Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sex and the Disabled Woman, Back from Nutrition Studies, Missing the Ocean

I cannot believe how long it has been since I have updated, but then again, maybe I can believe it.  I have just completed a certificate in Plant-based Nutrition in a course through e-Cornell, led by the renowned T. Colin Campbell and with lectures by other Cornell professors.  It reinforced what I have been learning for the past year -- that a whole-foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat and even the best for the environment.  My original bunny-friend/mentor, led me to this opportunity.  I am happy to say that this course is a graduate level class and my fellow classmates largely consisted of professionals in the health-care field -- including doctors, nurses, nutritionists, dieticians and other professionals taking the course for continuing education credit.  Although the course was totally online andcould be done at my own pace and time, each of the three courses had to be done within a r-week period.  So I did it, which proved to me that I can be focused and driven where I needed.

But I could only have dedicated myself to this, by neglecting other things, like email and gams online, and even television watching.  And now, I am unsubscribing from a lot of mailing lists, especially a whole lot of nutrition websites that I can see now, were superfluous.  Because after taking the course, I can see that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the way to go for the ultimate in immunity and the proper working of my body.  I am hoping to be able to get off some of my medications.  I am not going to resist physical therapy when I go to the MDA clinic next.  It can serve as exercise, and help me keep the weight down.  Oh, and a whole-food plant-based diet also helps keep down the weight.  

Now that we're finally in summer, I am getting outside a little each day to sit in the sun in front of the building.  My vitamin D level was low at my last doctor's visit, and I have to take supplements.  But it is my understanding that sitting in the sun without sunscreen for 20-30 minutes, you store enough vitamin D for the winter. This will be about the fifth summer that I will not see a beach or the ocean, and I sorely miss it.  My family is nervous about having me come to their beach club without an aide, and the aides won't go.  My family is frightened that "something will happen", even though I don't know what that something is.  However, they would not feel comfortable taking me to a bathroom, so I guess that takes care of that,  although I admire their honesty, and they say what others won't.  Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act, most public places misunderstand what the words "wheelchair-accessible" mean, and that beach club is no exception.  You cannot put a grab bar next to the toilet and call it "accessible".

I wonder about sex.  Recently, two disabled people I know, who are both more disabled than I am, mentioned being in relationships.  These relationships were entered into after being disabled.  So what does this mean?  Without going TMI, I still have desire and feelings  and could still use my hands, mouth and other elements of intimacy.  Of course, who would be attracted to me?  Good questions,  but I would love to have intimacy again, especially since I don't have to worry about getting pregnant anymore, and I am less worried about the morality of having sex with someone who is not committing to me.  All it would take is an understanding partner who could get me in the right position and be patient, because it's been a while.  I also wasted too much time from the mid 90s until my diagnosis, involved with a couple of men who were emotionally [and physically] unavailable, but that's for another blog update.  There are quadriplegics, for God's sake, who are involved with able-bodied partners.  How do they do it?  Maybe that's my next reading assignment.

I'll stop here, because I want to get this entry published.  But my ten-year longevity brings new questions.  I have been blessed, so how can I use this blessing for the greater good and how can I make my own life more meaningful and form solid relationships, as other connections move on and put more distance between us.  How can I let go of what's no longer working and embrace new situations that work better?

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