I'm Losing My Mind

I’m Losing My Mind

Today’s blog is not a fun or easy one to write. Back in January 2017 I was diagnosed with dementia most likely early onset Alzheimer’s disease and have been going slowly crazy since it happened. I’m only in my late 30’s and had no idea this would ever be a possibility in my life. I feel like my life is over. Read more

My Drug Addiction

My Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is not a problem that anyone expects to have to have deal with in life. Nobody wakes up one day and says hey I think today will be the day that I throw my life away. I know that I certainly did not expect this to happen to me, especially with my past, yet here I am today. It’s a tough subject, but an important one. Read more

A Letter For The Best Parents

A Letter For The Best Parents

My dad had written a really sweet blog to my sister Taylor and myself about what he wanted us to know about our disabilities and how he saw us as perfect. I thought it would be fun and nice to write one to my parents so they know what they mean to us. My parents are not perfect though because my dad is nuts and my mom is even more crazy. We still love them though. Read more

Planning for the Unexpected While Going Out

Planning for the Unexpected While Going Out

Emergencies are called emergencies for a reason, because you never know when the are going to pop up. You should have a plan and be prepared to deal with the unexpected. I don’t quite understand why it’s called the unexpected, you know sooner or later it’s happening, but it always seems to have a way of happening at the worst possible moments. Perhaps it should be called the moment of “Oh crap! Dear God please not now” instead. Oh it’s happening, whether you want it to or not, so you might as well take a few minutes at a time and get things in order for them. What’s on my must have list as a parent, wife, and caretaker to get out of the house? Read more

Why I'm Always Grateful

Why I’m Always Grateful

I get asked a lot why or how I can be so happy. The truth is that I’m not always happy and I definitely have my moments of bitterness at life. What you see is my being grateful for the life I have today. A life I never dreamed was possible as young poor kid growing up in New York. I didn’t grow up in what anybody would consider a good neighborhood. We were surrounded by gangs and drugs. We lived separately from my father while he was stationed elsewhere and spent summers together with a few short weeks with him during the school year. I’m grateful to see my children all day every day. My father is an alcoholic, my mother abused pain killers at the end of her life, and my twin was an addict who was killed from gang affiliated violence at 16. I’m grateful to never have taken drugs or felt the need to get drunk constantly to face life. I am grateful to have always had a dream to work towards since childhood and to have achieved it. That dream was taken from me with my accident, but I survived. I went from having my dream job and success to having every possible dream in my life come true despite my disabilities. Read more

Living Healthy Doesn't Make Me Healthy

Living Healthy Doesn’t Make Me Healthy

I discovered that after having a spinal cord injury staying healthy is not as easy as it was once upon a time. I was in great shape before my accident and since then have continued a rigorous exercise program and a healthy diet. So someone please explain to me how I am now 36, have a pacemaker, and my wife’s Pops who is in his 90’s is in better physical condition than me. The man sleeps 4 hours a day to wake up and meditate before doing tai chi. Something is seriously wrong with this picture. I know the man lives to humiliate and torture his grandkids and great grandkids with his practical jokes and stalking them to catch every possible blackmailing moment on film, but I spend 2 hours a day in the gym with my wife 7 days a week. Read more

A Conversation With My Daughter's Boyfriend

A Conversation With My Daughter’s Boyfriend

I was sitting and talking with Bella’s boyfriend and he had several questions to ask my about injury. This young boy has recently turned 17 and is quite mature for his age. He asked me if I could describe the feeling of paralysis and I had him do the finger experiment. He asked about various sensation levels. He asked if it felt anything like you’d experience with a limb falling asleep with the pins and needles sensations. Before all of this he asked me if it would be okay to have an open conversation about my SCI. He has a genuine fascination with all things medical and wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a veterinarian. Read more

My Ability to Speak vs My Ability to Communicate

My Ability to Speak vs My Ability to Communicate

The ability to walk was not the only thing that I lost in my accident as I also suffered a TBI. While I have regained most my abilities to function independently the two things that have been affected the worst were my memory and my speaking ability. My memory issues are a hard loss to handle, but I have found ways to compensate for it. I journal constantly and in great detail so that I can picture moments in my head. They may be recreations, but to me they are the only memories I have of many events. When I write blogs about things that I’ve been through with my wife’s journey through cancer many of the details come from my journals. We use a giant chalkboard to write down the important daily details for me to look at when needed. I set alarms on my phone when it’s time to get things done. I am the king of pictures and home videos of my wife and children. Having lost so many parents, grandparents, and children along the way the pictures and videos have become priceless. It is a lot of work, but for me it’s worth it. I want memories. I’ve learned to work around that part, but the speech issue is much more difficult to compensate for in daily life. Read more

The Cost of a Disability on a Marriage

The Cost of a Disability on a Marriage

Being married while dealing with disabilities on both sides is hard, extremely hard. I think I have made it clear that I love my wife more than life itself, but on those weeks of steroids for her treatments it’s like we need an exorcist. This for the sweetest woman alive! Steroid rage is real and it is not pretty. She will go from calm, to crying uncontrollably, to finally breaking dishes and anything within reach. Thank you Prednisone, you are making lives hell on a daily basis for millions of people. A friend of mine whose wife also has undergone chemo treatments calls it, “Steroids, I swear to God this woman secretly hates me”. It’s that bad, but I love this woman, no matter how many dishwashers she kills. That is only dealing with one side effect. Read more

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

This is a tough topic. Do you ever feel like you are a burden because of your disability? Like you don’t deserve to be happy? Do other people ever make you feel that way? It can be tough to tell those people to shove their opinions, and strangers certainly have no problems giving them out. Too bad people don’t hand out kindness and encouragement that way. The world would be a much better place. Read more