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
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
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
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
There’s nothing more important if you ask me than reliability in the echelon of PCA’s. I need one each morning and night, seven days a week, but I’m lucky – my PCAs don’t have to stay all day. Once I’m in my chair, I’m relatively independent. My biggest thing is just making sure they show up. Read more
When I was injured the world was a pretty bleak place. I didn’t think any good future was in store for me if I were to remain in a wheelchair. Thankfully my gross generalization of wheelchair-life was blown away a few years post-injury when I met a woman who was paralyzed and living a fabulous life. Read more
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
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