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


Shaking Hands

Because I have such a high level injury, I am unable to move anything below the C1/C2 level. This is why I require a ventilator for breathing and 24 hr nursing care to assist me with my needs. Besides the obvious health and safety implications, having an injury this high also creates a few social obstacles that I have yet to figure out. Read more

Jenni Taylor Speaking

Showcasing “Abilities” While Having a Disability

The word disability might mean something different depending on who you ask. To me, I consider myself as having a disability but I’m not disabled. Although I have limitations due to my injury, I have abilities as well. I have the ability to speak my mind; the ability to choose the way I want to live my life. I have the ability to access whatever means it takes to show people that “I am me” despite my disability. It doesn’t define who I am as a person or individual. 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

Accessible Living After a Spinal Cord Injury

Accessible Living After a Spinal Cord Injury

Addressing home accessibility concerns are different when you’re born with a disability versus acquiring one later in life. I certainly didn’t expect becoming paralyzed, wheelchair-bound and ventilator dependent at the age of 16 years old. Although sometimes life gives you obstacles and you have to learn to overcome or deal with them in whatever way possible. For myself and my family, this meant changing our lifestyle in order to accommodate my needs. Read more

Regulating Body Temperature With an SCI

Regulating Body Temperature With an SCI

Having an SCI and being on a ventilator can present challenges for maintaining body temperature through extreme temperature changes. Because of my injury, I’m unable to feel if I’m cold or hot. The only way I know is by using a thermometer, often when it’s too late. Also, the temperature in the air can be very hard on my lungs because I’m on a ventilator. 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

Finding the Strength to Get Out of Bed Each Day

Finding the Strength to Get Out of Bed Each Day

Yeah it’s hard…

Sometimes I find myself drifting away, staring at the wall, thinking of things that I know I have no control over and that I cannot change. It’s difficult to be in a position where you’re so vulnerable to others and in which your privacy is gone; where the only place that feels safe and comfortable is inside yourself. I have trouble sometimes dealing with this whole situation. There are times where all I do is direct and tell people what to do. In fact that’s my life. I didn’t sign up to be a manager of others starting at 16 years old. Sometimes trying my best doesn’t seem good enough to me. I think I’m my own worst critic. 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