind of world do we live in where human rights decency and giving everyone a fair go are considered oppressive?
Politicians play to the crowd, and I can tell you according to the vox populis we the disabled do nothing, go nowhere and we have people to wipe our collective asses and clean the dribble from our chin while they spoon feed us.
Whenever I am at the climbing gym I can guarantee someone will comment “Oh wow surely your people can’t climb?” Or “oh poor thing it must be hard watching others climb bet you wish you could”
Giving us a National day is both a good thing and a bloody horrible thing,the good is the media pays attention but the horrible is the rest of the year you are pushing shit uphill for a teen with camera phone to pay attention let alone a major media outlet because disabled doesn’t sell!
John Mc Cain today made a long flowery speech in support of us today, and would have raised his hands in praise if he could get them past his elbows. Yet just a month ago he is on record agreeing with the Romney-bot that equal rights for us were oppressive?
So If you are disabled or love someone who is or god forbid are both a loving caring compassionate human and vote, tell your senator and congress and councilman or woman to get off their asses and support the disabled. To the war mongers who bought the “weapons of mass destruction” bullshit and sent our boys and girls off to this war if you sent them to war and they came home broken and you don’t support equal rights for them I’ll vote your ass out of office.
I am off to Manhattan right now, and I can assure you that there will be at least a dozen episodes of abuse and stupidity, that’s not a problem that’s just a Monday. It would be great if they actually could read signs that say “PLEASE ALLOW WHEELCHAIRS ON FIRST” or “THESE SEATS ARE FOR THE DISABLED AND ELDERLY” or if they could read the 2 inch high bright white sign on Zeus’s back and right and left side that read SERVICE DOG and not think a service dog is a breed that were just so proud of we put it on a vest.
We have rights folks,
We have the right to be treated with decency
, We have the right not to be abused
We have the right to not be assaulted
We have the right to not be refused entry because your fragile sensibilities are offended
They are just the ones that being born should guarantee us, without even getting into actual federal and state laws.
But here’s a concept COMMON DECENCY TOWARDS ALL, try it on the next person you see who is disabled, who knows you might like the way it makes you feel.
Today and every day RESPECT OUR EXISTANCE OR RESPECT OUR RESISTANCE
As awheelchair user and somene who will be for life trying to shop for just everyday needs let alone presents and gifts is difficult because 2in 4 stores are in accessibe.
The name for my blog disabledaccessdenied.com came from this very experience, New york uses excuses like “the buildings are old it would ruin their look” or “It is expensive enough opening a business and you want them to spend on a ramp?”
Well New York and for that matter my home country of Australia, check out what Canada has come up to solve the problem.
I normally swim 2 miles a morning several times a week and I climb 30-40 ft rock walls every Tuesday Thursday and Saturday and race 10 mile 20 mile and marathons in my wheelchair all through the year on the far rockaway boardwalk.
I am not a person who handles being confined very well, I also besides my training have internist, neurologist endocrinologist and skin cancer doctor’s appointments most weeks. Also every Sunday we travel about 1 mile each way and visit poppa. That was until Thursday when Hurricane sandy started to become a reality and since then my little 35ft long by 20 foot wide studio apartment has become my whole world.
The only way I can leave my apartment is to use the elevator to the basement 1 floor down, and then use the garbage ramp as a wheelchair ramp. The ramp exits into a garden so this morning it is covered with debris from fallen trees and leaves blown onto it.The path from it and through my complex and onto the street are covered with fallen trees,and they just announced the seven train has taken on more damage than most. So even when I can leave my home I cannot get anywhere because it may be many days before the train to anywhere will be running.
I fill my life with multiple activities to keep the terrors of my severe PTSD at bay, because when my days are empty my terror see it as an opportunity to invade every waking and sleeping moment with reruns of my childhood molestation in high def on permanent loop.
Well I have had a novel on back burner because of writers block for a while now, Looks like I finally work out who done it and put key strike to computer and make my publisher happy.
To my readers who live with PTSD and other mental health demons, if you have just survived sandy call your doctor , call your therapist go to the hospital if you need it. This is not the time to be tough this is time to be good to yourself . Be well.
