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

All I'm Askin' Is for a Little Respect

All I’m Askin’ Is for a Little Respect (Just a Little Bit, That’s All)

If there’s one thing I hate about going to my doctor, it’s getting to her office.  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

Paralyzed by My Paralysis to Travel Overseas

Paralyzed by My Paralysis to Travel Overseas

Humans are naturally afraid of change. We’re afraid of trying something new and we’re afraid of encountering new things…most of us are anyways, and this is especially true for all of us living with paralysis. There are so many things that we cannot do that we become rigid in our ways. It’s like a big protective the turtle shell. Read more

How Much Better We All Have It Thanks to the Internet

How Much Better We All Have It Thanks to the Internet

When I was first injured there was no Internet. Let me explain what that meant exactly. For any direction post-injury, whether it was how I was going to live on my own or go to college, or even if I was going to date again, it was all learned in-person. Read more

Surprise! Infomercials Are For Us

Surprise! Infomercials Are For Us

Many people chuckle at the frustrations illustrated by people in infomercials, and cry out “Lazy!”. I don’t fault them for this, but if you look closely, you’ll notice the seemingly simple task is a struggle.  Read more

Top-10-Special-Needs-Products-of-2016

Top 10 Special Needs Products of 2016

As a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, I am always on the lookout for products that can improve my son’s life. Here’s my favorite adaptive products of 2016. Read more

Indoor Winter Activities for Families

Indoor Winter Activities for Families

It’s definitely winter! Depending on where you live the weather may not be appropriate for outdoor activities. It’s freaking colder than I imagined cold was possible here in Minnesota!  This southern girl was not built for this type of weather! Holy negative temperatures! How is that even possible?! It’s now so cold that it’s not a real number anymore! Do you want to guess who is staying indoors by the fireplace? It’s me! Do you know how cold it has to be outside for a dog to look at you like you are crazy when you open the door and tell them to go pee? Pretty darn cold! Now that we’re trapped indoors we’ve had to settle for indoor activities. I’m lucky that I have extended family that also lives with us. Some people may see this as a pain, but I say the more the merrier. Don’t ask Luke how he feels about the situation! Read more

Winter and I: The Super Crip

Winter and I: The Super Crip

A lot of my fellow writers have already discussed the harshness of winter for those of us with disabilities that impact our mobility. The reason being is simply because it’s a rather pressing issue. Unpaved sidewalks are more than just a general annoyance. They pose a physical danger as well. Transportation may also be a bit more of a hassle than it already is to begin with, but for me the greatest obstacle is chronic pain and how it coincides with the pressure to be a “Super Crip”.  No matter where I go, I’m a voice for others like me. As odd as it may sound to others, my visibility in the public eye is very much a social-political statement, generically speaking. Now, add winter weather to the mix and suddenly, I’m less visible. I now worry that my employers think I’m slacking. That my friends assume I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, or that my date has mistaken my reschedule as a sign of disinterest when that isn’t the case at all. Read more

TV’s Vikings’ “Ivar the Cripple” Makes a Present-Day Girl Think

TV’s Vikings’ “Ivar the Cripple” Makes a Present-Day Girl Think

I think it’s fair to assume that before the Industrial Revolution, life for people with disabilities was significantly more difficult. There were no motors, and definitely no electricity to power the wheeled chairs that have been made for “cripples” prior to this golden age. To say it was a hard life was a definite understatement. Read more