Posts Tagged ‘attention’

Piano Lifts

August 16, 2009

wheelchairliftblogLast week I went piano shopping. I don’t actually play the piano but my Mother does and my brother and I can play a mean “Heart and Soul” (known as the tune from the Tom Hanks film: ‘Big’)…we intend to learn something which doesn’t drive our neighbours up the wall very soon!

Anyway, for those of you who are not aware of what pianos are, they tend to be:

a) Big

b) Heavy and

c) Very awkward

So you’d think that they’d be stored on the ground floor of most music shops…well not my local one! Seriously, who puts a bloody piano shop on the first floor? What’s even more confusing is that on the ground floor they keep; books, guitars, percussion instruments and picks. I’m pretty sure a few books are easier to carry up and down a flight of stairs then a bloomin’ great piano BUT it’s ok, because they have a crane-type-hoist-thing to carry them up and down the stairs…so you’d think they have a lift, right? Nope.

I think I should add in at this point that I foolishly chose not to wear my shoes and splints on this particular shopping trip, instead I wore my crocs, leaving my feet virtually useless. I pondered for a moment about asking to use the piano-crane-type-hoist-thing to ‘raise me up’ whilst I sung West Life at full volume…I didn’t. My brother, thank goodness, had tagged along and told me to just crawl up the steps, so, ever so elegantly I threw myself upon the steps and started to drag myself, very slowly, to the top. Once I’d got halfway I was out of breath, bruised and a little light headed to be honest, so I had a bit of a rest. It was at this point that my brother and I turned to find that we had a little audience. Two sisters, around the age of fourteen had quite literally plonked themselves right in front of the steps to stare at the apparently amusing sight of a cripple trying and failing to walk up a flight of stairs. If you’d given them some popcorn and nachos I’m pretty sure they would have switched off their mobile phones and told the people in the front row to quieten down!

“Can you two just go away and stop staring?” My brother asked/told them in his ever so ‘subtle’ way. They finally left the attraction, slightly red faced, I felt kind of bad, I thought maybe my brother had been a bit rude….until they came back a mere two minutes later for seconds.

It surprised me how annoyed my brother got, he’s a star really; he has carried my chair (Violet) up many stairs in his time. He’s very understanding but will be quite abrupt if people stare at me and make comments. The thing is; I’ve grown used to it; I just take it as the norm to have people stare at my limp. That’s half the reason I stopped walking altogether really, my limp drew so much attention (as well as being incredibly painful!) that it became very hard for me to cope with and to this day I still feel uncomfortable walking in front of people.

So this is my official plea to the government:

STOP WASTING MONEY ON PACKETS OF CRISPS AND KIT KATS AND GET MORE PLACES WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE!

Otherwise, supply some popcorn for the ‘cripple’ audience.

Ali x

P.S. I got a ‘Yamaha U3’ in the end from a shop in a village nearby ON THE GROUND FLOOR! Shocker.

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The Worth Of Our Bodies

August 8, 2009
The Worth Of Our BodiesAs a teenager I witnessed many cases of self harming in my peer group. The reasons for which varied from person to person, at the back of the classroom sat the girl with her long sleeved jumper in the middle of summer embarrassed by her apparent need to be in control. Out on the school field stood the girl with the short sleeves, bandage loose from taking it off so many times, showing her ‘war wounds’ to anyone who would pay attention. I am not about to deny what I once did and yes it was a control issue but I dealt with it properly and fortunately did not become addicted to a problem I now feel very strongly about.I understand why people do it and how distressing it can be but after recent events in which I have seen a young friend of mine robbed of all control, in an accident which fate should never have let happen, I have a new found love for the bodies we are given. We only get one of body, unless of course you count surgery which of course is a god send to people who have had similar accidents like my friend, surely this is a reason to look after the ones we have, isn’t the control we seek in keeping our bodies away from harm?

So when I got home today and learnt that an acquaintance of mine had been self harming I was alarmed, worried about this person, slightly frustrated that he would harm is own body when a girl lie in a hospital fighting to regain the control he has abused. I spoke with him, told him I was there for him, I feel I was sympathetic however it was then he asked if I would like to see the scars the following day, I was told that he would show everyone in our class…alarm bells. Was this acquaintance abusing his body for control or attention?

I have had many operations to make my body ‘normal’, to improve my lack of ability. When I was young I didn’t understand; it has only been in recent years in which I have become offended by the constant stream of doctors telling me what is wrong with me and what needs to be improved. This has made me more determined to keep my body the way it is, the ironic thing being that it was the problems which followed my many hospital visits which made me self harm in the first place.

This makes me wander, should children/young adults be told what there is to lose if they self harm/starve themselves into anorexia or should they be told what there is to gain in taking pride and control of their own bodies?

Ali x

For more information on self harming:

http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/Booklets/Understanding/Understanding+self-harm.htm

For help:

http://www.thesite.org/healthandwellbeing/mentalhealth/selfharm

If you are offended/affected by the content of my blog please contact me or follow the above links.