I don’t link to it often but I do have an archive of my old disability blog. It used to have its own domain and everything. I did my best to make sure that old domain and any URLs still work and redirect to this static archive—because cool URIs don’t change. But I don’t link to them much anymore because the posts are old and I am slightly embarrassed by some of them.

But every now and then I poke around in the archives myself and reminisce about times past.

The other day I was reminded of a post I wrote about SMA. I wrote it soon after I discovered I had grown too weak to handle a PlayStation controller and play the new edition of Madden I had just received as a gift. In that post I said:

But SMA took football from me. And it took writing (by making it slow and tedious).1 It keeps taking and taking. Its hunger is never filled nor its thirst quenched.

I wrote that in 2009. Fifteen years ago. I’ve lost even more abilities since then. Sometimes I think about the things I used to be able to do. Some of them I miss dearly. So in this somewhat downer of a blog post, I thought I would make a list of things that I miss being able to do.

Disclaimer: I told myself I wasn’t going put one of these in here, but what if this is the only blog post of mine that someone sees? I feel I need to mention that I am living a good life. I have fun making things, I have a job doing meaningful work, and I’ve gotten pretty good at adapting to my disability.

Okay, with that out of the way, here we go—in no particular order:

  • Handwriting
  • Drawing
  • Typing on a keyboard
  • Using a video game controller
  • Playing video games using a keyboard
  • The ability to right-click a mouse
  • Catching a football
  • Walking (okay more like hopping) around a swimming pool
  • Playing with/handling physical objects
  • Painting ceramics
  • Using Field Notes
  • Using a pen tablet mouse
  • Playing action games with quick reaction times
  • Moving chess pieces
  • Swallowing easily
  • Holding a hockey stick
  • Calligraphy
  • Clicking a retractable pen
  • Using a mechanical pencil
  • Playing games on my iPhone
  • Writing on my iPhone
  • Drawing on my iPhone
  • Playing music on a Cassio keyboard 2
  • Holding a book
  • Turning pages
  • Holding a Kindle
  • Holding a sandwich
  • Feeding myself
  • Scratching my face
  • Turning my head
  • Sleeping on my stomach
  • Playing with a bouncing ball
  • Using a trackpad
  • Using a calculator
  • Doodling
  • Playing with Legos
  • Holding a drink
  • Eating an ice cream cone
  • Eating popcorn 3
  • Holding playing cards
  • Driving with a standard wheelchair joystick
  • Playing with GarageBand on an iPad
  • Picking at my fingernails
  • Tapping a pen
  • Playing a GameBoy
  • Playing Duck Hunt
  • Rolling dice
  • Handling dominoes
  • Putting a cassette in a Sony Walkman
  • Thumb war
  • Coloring

I’m sure there are way more but now that I’ve gotten to this point in the list I haven’t been able to think of anything else for a few minutes. So I guess I’m calling this done.

Let’s pour one out for where we’ve been and turn our attention back to where we’re going.

  1. SMA didn’t take writing away. Through a combination of an optimized onscreen keyboard and a voice input tool, I continue to write blog posts, code, and very bad fiction
  2. This is one of the last times I was able to play music. I was using an iPad mini. I wore a glove so that I could rest my hand on the screen. My elbow sat on an armrest that swivelled, which gave me the range of motion to move my arm around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uhcCow3M8Q 
  3. With my difficulty swallowing, it is too easy for me to get choked up on the husks.