Tag archive for ‘Being paralyzed’

5 Comments

I Am A Robot

Each morning, I wake up on my side; I have not moved from that position the entire night. My mouth is dry. I reach for the jug of water that is within arm’s reach, gulping the water through a straw. Though the splash of cool liquid feels good in my mouth, it does nothing to relieve my fat, swollen tongue…

** Read More
6 Comments

99 Problems — #13 I Am Not The Boss of Me

There are days that being paralyzed blows. There is no other polite way to say it. It’s so much more than not being able to stand up, walk or run. There’s the chronic bladder infections and urinary tract infections and poor circulation with threats of blood clots. There’s bowel accidents…

** Read More
1 Comment

99 Problems — #11 I Drop Things On The Floor, A Lot

Each time my husband leaves town I’m reminded of how helpless and clumsy I am. That’s because I drop nearly everything, all the time, so much to the point its embarrassing… even when no one is watching. A pen, my phone, the remote control to the TV, keys, drinks, sunglasses, a toothbrush, a fork–there’s really […]

** Read More
2 Comments

99 Problems — #6 I Hate Parking Garage Ticket Dispensers

Imagine entering a parking garage and having to stop behind a black Toyota Sienna. It appears the person in the driver’s seat is grabbing his/her ticket. So you wait a minute. You wait three minutes. You wonder, What is the hold hold up? You honk your horn. You stick your head out the driver window in attempt to get a glimpse of the moron in front of you who is wasting your precious time. You wait one more minute, but…

** Read More
3 Comments

Wheelchair People Are Scary

Wheelchair people can be scary. I know this because I am one. I’ve experienced the leers, the double-takes, the awkward hesitation from others of whether or not to help—it’s a daily occurrence. And I am no exception to the rule.

** Read More
0 Comments

Falling Happens [Part 2]

Falling In Parking Lots– One of my worst falls came when I was trying to help a dear friend named Cathy. She had been dating this guy that we secretly dubbed Dirty D, solely based on the large amount of urinary tract infections he had caused her.

** Read More
8 Comments

The Etiquette of Using Wheelchair Bathrooms

It’s the question that every American faces when entering a public bathroom. To use the handicapped stall or to not?

** Read More
0 Comments

Ten Days (Part 1)

After spewing chunks up on the CAT scan table, I blacked out for three days, like literally saw the color black. Though many people surrounded me during this time, friends, family and hospital workers, I cannot recall seeing anyone or any thing during those days. I do remember hearing voices, and could also sense love […]

** Read More
6 Comments

Day 1 – In the Moment (Part 2)

I hadn’t intended to make Kristin cry, but she did, instantaneously upon hearing me say I am not okay. I could have used a good cry myself at that moment, as long as it was in privacy of course. Instead of shedding tears, however, I begrudgingly forced a smile to all the unfamiliar faces surrounding me as we made our way down the tunnel’s long hallway to the back roads of Sea World, the place where an ambulance eagerly awaited me…

** Read More

Jana Waring

This past Sunday, Mayor Dyer declared November 16 as “Spinal Cord Injury Day” in the City of Orlando. It is no coincidence that the day doubles as my 10-year anniversary of living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). My friend Shelby and I worked hard to create a fundraiser called Project Vandalism. What I wanted to do was keep myself busy on a day that can be tumultuous; Shelby—and I’m not sure why—took the opportunity to turn an idea I had into a thesis project for school. The end result was a two-day weekend event, a Rockin’ 80’s Party/Silent Auction at City Arts Factory held Friday night and then a “Walk Because You Can” around Lake Eola Sunday morning, where Orlando’s Mayor dedicated a day to SCI. The goal of both affairs was to raise money for a family to receive a wheelchair accessible van.

Another part of Project Vandalism’s mission was to bring awareness of spinal cord injuries to the community. As someone heading up the project, I’ve been asked to share my experience of living with a SCI over the past 10 years, even though doing so pushes me far outside my comfort zone. Truth be told, I am still not comfortable sharing my personal writing, but for the sake of Dejon getting his van—the new SCI person we chose as the recipient of the donation and also the following interview after this article—and also because I need to fulfill a writing requirement for my independent study at Rollins—with Dr. Deaver’s assistance, I’m attempting to become comfortable with the uncomfortable—I want to share my story.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 questions that I’ve been repeatedly asked during the past 10 years of living in a wheelchair. I will attempt to answer them as honestly as candidly as I can. One thing you should know about those of us with SCIs is that we are all different. Much like how your kindergarten teacher used to talk about all the colors found in a Crayola box—Burnt Sienna is hardly Brick Red. Therefore, please don’t hold me accountable for speaking for all those that are injured. This is only my story and opinions—no one else’s.

** Read More