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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.)
Category: Driving Category
As I explained in my previous blog, the titles of the blogs in this two-part series refer to the act of flipping something upside down. Thanks to some childhood experiments with real turtles, the phrase "turning turtle" has since had a clear meaning to me and my friends. While most turtles appear able to flip themselves back upright, many of us who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices do not have that ability. That is why it is extremely important to remain upright and stay securely seated at all times. Read More
See all Michael Collins
, Independent Living
, Adaptive Sports
, Emergency Preparedness
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
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
Many people view those of us who are paralyzed as a class of individuals who take from society, rather than giving back. We rely on public and private insurance to cover the costs of our medically-related expenses, are often unemployed, and can have difficulty getting out and about on a regular basis due to a lack of reliable transportation. I contend that they are wrong, very wrong, and that we are, instead, viable contributors to the economy through our purchases that are not covered by whatever insurance we have available to us. Read More
Once in awhile there is an issue that is so troubling that it just won't go away. This was known as "having a burr under your saddle" when I was growing up, due partly to the fact that I was raised in farm country. The burr that is causing trouble for me today is an issue of fairness, as people who require access to rental vehicles with wheelchair lifts or ramps when they are traveling struggle to find reasonably priced options without going to a lot of trouble. I wrote about this in a June blog
and outlined the approach I planned to take with the major car rental companies. Read More
The need for emergency preparedness has become an important part of our way of life, and is especially important for people living with paralysis or other chronic health conditions. Reminders to put together household emergency preparedness kits show up in mailings from local utility companies and through all types of media sponsored by emergency response agencies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) all the way down to the local fire department. Those reminders are especially common during the period leading up to a major approaching storm or immediately after crises caused by tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, or wildfires. Information about how to assemble emergency preparedness kits and be prepared if evacuation becomes necessary is readily available on the Internet for anyone seeking such information. Read More
Have you ever had concerns about the inequities facing wheelchair users who need to rent vans equipped with ramps or lifts when they travel? It bugs me, so in researching a recent column for New Mobility magazine
, I contacted several of the major car rental companies to inquire as to the availability of lift- or ramp-equipped rental vans. All of those companies responded back, almost immediately, with their recommendations that I contact the major wheelchair van rental companies instead. Read More
The parking battle never seems to end. It has been over 20 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
was passed and implemented, and many businesses have yet to use a gallon of paint and a couple of signs to mark off parking spaces that are accessible to those who need them due to the presence of a disability. It has taken enough years that I sometimes wonder if we will ever see some universal success in this arena. Even then, the battle will not be over. Read More