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

ballot
To leave in the lurch : to leave in an uncomfortable or desperate situation; desert in time of trouble: (from Dictionary.com) The presidential election cycle can be a time of hope, renewal and change. Unfortunately the campaign season leading up to this year's November elections seems to have turned in the opposite direction. Unlike in many past ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Mar 21, 2016 7:00 PM EDT
monks
Isolation has long played a dual role in society, where it can be seen as either good or bad. For Buddhist monks, isolation creates an atmosphere conducive to the deep meditation necessary to ponder their issues of concern. In order to minimize distractions, many monasteries were built in isolated locations. Months and years spent without the daily ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Mar 7, 2016 3:10 PM EST
Homeless wheelchair user
To be paralyzed or otherwise disabled in America is to be largely invisible, at least in public life. Characters or actors with disabilities rarely show up on TV.The appearance of such a character is a cause for celebration, which underscores its novelty. There are barely any disabled newscasters, sportscasters, late night hosts, or other media ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Feb 24, 2016 2:18 PM EST
Higher education
A recent announcement by a federal agency started me thinking about the absurdity of government policies that indicate how the government's left hand does not seem to know what the right hand is doing. In fact, in many cases the two hands are actually working against each other, like in a tug of war . The losers in that battle are members of the disability ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Feb 15, 2016 6:45 PM EST
Twenty-Eight
28 years! If this last day of January marked my 28th wedding anniversary I would be out shopping for orchids as the appropriate anniversary gift for my spouse (if I had a spouse). Rather, it is the 28th anniversary of the date in 1988 "when the fun stopped" and I joined the fraternity of quadriplegia as I laid there, paralyzed, on a snowy Idaho ski slope. ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Feb 1, 2016 12:16 PM EST
Change
     Of all the problems facing someone who is paralyzed – physical, emotional, and social – I think that social perceptions, and self-perceptions, are the thorniest. At least in my cases, physical problems are largely reduced to skin breakage and infection. In your case it may be neuropathic pain or vascular complications or persistent UTI’s or ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Jan 27, 2016 3:41 PM EST
ssaraacycle
There are a variety of dangers present in this world at any given time. Things that readily come to mind are the proliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorists, wildfires, earthquakes, mosquito-borne diseases and a full "laundry list" of devastating weather phenomena. We count on our government and its leaders to protect us from the first two dangers, ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jan 18, 2016 7:44 PM EST
kickingcans
New Year's Resolutions have always been problematic for me. On January 1st of each year I decide that I am finally going to get the things done that I had been putting off for many years prior, and by the next January 1st I find myself making those same resolutions again. It is like the movie Groundhog Day , only in my case it is groundhog year . By default, unmet ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jan 4, 2016 5:53 PM EST
protest
At one time I believed that the disability community was recognized as a block of voters who could be counted upon to support candidates friendly to our issues. I also had the naive impression that, because of that, we would be mentioned along with other minority groups whenever candidates spoke about the need to include or respect minority ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Dec 18, 2015 3:16 PM EST
cold
Winter is coming, and in many parts of the world it has already arrived. There is nothing we can do to prevent that, but some of us hope that it will be a mild winter with heavy snowfall in the mountains for the skiers and whatever amount of moisture is needed to fill the reservoirs so farms, and our yards, can be watered in the summer. Unfortunately such ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Dec 7, 2015 10:13 PM EST
safe
Those of us living with paralysis are no different than the rest of the world when it comes to legal issues and our finances. The presence of a disability has no bearing on some decisions we should make to protect our assets, and our families. As an example, we must carry insurance on our automobiles and homes in case we injure another driver, passenger, ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Nov 16, 2015 2:22 PM EST
caregiver
When it comes to the future of caregiving , we have an image problem. It doesn't matter if they are called home health aides, certified nursing assistants, personal care attendants, the direct care workforce or a familiar first name, like " Mom ;" they perform the same important work. For the sake of continuity, I am going to refer to all of them ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Nov 2, 2015 4:55 PM EST
Walker sign
I often reflect back on the time when I was injured and, in doing so, compare it to the dark ages . Just like for those who lived in Europe during the time of the great plague , for many of us who were newly paralyzed in 1988 it was a time without much hope. The world that we suddenly faced was unlike anything that we had encountered in our pasts, and we were ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Oct 16, 2015 2:56 PM EDT
books2
Most bloggers seek to educate, motivate or entertain, and once in awhile we try to combine all three. For those of us writing blogs for the Reeve Foundation, our life experience makes us uniquely qualified to focus on paralysis and other significant disabilities as we know about them firsthand and professionally. Sharing the lessons we have learned in ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Oct 4, 2015 4:14 PM EDT
alone
The California State Assembly and Senate just passed, and forwarded to Governor Brown for his signature, a bill that that would make physician-assisted suicide legal in a state that apparently wants to keep up with its neighbors Oregon and Washington and three other states. Inclusion of this most populous state on the back of the "death with ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Sep 17, 2015 6:47 PM EDT
money funnel
The date of my spinal cord injury in January, 1988 began like many other weekend days. I usually practiced or competed in amateur athletics of different types on weekends, and on that fateful Sunday afternoon it was a dual slalom ski race. Things went rapidly downhill, like the speed and direction I had been traveling, when I tripped after crossing the ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Aug 3, 2015 6:04 PM EDT
ADA
Those of us living in the United States have been the fortunate beneficiaries of a remarkable series of disability civil rights laws spanning over half a century. Because some of these laws have been in existence for so long, there is an unfortunate tendency to take them for granted. After all, once a law has been established for a while, there is an ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jul 20, 2015 10:55 AM EDT
leaf
I live in one of the 23 states that has approved sale of medical marijuana to "patients" with a doctor's prescription. Going a step further, our voters recently approved the establishment of retail stores where the sale is legal even without a prescription. Entrepreneurs bid for the right to sell marijuana-based products in specific ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jul 6, 2015 1:48 PM EDT
Fire Prevention
Disasters are a common occurrence worldwide, and no region or state can be assured that something unexpected will not threaten property, health and lives with no, or minimal, warning. Whether earthquakes in Nepal, typhoons in Southeast Asia or floods in the American South, we seem to be experiencing disasters unlike anything that has occurred in the ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jun 22, 2015 5:01 PM EDT
Chains
When it comes to dependency , those of us who are paralyzed provide the ultimate examples of the negative impacts of having to count on multiple layers of people and systems for our very independence, and perhaps survival. The fact that we must deal with this on a daily basis does not make it any easier to accept. It simply means that every day has the ... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Jun 4, 2015 10:50 PM EDT

Recent Comments

My injury happened when I was three years old. I was on the handle bars of a bicycle with my brother when a drunk driver racing through the neighborhood hit us. I was thrown through the air, witnesses said 75 feet. Through the years the doctors told my mother that I wouldn't live past a certain age. They did this 3 times. After that they stopped trying to predict...
About the goosebumps and sweating below your fracture... I have T-12 complete and I still get both of those. My Dr said its odd and don't know how but it happens. Quite alot to be honest. Do you know what this could be?
It's feels so good to see such people living their life so actively. They are truly an inspiration. And thanks to technology for making their life easier there are so many products available in market like power chairs, wheelchairs, pride scooters etc. to help them live actively. While exploring internet I found a few sites like http://www.spinlife.co...
Karen,
I really enjoyed your story. I'd like to converse with you if you'd like. I've been in a chair for 38 years now and it's nice to find someone with longevity in a chair. Take care, Edye
I really enjoyed reading this, it is very well written!