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: See all Jennifer Longdon Category
So my friend Nicole turned me on to this RadioLab broadcast from April 2009
which posits that individuals who have no physical sensation (specifically referencing folks with quadriplegia in the piece) are also emotionally disconnected. Nicole challenged the assertion. So I ask you, do you believe that our lack of physical feeling means we lack emotional feeling as well? Read More
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
It happens every time I go for a doctor's visit, I can predict the conversation: height? This is an easy one, it hasn't changed in 25 years. Weight? Here's where it gets tricky. I have no idea what I weigh; my weight has always been volatile. “I don't know.” I answer honestly. The Med Tech will always look at me confused. I've been asked to guess my weight; I ask if they'd like me to guess my blood pressure and glucose level too. 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
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
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
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
As I write this at 10:18 PM, it's still 104 degrees at my house. Small airplanes are grounded because the air is too hot and thin to provide the lift needed to safely take off and land. I've seen photos of my friends making dashboard cookies
. This has been the second hottest weekend ever recorded in Phoenix having hit 121 yesterday. Youch. I was going to start by bragging that I had survived this weekend. Then the predicted dust storm blew up and suddenly my power flickered. Now there's concern. Read More
I discovered the Rolling Diva, Bethany Hoppe through our mutual friend, Teal Sherer. (I love that I have smart engaged friends.
Bethany's new project,"Pennhurst: The Divas Will Rise," immediately caught my attention. As an advocate with an interest in the history of disability I recognized that notorious name. Read More
Hollywood can't have it both ways. If audiences are open to stories about people with disabilities should actors with disabilities be cast in those roles? Is it acceptable for able actors to portray characters with disabilities and if so, is there an obligation toward accuracy and authenticity?Read More
I let my heart off the leash recently. It came back scuffed. That's not much of a story, it happens to people all the time. If you want all the gory details, they're on my personal blog
. I'll skip right to the punch line; my paralysis freaked him out and ended my first relationship in these 8 years before it even started.
I get it; I'm a difficult woman to love. I have a polarizing personality and a very public opinion on a number of issues.Read More
For weeks, I've been working on a piece I want to share with you but it's become a tortured mess. It went from earnest to maudlin and appears beyond salvageable. In the middle of the ripping out of hair and gnashing of teeth, 110 pounds of unconditional love threw herself in my lap and demanded her time in the park. Now.
Let me tell you about Pearl… Read More
I love almost everything about my little house, from the frictionless slate floors to the low sunny windows, to the roomy, curbless roll-in shower to the fully accessible kitchen where I can make a complete Thanksgiving meal on my own. If I could just pick it up and transport it to another neighborhood, I'd be over the moon happy. Read More
I know we’re just getting to know each other but let’s just get this out of the way early; I’m a political junkie. I’m a policy wonk. I am endlessly fascinated by how elections are conducted; not just the candidates and issues but the actual workings of an election. I’m a flaming liberal proud to have voted twice for Barack Obama. I devote my time and money to the candidates and campaigns that I believe in.
I was bitterly disappointed in President Obama’s Inaugural speech.Read More
Hello! I’m Jennifer. At the November Working2Walk conference, Sam Maddox invited me to join the Blog Squad. I was thrilled by the invitation to join the voices I’ve come to know and respect. I am, however, probably mouthier than the other Reeve bloggers. Some enterprising soul might want to start the pool on how long I last. So, let me be clear. Every syllable I type is my own opinion. No one pre-screens my posts and no one approves them. I hope together we have some spirited but civil discussions.Read More