I Can’t Compete with the ‘Super-Quads’

I Can’t Compete with the ‘Super-Quads’

It all started with Tom. He was the recreation therapist at the rehabilitation facility I was living at. He was also a complete C5-6 quadriplegic and roughly 20 years older than me. I was 19 when I knew him, which put him around 39 years old, and despite nearing 40, Tom by far was the most independent and strongest quadriplegic I had ever met. Read more

4 Ways to Chop Veggies When You Can’t Move Your Fingers

4 Ways to Chop Veggies When You Can’t Move Your Fingers

“But but…what about the chopping part?” I asked my OT nervously as I sat in the rehab kitchen while an inpatient at rehab 18 years ago. She didn’t have a ton of options to give me back then, except to use a quad cuff (a sturdy piece of plastic that Velcros to the hand) to insert a “normal” knife or, or to use my tenodesis splint (see here for more). Ug. Read more

Where in the World is Katy Blake?

Where in the World is Katy Blake?

Let me blow the cobwebs off of here and see if I can remember how to properly blog. It is hard to believe that in addition to writing just one single article for EasyStand, I only posted two real updates on my personal blog for the entire year of 2015. Heck, even my Help Katy back to rehab Facebook page has taken a backseat, along with my personal blog and the EasyStand articles. Beginning in January 2015, I have encountered many struggles and setbacks that have unfortunately taken precedence in my life over other obligations, such as writing or painting or anything that required making adult decisions. It was all just too much to handle that part of me just completely shut down. I was beyond overwhelmed by my life and the never-ending obstacles. Spinal cord injuries are exhausting: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Read more

Why We Transfer Out

Why We Transfer Out

I’ve done it at movie theaters, in restaurant booths, on park benches, onto couches at a party, definitely on a beach chair…wait? What do you think I was talking about here? Eh-hem…I’m referring to a certain transfer many people with spinal cord injuries do. It’s a thing and I’m here to talk about it. Read more

Darlene's Beyond the Chair Story

Darlene’s Beyond the Chair Story

Darlene was a horse breeder and trainer before a horseback riding accident left her with a C-4 incomplete spinal cord injury. However, being paralyzed from the neck down has not stopped her from being independent. She uses a wheelchair that allows her to drive and adjust her chair with her mouth. She has been injured for five years now but is determined to stay active. Since her accident, she has been traveling over an hour multiple times per week to her therapy sessions at Beyond the Chair. Read more

Fried Ravioli

How I Cope on Those “OMG I’m Paralyzed” Days

Being paralyzed is no joke, it’s no living Hell either (contrary to popular belief). I have a pretty great life despite the whole quadriplegia thing. But I won’t lie – there are days when it gets really hard. Maybe it’ll be a flat wheelchair tire or a PCA not showing up that sets it off, but there are moments where I don’t think I can carry on one more day. It can get that bad. Read more

Dogs don't see wheelchairs

I Love Dogs, They Never See My Wheelchair

It gets tiring being judged for this wheelchair I’m hauling ass in. But when you’re in a society where being disabled is the minority, it’s bound to happen. Humans are more comfortable being around what’s “normal” (well most are this way). When you fail to fall into their “norm,” you make them uncomfortable, hence being judged. It’s an unfair gut reaction. Read more

Personal Ad | Dating with a Disability

Personal Ad

Dating with a Disability

“For my interpersonal communication class I have to write a personal ad for myself. I’ve never done one before, so I’ve been searching the Internet to see what other people have written. I have to say, I found some interesting people out there. I’m seriously considering going on one of those dating websites. Not that I’m really looking for anyone right now, but it would be kind of interesting to see how it works. I’ve heard of many people meeting on the Internet and actually getting married.

The only thing I’m worried about is if no one responds or tries to contact me. I mean, there aren’t many people who would actually seek out a quadriplegic on a ventilator. The statistics for me finding someone who can see past my disability are low. This is one of the things I struggle with the most. The future and what it holds. I’m trying to be optimistic though. I don’t really tell a lot of people this, but it’s easy to talk to a computer because it doesn’t talk back. It’s hard to explain these feelings to other people. I’m sure there are other quadriplegics or people with disabilities who feel the same way.”

Read more

Private Thoughts in a Not so Alone World

Private Thoughts in a Not So Alone World

I have 24/7 nursing care because of my trach and ventilator. If my injury was any lower, I wouldn’t have nurses. Many times I’m glad that I’m on the ventilator so that I can have nurses to do all the care that comes along with being a quadriplegic. I don’t think I would be as healthy or come as far as I have without nurses. On the downside, I’m never alone. This is one thing that I struggle with. Even if I’m alone in my room, there is always someone within hearing distance of me in case something happens. Read more

Dangerous Driving with Hand Controls

Dangerous Driving with Hand Controls

Everybody thinks it’s some kind of awesome party driving with hand controls; like its more fun to drive a car with them instead of foot pedals. These people however usually have no experience driving with hand controls. If they did, they certainly wouldn’t have the opinion that they do. Read more