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

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

Neglect and Powerlessness

Neglect and Powerlessness

It’s 7:00AM. My alarm went off at 6:15AM. My bus for work comes at 8:45AM. Forty five minutes later and I still hadn’t received a phone call. I am unable to go to work. My PCA didn’t show up. I am unable to reach a phone number, get an office voicemail. Read more

I Can’t Compete with the ‘Super-Quads’

I Can’t Compete with the ‘Super-Quads’

It all started with Tom. He was the recreation therapist at the rehabilitation facility I was living at. He was also a complete C5-6 quadriplegic and roughly 20 years older than me. I was 19 when I knew him, which put him around 39 years old, and despite nearing 40, Tom by far was the most independent and strongest quadriplegic I had ever met. 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

My Definition of Love

My Definition of Love

What is love? If you ask my wife she will tell you that love is not a feeling or something tangible, but that love is a verb or an act. To me love means acceptance without conditions or judgment. Obviously there are various types of love, but they all boil down to that basic principle. There is no but when it comes to love. For instance friends we had who were as close as family, but then we sustained an injury or long term illness and into the wind they vanished. I believe that if you truly love someone then you will always wish the best for them even if situations change and you go your separate ways. Read more

Speaking of "Bad Owies"

Speaking of “Bad Owies”

About a week ago, I was zooming through my apartment building lobby when one of my younger neighbors saw me, broke away from his dad, and stopped me. Read more