A Conversation With My Daughter's Boyfriend

A Conversation With My Daughter’s Boyfriend

I was sitting and talking with Bella’s boyfriend and he had several questions to ask my about injury. This young boy has recently turned 17 and is quite mature for his age. He asked me if I could describe the feeling of paralysis and I had him do the finger experiment. He asked about various sensation levels. He asked if it felt anything like you’d experience with a limb falling asleep with the pins and needles sensations. Before all of this he asked me if it would be okay to have an open conversation about my SCI. He has a genuine fascination with all things medical and wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a veterinarian. Read more

Save Some Tears for Laughing With

Save Some Tears for Laughing With

I’m talking with two of my friends about sneakers the other day when E points at my Adidas Stan Smiths and asks, “Hey are those comfortable?”

S and I glance at each other. As a paraplegic, my ability to feel anything from chest down is severely impaired. 

I shrug at E. “I’d tell you if I knew.” Read more

Why Sexual Abuse Goes Unreported

Warning: This post contains information about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing. Rates of abuse are higher among those living with disabilities. In an effort to raise awareness about this very serious issue, Jessie has written a special series on sexual abuse that will be published over the coming months.

Sexual abuse remains the number one underreported crime in our country for a myriad of reasons. I will break down the main causes as to why this heinous crime remains unreported. Read more

WHO, WHAT, and HOW vs. WHY? (Now there’s a vague heading)

WHO, WHAT, and HOW vs. WHY? (Now there’s a vague heading)

I suppose this first one’s for me. I’ll take it.

Like every other wisdom-toting, hot-shot twenty-five year old, I have a story to tell. Perhaps coincidentally, as I find myself approaching the 6 year mark of paralysis (having confessed my spinal cord injury testimonial to sweet little old ladies, church prayer circles, pseudo-concerned college professors, and awkward first date subjects ad nauseam) I also find myself stumbling upon a platform. Regardless of its size or prominence, I have a platform. Not a platform of authority, reverence, or of fortuitous counsel (not yet the wheelchair-yoda I aspire to one day be), but one of interested and empathetic eyes that I may have never been privileged to reaching otherwise. Read more

When Needing PCAs Make You Feel Less Grown

When Needing PCAs Make You Feel Less Grown

It can be a strange world when you need PCAs. There is a lot of depending on people, their schedules and the stress of everyday things coming up that will without a doubt affect your life. Whether it’s their tire reading low, forgetting to set their alarm because they went on a bender the night before or simply having a kid that is sick, how you get in and out of bed everyday all depends on this stuff. Read more

My Ability to Speak vs My Ability to Communicate

My Ability to Speak vs My Ability to Communicate

The ability to walk was not the only thing that I lost in my accident as I also suffered a TBI. While I have regained most my abilities to function independently the two things that have been affected the worst were my memory and my speaking ability. My memory issues are a hard loss to handle, but I have found ways to compensate for it. I journal constantly and in great detail so that I can picture moments in my head. They may be recreations, but to me they are the only memories I have of many events. When I write blogs about things that I’ve been through with my wife’s journey through cancer many of the details come from my journals. We use a giant chalkboard to write down the important daily details for me to look at when needed. I set alarms on my phone when it’s time to get things done. I am the king of pictures and home videos of my wife and children. Having lost so many parents, grandparents, and children along the way the pictures and videos have become priceless. It is a lot of work, but for me it’s worth it. I want memories. I’ve learned to work around that part, but the speech issue is much more difficult to compensate for in daily life. Read more

Elevated Wheelchair Spoke Art Finally Arrives

Elevated Wheelchair Spoke Art Finally Arrives

A lot of things have been getting elevated lately. From restaurant fare to where people go on vacation, there is a trend out there that’s all about making things better than they have been; “becoming elevated” as they like to say, and I’m happy to report that it has finally hit the wheelchair spoke art scene. Read more

Dating as a Teen With a Disability

Dating as a Teen With a Disability

Hi everyone! It is Isabella again! Today I would like to talk about what it is like to date and meet people as a teenager with a disability. It is hard to have self confidence when you are a teenager. Why is everybody so dang mean? It is really hard to have high self esteem in a world full of people putting you down constantly. Read more

When Family Makes Coping With Injury Harder

When Family Makes Coping With Injury Harder

Don’t get my wrong, I love my parents. I just don’t always love having them around, especially post-disability. Read more