I just returned from a meeting in Washington, D.C., convened by the Reeve Foundation to clarify how best to spend $25 million, the amount Congress authorized (not yet appropriated) for quality of life for 6 million people with paralysis as part of the recently passed Paralysis Act. Mostly we discussed health promotion. So … if we divided the pot among everyone with SCI, ALS, spina bifida, stroke, TBI, MS, PPS and other central nervous system conditions, we would each get $4.17.
Gosh. Gee. Golly. That covers one catheter. Maybe we should think of health promotion as something other than quality of life. What if we reclassified it as a defense spending item? We’re defending our lives by staying healthy, aren’t we? Then maybe Congress would authorize hundreds of billions for things other than outdated fighter-bombers.
Then we could reclassify quality of life as having to do with less important everyday things, like what happened to me when the meeting ended and I began my trip back to Oregon.
First, I left my minimally accessible hotel room, scraping my wheels on the bathroom doorway. The tiny shower seat sat unused in the tub-shower beneath the inaccessible shower head and controls. Downstairs, accessible taxis were a rare species. I decided to roll toward the Metro train station, wherever tha