It's a Wheelchair, Not a Welcome Sign for Missionaries

It’s a Wheelchair, Not a Welcome Sign for Missionaries

I was watching YouTube clips of Louis C.K.’s stand-up the other day when I heard a line that made me love the comic even more than I already do: Read more

The Stigma of Chronic Pain

I’ve touched on the stigma of chronic pain in an article previously, as well as the “Super Crip” complex that I’m desperately trying to rid myself of. I have yet to address the stigma of taking medication for said pain though. So many people do not understand how spasticity works. Hell, I’m still learning about my disability and I’ve lived in this body for twenty-six years now. I have had to turn down Vicodin, and many other medications due to my own fear of becoming too reliant on these medications and leading down a dangerous path. I have some family members that talk about “Big Pharma” and preach yoga as though it is the be all, end all, neglecting to remember that I take over five medications every day to function as my truest self. One who is relatively free of pain, and happy. I know that my loved ones mean well, but it’s rather insulting. They fail to understand that while I agree some prescription medications are pushed onto patients with too little thought, medication, physical therapy, yoga, and meditation can and do coexist rather peacefully within my life. Read more

Treating My Wheelchair-Using Self to Some Kindness

Treating my Wheelchair-Using Self to Some Kindness

The world can be a big scary place, and when you’re on four wheels it can be even scarier. People may treat us nicer because of our disabilities, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to give ourselves a little TLC every now and then. Read more

How to Explain "Your Story"

How to Explain “Your Story”

It’s inevitable. Nearly everyone is going to be curious why you use a wheelchair. “Was it something you were born with?” “Did you have an accident?” And the juiciest, most ballsy-ist follow-up question of all, “How did your accident happen?” I just hate it when strangers ask this. Only friends are allowed to ask this quite personal question. I just wish the rest of the world also agreed. Read more

Why My Dad is Special to Me

Why My Dad is Special to Me

This week we’re treated with another post by Jessie+Luke‘s oldest daughter Isabella.

Hi it’s Isabella! Somebody made me very mad and I would like to tell you about it. I posted a picture on my Instagram account of my dad, me and my boyfriend, and my mom. We were playing together and throwing horseshoes in our backyard with my boyfriend’s parents because it is a lot of fun. I even got one on the pole! My dad is really good at this game and he almost always wins every time. I also posted an old picture I found from when I first met my dad. We were playing miniature golf and I am terrible at that game. My dad really loves to play golf. My mom hates it, but we all like to miniature golf and even Tay can play! I wanted to share my picture and show my newer friends how little I was when I met my dad. I was 7 so he has been my dad for a very long time. Somebody commented on my pictures asking me how embarrassing is it to have a dad who is handicapped. I did not really know what that word means because we say a physical or intellectual disability. My mom said we don’t use that word because it is used as an adjective to describe a person like they are a disability instead of having one. I think that makes a lot of sense because nobody is their disability. I am not a disabled person but I do have a disability. I have autism and I am proud. Did you know that there are a lot of very famous celebrities who have disabilities too? There are and they are not ashamed of them. I think that it is really important for people to know that having a disability should not stop you from being anything you want when you are an adult. If you feel ashamed that means you did something bad or wrong. People did not do anything wrong or bad to be born special. 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

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

How to Tell the Story of Injury, From a Writer's Perspective

How to Tell the Story of Injury, From a Writer’s Perspective

If you’d seen me just after my boyfriend’s SUV crashed into a tree and destroyed two of the vertebrae in my spine, you probably wouldn’t have known anything was wrong. I’d been lying across the backseat, sleeping, when the car slipped on ice and began hydroplaning across I-495 E in upstate New York. I was lying in the exact same position when I came to some seconds later, chest feeling tight but no sign of injury otherwise.   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