A Disabled Writer’s Book Unfolds A Tap At A Time

By Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times

“In the virtual world, Winkler roams free. He blogs. He comments. He write articles about film.

In the physical world, he increasingly is trapped — dependent on his sister and a long, red plastic chopstick.

Rheumatoid arthritis has battered him for 46 of his 55 years.

His neck won’t turn. His head is pitched down, chin to chest. His elbow and wrist joints are so fixed in place, he cannot touch his face.

Sitting up in bed, he can no longer extend his arms far enough to place his fingertips on the keyboard of the MacBook Pro propped on a lap desk across his thighs.

Instead, he braces the chopstick between several fingers on his right hand and uses it to tap, tap, tap one key after another.”

Read More: www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-adv-chopstick-book…

3 Comments
3 comments
  1. Deb aka abcsofra says:

    I am so happy for this man in that he still accomplishes his dreams but I am also so very torn. He has had to hide behind a key board for fear of how his disability might impact the world and his work. I truly wish he would consider writing a book about his experience with ra to shed light on the inequity of it all. We need a light to be shone on the prejudices that still exist in our worlds and particularly so with the economic disfunction currently here in the U.S. and around the world. But I am so proud and admire him for his love of his craft and his determination to pursue his dreams. I have always believed that dreams are what carry us humans onward in life and upward to joy. His story just reconfirms for me my belief. Dream on I say, dream on. And hats off to his sister who has stood by his side and extended her love and helping hand to him. Her story needs to be told as well!

  2. Thrive with RA™ says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this insightful article from the L.A. Times about Peter Winkler. After reading this, chopsticks are much more than just eating utensils to me now.

    What a wonderful world the internet and laptops have opened up to the disabled and bedridden, with so many opportunities to engage in society that otherwise may have been impossible. I am grateful for this technology every day.

    It’s so great he was able to write a book and to perform such in-depth research. How fortunate that Mr. Winkler found such a creative way to contribute professionally and has support and innovative ways to adapt for his physical needs. What an inspirational story. For me — as a professional writer first, Severe RA patient, second — this story had profound meaning.

    Perhaps the L.A. Times article could have been titled, “Easy Writer;” despite the dis-ease and its cost to overall health and mobility, there is an ease in how Mr. Winkler approaches his creative pursuits and makes them look effortless. Knowing the details of life with RA makes his efforts an even greater triumph.

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