Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I don't always express myself when I'm having a tough time dealing with this situation. Most of the time I put a smile on my face and bottle my feelings inside. Today I decided to write how I really feel and treat my blog kind of like a diary.

Being a quadriplegic is a full-time job. Sometimes it is difficult being me. It's not like I feel like giving up or anything like that it's just that I am tired and exhausted and bored and need some mental stimulation in my life. My psychologist told me that I am grieving and realizing my losses. What she means by losses is the fact that I don't have the stamina or ability to do a lot of the things that I used to do. It is hard not to be able to go out with my friends on the weekend and do what normal 22-year-olds are doing these days. I feel like I'm on the sideline or in the background watching people do things I wish I could be doing. I am very bored doing the same routine day in and day out without much variety. I'm hoping to volunteer this summer and also to join some sort of support or activity group in order to keep myself busy.

I am definitely a routine person and I have my own schedule and I like things certain ways. I guess you could say I am anal or OCD. It is hard having someone take care of me 24/7 and doing just about everything for me. Sometimes I feel like I'm being too demanding or picky towards people because they're the ones doing things for me. I know my nurses get frustrated sometimes. I guess I have to look at it a different way. If they were doing something to themselves they would have a certain way of doing it except they don't really notice that. I feel like I don't have much independence and that I'm always being watched or shadowed. It's tough but I'm not going to let it interfere with my daily life or consume me.

A lot of people ask me "how do you do it?" or "how do you stay so positive after what happened?". The truth of the matter is that sometimes I don't know how I'm doing it or how I am so positive most of the time. One of the things that keeps me going is being able to help other people. I know I am an inspiration to many and I hope this post doesn't take away from that. All I have to say is that I'm human and things happen and I know I will get through it.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Never Too Late...

On Friday I went to the bookstore just to look around and get out of the house. I didn't have anything in mind to buy, I was just browsing. I happened to come across this book called It's Never Too Late... 172 simple acts to change your life by Patrick Lindsay. I started reading it and I liked it so much that I bought it. I recommend this book to everyone. Down below is the first simple act in the book. I may go back to it from time to time and share more.

It's never too late...

to make plans

Looking ahead takes you out of the daily grind.
Planning ahead brings hope.
Small plans first, with realistic goals.
Build confidence.
Then make bigger plans with bigger goals.
Always have plans.


"You are young at any age if you're planning for tomorrow."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not Again!

There is something wrong with my electric wheelchair again. For some reason I am not able to drive it myself. I called the company in California and they told me there might be something wrong with the display box and that I should send it in to see if they can repair it. And if they can't? Where will we go from here? Why does this keep happening to me? What a bummer! Just when I got my independence back and able to drive it myself again something goes wrong. I asked the guy if these things only happen to me because it seems like I have a lot of problems with this wheelchair. He didn't say anything which makes me think that I am the only one who has bad luck with this particular system. Needless to say someone else is driving me using the joystick on the back of my wheelchair. It's probably going to take a couple of weeks to send it there, have them repair it, and then send it back. I know I am frustrated but I also know that I have to have patience so that this matter doesn't consume me.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did You Know?

I pee through my belly button.

For some of you this may be way too much information, but for others it might actually be interesting. I have what they call a mitrofanoff. A Mitrofanoff (mi-troe-fan-off) is a tube created inside the body to drain the bladder. During surgery, a tube is made using tissue from the appendix or small piece of the intestine. One end of the tube is tunneled into the bladder and the other end is made into a stoma (small opening) on the abdomen or in the belly button. A catheter is passed through the stoma and down into the bladder to drain the urine. This is called catheterization.

I get cathed every 3 to 4 hours during the day and every 2 hours during the night. One thing that is good is that I can tell when I need to be cathed. Sometimes it is less than 3 hours. At night I am sleeping so I'm not able to tell and that's why I get it done every 2 hours. This procedure has changed my life. It is much easier than cathing the other way. It is not painful. In fact I can't even feel it.

Many people are often fascinated with this procedure. One of which is my little cousin. She understands that I do things differently than other people. Her favorite thing to do (besides riding in the elevator) is to watch me pee out of my belly button. Whenever I need to be cathed, I let her know, and she will stop whatever she is doing to come watch. I love looking at her face as she stares in curiosity.


