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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

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
I love to travel. My favorite way to travel is by aircraft, for me the feeling of flying is beyond words and I never tire of gazing through my window seat porthole at the cities, mountains, rivers and clouds below as I jet above the earth. If I had a chance to fly in rocket ship or a fighter jet plane, I would take it. Now I’m not keen on jumping out of planes or hang ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Mar 15, 2016 1:59 PM EDT
Having spent my adult life in the salt mines of Hollywood, I’ve learned one important lesson. Breaking through is often a matter of random, unpredictable events, the dice rolling the right way. I once asked David Chase, creator of “The Sopranos,” about this and he said, “Success in show business is a terribly tiny, tiny target and there is so much luck ... more...
Posted by ARucker on Life After Paralysis Mar 14, 2016 4:32 PM EDT
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
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
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
Well, February second is the exact halfway point between the winter solstice, the darkest, longest night of the year and the vernal equinox or spring and Easter. This date is also Groundhog Day when Punxsutawney Phil, America’s folk-hero ground hog and shinning paragon of weather forecasting determines the length of winter, when he does or does not ... more...
Posted by Candace on Life After Paralysis Feb 9, 2016 1:35 PM EST
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

Recent Comments

An accelerometer, what the Nike FUEL uses to detect wrist motion can be used to capture the movements of pushing a wheelchair. Someone just needs to write the software. ;-)
Correction: I say above that no Presidential candidate has mentioned anything about people with disabilities. I stand corrected. Hillary Clinton distinctly said " and the disabled" in her victory speech on Super Tuesday. Progress! AR
What occurs to me is whether there might be grounds to file a lawsuit under the ADA against the CMS and related agencies???

Of course it would also help if there were GOOD choices available for chairs - instead of forcing anyone that can self-propel into a manual chair and trying to brain-wash us into thinking this is good, lets try getting power chair techno...
Since when does the government make sense? Never mind that you can't get to the bus or train or plane because the method of reaching the nearest public transit stops is not possible, what matters is that we have made it possible that once you get to that bus stop, the next bus has a working wheelchair lift or a favorite restaurant has an accessible restroo...
Karen, what a wonderful note and hope it's okay to use the "i" word, ie, inspiring. I think your longevity will definitely help others. The longer people like you and I live rich lives, the more younger quads and paras will see that their life can be both long and rewarding. Thanks again for writing, Allen Rucker