Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Da Wife on Wheels Dismissed Yet Again

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 11:58 pm on Saturday, August 29, 2009

Being a married couple with both of us with cerebral palsy, there are times when one needs to move aside to allow In someone more capable. And, sometimes that means one of us must go it alone.

Last Monday, when we called for an ambulance because Darrell’s pneumonia wasn’t getting any better on the antibiotics prescribed during the previous Thursday’s trip to the emergency room (ER), the paramedics essentially dismissed da wife on wheels. Only one of them stopped to ask if I’d be okay while the others wheeled away my husband and took the time to understand when I asked, “Which hospital?”

For two days in the ER, I was constantly moving out of the way because there was no room for my scooter. The closest I could get to my husband was the foot-end of the stretcher.

Even once he was moved to a room, there were IV stands, bed tables and curtains to contend with. The only physical contact I had with my husband for the first few days was to rub his feet, which he hates, but it was the only body parts I could reach.

Yet, like any loving and concerned wife, I have made the 9 or 10-block trek on Surrey’s sucky sidewalks, hoping this hospital escapade doesn’t kill this scooter like it did last year, every day except for the day prior to my WordCamp presentation.

Today, on my trek up, I was thinking that if a nurse could be present, as required, while Darrell transferred from the bed into his power wheelchair, then we could downstairs to the cafeteria for a frozen cappuccino or, at least, go outside for some fresh air. I figured this was something we could do together as husband and wife, with minimal effort.

Once Darrell was safely in his chair, he informed the nurse that we were going down to the cafeteria. She flipped!

“No, you must go with a relative.”

“She’s my wife.”

“No, wait for your parents. What if something happens? She is incapable. You’d have go down in the elevator. No. Stay on this floor. Wheel around in the halls.“

WTF? Incapable? Of using the elevator? What could happen to Darrell, strapped into his chair? We’re only going to the cafeteria, for pete’s sake! Besides, I know how to yell for help if I need to!

Without knowing anything about me, except that I use a scooter and that she can’t understand my speech, she, a professional trained and caring nurse, labeled me incapable. She has no clue what I am capable of or how Darrell and I work together as husband and wife. She has no clue about the adventures we have been on or the trips we’ve made. I didn’t see taking the elevator down one floor as an insurmountable excursion!

When I took my marriage vows, no where did I say “…only if others deem me capable…”. Loving my husband means not putting him (or me) at risk, particularly while he is still in hospital recovering from pneumonia. If I didn’t think he could stay upright while driving his chair a few hundred feet and then suck back something other than water or apple juice, I would not have suggested such a risky proposition!

For today, we were good disabled people and didn’t go out of bounds. Tomorrow, Darrell’s mommy and daddy will hold his hands while we go downstairs. That will make the nurse happy…then Darrell and I will make a run for it!

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Have You Hugged Someone Today?

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 1:54 pm on Thursday, August 27, 2009

With my husband being in hospital with pneumonia since last Monday and physical contact being limited by protective garb, i have been thinking a lot about hugs. Like the power of smiles, hugs are free to give, yet can mean so much to receive.

Hugs can:

  • acknowledge an individual’s existence;
  • offer comfort and support;
  • say “I understand”;
  • uplift one’s spirit;
  • offer hope; and,
  • celebrate a moment.

Isn’t it amazing how one simple act can do so much!

I can only imagine the impact fellow SOBCon: Biz School for Bloggers alum Gail Lynne Goodwin and her husband Darryl Slattengren will have when they circumnavigate the world small prop plane,  delivering 100,000 hugs on their Global Hug Tour.

Have you hugged someone today?

Hugs,
Glenda

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Are Multiple Themes Useful in Improving Blog Accessibility?

Filed under: Blog Accessibility — by Glenda at 2:00 pm on Monday, August 24, 2009

Glenda Watson Hyatt presenting at WordCamp Fraser Valley A big kudos goes to Gary Jones of BlueFur Hosting for organizing a fantastic WordCamp Fraser Valley! And, a special thank you for including blog accessibility on the agenda.

Meeting other local bloggers was great. And, listening to all of the fabulous presenters I realized that the more I learn about WordPress, the more I still have left to learn. If you missed my rockin’ presentation, the ebook “How POUR is Your Blog?” is now available. Go grab a copy!

