In my job, I spend a lot of time online surfing various Web sites, visiting chat rooms and browsing through forums. One of my favorite message boards is on Wheelchair Junkie. The “conversations” are very honest, lively and plentiful. There are other great discussion boards on Disaboom which is an online community for people with disabilities. Since I am an able bodied person, it is difficult for me to relate or understand the lives lead by people with disabilities, which is why these message boards and forums are so enlightening to me. I am a Marketing Manager for VMI who makes handicap vans, wheelchair vans and wheelchair lifts and being a “part” of these communities helps us design, build and market better products.
While I was on the Wheelchair Junkie web site today I read the most interesting discussion; it was titled “RU Disabled in Your Dreams???” The person who started this discussion wrote, “I just had a dream last night. I was skateboarding with my sister walking next to me down a big hill with food trucks and lots of people walking around. My skateboard started going faster… And I started swerving just about losing control!!! Then I did a humongous power slide the way I used to as a kid… Anyway, I can always walk and dance in my dreams. Just wondering if you guys can do the same ??? I was thinking that maybe it has to do with whether you have been disabled your entire life, or for just part of it ???”
Here were some of the responses to the post:
“I’ve had MD all my life. It has been slowly progressive, but I was able to walk, run, jump, play, etc. (although in my own funky MD way) as a child. In my dreams, I always have MD (I know no other reality) but I am able to do everything I need to do in the dream.”
“I was back at my old job in my most recent “remembered” dream. Able-bodied.”
“I was really intrigued by the fact that I dreamed myself as able-bodied for quite some time when my MS progressed. For me, it seems like I have become better at accepting the changes that have happened to me physically, and so now it just sort of amuses me when I have a dream where I was running or skipping around. I wake up kind of happy that some part of me was still able to experience those things.”
“I have been in a chair for over 15 years and always dream able bodied and sometimes it makes me feel good to dream able bodied. Wish I could do it more often.”
“I’m usually able bodied in my dreams. I think that it’s because deep down I don’t see myself as disabled. I think that my dreams are about my psyche rather than my body.”
“I have been disabled all my life. I have no idea what walking is like. However in my dreams I walk, BUT usually someone is “helping me”, supporting me in some aspect.”
“Good topic, I’ve wondered the same thing myself. I’m generally not disabled in my dreams.”
“I rarely have access problems in my sleep. It’s like every place I go is magically accessible. Wishful thinking, I guess?”
It was so interesting to read this topic. If you are not involved in an online community, I encourage you to do so as they are great places for information, support and help. It is also a way for you to help others as well, based on your experiences.