Articles

A Model of Living Resiliently in the Midst of Suffering

For about a year I’ve been digging in to the subject of resiliency. In some ways I think I’m an expert on the subject. At other times I don’t feel resilient in any form or fashion.

So what is resiliency? A simple definition is it’s the ability to bounce back after experiencing hardships or trauma.

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Articles

What ‘The Greatest Showman’ Can Teach Us About Accepting Ourselves

Have you seen the movie The Greatest Showman? It’s the fictional story of Phineas T. Barnum. However, the stars of the show – and the ones with whom I resonate – are Lettie (the bearded woman), Anne (trapeze artists), Charles (the little person General Tom Thumb) and the other performers who are hired as “unique persons” for Barnum’s museum and show.

It’s these characters’ sense of feeling like an outcast – and eventually embracing their differences – that has had me watching/listening to the movie over and over again.

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Articles

Berea, Kentucky: A Beautiful Series of Unfortunate Events

At the beginning of the year I decided I need to see more of Kentucky. I’ve lived in Louisville since I was 11 years old, but I haven’t seen the majority of the state. So when I found out I was going to go to and speak at Quality Life Association conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, I decided to make it an opportunity to see some sites along the way.

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Articles, Quadly Cooking

My Favorite Things in the Kitchen

Let’s be honest. Cooking with a disability takes quite a bit of time and effort. With my Quadly Cooking recipes, I offer Tips & Tricks to making healthy meals. But in addition to easy shortcuts, good cooking utensils, gadgets and appliances are necessary. So I have made a list of my favorite things in the kitchen.

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Articles

From Foley to Freedom – My Experience with the Mitrofanoff Procedure

There many ways to manage bladder care with a spinal cord injury or disability. Foley catheters, suprapubic catheters, and intermittent catheterization are options. There are pros and cons to each method. This is my story of how I decided to undergo a major surgery to be able to independently catheterize through a stoma.

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Articles

Prague is Worth Every Bump in the Road

As someone who works for an international non-profit organization, I have the perk of traveling at times. I recently attended a conference in the Czech Republic. After the conference, a few friends and co-workers decided to spend a couple days in Prague. I hadn’t traveled to Central Europe before, so I didn’t know what to anticipate. As always when traveling on wheels, expect a few bumps in the road. And I mean that both literally and figuratively.

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Articles

How my Spinal Cord Injury Affected my Best Friend

Thirty years ago I was tumbling on the morning of July 11. My feet slipped on the wet grass and I sustained a C6-7 spinal cord injury. As others will tell you, many things in life are lost after a spinal cord injury. Independence. Plans for the future. Friendships and other significant relationships. What follows is the story of my best friend, Barbara. It reveals how a spinal cord injury affects the people in our lives.

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Articles

Beating the Summer Heat

Did you know that people with spinal cord injuries T6 and higher can’t sweat? Unfortunately, sweating helps regulate our body temperature. I easily overheat once the weather starts getting warm. Read what I do to try to beat the summer heat by clicking the BardCare article below.

Articles

Locust Grove: The Perfect Place to Experience Louisville’s History

Over the years I’ve fallen in love with Locust Grove. The Georgian-styled mansion was built around 1792 and is located on 55 acres of beautiful rolling hills. The house and land belonged to William and Lucy Clark Croghan. Its rich history includes throngs of well-known historical figures who were welcomed at the Croghan house.  

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Articles

Emily is Flying High at AcroYoga

One of the best things about my life is the friends I have met along the way. Emily Shryock is one of those amazing people. I met her when I fist started playing wheelchair rugby. In this BardCare article, I interviewed Emily to learn more about her experience with AcroYoga.

Click on the photo below to read this article.

Articles

Accessibility Features on the iPhone You Need to Know

When my iPhone 5s starting getting glitchy on me, I held out for over a year. I’m on a budget and had to stick to it. Plus I was determined not to get a new phone until Apple came out with a smaller model that was the size of the iPhone 5. With limited hand function, I wanted to make sure I could safely and easily hold the phone.

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Articles, Video

How I Do a Sliding Board Transfer as a C6-7 Quad

“How do you get in and out of bed?” It’s a common question children ask. And if kids are asking, I know adults are wondering! Below is a video demonstration of a sliding board transfer. It’s entirely balance, physics and strength. I have no function below my level of injury, so this transfer is done completely with my arms and shoulders.

Articles

What Freed Me from the Prison of Spasticity

After my C6-7 spinal cord injury at age 16, I experienced severe muscle spasms. My legs would extend out straight or pull in so forcefully that the Velcro® strap behind my heels would break. I would kick off my shoes when my legs involuntarily shot out straight. My hands balled up in fists so tight that my finger nails left an impression on the palms of my hands

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Articles

Do Not Tell Me I’m Confined to a Wheelchair

I’d like to punch the person who first used the phrase “confined to a wheelchair.” Or at least roll over their foot with my power chair.

