Thursday, April 21, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

survival - fittest

Over the last two months I have spent a lot of time watching the eagle cams in Iowa and Virginia.  It has been fascinating watching the parents take care of their chicks (eaglets).  The eagle cam in Virginia has a live moderator to answer questions.  I have learned a lot about eagles and their young through this interactive program.

Two question that are often asked by viewers are:
  • What happens if the eaglets are not good hunters?
  • What percentage of the eaglets will survive the first five years?
This brought to mind how fortunate we are today.  Most of us know parents, grandparents or uncles that have or had Kennedy’s Disease.  Life was much more difficult for them.  Besides often being misdiagnosed, the problem of just maintaining a quality of life was more difficult.

Can you image what it was like living with Kennedy’s Disease in the middle ages … or, the 17 and 1800s … even the early 1900s.  Most houses were two or three stories high without any bedrooms on the ground floor.  Every place had steps … sometimes many steps.  There were no handicap accessible building or facilities in those days.  Canes were available, but I am not certain when walkers first became available.  And, wheelchairs … have you seen them in museums and movies?

wheelchair - old

My mother’s brother had Kennedy’s Disease.  That is an assumption on my part because know one knew for sure in those days.  All they knew was that he became progressively weaker and required a wheelchair in his forties.  He lived on a farm with lots of steps, a gravel sidewalk and driveway, and dirt paths.  Life must have been very difficult for my uncle and his family.  The world was just not very accommodating for people with a handicap.

farmhouse - old1

I think of my van, our house, bedroom, bathroom, and shower.  Also, office buildings, airports, restaurants, movie theaters, shopping centers, etc. … these places are all handicap accessible.  There are very few places that I cannot access today.  My oldest brother and sister always said I was spoiled.  Perhaps they are right … thank goodness!

Fortunately, I do not have to compete with healthy men for food and shelter.  Also, Social Security, Medicare, the MDA and KDA, as well as other state or local organizations are available to help those of us needing assistance today.

survival 1

Because of all of these things,
we not only can survive,
we can flourish!

1 comment:

  1. I agree, today we are living in a more comfortable enviroment, but comparing my country, Italy, with facilities in US, I must sadly see how we are so so far from your world. Especially in the cities where spaces are so narrow and sensibility of our politicians are not addressed to such kind of issues.


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