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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

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
By definition, regulation is a way to control or govern and influence the direction of a system. I like to think of my body as my beautiful, valuable, and elaborate collection of systems that can take me where I want to go. As long I regulate my systems, or monitor and take care of my systems, to one degree or another when I want to press  the “all... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Oct 15, 2014 11:17 AM EDT
Three years ago, I participated in a state-wide disaster table-top exercise. I pointed out that certain procedures excluded people with disabilities. One of the people in charge calmly told me that “in the case of a true disaster, difficult choices would have to be made.” He already understood that PWD were being excluded and he was ok... more...
Posted by JenLongdon on Life After Paralysis Oct 2, 2014 9:30 AM EDT
This month of September has been dedicated to National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness. To celebrate this month, the Reeve Foundation has asked the community to share experiences and information about secondary conditions that can accompany a SCI. The secondary conditions are as vast and varied just as the results of SCI are. I know this may sound... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Sep 30, 2014 1:01 PM EDT
(NOTE: In the wake of Peter Wilderotter’s moving eulogy to photographer Chris Voekler , I wanted to add my own personal remembrance. Chris was a dear friend and inspiration, both to me and untold others.) Chris Voelker was the Richard Avedon of people with disabilities. His distinctive style is most often compared to the famous Hollywood... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Sep 23, 2014 2:37 PM EDT
Some recent events have started me thinking about greetings , and how those of us who are paralyzed are impacted by the greeting process. The instance when two individuals meet and greet each other is an important one, as it can set the tone for whatever interactions that follow. For the purpose of this discussion I will avoid interactions which are not... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Sep 19, 2014 4:42 PM EDT
Jessup: You want answers?! Kaffee: I want the truth! Jessup: You can't handle the truth! (From the film, A Few Good Men , 1992) I’ve often thought that paralysis -- stripped down -- is simply another prism through which to see this world. In the same way that comedians or novelists draw material out of their own lives, paralysis can be a... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Sep 17, 2014 6:55 PM EDT
I was going to talk about how certain secondary conditions of paralysis have robbed me of almost a year, due to being sick and my slow recovery. I was going to write about sepsis, simple infections that insidiously turn fatal very quickly.  How nearly a year ago, sepsis nearly killed me, again (eight times in ten years), and how I was in and out of... more...
Posted by JenLongdon on Life After Paralysis Sep 17, 2014 1:32 PM EDT
For the past few years I have used this blog and several other means to freely dispense facts and my opinions about health and wellness when paralysis is involved. Who is better qualified to do that than someone who has lived with a cervical spinal cord injury for almost 27 years and who is facing the promise of turning 70 in a couple more years? Well I must... more...
Posted by Michael Collins on Life After Paralysis Sep 5, 2014 2:48 PM EDT
This past week, I had three separate encounters where I was unable to attend an event because the public venue wasn’t wheelchair accessible. It started a conversation that I want to relate here.   "Hey Jen, just what is the big deal with lifting you and your wheelchair in and out of places? We love you and we just want to help. We want you here for... more...
Posted by JenLongdon on Life After Paralysis Sep 4, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
A few of weeks ago the world suffered as Robin Williams became one of the 39,000 Americans, linked to depression, who take their lives each year. Depression is not unique to one group of people or the result of one condition, the list is long as to what can trigger depression, emotional or physical trauma, varied brain activity, disease or even exposure to... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Sep 2, 2014 5:13 AM EDT
The Hollywood disability community is ridiculously small, given the huge population of actors, directors, and writers working or trying to work here. The entertainment industry employs very few people with disabilities in front of the camera and almost none behind it. In a slightly dated but no doubt representative study commissioned by the Screen... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Aug 26, 2014 4:48 PM EDT

Most Recent Comments

Consider this as an addendum to the above: I probably over-stated the current status of a “cure” for paralysis. In fa...
Truth is powerful, and so is your article.
I am new to using a wheelchair and never felt so alone. I just came up on my 2 month anniversary to my accident. I have onl...
Hey Candace, i'm living proof that we can do anything we put our minds to !!! I'm a C-5/6 Incomplete, BUT also a Physici...
We are truly honored to join your site and hope to share valuable information and life changing cooperation with eac...

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