I am offering to help authors develop story lines and plots for characters with bladder and bowel disabilities on this blog and on Twitter. My rationale is that these very people have been the brunt of jokes for too long and it is high time that the media wakes up and gives some prime time to help those with disabilities reclaim acceptance and dignity. Jokes that are common are offensive and degrading and even harmful because they result in fear of being discovered. Therefore, people avoid being open about this subject. Often people wait too long for help because of the shame and fear.
Soon Biosleuth and I will have a book available. The title is Beyond Embarrassment : regaining your life with neurogenic bladder and bowel. We are in the process of getting blurbs for the cover of the book. We have asked Jim Misko to write one for us. He is an award-winning author: my publishing Mentor, through the Palm Springs Writers Guild. Since he is writing another book, I suggested to him that that he consider cultivating a studly character, a man’s man, one who is popular with the women, looked up to by the town folk, but because of his military service is incontinent. He could go into the trials associated in finding the protection he needs. Working through the loss of whizzing at the urinal, to becoming proficient at using a catheter in the stall and then needing to dispose of the catheter privately, because male toilet stalls don’t provide much privacy, let alone a secluded disposal system for waste.
Here are other character development ideas for all of you authors out there:
- A murder mystery thriller in which the main character is confined to a a wheel chair. He sees a man running for his life, so he uses his urinary drainage bag for something heroic, like slinging it off the speeding train just in time to throw the dogs off the scent of the man on the run. He then uses his Latex Free Extension Tubing to hurl an arrow into the murderers leg, understanding that he is about to board the train to kill everyone. In the end, he could use his extra leg ties to strap the bad guy down.
- How about a romance? Two lovers who get real and reveal to the viewers their story of a neurogenic bladder. They accept each other’s disabilities with sensitivity and compassion for each other; they demonstrate the sacrifice of unconditional love, which is truly beautiful. When it’s time for a romantic interlude, the dialogue could point out the steps to take to insure success.
- How about a kids movie in which the main character has Spina Bifida? She becomes the school hero subsequently to scenes in which the bullies drag her, emotionally, through the dirt, after it is discovered that she does not toilet like the others. In the end she is accepted, and her fear of others discovering her secret no longer remains because her leg bag has become her badge of honor and respect.
- How about a drama in which the female protagonist has to run through the streets to help a stranger, but in doing so, she soils herself? Regardless of her public shame, she pushes through because she knows that she is helping another. She puts her own worries aside despite the snickering of the passers-by.
- How about the real story a quadriplegic who dies a slow death of kidney failure (many do, you know), because she does not have the help she needs to keep her bladder empty and her kidneys bear the brunt of the disability, in the end.
- How about a “Legally Blonde Three”? The main character develops Parkinson’s Disease; the cute, smart, funny sorority girl spins a fabulous tale of humorous court drama with wit, charm and grace, despite being incontinent.
So many ideas — none have humor because as you can see this common condition is very real and not funny at all.
Authors: we need you to write the other side of our story.