No arms no problem
September 17, 2012 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Tisha UnArmed was born without arms. In a series of videos she shows how she gets dressed, puts on makeup, showers, drives, eats a sandwich and sushi and a lot more. She also talks about her condition and requests questions. (MLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (44 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
What an awesome, charming and generous lady. Thank you for sharing this!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:19 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

I note from the driving video that people have given her crap about her driving being unsafe. My reactions to the driving video were "I wonder what paperwork she carries in case a cop pulls her over" and "holy shit that's impressive."
posted by feckless at 1:36 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

agreed, feckless, watching her drive is very impressive. Get in the car, start it, shift, turn the wheel, really impressive..
posted by k5.user at 1:43 PM on September 17, 2012

I want to know how she healed her navel piercing with having to bend constantly to do anything.

Tisha has much better control over her feet than it seems I do over my hands. I do not put on makeup that easily, or open stuff, or keep my home as clean. I'm disabled, damn, I feel like I am using it as an excuse for some things. Yet, i'm still sitting here as my bad leg hurts from overdoing it this weekend.

Also, the fact that her writing is so much better than mine means I need to work on it.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow! That is impressive. I love that she didn't edit out the occasional dropping stuff or whatever, because it's not like those of us who use our hands don't do that all the time.

I am frankly jealous as hell of her ability to do a great job with that Bare Minerals makeup. Whenever I've tried it, I end up looking like an angry clown. The fact that she can do this with her feet, and with such grace...kudos!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:46 PM on September 17, 2012

My reactions to the driving video were "I wonder what paperwork she carries in case a cop pulls her over"

What extra paperwork would she need?

"License, registration and missing limbs permit, please."
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

The human brain is an amazing, plastic thing.
posted by gurple at 1:51 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

In Massachusetts and New York, vehicles with adaptive modifications have to be passed as roadworthy by state assessments and performance testing. Presumably Tisha, if those inspections and testing are a requirement in her state, just keeps the relevant paperwork in her glove compartment with her registration and proof of insurance.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:51 PM on September 17, 2012

I just say "Massachusetts and New York" because those are the states that people I know who drive with adaptive modifications live in. I imagine many states have similar guidelines.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:53 PM on September 17, 2012

I love her personality, so upbeat and quirky. Thanks for posting this.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

Aww.. T-Rex meme shirt. I wonder if the T-Rex figured out how to do all that stuff with its feet. I hope nobody goes back in time and shows those guys these videos. They would be unstoppable.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:56 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was both assuming there was some paperwork required due to the modifications (like what Sidhedevil said) and also that you'd need some sort of paperwork shield to hold up against the ocasional cop who thinks that anything that looks different must be illegal.
posted by feckless at 1:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

feckless: I was both assuming there was some paperwork required due to the modifications (like what Sidhedevil said) and also that you'd need some sort of paperwork shield to hold up against the ocasional cop who thinks that anything that looks different must be illegal.
Questions cops ask themselves*:

1. Do you really want to be the cop that makes the news for harrassing the cute crippled girl?

2. Do you really want to be the cop that initiates the harra$$ment suit that breaks the town's budget where you live?

* (I hope)
posted by IAmBroom at 2:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is the Best of the Web. Thanks for posting.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:07 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Question 3: How do I handcuff her?
posted by found missing at 2:08 PM on September 17, 2012 [7 favorites]

I am in awe of Broly, competitive street fighter player who plays without the use of his arms. This guy is badass , he has recently been challenging top 32 in the world players to money matches.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2012

Fine, fine I'll be the 29+ Demographic.

"Aw man she's cute."

"Holy crap she can do everything without arms!"

"Man I wish I knew her."

"Hell I'm not worthy of her, she's way cooler than I am."

"I have a dad with MS so I _think_ I've learned the border for where I should provide unconditional help and where I should not."

"Man if I was her boyfriend I'd probably annoy the hell out of her by asking if there was something I could do for her all the time."

"... sigh."
posted by pyrex at 2:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, I suddenly feel guilty about how long it's been since I vacuumed.

I don't want to see a video of this, but does she answer the question anywhere of how she handles toilet paper? It seems like the angles would be all wrong for using her feet, even given her tremendous flexibility.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:17 PM on September 17, 2012

My bet would be a bidet.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:18 PM on September 17, 2012

Shit people say to people with disabilities
posted by Blasdelb at 5:13 PM on September 17 [+] [!]

"It's totally accessible, it's just a single step." Oh how many times I have called somewhere and been told it is totally accessible. Then, we drive two hours and find out it is a field that is so bumpy that it a wheelchair isn't making it, and even if I could walk that far with my walker, or cane, it is too dangerous to do so.

