Disability confidential. Informing. Empowering. Agitating.
Life After Paralysis is a blog that represents a variety of paralysis community members. It is a place for open conversation about the issues and the interests of people living with paralysis, their family, friends, caregivers, and the professionals that serve them.
Comments are welcome!
The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
(Find out more about the contributors at www.ChristopherReeve.org/contributors.)
Karma: the Buddhist belief that whatever you do comes back to you, e.g. If you do something good, something good will happen to you, and vice versa. (Urban Dictionary)
My karma level has been a little down lately, as a continuing series of little things has been going wrong. Medicare
and my supplementary insurance provider continue to deny payment for medical items I need, despite my repeated appeals, and the constant rain showers make me very aware that my roof and gutters are about due for replacement. Read More
Outdoor recreation has been an important part of my life that has been severely restricted since my spinal cord injury in 1988. Early in that period, there were few outdoor areas that had any type of trails that would accommodate a power wheelchair. My attempts to accompany friends on excursions into the redwoods or even a short jaunt onto a beach or a 'hike' into the desert or forests usually resulted in me being stuck in the sand or hung up on a rock or tree root. Read More
See all Michael Collins
, Civil Rights
, Independent Living
, Quality of Life
, Outdoor Recreation
Well, it’s officially my favorite time of year – I just celebrated another birthday, football season has started, and HALLOWEEN
is just around the corner! Which means if you are going to make your costume around your wheelchair this year you better get a move on! Read More
I was a Jack in the Box (or if you want to get technical since I am a girl - a Jane in the Box) a couple of years ago and it was by far one of my most favorite costumes to date and we all know how much I love my Halloween costumes! This costume was fairly easy to make and did not cost a lot. This costume can be made for both young and old, any color, pattern, and size. With the box basically being an empty canvas you have the ability to decorate any way you want. Read More
I attended the Dallas Cowboys
vs Kansas City Chiefs
game at Aarowhead Stadium
on September 15th as an early birthday present. My friend Carrie (also in a wheelchair), her friend Maria, and my dad attended the game with me. We had great seats in the club level near the end zone. We could see everything on the field and everything around it. The seats were some of the best I have had when it came to seeing a football game. However, I was a little ticked off at how many able bodied people were in this section. Now, I understand that there is a rule out there that the stadium and/or venues can sell those tickets if the game is sold out and those are the only seats available. That’s all fine and good, but Carrie and I went through hell to get the accessible tickets a couple of months ago. Read More
There was a time, shortly after I finished my initial rehab and was released from the hospital, that I thought it might be possible to recover my pre-injury strength and stamina so that I might compete in athletic endeavors again. Even though such competitions would be done from a wheelchair this time around, I was (relatively) young and healthy enough to assume that anything was possible if I put my mind to it. Unfortunately, my mind did not do a great job of sharing that message with my body. Read More
A long time ago I decide that my meditation had to happen during my aerobic exercise of pushing my racing chair or riding my bike or sliding on my cross country skis. I had to do a moving meditation because I just could not settle my mind if I just sat. It‘s true that during aerobic exercise I can focus so totally on my breath or my technique my mind will still it’s clutching, endless grabbing and making of lists. I can feel the ease of flow at such times. I was resting my mind, well sort of, but not my body. Read More
This is the second part of the Falling Apart blog (read Part 1
), the exercises for beginning a relaxation meditation practice. This practice isn’t just about learning to sit and breath. It’s about changing the way we think about stress so we can become healthier in our bodies and minds. Thinking stress is a positive rather than negative changes everything. Read More
September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. As I write, Christopher Reeve's wheelchair is in transit for a special exhibition to help raise awareness of paralysis. Such a powerful icon, Superman's empty wheelchair.
The first time I rolled into the offices of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, I was struck by a couple of things. First, the Foundation is housed in such modest space. It's not a posh, flashy (expensive) suite designed to awe visitors and potential donors. It's simply working offices.
Next I was awestruck by Christopher's chair ensconced in the lobby, silent and insistent.Read More
If you or your spouse, lover, or long term companion is disabled, you’re going to have problems. Big problems, for sure, if you or your spouse is severely disabled and are overwhelmed with the burden of care, constant threats to health, or the money it takes to fund all of that. For more common sorts like me, with your garden variety waist-level paralysis and generally free of life-death crises, the problems are much smaller, but they can still drive you crazy, apart, or cut into your enjoyment of life. Read More
The new Guinness commercial
has sparked one of the details I find most beautiful about this life we live and each human being. We are all viewing the same image and coming to very different perspectives creating a priceless opportunity to interweave our views scratching around toward growth, understanding, empathy, kindness, curiosity, insight and change. Read More
This is a story about Mark Christiansen, a Salt Lake City man, father of three and devout Mormon, who has lived as an incomplete C-3-4-5 quadriplegic for an astonishing 52 years. I have to write this fast because Mark has a Kickstarter campaign going on to raise the funds to write and publish the story of his life and he has only 48 more hours to reach his goal. Read More
I make no secret of my gushing fandom of Teal Sherer's scripted comedy, My Gimpy Life. I find it smart, realistically funny and some of the most impactful advocacy I've ever witnessed. Over the last year, I've been fortunate to get to know Teal and I was really lucky that in between pre-production meetings she was able to speak to me about her life and her show for this blog. Read More