Monday, April 20, 2009

My Big Day

Yesterday I went to the Minnesota Twins baseball game. As I stated in the last post, one of my nurses knows someone high up and was able to get us 12 free tickets to a suite. It was only the second time I have been in a suite at the Metrodome.

The game went by very fast and in the end the Twins won 3-1. Nothing too exciting happened in the game although it was very fun. I have attached some photos below that were taken at the game.

This was our view from the suite. We were right along the third-base line.

The Twins mascot, TC, stopped in to say hello. He tried to bite my head off but it didn't work.

A picture of my mom, my sister Kristen and I in the suite after the Twins won. We were waiting for the crowd to clear.

Overall, I had a great time and hopefully I'll get the chance to go again sometime. It is definitely more fun to be at a game than to watch it on TV.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

What I've Been Doing

I have been trying to keep busy now that I am on my summer vacation from school. The weather is finally nice so I have been going outside everyday. However, I am now sunburned because I refused to wear sunscreen. I definitely will put some on when I go outside later today. I have also been trying to get out of the house as much as possible.

A few days ago I went shopping at Knollwood Mall. Usually I go to Ridgedale Mall down the street but I decided that I needed a change of scenery to shop in. I bought 6 T-shirts; none of them were over seven dollars. I'm a good bargain shopper.

Also, the other day I went to the movie Fast and Furious. It was good! I liked it a lot! I don't go to see movies on the big screen very often. Only if I know it's going to be a good movie and it is an action film. Those are always fun to watch oversized.

This weekend I am going to a Minnesota Twins baseball game. They are playing the Los Angeles Angels. One of my nurses was able to get me 12 tickets to a suite. I am so excited to go! I will let you know how it went.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Poem for All


because i call it challenge rather than crisis;

because i look at hardship as opportunity instead of obstacle;

because, at the end of a matter, i ask, "what will i learn from this to make me better?";

because i take a deep breath and do the difficult things first;

because my courage does not depend on the weather, the economic forecast or the winds of whim;

because i know the most significant elements in my day are laughter, learning and applying my finest efforts to each endeavor;

because of these things each morning is a pleasure and every day passed is a success.
-Mary anne Radmacher

I bought this 8 x 11 card stock piece of paper with this poem on it at a store close to me. They said it would be great for framing or giving as a gift. There were many more poems that I could have chosen from but I liked this one the best because it really kind of captures me. Each paper had a hand-done art design on it and the writing looked like it was handwritten as well.

I started looking up this woman on the Internet and fell in love with her writings and style. She does and writes everything I like and more. If any of you have a chance, I recommend that you click here to visit her website and view her original writings and art.

In the plastic cover that the paper came in there was a separate slip of paper where Mary anne tells you a little bit about herself...
"i am primarily a writer who has a passionate relationship with color, design, and form. i have a history of fascination with words, starting from a very young age. within my body of work there exists a host of consistent elements. my writing reflects philosophies inherent to my being. these include: a commitment to passionate, intentional living; valuing wellness; and embracing the moment. my writing style is unique to me and I developed it specifically for my work. i write exclusively in lowercase letters."
-Mary anne


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Hi everyone.

Happy Easter! Today we are hosting Easter at our house at 2 PM. I think there will be 13 adults and 2 children. We are having ham to eat. I hope everyone has a great day!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Morton Cure Paralysis Fund hosts their 3rd Annual Spinal Cord Injury Research Symposium

About MCPF taken from their website:

"In 1995, shortly after Christopher Reeve was injured, Peter Morton broke his neck in a bicycle accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe without a ventilator.

Devastated by the tragic accident, friends turned their hurt into hope. With little more than their dream, That All May Walk Again, they launched a small-town golf tournament to raise funds for spinal cord injury research—and the Morton Cure Paralysis Fund was born. Since those humble beginnings, MCPF has relocated to the Twin Cities and, 13 years later, has now raised over $2.0 million for cutting-edge research.

In addition, MCPF hosts an annual research symposium featuring some of the world's top spinal cord injury research scientists, free to all those affected by spinal cord injury.

MCPF also is a caring resource to those that are newly injured and their families. We know what a desperate and hopeless experience this time can be. Having someone who understands and can help answer questions can be so meaningful during this time.

