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Waxing and Waning on Grief Health and Disability

Waxing and Waning on Grief, Health, and Disability

It’s hard trying to articulate the depth of this loss to my friends, and to those that care for me on a professional day-to-day basis. I even took some time off from writing these articles, because I needed to pinpoint and state where it was I’m coming from without lashing out unfairly. Even if it is understandable. Read more

Teaching Children About Disabilities

Teaching Children About Disabilities

How and what do we teach our children about the world of disabilities and illnesses? How do you explain a spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, the complications and aftermath of cancer treatments to a child? How much is too much information? What is age appropriate information and how do you approach the subject without making young children afraid of these things? We want to educate and provide information without making them scary or something to fear either from others or from happening to them personally. Discussing these things with your children is much easier than one might imagine and it’s extremely important. You are the most important teacher your child will ever have in life and it’s your job as a parent to prepare them for the realities of life. It’s also your job to teach them to be open to differences in people whether it’s race, a disability, or that an illness does not define a person. Read more

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Every single time someone called me “pretty” growing up, I cringed. As an adult, it’s taken some time and an acknowledgement of ugly days, but I can accept the compliment. I can feel pretty, and that, as a woman and as a woman with a disability is quite the achievement. I already tapped into the acceptance of my body and the celebration in owning said body, but it’s been a long hard road. Let me paint you a picture of an awkward, lanky redheaded girl with glasses far too big for her face. Now, I know that growing up is hard for women in general. You swoon over your crush who sits a couple seats ahead of you in homeroom, you shyly write your name with theirs. We’ve all been there, but when you bring disability into the equation, it was adding insult to adolescent injury. Your hair’s too frizzy? Perfect. There’s a product for that! But there’s nothing to allow you to walk in the heels that you see your peers clanking around in. There’s nothing that’s going to fix the fact that you know he asked for your number as a joke, but in order to play along with your peers, you gave it to him anyway and nothing is going to fix the heartbreak that came along with waking up from your first surgery in first grade thinking you’re now able to walk, You’re now able to be like everyone else, and the crushing realization that that’s not the reality. Everyone goes through a phase where they’re growing into their noses, their ears, their shoes. I had to grow into ownership of my disability and how it coexists with my womanhood. Read more

A meaning among many words

A Moment Among Many Feelings

As I laid there staring at the ceiling, listening to machines beeping and people screaming, I was worried that I may never be where I was before. I had made it through this situation, and hoped that nothing like it would ever cross my path again. Laying there made me realize that there’s more to life than just going around pretending to be the one person you’re not. It made me think about my past actions, and the person that I have now become. I desperately wanted to realize who I was in this world, where I fit in, and why this had happened to me. Read more

Sharing My SCI Story

Sharing My SCI Story

Whether big or small, people face challenges everyday. These challenges can become roadblocks: some they can easily step over, some they can navigate around, and others are just too high to climb on their own. Ever since I started writing about my life, my goal was to show people that no matter what “roadblock” they may be facing, there’s always a way to get past it, even if you have to go straight through it head-on. Read more

Wheel Dancing at Wedding Receptions

This Wedding Season Will You Wheel-Dance?

Growing up, I was one of those girls who loved weddings, especially the reception part. Oh don’t get me started when the DJ started playing “Baby Got Back.” I was the first one out there trying to dance like she knew it she was doing, even though I was only 12 years old. Read more

Recovery After a Spinal Cord Injury

Recovery After a Spinal Cord Injury

When are we healed?

When does recovery end after a traumatic illness or injury? This is my question for today. Are you considered healed after rehab? Are you finished when there can be no more physical improvement? Is it purely mental and your recovery is what you choose to make of it? Is recovery only complete after a genuine acceptance of the circumstances? Read more

Accepting Life in a Wheelchair

Accepting Life in a Wheelchair

This article focuses on the newly injured and their families. The biggest hurdle in overcoming a life changing event is acceptance. It does not happen overnight and many people deal with it differently. There will be a period of grieving involved for everyone. You will mourn the life and activities that you have lost. Please remember there is a new life waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. Read more

Discussing Disability with Kids

Discussing Disabilities with Kids

Teaching children about others with disabilities is an important part of parenting. No two people have the same physical abilities and children should be taught to embrace people of all abilities. When speaking to younger children it’s important that you use child friendly phrases that they are capable of understanding. My youngest daughter is three years old. Her understanding of my paraplegia is that Daddy’s legs feel asleep when he got hurt and now they can’t wake up. Will she understand severed nerves and central nervous systems? Of course not, she’s a toddler. She does understand that sleeping people do not move so it was a natural analogy for her. Read more