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Thread: Melanie Reid of The Times (UK)

  1. #61
    I always make sure no one's around when I read these so that I can have a good cry. I just want to hug her. This "life" really is an alternate reality.

    in the exquisite purgatory of a paralysed dawn that is for us to know and the rest of you only to guess at
    ETA: Thank you Pelican. We owe you a few pounds.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    What amazes me when reading these articles and indeed posts on CCC is how different we all are and yet how similar our emotional roller coaster ride through rehab. was.

    Thanks once again for posting these FPF.

  3. #63
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Thanks again for posting the updates.

  4. #64

    The bigger picture

    Thanks for posting these columns.

    Melanie Reid has captured the world of the newly paralysed so well. I've read few better insights into the subject.

    BUT, to me it looks like this will pan out as the usual triumph from adversity tale so beloved of the media when it comes to the subject of disability. It's devoid of context. This is not a criticism of Ms Reid, who has enough to cope with just recounting her ordeal, but more a comment on the way the story will be perceived and sold.

    At the risk of sounding like one of the four Yorkshiremen - she were lucky!: She is recovering, and not facing the dread of waking up every morning with no extra feeling, no small movement or improvement to sweeten the pill. And she can treat each triumph as a personal validation - the result of her own willpower, rather than sheer, blind luck. Since many ABs already assume that most disabled people just haven't tried hard enough, the idea that recovery is much to do with strength of will can be quite damaging for those who have no choice but to resort to 'sticky keys'!

    She also has a career that she can continue with, a supportive family and circle of friends. Many SCIs lose their body, their job, friends and partners.

    Finally, she has money - so all that technology the Times editor refers to as being available to disabled people won't just remain a pipe-dream.

    It will be interesting to see if she continues her column after 'release' into the big wide world, and chooses to comment on the collapse of the welfare state, the pariah status of incapacity benefit claimants and the re-branding of the disabled as 'jobseekers' - but without the support that would give the term credence.

    Ms Reid seems to have a very supportive environment, full of friends and family who can rally round, district nurses (can't remember the last time I saw one of those) and social services that few now seem to be able to access. (The reference to Cameron's Big Society made me cringe).

    I know this might come across as bitter and carping, but the irony of Melanie Reid's column coming from the Murdoch stable just as the welfare state that she is relying on is being dismantled, social care withdrawn, benefits cut, and the NHS being cut back and re-formed on the road to being privatised is too contradictory to swallow.

    Sorry if I've upset anyone.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeonmars View Post
    It will be interesting to see if she continues her column after 'release' into the big wide world, and chooses to comment on the collapse of the welfare state, the pariah status of incapacity benefit claimants and the re-branding of the disabled as 'jobseekers' - but without the support that would give the term credence.
    I hope to God she does, I for one am sick to the back teeth of being blamed by every political party for the country's bankrupt state, forget the bankers and the gutless politicians all the money went to the Gimps with their tax breaks and Oh so generous living allowances!

  6. #66
    I think it is a little to early to expect a context from Melanie more than her raw experiences at this stage. In time the context of her writing (if she keeps it up) will evolve and then we may or may not see her start tackling the post-NHS-discharge world of spinal cord injury. Let's not put her off continuing to write.

    Fly Pelican Fly (evil SCI'd banker ;-)

  7. #67
    Keep posting them as they come FPF.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by lifeonmars View Post
    Thanks for posting these columns.

    Melanie Reid has captured the world of the newly paralysed so well. I've read few better insights into the subject.

    BUT, to me it looks like this will pan out as the usual triumph from adversity tale so beloved of the media when it comes to the subject of disability. It's devoid of context. This is not a criticism of Ms Reid, who has enough to cope with just recounting her ordeal, but more a comment on the way the story will be perceived and sold.

    At the risk of sounding like one of the four Yorkshiremen - she were lucky!: She is recovering, and not facing the dread of waking up every morning with no extra feeling, no small movement or improvement to sweeten the pill. And she can treat each triumph as a personal validation - the result of her own willpower, rather than sheer, blind luck. Since many ABs already assume that most disabled people just haven't tried hard enough, the idea that recovery is much to do with strength of will can be quite damaging for those who have no choice but to resort to 'sticky keys'!

    She also has a career that she can continue with, a supportive family and circle of friends. Many SCIs lose their body, their job, friends and partners.

    Finally, she has money - so all that technology the Times editor refers to as being available to disabled people won't just remain a pipe-dream.

    It will be interesting to see if she continues her column after 'release' into the big wide world, and chooses to comment on the collapse of the welfare state, the pariah status of incapacity benefit claimants and the re-branding of the disabled as 'jobseekers' - but without the support that would give the term credence.

    Ms Reid seems to have a very supportive environment, full of friends and family who can rally round, district nurses (can't remember the last time I saw one of those) and social services that few now seem to be able to access. (The reference to Cameron's Big Society made me cringe).

    I know this might come across as bitter and carping, but the irony of Melanie Reid's column coming from the Murdoch stable just as the welfare state that she is relying on is being dismantled, social care withdrawn, benefits cut, and the NHS being cut back and re-formed on the road to being privatised is too contradictory to swallow.

    Sorry if I've upset anyone.

    Interesting thread and I agree with lifeonmars. Whilst Ms Reid's accounts are harrowing and tender, they do nothing to debunk the myths surrounding paralysis. With her captive audience, it would be nice to think she could discuss, dare I say it, the cure. She has reinforced the notion, unintentionally I might add, that with enough hard work and determination......

    Thanks for posting fpf. First round's on me.

  9. #69
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    Thanks for posting these articles. I just found the thread today. I really hope she does continue to write about her experiences of this journey we all are on. It is very interesting to see the difference between what rehab and services are available in the UK and the US.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fly_Pelican_Fly View Post
    The latest installment from Melanie.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle7141687.ece
    Have just read this aricle - highly full of insight. If I had read that before injury, it would have changed my perceptions. Hopefully ABs, reading this will gain from it.
    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
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