Opening Chapter

A Mouth and a Brain

(May 18, 2011)


In 1980, thirty-one years ago, I walked into a neurologist’s office with weird things happening to me.  Four years later, my diagnosis was confirmed.

          I have a mouth and a brain.  I have always said that I use them both to get what I need or want.  Through the years as I became more disabled, I have used my mouth and my brain to figure out ways to manage my life and stay as independent as possible.

          Today I went to Best Buy to get a wireless mouse for my notebook.  I called the store first to make sure they had what I wanted and asked them to hold one for me at customer service.  When I got there, I called them and explained that I had driven with hand controls since I don’t walk and didn’t have my wheelchair with me.  Could someone bring it out to the car for me?—I had the exact amount in cash for payment.

          The clerk explained it was store policy that employees were not allowed to leave the store.  This was the first time that this had ever happened to me; when I had done this at other places I was always accommodated.  Hmm—plan B.  Okay, not to worry, I said.  I will grab a Good Samaritan to get it for me.  It was only $16 so I didn’t have much to lose.

          There are good people in the world.  After eyeing a few passersby, I motioned to an older couple and explained my situation.  They were happy to help.  I graciously thanked them.

          Mission accomplished.