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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.

Most Recent Life After Paralysis Blog Posts

Hundreds of books have been written about how to be a good parent, but there seem to be very few about "grandparenthood." I guess the experts figure that once someone has the hang of parenting, helping raise grandkids should be a piece of cake. That is all well and good, but sometimes the presence of a grandparent in a wheelchair complicates things a bit. ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jan 26, 2015 9:27 PM EST
In case you haven’t heard, the newly-elected governor of the Great State of Texas is a wheelchair user. As every local pundit agreed, Greg Abbott, a waist-level para, crushed his opponent Wendy Davis, getting almost 60% of the vote. There hasn’t been a disabled governor in America since populist George Wallace’s last term in 1983. ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Jan 21, 2015 3:02 PM EST
When I awoke on New Year's morning it felt a lot like it did the morning of the day before. My process for getting up, dressed and into my wheelchair took as long as usual, and the cold, cloudy weather cast a somber mood over the day. I felt more like the old bearded guy carrying a sickle than I did the diaper-clad kid in a top hat that usually accompanies him ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jan 13, 2015 4:50 PM EST
The year 2014 felt to be a turning point year for me, a really blessed and appreciated year for me so full of new and  completely engaging experiences that presented to me a adjusted map of how I want my life to play out in the coming years. Maybe it had to do with turning sixty about mid-way through the year or maybe it was changing the title of the webcast I ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Jan 6, 2015 12:51 PM EST
I’m probably mangling his words, but in his welcoming remarks at the 2nd Annual “Hope for the Holidays” Reeve Foundation gala in Los Angeles, Reeve President Peter Wilderotter used the analogy of wandering around a pitch dark room, looking for a light switch, to describe finding a treatment for SCI. In other words, it’s a bit ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Dec 30, 2014 2:13 PM EST
Those who are familiar with paralysis realize how devastating and life-changing that diagnosis can be to an individual of any age. Paralysis, resulting in loss of function at a variety of levels, is a sentence to a life that is completely different than what might have been before. However, there is another situation involved, often overlooked, that ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Dec 30, 2014 2:03 PM EST
My gift-giving list for the holidays is fairly short, by necessity. My bank account suffers from the usual end-of-month bills, and it wasn't very large to begin with thanks to my life with this spinal cord injury. Making sure my personal care attendants are reimbursed, rent is paid, insurance updated, groceries purchased and all utilities are ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Dec 19, 2014 2:39 PM EST
I t’s time for the season of holiday travel. Planning for bouncing along the highways, clicking on train tracks or zipping through airports to spend precious moments with family and friends can swiftly develop into torture. To help cut down on  the dread and brain burnout I’ve gathered some ideas to consider and actions to take that ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Dec 16, 2014 11:58 PM EST
First there was road rage and we’ve all seen the news footage of some clown on the freeway pointing a 12 gauge shotgun at a little old lady who won’t get out of his way. Then there was ‘roid rage, hunky steroid users trashing entire bars because their beer is too warm. Now comes a third form of rageaholism, not as lethal in most cases, but ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Nov 28, 2014 3:22 PM EST
It has always amazed me how much power there is in words that end in N'T . Beginning when we are very young, we are often told that we shouldn't do things, or simply told " don't do that." For those of us with spinal cord injuries or similar paralyzing disabilities, far too often the words that are used to express our limited capabilities ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Nov 26, 2014 5:59 PM EST
This is my first, maybe only, book review, who knows but I’ve been moved by this book to share it with you. I know that I was to write a blog about What To Know Before You Travel and I will next week, but for now, check this out. I knew about Amanda Palmer from her music, she calls a mix of cabaret and punk, her Kickstarter campaign that topped out at 1.2 ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Nov 25, 2014 11:10 AM EST
There is a schism developing in the paralysis community. It is only a small crack right now and may never grow into anything substantial. On the other hand, it could become a major point of friction in the not too distant future. The schism is between those -- given the amazing pace of paralysis research -- who may soon be walking again and those who will ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Nov 20, 2014 3:06 PM EST
November is one of my favorite months out of the year. Not only are we officially transitioning to fall with vibrant colors blanketing the outdoors, it is also that time of year when we give thanks to those that we love and respect. Interestingly enough, November is also National Family Caregivers Month to celebrate those who devote their time, energy ... more...
Posted by KarenLeGrand on Life After Paralysis Nov 13, 2014 1:46 PM EST
The words health and wellness are often found together in a well-understood phrase, as they are directly related. Failing to work at maintaining good wellness can mean that our health suffers. Life with a spinal cord injury requires being vigilant about wellness, through proper diet, good hydration and some type of regular exercise to the best of our ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Nov 11, 2014 5:05 PM EST
I relish traveling, exploring new places, I’m quite adventurous and for as long as I can remember I’ve been on the go and I will do so for as long as I can, I will seek the world beyond my four walls of home. My Mother tells a story about how, when I was a toddler, she felt she had no choice but to tie one of my legs to a bar in my playpen to keep me safe, ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Nov 11, 2014 12:53 PM EST
This may seem like a silly proposition, but it’s not. Suffering – the emotional kind – is endemic to contracting paralysis. It is also endemic to losing a spouse, having a mental illness, having a kid with a mental illness, a whole host of life’s traumas. No doubt there are people who become paralyzed, accept it, and go on, but I’ve ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Nov 6, 2014 4:22 PM EST
The month of October is and has been since 1945 National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM. Well that’s not entirely true; there’s been an evolution of some sort, with dates and names, to get to where we are now with NDEAM. In 1945 Congress enacted a resolution that a week in October would be dedicated to National Employ the ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Oct 27, 2014 4:20 PM EDT
Two of the goals of the search for a cure and epidural stimulation are to regain some control of our bowels and bladders. Until those advances become universally available, it behooves us to maintain our systems in top condition for when that day arrives. The following is a recap of my continuing attempt to do that. I first learned about canals when I was ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Oct 24, 2014 6:31 PM EDT
The statistics are not what you’d call eye-popping. Far from it. The annual GLAAD survey of characters with disabilities appearing on mainstream TV found this: the number of regular series characters with disabilities last year – not counting guest roles -- was 11. Hold your applause, please. That is up from seven the year before and the big news ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Oct 23, 2014 4:01 PM EDT
If anyone had told me that there was something "special" about using a wheelchair when I first became paralyzed about 27 years ago, I would have told them that they didn't know what they were talking about. The situation I faced at that time was unknown, challenging and even a bit frightening.  It is important to understand that when ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Oct 16, 2014 3:46 PM EDT

Most Recent Comments

Hello, I am new to blogging and I am too paralyzed with a C5 burst fracture incomplete and struggle everyday to get bet...
The concept of extended families including friends and peers in the surrounding community is important, especial...
Sticking together is a great help to those with chronic conditions. Families will unite to provide assistance. Rem...
Thanks for the great note, Zuzu. I'm not sure it's in my DNA; pretty convinced it is in my mind, my perspective, my own e...
No one with a disability who can be treated or supported in a community setting should be allowed to languish in a nurs...

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