It all started when someone told my friend, “You’re so lucky to have a disabled permit. You must save so much on parking!” Understandably, she really let fly. But it got me thinking – I do love my disabled parking permit. And so the challenge was on. The benefits of having MS? Everyone’s different but here are my personal top ten.
Recently I heard the story of an American social worker whose job in the 1990s was to scour the mountains of Alaska, seeking the bolt-holes of Vietnam veterans who had decided to remove themselves from society, living off the land in isolated shacks. In the 20 years since the Vietnam War, more and more American vets had come to the grim realisation that they were now unable to coexist with their families and friends; to hold down jobs; to partake in society in any meaningful way.
Post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD.
The social worker’s task was to bring the vets into Anchorage to live in a halfway house and receive psychological therapy until they were willing and able to re-enter society. Of the degree of his success, I’m not sure.
My friend – I’ll call her Jane – was at the bottom of the driveway as I was leaving to take the dogs out one day. She’d just pulled up.
‘It’s time,’ she said, climbing out of her 4WD and crossing the road. ‘Some people know, and some people think they know, and there’s all kinds of Chinese whispers going on. It’s time to lay it on the table.’