Earlier this week I got riled up after reading a great article about my friend. Unfortunately, the phrase “confined to a wheelchair” stuck out to me and left a bad taste in my mouth (as my grandma would say).

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Articles

How The Gift of Tendon Transfers Changed My Life

It had been 9 years since my spinal cord injury. I had just graduated with my master’s degree in counseling psychology. Although I was uncertain of my future career, I was sure of one thing: I was taking a year off to have a series of surgeries called tendon transfers.

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Articles, Video

The Gift of Tendon Transfers after Spinal Cord Injury (video)

Why do I take the time to wrap gifts each Christmas? It gives me time to be thankful for the gift of Dr. John C. Shaw, who gave me increased hand function and independence through tendon transfers after my spinal cord injury. (Video)

Click on the picture below to watch my video at Bard Care about wrapping presents and tendon transfers.

To see other examples of how tendon transfers affect my ability to cook, watch Quadly Cooking: Cheeseburger Soup and Quadly Cooking: Coconut Curry Lime Chicken.

Articles

My Doctor Made Me Do It

I didn’t know what to expect. But I’d heard the horror stories. The inaccessibility. The discomfort.

I was past my doctor’s recommended age to have a mammogram. But my primary care doctor was relentless in her pursuit, so I made an appointment at an imaging center several miles from where I live.

At Bard Care we’re getting the word out about the importance of mammograms. Three of six of the women on our team have had breast cancer. Read my entire Bard Care article by clicking the link below.

My Dr

Articles

Do You Have a Wheelchair?

Have you ever stopped to consider if people in developing countries have access to wheelchairs or other mobility aids? I hadn’t until nine years after my injury when I asked David and Magda, two friends from Poland, what accessibility was like in their country. Read more at Bard Care by clicking the image below.

do you have a wheelchair

BCIR

BCIR Update #5

I started to write this update 10 days ago. It began: “I’m dressed. I transferred into my chair. I’ve been spending about 45 minutes twice a day outside here in Florida’s fresh, breezy warm air. But Thursday or Friday will be the true test: I will begin intubating (using the stoma to empty the new pouch).”

Today (Thursday, May 17) I’m still sitting in a Florida hospital room, drinking Miralax to clean my system out for a second surgery to repair a fistula (same one as last time). Continue reading “BCIR Update #5”

Articles

Abundant Living

After my injury it took me quite some time to learn, or re-learn, the concept of trying. My go-to response was, “I can’t.”

Eleven years after my injury, I finally attempted a sport again. I tried playing wheelchair tennis. I was awful. Seventeen years later, I’m still bad at tennis. But I try. And I play.

I’ve learned to live. What’s the use in being alive if you aren’t living boldly? Click below to read about 4 principles I try to put into practice to live an abundant life.

Abundant Living

BCIR

BCIR Update #3

Well, I knew when I decided to have this procedure there were risks of complications. Unfortunately, I’m one of the people to develop a fistula. A fistula is a small hole. Mine is located near the top of the pouch and leads to the surface of the skin. When a I began intubating on Wednesday, it didn’t go well. By evening, I was back on suction with a scope scheduled for Thursday. After the scope confirmed the fistula, I had a CT Scan with contrast. Continue reading “BCIR Update #3”

Articles

Don’t Be Like Rosie: A Lesson in Self Care

I want to introduce you to a coworker. Rosie works in my office and she has a big job to do. It’s stated in her job description that she is supposed to periodically re-energize herself so she can finish her assignment. Regrettably, we find Rosie in odd places in the building, simply having lost her ability to do her job because she ran out of energy. Continue reading “Don’t Be Like Rosie: A Lesson in Self Care”

Articles

On Being Single

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. With that in mind, I’m re-posting this Bard Care article.

I’m single. I rarely sulk in my singleness. I am free to do what I want and when. The remote is always in its place, except when my dad comes over. As an introvert, I truly cherish my alone time. I’m in charge of my finances. (Read: I like control.)

Read the rest of the article by clicking on the picture below.

On Being Single

Articles

How Society Punishes People with Disabilities for Working

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, an article I wrote was published by The Mighty. To say it has resonated with many people is an understatement. Unfortunately, just as surprising is the number of people who are unaware of the financial issues that some of us with disabilities face.

I share my story with the hope that my voice will be heard in Frankfort. I urge lawmakers to reverse the income limits for personal care programs so that others with disabilities will not find themselves in my position.

Click below to read this article.

The Mighty Link