When I first started to venture out into the world after my injury I felt like the most obvious human on the face of the earth. This was probably giving myself far too much credit as I am actually quite difficult to spot in a crowd. But justified or not, I always felt like everyone was looking at the woman in the wheelchair. Fast forward to today and I find that I don’t feel quite as obvious. I understand that people have more things to be concerned with than the woman in the wheelchair and that, generally speaking, if I carry on like there is nothing to look at, people don’t look (at least not usually for long awkward periods of time).
I suppose it is because I have convinced myself that I blend in to some degree that I was caught off guard a couple of weeks ago. I was in a professional building and I needed the elevator but I was waiting and checking my phone before I ventured down into the no-cell-reception parking garage. A man who was delivering boxes walked over singing and I looked up briefly and smiled at him. He looked at me and said, “oh are you having a problem there dear?”. I honestly didn’t have a clue what he meant at first but quickly thought he was referring to me waiting for the elevator – as in maybe he thought it wasn’t coming. I told him that there wasn’t a problem and I was just checking my phone. I assumed at this point that our conversation was over but I was clearly mistaken because he gestured awkwardly with his hand and said “no, no you uh are in a wheelchair there”
Continue reading “That Time I Was Waiting for an Elevator”
I have struggled with my body image for all of my adult life (and even some of my adolescent years). I have been continuously obsessed over the number on the scale and the size of my clothes – so obsessed in fact, I could tell you my approximate weight and pant size every year since I was 15 (however doing so would be ridiculous so I’ll refrain. You’re welcome). While I have always felt especially self-conscious about my mid-section, looking back on photos of myself as a teenager and young adult would prove that those insecurities were unfounded (at least for a time). I wish I would have known that! Maybe on some level I did – I always tried to be sexy I suppose. I felt sexy when I was with my boyfriend turned husband and I wasn’t embarrassed to put on a bikini in public. Even still, I would fight all of the insecurities in private. Continue reading “Does This Wheelchair Make Me Look Fat?”
We all draw inspiration from different places and different people. Although, if we are being totally honest, it mostly comes from Pinterest. However, I feel lucky in the sense that I have a lot of screen-free inspiration in my life. I’m surrounded by numerous people who motivate me to be better: a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, a better writer, and a better version of myself. And over the last year I have packed my newsfeeds with people who inspire me to continue this journey in life despite my physical limitations. Continue reading “An Inspiration By Default”
Like so many, I am heartbroken by the recent events in Manchester. It was almost a year ago I wrote those same words regarding Orlando. Trying to comprehend the reasoning and calculated malice that goes into these acts of terrorism is enough to make you lose faith in the human race. Thinking about the innocent lives lost and the countless lives affected by these tragedies can make a person fear the world. And when the world and all of its pitfalls are so easily found on every media outlet it can become overwhelming. There is a flood of negativity with every swipe of our finger and the good-news stories seem much more difficult to find. There is an obvious sense of urgency in our society to fix these problems that stem from hate and anger, but so much uncertainty on how to achieve it. And while we hope for safety and we hope for answers, our hope is laced with bewilderment and fear. Continue reading “Love Through The Fear”
I was absent-mindedly scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday when I saw a shared video from the television show The Doctors titled “Quadriplegic Mother Has Baby via IVF”. I didn’t give it too much thought; I guess I gave it as much thought as I would if I had heard that anyone had a baby via IVF. “That’s great!” I was distracted and didn’t think anything else of it. However, a few hours later I saw it pop up again and it was captioned in such a way that made me think that, just maybe, not everyone thought that this was so great.
So of course, I watched the video. I was left feeling a bit empty and mostly speechless (which I think most of you have figured out is incredibly rare for me). I have spent the last 14 months convincing myself that I am a capable mother. I have met other disabled women who are incredible mothers. I follow paralyzed women online who are strong and wonderful mothers. However, here sat doctors who blurted out a few sentences that momentarily took the fight out of me. Continue reading “Moms On Wheels – Is It Unethical?”
After months of trying to find the perfect solution to my bladder issues, I have conclusively determined that…there isn’t one. I suppose that is probably obvious because I’d be rich and famous right now if I had discovered the solution to bladder control after a spinal cord injury. Alas, here I sit, not rich, not famous, and still possessing a bladder that endeavours to rule my life. But I promise you it’s not as dire as it sounds. My bladder may still hold power over me, however I trust it more than I once did and we are slowly becoming friends again. Well, actually, Botox is my true friend. I’m just kind to my bladder with hopes it will be kind to me. Maybe it understands reciprocity? Continue reading “The Pursuit Of Bladder Control – The Saga Continues”
As I sit here at the beginning of May, I feel like I should be refreshed and ready to start something new. Instead, much like the weather here, I am left with a winter hangover – cloudy and dark while attempting to brighten up. I’m struggling to comprehend that April is over and, like so many other people, I feel like time is passing by too quickly. Continue reading “Conquering Time And Choosing To Be Grateful”
Recently I’ve found that I have been reserving a lot of headspace for self-pity. I have been struggling more with feelings of inadequacy and, worst of all, jealousy. These feelings are never ones that disappear completely, but I usually have a better handle on them; I am usually capable of compartmentalizing them and then using them as motivation to move on. But lately that hasn’t been working for me – lately it has felt like I am unequivocally incapable of living the life that I want and doing the things that I want to do. Continue reading “Inadequate. Jealous. Justified.”
For months after my injury I woke up every day hoping that it was all just a bad dream. There was always a brief moment of hope and possibility before reality hit yet again. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way; it’s been a long time since the fog of disbelief lifted. However some days I still wake up with that familiar feeling of ‘maybe it was just a dream’. Continue reading “My Paraplegic Self – Because It Wasn’t A Dream”
Call me a dreamer, but I had always imagined that my marriage would consist of just the two of us until forever. So I have been somewhat unwilling to accept that our party of two has become a party of three. I’m not talking children…they are our family (and they take our number much higher than three). I’m talking only about our ‘one-on-one-just-you-and-me-until-death-do-us-part’ marriage. You know the one right? Continue reading “Just You, Me And My Wheelchair”