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.)
Category: Quality of Life Category
One of the incredible benefits of my role as a Reeve Foundation blogger is the amazing people I am privileged to interview. This month I spoke with the intrepid Angela Madsen; a Marine who, due to a service-related spinal cord injury compounded by a bureaucratic morass, was once a homeless veteran, living on the streets and sleeping in her wheelchair. Read More
See all Jennifer Longdon
, Civil Rights
, Independent Living
, Quality of Life
, Adaptive Sports
, Paralyzed Veterans of America
, Outdoor Recreation
, Veteran Affairs
Those who follow my blogs know that I am very free in expressing opinions and spreading the word about different issues involving health and paralysis. However, there are situations where that is not possible. One of those is when writing about Cancer, as I have never been diagnosed with that disease and any information I relayed to my readers would be secondhand at best. However, a good friend of mine from Virginia, Sheri Denkensohn, has had Cancer and is very proactive in her efforts to get medical offices and hospitals equipped with accessible diagnostic devices for those of us who use wheelchairs. Read More
One of the more important lessons when I was learning to drive a car was that it was important to keep the rubber side down. Since "keeping the rubber side down" is also important for those of us who use wheelchairs, I still keep that phrase in the back of my mind. Read More
Resolve: (noun) firm determination to do something. (online dictionary)
My idea of what comprises a hero has evolved throughout my life. At first, with the advent of television and movie attendance, my heroes appeared in black and white with names like Flash Gordon, Tarzan, the Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Superman and Sky King. Early comic books brought more than color to the world of heroes, as Superman, the Green Lantern, Batman and others fought the bad guys, and never seemed to lose. 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
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
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
Acknowledging my mortality out loud makes my friends uncomfortable. Life coaches, internet memes and country singers exhort us to “live like we are dying." What about those of us who do? Read More
I’m taking a risk, jumping out of my box, doing something completely different with my published writing. A first for me. I’m taking a risk and hoping you will too. Read More
Living with a SCI has made me aware of the many details in life that I took for granted that should just take care of them selves. Details, for instance, I would enter a building through the front door or my precious bodily fluids would monitor themselves, but one detail I know I would have paid close attention to no matter what happened in my life, is my weight. I’m a woman that came of age in the 60’s when the mass media of television, movies and magazines was the high demand gospel and I paid attention. 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
This past week I got to try adaptive kayaking for the first time and absolutely had a blast. Adaptive kayaking has been talked about since Cory Diedrich from the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association
saw us snow ski on the news this past February. There were a couple of trainings held for volunteers and those of us with disabilities to attend. I didn’t attend any of the trainings, but we really didn’t need to. Read More
We've talked before about my decision to sell my already modified home in order to move closer to the neighborhood where I spend most of my time. That's going to mean renovations to make whatever home I purchase accessible so that I can function independently.
I'm excited and frightened in equal measure. I got some things wrong when I did this house, moving will allow me the opportunity to get those things right. But, what if? What if I can't find an acceptable home to modify or I start and run into unforeseen problems or what if I don't budget properly or I get something painfully wrong? “What if” keeps me up a lot of nights.Read More
What is wrong with the media in this world? Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
, advocates have been beseeching the media and the general public to use appropriate language whenever describing people with disabilities. It is very irritating when almost any article referring to disability or wheelchairs reverts back to the outmoded language of decades ago. It is even more irritating when that language originates from people with disabilities or the organizations that serve 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