The Beginning of Life with Ellie

Ellie was born March 4th, 2015. In my gut, I knew something was wrong throughout my whole pregnancy. It didn’t matter that ultrasounds had showed she had a heart defect. It didn’t matter they showed she had clinodactyly, or slightly thickened neuchal skin fold or thickened skin over her nasal bone. None of this did anything but make my pregnancy more stressful and my marriage more frustrating. My husband didn’t have this gut feeling. He didn’t have this insane urge to make everything in life perfect to prepare for disaster. People say these tests help ease your mind so you know what to expect when your baby is born. Well, it’s just not true, at least not for me. I didn’t want to know these things. I wanted to celebrate my pregnancy and that I was growing and nourishing a new life the best that I knew how. I wanted to appreciate my husband for all he does instead of be angry at all he isn’t doing. As it turns out, there was something wrong, but most likely it had nothing (for the most part) to do with all the soft markers on ultrasound photos.

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Tiffiny Carlson Speaking at the Morton Cure Paralysis Fund

A Foundation After My Own Heart: The Morton Cure Paralysis Fund

When something tragic happens like a spinal cord injury, friends and family often feel helpless. It can be difficult seeing someone you love become paralyzed, which is why many come together to form spinal cord injury foundations, either to raise money for research or to help make the quality of life better for people living with SCI. 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.”

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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

Sharing My SCI Story

Sharing My SCI Story

Whether big or small, people face challenges everyday. These challenges can become roadblocks: some they can easily step over, some they can navigate around, and others are just too high to climb on their own. Ever since I started writing about my life, my goal was to show people that no matter what “roadblock” they may be facing, there’s always a way to get past it, even if you have to go straight through it head-on. 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

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

What to consider when attending college in a wheelchair

Being A Student With A Disability

Right now, I’m attending Normandale Community College pursuing a degree in communications. My goal is to be a public speaker. I’ve been going to college since fall of 2006; just taking one or two classes at a time schedule permitting. When it came to choosing a college to go to after high school, I had to look at a few more things than just which one sounded the best.

There are many things that go along with being a student with a disability. In my case, special accommodations are made so that things are easier inside and outside of the classroom. Read more