Response to my presentation was amazing. One idea offered during a break was that blogs could have two themes, one which is simpler or scaled back, and thus more accessible for some readers.

Instantly I cringed inwardly. My mind flashed back to the “text-only version” days, which many designers saw as the only solution to web accessibility, when, in fact, it was the lazy way out. Providing text-only versions may have benefited individuals who used screen readers, but they did not adequately and appropriately accommodate people with other types of disabilities. And, oftentimes, these scaled back versions of websites did not provide all of the same information or it wasn’t updated on the same basis as the regular websites. Text-only versions ghettoized people with disabilities.

However, now that I have had a couple of days to mull it over, perhaps the suggestion has some merits. Because of the nature of blogs, the theme controls the design and layout, the wrapping; the core content (like the posts, comments and such) would remain the same. By offering a choice of themes, readers could choose how they view the content and still participate in the same blog community with fellow readers.

I’m now seeing this option similar to a lower service counter for people in wheelchairs and those of a short stature, rather than a separate entrance with inferior services. But, similar to the aisles still needing to be wide enough in order to get to the lower service counter, the core content and other features would still need be accessible.

What are your thoughts on this? Could this work? Are there any potential limitations or drawbacks? If you have seen this done elsewhere, please share links. I’m curious to see what this might look like.

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Join Me for WordCamp for Free

Filed under: Blogging — by Glenda at 12:31 am on Monday, August 17, 2009

Last week I announced I’m presenting at WordCamp Fraser Valley on Saturday, August 22nd, at SFU Surrey Campus. I now have the pleasure of giving away one full-day pass ($75 value) to one blog reader!

WordCamps are great ways to meet other local bloggers and to learn more about blogging and the blogging platform WordPress. Check out the speakers for WordCamp Fraser Valley.

Let’s make this giveaway simple! If you are interested in attending WordCamp Fraser Valley and are in the area next Saturday, leave a comment by midnight (Pacific time) on Tuesday, August 18th :

  • If you’re a blogger, please share your best experience from blogging.
  • If you have been considering starting a blog, please share why you would like to blog. (WordCamp is a great place to get started with blogging.)

A winner will be randomly drawn from the comments and announced on Wednesday.

Simple enough? 

Readers’ comments via Facebook, Twitter and email are always welcomed. However, to be eligible for this free pass, please leave your response in a comment below.

Good luck!

(Caveat: My husband Darrell is ill with pneumonia and we are heading back to the ER on Monday. Depending on what unfolds this week, I may need to regrettably bow out of WordCamp. The winner will still receive the free pass.)

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Rod Stewart Still Gets My Mojo Going

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 12:05 am on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rod Stewart in concert at GM Place Stadium, VancouverI fell in love with Rod Stewart during the 1989 American Music Awards, my second year at university, and it has been a love affair ever since. Rod’s music has lifted me up when I was down, kept me company when I was lonely, and has boosted my mojo when required. 

I can’t really explain why Rod Stewart and his music. Perhaps it’s the fact that his dad and my grandfather were born two years apart in Edinburgh at the turn of the last century, and I like to imagine that there was some kind of connection between the Stewarts and Marshalls. I mean, how large was Edinburgh one hundred years ago? But, perhaps the why doesn’t matter. Perhaps the important thing is that I have had his music when I’ve needed it, for whatever reason.

Saturday night I was fortunate to see him again in concert, probably for the fifth or sixth time. And, he was still as good this time as he was the first time! There is nothing I find more inspiring than watching someone do something he is passionate about. After all of these years, Rod obviously remains passionate about singing and performing. What a great way to live: to do what one loves doing.

Dancing there in my chair, with the music reverberating my innards, I felt so alive to my core! And, oh, that electric guitar – I’m definitely a misplaced rocker chick!

One time, though, I’d like to be close enough to the stage to catch one of his balls; soccer balls, that is! ;)

Rod Stewart singing at GM PlaceI was excited to learn that, with cell phones now having cameras, small cameras are also allowed in GM Place Stadium. It pays to be prepared and to ask! Given that Darrell and I were sitting in the Visions Lounge at the far end of the stadium and the still-to-be-perfected camera mount on my scooter, the photos aren’t great but they are mine to savour. More concert photos are on Flickr.

If mojo is the juice of life, who gets your mojo flowing?

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