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
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
Matthew Tilford discusses how he stays active post-SCI, and offers advice for how those that are newly injured can do the same.
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
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
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.
There have been a few big moments that have transformed my outlook on living with a disability (because to be honest; when I was first injured I couldn’t find anything that gave me hope).
Getting my first power wheelchair after my accident was one of these big deals. It helped me feel free after months of being confined to a bed. I wasn’t walking again, but I was going where I wanted to when I wanted to; my mind was no longer going stir crazy and I no longer felt limited mobility-wise. Was I happy in that moment, flying down the rehab hallway in my brand new powerchair? More than words can describe.