MCPF has kept total expenses under 10% of revenues, thus investing over 90% of your contributions into research grants that will ultimately benefit those with Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, and other conditions of the central nervous system. Fed by a dream built on love and friendship, MCPF works hard—That All May Walk Again!"

Peter Morton is an inspiration to all. With his efforts, there is hope.

For those of you who live in Minnesota and want to learn more about the research that is being done to help cure spinal cord injuries, an opportunity arises. On Sunday, May 17, 2009 the Morton Cure Paralysis Fund is hosting their 3rd Annual Spinal Cord Injury Research Symposium. The event is free and will be held at the Earl Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center at 1:30 PM. Refreshments are provided and CEU's are available for medical professionals. If you're interested in going, you can register by clicking here. When you get to the website click on Research Symposium on the right side of the page. I also have a flyer for the event. If anyone would like to obtain a copy via e-mail either for yourself or to send to others, e-mail me at and I will send you a copy. I hope some of you will be able to attend. Thanks.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Today was my last day of school for the semester. I gave my impromptu speech. I ended up having to go second to last which actually wasn't that bad because I got an idea of how an impromptu speech was given. The question that was picked for me in the basket was "define spirituality and what it means to you and its usefulness to one's life." That was actually one of the questions I was hoping to get. I talked about how spirituality isn't just about religion; how it can be about one's inner self and their belief in hope and strength. I also talked about its usefulness and how being spiritual can get you through things.

I didn't think I would be so nervous speaking. I was fine all semester until this one speech. At least I think I was nervous because my stomach felt queasy and I started seeing black spots. The feelings went away after my three minute speech. Oh well. I think I did really good. Also, I won Most Inspirational speaker in the class. The other categories were best speaker, best delivery, best content, most entertaining, and most improved. I was nominated for two other ones as well. I think I got an A in class.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Snow in April?

So much for April showers bringing May flowers this year. The first picture above is what it looked like outside this morning at 9 AM. Thankfully it didn't stick for very long; the snow is all gone now and the temperature is almost 50°. The second picture is what it looks like now at 4 PM. We are expected to get some flurries tomorrow, but hopefully that will be the end of the snow for a while. The same thing happened last year. I have said it before and I'll say it again that Minnesota is one of the few states where you can get all four seasons in one day.

I went to the pet store today to buy a few things for my birds. I love all of the animals there. I feel bad that I can't take them all home with me. Especially the cats in the adoption center; they looked so starved for attention. It's fun to go, but I don't do very often because of my love for animals. It's surprising that I didn't bring anything live home with me today.


Friday, April 3, 2009


I just realized that I haven't put any pictures of myself on here for a while. I still look the same. Although, my hair is getting longer. Only 3 more inches to go. I guess I haven't really talked about my donations yet. In October of 2005 I had 12 inches of my hair cut off and I donated it to Locks of Love. It felt so good doing it that I decided that I wanted to do it as many times as I was able. So I let my hair grow out again and in the fall of 2007 I had 10 inches cut off and donated that. It has been 3 months shy of two years and I only have about 3 inches to go before I can do it all over again. I usually have my hair cut and styled at about chin length. (Yes, my hair grows very fast.) I will definitely post a picture when I get it cut.


"The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one's self to others."
-Pierre Teihard de Chardin

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Yesterday I presented my last big speech in class. It was our Social Responsibility Speech and I did mine on texting. I talked about the dangers of driving while texting and the newest trend "Sexting". If you have never heard of Sexting before, it is sending nude or semi nude photos via text messaging. It can be pretty scary. Recently, a mother just spoke out about her teens' suicide over Sexting.

Anyways, I think this was my best speech out of all of them. The only thing left we have to do is give an impromptu speech next Tuesday. My teacher has given us 25 questions that we will be choosing from and then giving a speech answering the question on the spot. I guess it's not exactly impromptu because we know the questions in advance. Our last day of school is next Tuesday April, 7. We are ending a month earlier than all the other classes because we had class 4 hours a week instead of 3. It's nice, but I am not looking forward to having a break.

I still don't know what I'm going to do this summer. I might take a class, however, I am hoping to either volunteer or work somewhere. I should probably figure it out fast.