Or there are steps, or it is a historic building and the doorways are not wide, or it is a business that has stuff so crammed together there is no way to fit my chair through. I could go on and on about this, hell, just about things that happened within the past month.
posted by SuzySmith at 2:21 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

My bet would be a bidet.
How many restaurants have bidets? I dunno, a portable squeeze bottle maybe, or a wiping pole? Guh, I don't want to think about this anymore.
posted by Popular Ethics at 2:22 PM on September 17, 2012

SuzySmith: "It's totally accessible, it's just a single step."

I hate to be cheesy but; I know, right? We've tried to take my dad to so many places but so many of them that advertise disability-access just flat out melt down. A ramp? Oh yeah it's it's 500 meters over there. And there's some stuff in the way but don't worry about it. The actual exhibit? Yeah the main part of it's accessible to anyone but the lower floors are down a level so you'll have to take the steps. Oh. And there's no elevator.

Bah. Sorry for the outburst, just gets me pissed.
posted by pyrex at 2:31 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

It took so long to find a completely handicapped-accessible venue for my wedding reception, finally booked one with wheelchair access to the dining room via a back entrance...and then, eight months later when we actually had the party, the back entrance had a brand-new patio attached to it, with three steps leading up to the thing and no ramp. My grandparents had to be carried in. Aaaaaaaargh.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:34 PM on September 17, 2012

My pet peeve is asking "will I need to stand?" and being told no, then getting there at the appointed time to find the venue doors are locked and everyone is standing waiting to get in. I've actually just given up and gone home because I can't stand more than for a couple of minutes.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 2:40 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

I keep threatening to kneecap people who claim things are accessible to put them in a chair even for a month. If people were all forced to do it for one month, the world would be so much more accessible for us.
posted by SuzySmith at 2:42 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

The most annoying thing for me is that I _know_ there's new building codes to make _ALL_ buildings accessible. But I guess people find ways to work around that (a ramp 10 meters within the entrance? LOL let's make it 500 meters) and find ways to justify it. Then again, this is Sweden, so who's really going to report anything? ........ BAH.
posted by pyrex at 2:46 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I worked in a store on the Marta bus line on I-85. The road out in front was busy, but our street was a place where not much happened.

One day, in the middle of not much happening, I saw a guy in a motorized wheelchair come to a stop in the middle of the road. For some reason I just dropped my usual panicky decision about whether to help — probably because of the immediacy of the road traffic going past him on the main road.

His eyes were closed, and he said that he couldn't see. I told him to follow my voice to at least get him off the road, so we did that. Then he asked me to grab some napkins, which I did, questioning myself in my head whether I should run or walk, so I did that sort of half-jog back to the store, and back into the parking lot.

And then, at his direction and in great detail, I wrapped the napkin around a slightly bent finger, and held it close to his right eye, and then to his left, as he cleared what was causing his vision to blur. I saw his eyes come into focus, and wondered who he expected to see based on my voice.

He said, "Thanks, dude."

Did he need anything else? Water? Coke? A spot to sit inside to cool off?

"Nah, dude — I'm late for work. Thanks, though." He gave me a gracious nod, and before he buzzed down the street, he shouted "Take it easy!" over his shoulder.

That was the first day I understood what differently abled meant.
posted by deanklear at 2:54 PM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

Oh lord, I can top that. I once tried to book a hotel stay in Cooperstown, home of many picturesque oldfashioned (read: not accessible) mom and pop motels. I arrive after a long day of traveling to find hills and stairs and narrow walkways at the motel that had promised my room would be accessible, and then spent the next three hours frantically calling Triple A and finding the local Chamber of Commerce before they left for the day. They called around and found me a place at a small Hispanic-owned mom and pop where the mom in question used a wheelchair, so their biggest room was accessible. We drive out there, get led to the only accessible room in Cooperstown, the room with the wheelchair symbol on the door...

... and there's a stair to get in.

The teenage son explained that the mom would stand to get in and drag the wheelchair in after. They kindly bought a pair of planks from the hardware store when they realized that just wouldn't be possible in my case.

I still have the picture of the door with the wheelchair symbol and the step leading up to it.
posted by Soliloquy at 3:04 PM on September 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

I don't know if this is still true, but in the early 90's I was a summer assistant at CROWD (the Center for Research On Women with Disabilities), and the PI for the project I was working on was a woman with a degenerative neuromuscular disease who used a motorized wheelchair. She had just come back from a speaking engagement in Japan, and was pleased to see that all the buses had the blue and white wheelchair on them. . . until the doors opened and she saw the steps leading up. She questioned the bus driver through her interpreter, and apparently was told that the disabled symbol meant that she was allowed to crawl up the stairs if she was able.