As most Of you know I grew up In Australia, by the time I went to school I knew every word to god save the Queen we sang it very day in Assembly. My step father served in her majesty’s forces with honor, and he was born in Yorkshire England so we as Australians were and are Loyal Royalists. As such whether you support the royalty or not a medal from her majesty Is one of the highest recognitions you can receive for your selfless work. In the short time I have known Paul and come to call him friend, It has quickly become clear that noone fights harder for their community.
So has we say in royal countries “THREE CHEERS FOR PAUL, HIP HIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY.
We the disabled advocacy community are so proud of you Paul well deserved. Your friend Mia G of disabledaccessdenied.com NY
Below is the letter Paul received in notification well done
Paul CauneCIVIL RIGHTS NOW! BC
Dear Civil Rights Nowers,
I received an interesting letter yesterday.
Here’s an excerpt:
…To celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 years of selfless service and devotion to duty, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnson, Governor General of Canada, announced the issuance of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as a visible way to recognize outstanding Canadians.
These medals provide an opportunity to honour exceptional Canadians for their contributions to their fellow citizens,to our communities and to our country. Members of Parliament were given the honour of bestowing the awards to thirty members of their communities.
On behalf of His Excellency, I am pleased to inform you that you will awarded this commemorative medal…
Don Davies, MP
This is overwhelming.
Thank you Don Davies and His Excellency the Governor General.
Any contribution of value that I may have given to my country is solely due the support given to me by my family and friends. Thank you.
The award ceremony is Nov 18.
Nick Scott practices his poses backstage at the first ever Wheelchair Pro Show in Houston.
When he was 16, Nick Scott was in a near-fatal car accident. He was left paralyzed from the waist down. Nonetheless, Scott, now 30, is also known in certain circles—namely, the wheelchair bodybuilding world, a universe in which his is perhaps the most recognizable face—as “The Beast.” The Beast isn’t sure of his bench press limit, only because he hasn’t yet stopped reaching for more weight. The metaphor’s an obvious one, but true: ”If you want something bad enough, nothings gonna stop you from not getting it,” he has said.
And The Beast wants to spread the word: he was instrumental in the creation of the first-ever competition for certified International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilders, which was held last fall. The 2012 IFBB Pro Wheelchair championships took place Oct. 13 in Houston, an event open only to Scott and the dozen other men who have qualified as pros. Harold Kelley was named the winner in 2011 and 2012.
Photographer Lauren Fleishman has been documenting the sport for over a year, including that first competition. She first heard about wheelchair bodybuilding via a phone call from her cousin, who works in a hotel where a bodybuilding event took place. “I got so excited that I hung up the phone and began researching the sport,” she says.
Fleishman says that when she first began exploring the topic, she noticed that almost all of the photographs of bodybuilders, at least the ones that she could find, portrayed the participants in an almost grotesque manner. She wanted to avoid that look. “In showing a different side to it, it’s a way of connecting people, a way of changing their perceptions about the sport.”
Wheelchair bodybuilding competitions date back about 15 years, and both amateurs and professionals compete in worldwide events throughout the year. After following the participants for months, Fleishman says that, besides the normal suspense that comes with any competitive event, there’s another layer to it. “Seeing what being on stage does for them, they really, really shine,” she says. “You have a whole range of reasons why they compete, but the dedication and perseverance is really inspiring.” And it’s not just on stage: last May, in a Wal-mart in Texas, Fleishman accompanied Scott—the de facto spokesman for the sport—when he went to purchase batteries for his wheelchair, which is rigged to light up when he performs. Outside the store, a teenage boy, also in a wheelchair, approached Scott to say that he hoped one day to be like him. “You can obviously see that Nick has muscles,” says Fleishman. “The kid was impressed. It was a really nice moment to see that.”
But there has been one drawback to immersion in the wheelchair bodybuilding community during her year of photographing the project—and, as the work continues, it may only get worse. “It’s really hard,” Fleishman says, “because you want them all to win.”
Read more: http://lightbox.time.com/2012/10/15/wheelchair-bodybuilders/#ixzz2ARMmF2Es