Sunday, March 11, 2007

THREE DAYS IN OKLAHOMA

Just back -- okay, a week back – from my first visit to a major rehab facility to talk about the book and my general take on life after paralysis. I spent a day at the Jim Thorpe Rehab Center in Oklahoma City and it was a great time. I spoke to patients and staff at both of their branches in OKC and spent a wonderful evening visiting with many of the doctors at the art-filled home of the center’s director, Dr. Al Moorad.

This was a first for me – interacting with a group of patients with many kinds of neurological conditions, from spinal cord injuries to Guillain-Barre Syndrome and the manifestations of stroke. I’ve spent most of my paralyzed life speaking with people who only fear a catastrophic malady like this. Talking to members of the same club was refreshing and rewarding. They had as many horror stories as I did and seemed to enjoy pitching them back and forth.

Many thanks to all who made this visit happen: Dr. Moorad, Phil Lance, Dr. Charlie Bethea, Courtney McLaughlin, and a dozen others.

Also did a long interview with Neal Conan on “Talk of the Nation” on NPR two weeks ago – go to www.npr.com and check out the TOTN archives for 2/28, if you’re interested. Again, the stories from disabled callers were insanely spot-on. One blind woman talked about getting “honey-ed and sweety-ed” to death everything she visited the doctor. A paralytic told about the time a good Samartian “helped” him down a flight of stairs he was managing just fine on his own. The upshot: both men tumbled down the staircase and one wheelchair got demolished. The Samaritan’s parting line: “Boy, you’re lucky I was here to help!”

This week I head to New York for a taped appearance on the Montel Williams Show to air a week or two hence. I’ll probably end up telling the story I just recited above. Or a hundred others I’ve gathered from all the people writing this site. Thanks to all. Your emails are better than a hundred mainstream reviews.

AR

1 Comments:

Blogger Brad Catherman said...

Allen, when are you coming to Atlanta for book signings and to visit the Shepherd Spinal Center? I have an award-winning screenplay endorsed by Max Cleland to pitch you: log line for "Wheels" - able-bodied man is sentenced by a Judge to live for one year in a wheelchair for violating handicapped parking ordinance! Call me: 770-936-2247. Brad

6:31 AM  

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