That was twenty years ago; I hope a lot has changed. But man, different worlds.
posted by KathrynT at 3:30 PM on September 17, 2012

Did you see her with that zipper!
posted by Houstonian at 3:37 PM on September 17, 2012

The driving thing is interesting. There was a truck driver in Oregon who lost his license because he drove without a prosthesis. I guess that may be a requirement of commercial drivers only though.
posted by vespabelle at 4:10 PM on September 17, 2012

This is awesome. Thank you for this post. She's hilarious and adorable and this is why I love the internet.
posted by bibliogrrl at 4:15 PM on September 17, 2012

I was unimpressed by her abilities. Before you take that as some sort of criticism or denigration of her skills, hear me out. Humans are incredibly intelligent, and she is a particularly intelligent specimen. As I watched her use her feet in a way most of us use our hands, I marveled at the intelligence behind her adaptation of her feet to do all these things. Yet, I suspect, anyone of reasonable ingenuity and perseverance with that challenge would develop similar coping skills. So, in that respect, I am unimpressed. What does impress me is her spirit. Her adjustment to her predicament goes far beyond her physical coping skills. She seems to be a delightful human being. Full stop.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:20 PM on September 17, 2012

I once worked for a university equity office, and I met some great students, including a girl who had no arms. It was my great pleasure that I designed a foot desk for her, out of perspex and communicated the details to the factory that worked with it, who made it, I believe now, for just the cost of the materials. She loved it, said it was great that she could see through it, unlike the old wooden one. it was the perfect angle, and had hand-holes for her assistant to carry it. I saw her once on tv for learning to drive a car without modifications, and I saw her again, about 8 years later, on a train. I mean, it's kinda hard not to recognise someone with no arms but I didn't approach her because, yeah, you got to be tired of being known for that thing you don't have.

Regarding the toilet question, she had an assistant for that.
posted by b33j at 5:45 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh and yeah, I was once berated in askme for being reluctant to ask personal questions of people to make conversation. I wish I'd known about the Shit people say to people with disabilities vid, because it explains my reluctance to do this to anyone - say something stupid, obvious and offensive. So, hi world, I'm not going to ask you questions, but I will listen.

It's all about me today.

posted by b33j at 5:48 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just noticed that she has eyeglasses on in one video but not in the rest. Is it possible she puts contact lenses in with her toes?
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:24 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If I knew her I wouldn't ask her the toilet paper question as that would be rude. I only asked it because it was in line with the sorts of things she was explaining as part of her Internet project.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2012

The first thing I noticed was the shirt:
If you're happy and you know it, clap your....Oh.

I LOLed.

I cook.
But I don't cook very well.
*small, sad, voice*

I LOLed.

Her sense of humor cracked me up.

Something I thought immediately was why she doesn't keep her hair short for ease of care (I do. I'm lazy.) And then I saw that curl. That GORGEOUS, FANTASTIC curl. Don't EVAR cut that curl! She may have no arms, but you gotta admit--cute dimples.

Another thing I thought was, "She needs to hire a cleaning lady when she gets through school and starts working." There's so many other things she can do, why waste time cleaning! It's not like this kid's going to be sitting around the house. (Yes, I'm lazy.)

Tisha, you rock!
Do. All. The. Things!

Blasdelb, great vid. I do believe I will forward this in a multiple BCC for use as a teaching moment. Hopefully, 'twill work.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:35 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sort of related, there was a video posted to Metafilter a few years ago of a handless teenage girl who is an amazing musician. She plays the guitar with her arm stumps, and sings with this vulnerable, beautiful teenage girl voice. She does a cover of They Don't Know that's just devastatingly sweet. She took the video off of Youtube (due to some "less-than-pleasant messages and subscribers") and at this point it seems to only be available as a Google video embedded on her website. Given the shutdown of Google video it seems like it's only a matter of time before the video gets yanked, so I'd strongly suggest watching it while you can.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:48 PM on September 17, 2012

Beat me to it, FearfulSymmetry! Well done.

Do. All. The. Things!

I was was SO gonna title the post this.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2012

Mm. The executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis, John Foppe, was born with no arms. He's pretty awesome.
posted by limeonaire at 8:41 PM on September 17, 2012

KathrynT: "That was twenty years ago; I hope a lot has changed."

Yeah, things have definitely changed. The buses with the handicap symbols are step-free buses. They don't have a loading lift or whatever you call it, but the driver will come and pull the wheelchair and passenger up onto the bus.
posted by Bugbread at 6:02 PM on September 18, 2012

Her legs are also significantly different lengths. It's not really noticeable until she steps into her prosthetic to vacuum.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2012

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