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

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

Blood Clots and Spinal Cord Injuries

Blood Clots and Spinal Cord Injuries

Blood clots are a serious complication that can arise from dealing with a spinal cord injury. I suffered from two recently and I need to take blood thinners because they are a reoccurring issue for me personally. Blood clots are especially dangerous in paralyzed patients because we are numb. We are not always aware that a physical problem such a blood clot or a pressure sore is developing due to a lack of sensation in the affected area. Standing can help to promote better circulation in the legs and may lower your long term risks of developing blood clots in your legs. Read more

Autonomic Dysreflexia – My Friend, My Foe

Autonomic Dysreflexia – My Friend, My Foe

There are times in life where you can do nothing but respond to what’s happening to you. Things just happen no matter how much you plan. You’re not God for crying out loud. And one big thing that many people with spinal cord injuries try to avoid from happening to them is autonomic dysreflexia; one of the nastiest side effects of being paralyzed. Read more

Pneumonia in SCI Patients

Pneumonia in SCI Patients

Pneumonia! The leading cause of death for spinal cord injury sufferers! Yes, the leading cause of death! That should be enough of a reason to take prevention and treating of this illness with the utmost seriousness. Read more

How to Survive the Winter Blues

How to Survive the Winter Blues

Soon, winter will be upon us and for a lot of us with disabilities, that means a decrease in the ability to go out due to mobility strains or health concerns and occasionally a mixture of the two. This can be a very isolating time for some. This is how I’ve been able to cope with the winter blues and shift of weather, some of them may seem like a given, but I hope that they can be of some help to you. Read more

When You’re Paralyzed, OCD Follows

When You’re Paralyzed, OCD Follows

I’ve had an unbelievably high number amount of nurses and PCAs in the last 23 years all tell me the same thing – I’m not the first quad they’d ever met who was finicky about how straight their pant seams were. And this is just part of my idiosyncrasies. From wanting books on tables angled certain ways to wanting every label to all face forward, my OCD-ness is real. Read more

Preventing Illnesses This Flu Season

Preventing Illnesses This Flu Season

With cold and flu season just around the corner now is a good time to discuss preventing illness and recovering faster from them. Pneumonia is the number one reason of death in patients who live with an SCI. Any cold has the potential to turn into pneumonia and that is bad news. Luckily there are a few easy steps that you should already be doing daily to keep yourself healthy throughout this dangerous time of year. Read more

Waxing and Waning on Grief Health and Disability

Waxing and Waning on Grief, Health, and Disability

It’s hard trying to articulate the depth of this loss to my friends, and to those that care for me on a professional day-to-day basis. I even took some time off from writing these articles, because I needed to pinpoint and state where it was I’m coming from without lashing out unfairly. Even if it is understandable. Read more

Disability, Depression, and Suicide

Disability, Depression, and Suicide

September is Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. In an effort to end the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness, we will be publishing several first hand experiences and promote information and resources available to those in need. Trigger Warning: This post contains details about mental illness and suicide attempts.

Being happy with yourself is something that everyone struggles with whether or not you have any type of disability. We all have things we’d like to change and how you view yourself is crucial to your own mental health. Mental health issues are quite common in people who suffer from a physical disability with depression over their situation being the most prominent. It’s also quite common in spouses who are also caretakers of their loved ones. Read more