Wheelchairs = Helplessness? Not So

I’ll never forget the one time I was outside a Target on my cell phone. I wasn’t doing anything except talking and sitting there, but apparently I was doing a lot more. In the middle of my conversation I was interrupted by a stranger asking if I needed help, and then I realized what was happening. My wheelchair was speaking much louder than I was, and the message it was sending out – this girl needs help. Read more

Living Fully Now While Waiting for the "Cure"

Living Fully Now While Waiting for the “Cure”

After a spinal cord injury, it can be hard to figure out what to do next. After rehab and going home, you have two decisions – do you re-enter life as a wheelchair-user or do you wait until a cure is found? In the spinal cord injury community, this has long been a dilemma even though most of us know what the right answer is (to go out into the world and live again). Many of us just can’t do it.

Years ago I met a person online, a quadriplegic from New York City, who had been paralyzed years prior but never left his house. He was obviously depressed, admittedly so. When I asked him about it, he said he wasn’t going to go out into the world until he was “normal” again and he was willing to wait as long as this took. Read more

Regulating Body Temperature With an SCI

Regulating Body Temperature With an SCI

Having an SCI and being on a ventilator can present challenges for maintaining body temperature through extreme temperature changes. Because of my injury, I’m unable to feel if I’m cold or hot. The only way I know is by using a thermometer, often when it’s too late. Also, the temperature in the air can be very hard on my lungs because I’m on a ventilator. Read more

Bathtub Accessibility

4 Cool Products to Improve Bathtub Accessibility

No longer should you leave your bathtub a dusty receptacle for dirty laundry and old memories of awesome baths of years past. I’m a girl, and even though I’ve been paralyzed for over 20 years I still have that gene that screams, “Oh man I need a soaking hot bath,” after a long and stressful day. But when you’re a quadriplegic, things get a little tricky in this department. Read more

every end has a new beginning

Every End Has a New Beginning

I’ll never forget the moment the accident happened. I was riding in the backseat of the truck, my boyfriend and his mom in the front. The truck began to swerve, and the last thing I remember is looking up to see my boyfriends’ reaction. The next thing I know I’m on the ground and a stranger is next to me telling me not to move. I was terrified. Fading in and out of consciousness, I looked around for my boyfriend. When I wake again I spot him pacing back and forth. I call to him to hold my hand and to stay with me but he responds, “Hold on my mom is still in the truck”. Darkness again. I open my eyes and realize I am in a helicopter. A man is telling me I’m going to be okay. All I remember saying to him is, “Can you hold my hand?” Read more


Diagnosing Cramped Arm Muscles

After 20 Years, Helloo Sassy and Cramped Arm Muscles

It’s been almost two decades since my spinal cord injury, and needless to say sitting down for 20 years does not do a body good. While the face may age much less when you’re not as active and out in the elements (one of the few benefits of using a wheelchair), everything else in your body does not hold up as well, especially your muscles.

When you’re paralyzed in your arms and you’re only using one muscle group to do multiple movements, the muscles get worn out a lot quicker. That’s just an undeniable fact. And when you do these motions over and over again, year after year, eventually your muscles will sass back. Read more