Wheelchairs = Helplessness? Not So

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

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

How to keep good PCAs around

Can’t Seem to Keep a Good PCA Around

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

Living Fully Now While Waiting for the "Cure"

Living Fully Now While Waiting for the “Cure”

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

5-minute Challenge

Things You Don’t Think About: A 5-minute Challenge

Something that I wonder is what others would do if they were in my situation. Everyone deals with situations and handles things differently. For those of you who have not gone through this ordeal, how would you react to all of the sudden waking up and finding out you were paralyzed? What sort of things would go through your mind? How would you handle it? Read more

SCI Awareness Month

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. This is a great time to go over what we know about spinal cord injuries, common misconceptions, and what’s been happening with research. Read more

Parenting from a Wheelchair

Parenting from a Wheelchair

As a child, do you remember telling your parents what you would do different when you are a parent? I used to tell my parents, “I’m going to let my kids stay up as late as they want. I’m not going to feed vegetables to my kids.” What I thought was going to be awesome parenting turned out to be just plain dumb. This is something that runs through every kid’s mind especially when being disciplined. My parents did a great job with their three children but with time our environment is different so I have to modify some of their techniques. Now that I’m in their shoes I understand and appreciate their parental decisions that I disagreed with while I was younger. My kids are at the age where they disagree with some of me and my wife’s decisions. I hope that when they grow up, they will understand our decisions were for the best given our situation. Read more

stephen cluskey irish quad determined to provide accessible transport to all

Podcast #100 – Stephen Cluskey, Providing Accessible Transport for All

Born and raised in the Dublin area, Stephen shares his awesome story of survival. Injured when he was 18 in a fall, the now 29-year-old is about to receive his business degree, which is incredibly apropos considering he just launched a website to help people with disabilities find accessible taxis in Ireland (with an app along the way too). Read more

Bladder Botox Injections

Bladder Botox Injections: How It’s Working So Far

Nothing is angrier than a neurogenic bladder. Sure, the legs and muscles really dislike being paralyzed, but the bladder…oh it takes the cake. The bladder was not created to be paralyzed, even in the slightest. Read more

The Finished Product: A Wheelchair Accessible Garden that Works for Me.

My Wheelchair Accessible Garden

Finally a garden that works for me.

When we were kids, my eight siblings and I were often sent to the garden to hoe or pick whatever was ready to be harvested. I have to admit that anything to do with the garden was mind numbingly boring, but not having a garden wasn’t an option with nine kids to feed.

Read more