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
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
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
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
Personal and family goals are a part of daily life in our home, so much so that they are on display to remind us of what we strive to achieve daily. It’s harder to ignore something or put it out of your mind when you see them displayed around your house. Some of our family goals are that we will be kind and respect that everyone has their own opinion. We will use our inside voices, even when angry, because being louder does not make you important. We will strive to appreciate our differences and find ways to include everyone in every activity. Read more
Hi it’s Isabella! Somebody made me very mad and I would like to tell you about it. I posted a picture on my Instagram account of my dad, me and my boyfriend, and my mom. We were playing together and throwing horseshoes in our backyard with my boyfriend’s parents because it is a lot of fun. I even got one on the pole! My dad is really good at this game and he almost always wins every time. I also posted an old picture I found from when I first met my dad. We were playing miniature golf and I am terrible at that game. My dad really loves to play golf. My mom hates it, but we all like to miniature golf and even Tay can play! I wanted to share my picture and show my newer friends how little I was when I met my dad. I was 7 so he has been my dad for a very long time. Somebody commented on my pictures asking me how embarrassing is it to have a dad who is handicapped. I did not really know what that word means because we say a physical or intellectual disability. My mom said we don’t use that word because it is used as an adjective to describe a person like they are a disability instead of having one. I think that makes a lot of sense because nobody is their disability. I am not a disabled person but I do have a disability. I have autism and I am proud. Did you know that there are a lot of very famous celebrities who have disabilities too? There are and they are not ashamed of them. I think that it is really important for people to know that having a disability should not stop you from being anything you want when you are an adult. If you feel ashamed that means you did something bad or wrong. People did not do anything wrong or bad to be born special. Read more
Faith, Family, Friends, Forgiveness, and F it.
I am thankful to have the foundation of those 5 F words in my life as they are all based on one thing and that is love for yourself. My life, attitude, and perspective have completely changed in this last 8 years since meeting my wife. She taught me the foundation of love and the 5 F’s in life. I felt blessed to have her not only as a friend, because while she was young at 28, she had lived through several lifetimes of pain and was the most positive happy person I had ever met. Her struggle would continue over the next 8 years of our relationship. She fell to her knees many times from the pain and weight of her world. That brings us to faith, as my wife always says when life knocks you onto your knees the Lord is saying you are in the perfect position to pray for his guidance. Read more
Routines based intervention (RBI); has become the new way to support families and children with developmental delays or disabilities for early intervention. But what does this really mean? I think physical and occupational therapists have evolved over the past few years in really getting into what this looks like. Read more
Living with an SCI is hard enough right? No apparently it’s not, so let’s add a sick wife to plan and a pack full of small needy children to your life plan and see what kind of NBC comedy develops. It is definitely not easy to manage my own problems and my wife has been my number 1 supporter through this crazy journey. Then it became my turn, and honestly I wasn’t sure that I could handle all of the pressure. My own issues are often enough to push me over the edge of sanity dealing with my PTSD. I’ve already detailed my wife’s journey through cancer and now I will tell my side. Read more
September is Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. In an effort to end the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness, we will be publishing several first hand experiences and promote information and resources available to those in need. Trigger Warning: This post contains details about mental illness and suicide attempts.
Since my accident a decade ago leaving me with a spinal cord injury and TBI I have been diagnosed with several mental illnesses that are far harder to deal with than any physical limitations. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and I am also bipolar. This is not exactly the easiest of blogs for me to write, but I think that it’s needed. I do still feel some level of shame, guilt, embarrassment, or whatever the word is for it over having this label and that is part of the reason that I am writing it. There is a stigma attached to having a mental illness when it should be seen and treated with the same empathy, not pity, as any other medical condition. Read more