Tag Archives: ambulatory wheelchair user

My Fantasy Wheelchair, Part 2!

My Fantasy Wheelchair Version 2 by Suzanne Forbes July 6 2021This is the wheelchair I need for the goth club.

And the picnic in the park, and the life drawing salon in the old mansion with no elevator. Rideable, stair-climbing wheelchairs are an absolutely necessary part of the future.

Probably this one should have a cup holder for the disgusting Red Bull (tastes like carcinogenic Gummi Bears! and I always get the diet kind cause it tastes even worse!) that I like to drink when I draw at a nightclub.

My Fantasy Wheelchair by Suzanne Forbes June 20 2021 detail 1Since it’s Disability Pride Month, I thought I’d share some info on my personal disability sich, at this moment.

Several loved ones have asked, what exactly is my disability deal?

I’m an out disabled person, and you can always ask me about my limitations and conditions. But that applies to me only, just this one disabled person who is me 🙂

Well, official diagnoses: Hashimoto’s disease, asthma, C-PTSD, PTSD, OCD, lifelong severe depression (in total remission the last eight years!!), a rare circadian rhythm disorder called DSPS, “medical obesity” and bum knees. Unofficial: crippling fatigue, dizziness, vertigo and a fair amount of muscular pain, caused by some kind of ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, ME or lupus. Working on that diagnosis situation.

But what really makes my daily life challenging?  Dynamic Disability, a term coined by Brianne Benness on twitter. Benness is also creator of the NEISVoid, a vibrant disability community formed around the NEISVoid hashtag. You can read/hear voices from the Void on NoEndInSight.co. and support Brianne’s Void work on Patreon.

What Dynamic Disability means is that my capacity to function fluctuates.

I have good days and bad days, and sometimes both in batches. On the bad days, I sleep 20 hours. On the good days, I can unload the dishwasher and load the washer, the same day.

And work on art!!!

No matter what my condition is physically, I am fine spiritually and usually pretty good mentally, in the eight years since my remission from depression began.

The disability community has given me a way to understand and accept my limitations.

My Patrons on Patreon have given me a way to work and keep working in ways that are safe and manageable for me. I look forward to increased mobility and support as assistive technology develops. Fantasy wheelchair version one is here.

I’m glad to be alive and happy to be here, Disabled and Proud!

I am incredibly grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to continue making art as a disabled person.

My Fantasy Wheelchair, Part 1.

My Fantasy Wheelchair by Suzanne Forbes June 20 2021I am very excited about getting a wheelchair.

As a person who has suffered from devastating fatigue for decades, the idea of assistance with the grueling business of walking is thrilling to me. Not to mention having my own place to sit, all the time!

I’m not gonna say any names, but I once bought a ticket to a Berlin event to draw, (even though I am usually guestlisted/VIP), only to learn it had been oversold and there were no seats left. I was about to leave myself, and head home bitterly disappointed, when a friend brought me a chair from backstage. Standing is not an option for many people, including me!

The idea that chair users hate being “stuck in a wheelchair” is an ablist myth.

I am on #DisabilityTwitter every day, talking to people who loooooove their chairs. Having a chair to be able to go places is a joy. People who have to measure and calculate their energy to get through the day, like many ambulatory wheelchair users, and me, need every scrap of energy they can save. Saving the vast amount of energy walking and standing takes is like winning the lottery!

The hardships of wheelchair use are generally caused by failure of accessibility.

With twenty million Long Covid survivors joining those of us who suffer disabling fatigue, vertigo, and shortness of breath, we might finally get enough #CriptheVote power to make an accessible world a priority. Certainly I expect market forces to drive chair and other mobility device innovation in the years to come.

What I really want is the “body bra” described in recent Kim Stanley Robinson books, or the “Frank” smart armature that beloved “Reamde” character Zula wears in Neal Stephenson’s otherwise terrible sequel, “Fall, or Dodge in Hell”.

Until I can have my smart armature to walk me around so I can save my energy to draw, I look forward to several generations of improving electric wheelchairs or scooters!

A note: when I found myself making this drawing rather in the style of artist Felix d’Eon, I leaned right into it!

Felix d’Eon is a former San Franciscan, a gay Mexican artist who makes drawings of queer love. Based in Mexico City and using his friends and community as models, he is an incredibly gifted figurative artist and designer. I think I styled my wheelchair picture like one of his pieces because his art gives me such warm feelings of inclusion and acceptance!

Please follow his new Instagram account, as the old one was unfairly suspended and he lost 114k followers! And visit his etsy store! twitter too!

I am incredibly grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to continue making art as a disabled person.