Ask Me Why
A Unique Perspective on His Survival by Stroke Survivor and Comedian John Kawie
I think of myself first and foremost as a comedian. However, when I mentioned in a previous column that I would try to be more involved with our readers’ recovery, I started receiving a blizzard of letters. Now I’m feeling more like Dear Abby for CVAs. While this may not be my forte, I was so flattered that I swung for the fences and dove right in. Let me share the advice I gave to two of my favorites, and you be the judge.
Dear “Going Rogue for a Ride in Alaska”:
Thank you for your letter. I have never received anything from your great state, so imagine how excited I was to receive your muddy, tundra-stained envelope. (The roaring Kodiak bear stamp was really scary!) While it probably took a variety of airplanes and the better part of a year to reach my NYC apartment, it’s possible your problem may have already been solved. Nevertheless, I still feel it’s my responsibility to respond.
I am sorry to hear (yet not surprised) that your insurance won’t cover the expense for a motorized wheelchair. While I have never priced one, I understand some can cost as much as a Toyota Corolla. However, I think your idea of swiping a motorized shopping cart from your local Anchorage Costco is a brilliant solution! Your cognitive therapist must be very proud of you.
Now, to your question of what to buy as cover. Personally, I would keep your purchases as light as possible to ensure a speedy getaway — popcorn, chips, marshmallows. I’d steer clear from Spam or canned caribou of any kind. These will slow you down for sure.
I hope my advice will aid your quest for mobility. But remember, if something goes wrong, this communication never happened
And then there’s this …
Dear “Gotta Go in Idaho”:
Thank you for expressing your concern that there are too many non-disabled people using handicap stalls in public restrooms. Although I should warn you that some in the disabled community feel the word “handicap” is not only passé, but politically incorrect. Once I was called out for using the phrase “handicap accessible” to describe a venue where I was performing. I suppose I could have gone with something like “invalid-handy,” however I never cared for that word because if you put the accent on the wrong syllable, it’s actually the word in-valid, meaning “not valid.”
Anyway, I was intrigued by your idea that these offenders can be ticketed and fined with the proceeds being donated to a favorite charity. Hiring police, per your suggestion, is a possibility, but it could end up being an expensive proposition.
Here’s a thought… how about deputizing retired hotel bathroom attendants? This would be a cheaper alternative while providing part-time employment. Matt Dillon deputized Festus on “Gunsmoke,” and it was a win-win for both.
Now, about the fine. Let me suggest four easy payments of only $9.99. This way the charity of your choice will make money, and it will also minimize the offenders anguish so they just might do it again — in which case said charity will make even more money!
Your out-of the-box fundraising ideas are impressive, and I look forward to working with you on more of them.
So if you have an awkward stroke situation — and what stroke situation isn’t — drop me a line, email or tweet and I’ll be glad to impart my 20 years of survivor wisdom.
Editor’s Note: All of John’s “advice” is his own, the information and opinions presented here do not represent the views of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. However, we do agree that serving as an advice columnist may not be his forte.
This information is provided as a resource to our readers. The tips, products or resources listed or linked to have not been reviewed or endorsed by the American Stroke Association.