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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

If you are like me and ruminate about death now and then, here's my advice – don't read actuary tables. When it comes to the average life expectancy of a paraplegic, they lie. Or maybe their statistical universe dates back to people paralyzed in the Spanish-American War. In any case, they paint a picture that strikes me at completely contrary to the ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Feb 2, 2016 2:14 PM EST
Fear is a funny thing, not Ha, Ha funny. It’s more I’m freaking out and I’m going to laugh at inappropriate moments, funny, because I’m so scared I’m acting out with bizarre behavior, funny. When I’ve been sucked into fear, I’ve lost my conscious mind and I'm spiraling in whirling mind suck eddies unable to transcend into the kind of mind that makes ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Feb 2, 2016 2:21 AM EST
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
     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
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
When I heard Blackstar, the latest album by David Bowie, was going to be released very soon, I was poised, ready to spend my money. I arranged my time; as soon as I got his new music, I would listen, listen for his lovely voice, the difference, the angst and a truth about how things felt for him, he was sharing with me, us, his fans. I have very few artists that I’m ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Jan 12, 2016 11:23 AM EST
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
     Why do some people do well, even flourish, after experiencing a major trauma like paralysis while others allow it to linger and darken their lives for years after? A friend once suggested that there might be a genetic propensity to bounce back in some of us – a recovery gene – that’s lacking in others. This is akin to saying some people ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Jan 4, 2016 4:40 PM EST
As Christmas day and all it’s cheer from fun family times (yes, I am blessed to have a family I can and want to be with) came to an end last week, I thought back on the people, places and things that are stand outs for me in this final week of an almost past year of 2015. Taking stock of the last 365 days, neatly packaged as one year, is something in recent times I’ve ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Dec 31, 2015 11:39 PM EST
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
'Tis the season for spirited holiday travel to spend precious moments celebrating with family and friends and that requires some planning no matter where we are going. But planning for bouncing along the highways, clicking along train tracks or zipping through airports into the wide blue yonder can swiftly develop into slow, tedious torture for ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Dec 15, 2015 2:10 PM EST
(NOTE: This is the second part of a two-part blog on problem wounds. As they say on TV…previously on "My Nemesis," I recounted my early years battling the most prevalent form of skin-based infection, cellulitis, and ways to combat it. In Part Two, I describe even more pernicious consequences of letting bacteria into your body via ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Dec 9, 2015 1:52 PM EST
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
NOTE: This is a two-part blog on my own worst enemies as a paralytic – wounds and infections. I'm a slow learner or maybe my old, pre-paralysis habits die hard, but it has taken me a goodly part of my nineteen years as a T-10/12 para to get my arms around the infernal problem of skin wounds and their consequences. Which means: I have had a lot of wounds of all ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Nov 30, 2015 3:16 PM EST
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
I've discovered in my advanced age, there is much more that can now hinder my sleep, then there was in my youth, or it just feels that way. But, erratic bedtimes, life stresses, hormone changes (yes I have been down the road and arrived at my destination of menopause), food choices, too much blue light from my phone and computer and worrying about not ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Nov 10, 2015 1:52 PM EST
Creating and sustaining an awards show from scratch isn't easy. Don't try it at home. The Media Access Awards is the entertainment industry's only showcase for creators who help push the rock down the road by inventing characters and using actors with disabilities. In 2009, these awards were dead in the water. Created by Norman Lear ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Nov 5, 2015 4:08 PM EST
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
Every October Mickey Mouse has a Halloween party on his home turf Disneyland.  A couple of days out of each week are dedicated to his Halloween party and everyone attending the party is encouraged to dress up in their finest costumes and get ready to be scared and of course get lots of candy as they run around the park from 4 PM to midnight. I do my best ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Oct 27, 2015 1:24 PM EDT
Many moons ago, I had what is known as a development deal with Universal Television where my job was to sit around and come up with brilliant sitcom ideas to pitch to the networks. I had a ballsy, take-no-prisoners secretary named Janet (pronounced the French way, “Janee”) who would chide me every time I complained that no one was calling me ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Oct 26, 2015 1:39 PM EDT

Recent Comments

I never thought I would reach the age where I would wonder if I was the oldest "living paraplegic or quadraplplegic" alive. I am 64. I was paralyzed when I was 26 (T-4) complete. This was 1978. I never thought I would live to see my children graduate from high school. I did. I not only saw this but, I saw them go to college, get married and have children. I am now a ve...
You'll find a great place near everything you need and with beautiful views of ... something. I'd hate to leave Truckee too, especially for LA, but whatever is moving you there will bring lovely changes with it.
Thanks Candace, you have said so much of what I feel too. And it is a miracle to feel it so strongly and be so moved bye Bowie's life and death. I have been unable to feel strong feelings since Emily's SCI injury, it is a PTSD symptom. So it has been a blessing to grieve this beautiful man who in life and in his passing gave us all wondrous gifts.
It is true that it is difficult for a person to take certain security. His ego does not want its vulnerability ...
I attended several, in the years when state government played a supporting role via the Media Access office. Hopefully the awards can reclaim the status (and glitz) of those early years. Continuing your writing about them is sure to help.