Grey Hairs and Bounce Houses

Gray Hairs and Bounce Houses

I used to snicker when people would fret when first gray hairs are spotted. What’s the big deal, people? We will all grow old and, in fact, age more and more each day. Until I moved to CP Land. Read more

Friends having coffee

The Lonely World of Special Needs Parenting

Only Human

The ad in the paper reads “Girls Night Out”. Special promotions, door prizes, dinner specials for you and all your gal pals. Sounds like fun! If I only had some pals.

I used to have friends. High school, college, even through my years as a teacher I had numerous comrades. Yet, as it goes for most, you relocate, gain different interests, or change in the time of life. Eventually some friendships fade.

I have friends I keep in touch with via Facebook, occasional phone calls, and annual Christmas cards. A couple times a year, I am invited to a birthday party, a dinner outing, or an “I’ll-host; you-buy-so-I-can-get-free-stuff” party. That is the extent of my friendships right now. Period. Read more

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning – a necessary evil

Dust mites dwelling in cat hair under my bed, a half eaten banana in my fridge, keeping one too many items on my kitchen counter (‘clutter’ apparently), spring cleaning (thanks to help from my mom and sister) is a necessary evil I can now scratch off my 2013 check-list, and boy it was not a pretty sight. Read more

Sara Tabor

Podcast: Sara Tabor – Ms. Sled Hockey & New NYC Resident

In podcast #93, I am joined by Sara Tabor, a 30 something woman paralyzed 4 years ago in a bizarre accident, who went on to discover a new sport post-injury (where females are still the minority) – sled hockey.

We talk about her injury to the very last section of the spinal cord (a section of the cord a lot of people don’t know about) and how the incomplete nature of it (being able to walk short distances) has affected her life. Read more

Airport Wheelchair Travel

Travelling Blues

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Germany for a distributor meeting and an exhibition, and ran into some problems at the Dusseldorf airport. I have been lobbying (thanks Marty Ball) ever since to get them to change their ways before RehaCare next week. It is the only airport, that I know of, that still automatically sends a wheelchair down to the baggage claim (regardless of how you have it tagged) and forces you to get into an airport wheelchair when departing the plane. As a fairly independent person and wheelchair user, I find it a bit demoralizing to have to be pushed down to the baggage claim. To top off the incident, our wheelchairs took 45 minutes to arrive at baggage. There were three of us waiting.
Read more

Jeff Charlebois, Quad Comedian & Song Writter

Podcast #88: Jeff Charlebois, Cali Comedian Goes Country

In podcast #88 of No Free Rides, I am joined by Jeff Charlebois, a quadriplegic copywriter turned comedian who’s performed at over 150 colleges.

Jeff is also a writer of several genres, including his latest dabble, country music song writing. Read more

Challenges of Life After Spinal Cord Injury

Trying Hard Not to Ask “Why Me?”

I think that anyone who acquires a disability after a number of years of living a fully functioning, able-bodied life ends up wanting to ask “why me?” at some point. In my case, my fate was changed instantly at the age of 17 in a traumatic and catastrophic paralyzing diving accident. But I’ve never really asked “why me?” even though my spinal cord injury felt unfair and undeserving.

When I was immediately diagnosed a quadriplegic and was plunged into a very long and difficult four and a half month rehab period – two months of which were spent in Denver away from my family – I didn’t ask “why me?” Instead, I prayed for a full recovery and focused on the next step in rehab to improve my situation the best that I could.

Hand in hand with that, when I was forced into living a difficult, limiting, and inaccessible disability lifestyle I didn’t ask “why me?” I just tried – and still try – to soldier through every day the best I can. Read more

Close Relationship

Kids and I are Like This

Not too long ago I thought I was an “old person” person and not a “kid person” (they say we’re either one or the other). I still have those moments where I’m still not very comfortable being someone with a disability, and old people rarely stare or think it’s too out of the ordinary to see someone in a wheelchair.

Old people simply don’t have enough energy to get on my nerves (usually). And plus – they’re calmer, less messy and they have a lot of cool stories. But that all changed five years ago when my first niece was born. Read more

Successful Vent Dependent Quad that Uses Standing Frame

Podcast #85: A vent? No big

In episode #85 of No Free Rides, I’m joined by Jenni Taylor, a positively fabulous woman from Minnesota, who’s a C1-C2 vent-dependent quadriplegic and the former Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011. At 25, she’s had more deeper life experiences than anyone I’ve ever had on the show. Read more

Disability Dating

Happy Valentine’s Day

Oh Valentine’s Day the holiday of love, when we all splurge on flowers, cards, candies and other gifts for our loved ones, friends and the other important people in our lives. Whether you are a fan of this holiday or not, there are a few things that I would like to share with you. The first is a heartwarming photo of Jeff Roulston and his wife sharing a hug in his standing frame. Many of our customer stories, including Jeff’s, have wonderful photos of wheelchair users and their loved ones! Read more