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
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
Having PCAs in your home is a lot like going to school each day. You have a schedule you need to keep track of just like classes, and it can be quite exhausting. I’ve recently discovered this more and more over the last five years of living with paralysis. I’m not sure why, but the longer I’m paralyzed, the less patience I have for these goof balls. Read more
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
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
Directing your own care.
Life in a wheelchair isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. We are a few decades into the American with Disability Act (ADA) and society has adapted to the wheelchair world. This wasn’t possible without people speaking their minds and we shouldn’t stop advocating for ourselves. Directing your own care is the most important thing a wheelchair user can do to make life easier and safer.
People don’t know your personal ability level so if you need help over a curb, upstairs or transferring use your voice. This is something I learned during my rehabilitation and took it home with me. We aren’t super heroes so reading your mind isn’t going to happen. Direct your own care.
I saw a fabulous petition on Change.org today bringing up an issue that’s bothered me for quite some time – Craigslist’s refusal to include any accessible or wheelchair qualifiers to any parts of their site. Sadly, it’s an issue that many wheelchair-users have been wanting to see changed for awhile. Read more
In podcast #98, Tiffiny invites the dynamic Jen Addis on the show. A C5-6 quadriplegic from Hancock, Wisconsin who’s been a mover and a shaker in the spinal cord injury community since her injury.
Three years after her injury, Jen entered the Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin pageant, winning it and setting off her motivational speaking career at the same time. Now 13 years later, Jen has become an amazing speaker and is branching out onto TV; a natural fit for the sunny disposition she emanates literally inside and out. She is so fun to listen to.
My 30th anniversary of the accident that left me a paraplegic is coming up this April. On my anniversaries, I often ponder how life would have been if I had not taken that last drive of the night on my motorcycle. I do know this, the 30 years in a chair have been as full as anybody’s who is walking. I have no doubt that I finished college, played on championship sports teams, had a wonderful career that allowed me to travel to 30 plus countries and all of the states mostly because of being paralyzed. Sounds rosy? It is. You would think I would be hard pressed to give up all I’ve accomplished, but honestly, I would do it in a heartbeat. Why? Living in a wheelchair is not an easy life and the older you get, the harder it gets. Read more
In podcast 96, Tiffiny is joined by Annette Hormozian, a wheelchair ballroom dancer from California who’s been dancing her entire life, both pre and post injury (she was injured 24 years ago when the car she was riding in went off a cliff). Annette grew up belly dancing and doing traditional Assyrian dance, but transitioned to ballroom dance a couple years ago. Read more