On Recovering My Self Confidence

On Recovering My Self Confidence

I’m talking with a friend who’s an instructor at Parsons School of Design. G teaches a class where students design and create clothing for individuals with various disabilities, so she’s kind of the go-to when it comes to the disabled populace at that school. She mentions a conversation she had with a writer for the alumni magazine.  Read more

Swimming After A Spinal Cord Injury

Swimming After A Spinal Cord Injury

How many of you still go swimming? I remember my first time in the pool after my accident. It was a liberating yet terrifying experience. Floating free in the water without a wheelchair under me. Look at me I am standing! Logic tells you that you won’t drown in a pool with a life jacket holding you up. Fear of drowning because you know you can’t move your legs tells you something else. I now have a love/hate relationship with our pool. Read more

Does Time Move Differently After a Traumatic Injury

Does Time Move Differently After a Traumatic Injury?

I’ve noticed a lot of weird things happen when you go through a life changing accident, and I’m not talking about the physical side of things (in this case a spinal cord injury). I’m talking about the way the mind wraps itself around such a thing. As the years pile on of living with quadriplegia, one thing seems evident – my walking years truly seem like yesterday, even if they weren’t. And they were 23 years ago for Christ’s sake. Read more

Physical Boundaries

Physical Boundaries

When someone I do not trust pushes my wheelchair without asking, it creates a physical sense of intimacy that is not mutual. It’s not easy to communicate this, so I usually use this analogy: “If you wouldn’t pick up an [able-bodied] woman and hoist her over your shoulder out of the blue, you should probably ask before you push my wheelchair.” Some of these things take practice to learn, or there is an element of trust that needs to be established. For example, one incident that I remember vividly is, chasing after my nephew in my manual chair. Next thing I know, a man was behind me pushing my chair. I shrieked, being rather taken aback, and he appeared insulted. He was not aware that he just invaded my space. My wheelchair is an extension of myself. It is my freedom. It is also my personal space. For goodness sake, someone even commented on my chair and stated, “Wow, she looks a little beat up. It’s almost like you live in that thing…” Read more

5 Ways to Get Cool FAST with a Spinal Cord Injury

5 Ways to Get Cool FAST with a Spinal Cord Injury

The human body is a marvel. Somehow it ended up with the ability to cool itself via sweat, but when you have a spinal cord injury this ability is turned off. Many are shocked to hear this, but when you have a spinal cord injury, you really can no longer sweat. Not surprisingly, this can cause some pretty gnarly health scares. Read more

Overheating After an SCI

Overheating After an SCI

Before my accident I knew almost nothing about spinal cord injuries. I definitely did not know that you lost the ability to sweat below your level of injury. While it’s weird at least my wife can’t complain that my feet stink. This was definitely an issue before my accident. Boots are not breathable and the funk was strong in this one. Read more

Uncertainty in These Times

Uncertainty in These Times

I’ve been through a lot these past couple of months. Everything from personal matters such as losing my childhood friend and going on my first business trip to matters concerning my CADI waiver and disability services, new PCA services and ILS services hanging in limbo and then adjusting to new and hopeful changes.  Read more

Work and Worth

Work and Worth

Sometimes when I tell people I work, they’re a bit taken aback. The first thing people typically ask is not “What do you do for a living?” but rather, “Do you have a job?”. The answer to that questions is yes, I actually have three jobs. All of which involve writing in some capacity, which I am grateful for. When someone learns that I am employed, their tone of voice typically changes. Almost like I have gained their respect. Which quite frankly, is rather disrespectful. It feeds into the idea that we can only contribute to society if we have a job. I say this as someone that works. I know how high the unemployment rate is for people with disabilities (see below). I’m incredibly lucky to work how and where I do, but not everyone is so lucky. For some, things just don’t pan out. I know exactly how that is. Others are medically unable to work. I know how that is as well, given my recent PCA issues as well as some health issues I’m currently addressing. Read more

A Day in My Life With My SCI

A Day in My Life With My SCI

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Katy has unfortunately been going through one health complication after another for the last few months. Last night, she shared this update on her Facebook page. It accurately depicts what it’s like to live with a complicated high-level Spinal Cord Injury, and she has graciously agreed to share it with all of you. Please keep her in your thoughts during this time. Read more

With Wheelchairs, Awkwardness Abounds

With Wheelchairs, Awkwardness Abounds

I’ve always wanted to be liked, but after my injury that became a lot more difficult. The reason being – the wheelchair. No one is comfortable around them, not even dogs. Most people and animals have an off-putting reaction to a wheelchair. Typically it’s pity, fear (expressed by children, old people afraid of the speed of my wheelchair, little dogs), annoyance (on the bus, “Oh no it’s a wheelchair again”) or the one that bothers me the most, awkwardness. Read more