Within the pages of a book I can travel to different times and places in our world, even to the future.
If the title seems suspiciously familiar, yes indeed it is born from the lyrics of the Reading Rainbow theme song. When I was a child, we did not have cable television, so my cartoon time was limited to educational programming available on public television. Thus, my early childhood was influenced by Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and Reading Rainbow. Before you feel too sorry for me, I am actually quite thankful for this. When I did watch television, I learned to count in Spanish and, that I am special just the way I am. However, most of my time was either spent playing or lost in the magical worlds of my books. This love of reading has served me very well since my spinal cord injury.
Since my ability to watch copious amounts of television is limited by the fact that my attention span dies out rather quickly when I am not physically doing something whilst watching television, the option to turn to literature for entertainment has been quite valuable since the loss of my physical mobility. Although this has been an important means of keeping me occupied during my downtime, its importance goes far deeper.
With the support of my family and incredible caregivers, my life has been pretty full given my circumstances and limitations, perhaps even regardless of them. However, it can be easy to feel trapped, or that one's life is small and confined when they are bound to a wheelchair and by complex medical conditions. My salvation has been books, even before my injury they allowed me to explore life beyond my own world.
Within the pages of a book I can travel to different times and places in our world, even to the future. I can experience the thoughts, perspectives, and struggles of others as well as their triumphs. When life feels difficult, confining, and depressing I can escape entirely into an alternate universe, or even an entirely fictional realm. In the end, regardless of the fantastical settings or magic characters may have at their disposal, their struggles are very much the same. They fight against oppressive power, for justice, to find love, and to put themselves back together when they have been broken by life. Therefore, not only do books give me a chance to escape my life and experience someone else's, but they also remind me that no matter how different people are, or how their struggles may appear different on the surface, in the end we are fighting for the same things – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
A few favorite books…
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The views expressed by Loa are not necessarily the view of the Ventec Life Systems, its members or the clinical board. These blog posts are the personal experiences of Loa. The blog posts are not intended to provide clinical advice or training related to VOCSN. Always consult a physician or trained clinician prior to using VOCSN. Please refer to the VOCSN Clinical and Technical Manual for detailed instructions, including indications and contraindications for use. VOCSN is available by prescription only.