Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Update on School

I am doing really well in both my classes. In my interpersonal communication class at school we have been talking about different emotions and feelings. This chapter has actually helped me to dig deep inside and let go of emotions I didn't know I had. On my quiz last Thursday, I got 15/15. For my homework tomorrow, I had to write an emotions letter that described an emotion that I have been unwilling or unable to share with someone else.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Help Me Help Others

I feel like I have so much to give, but not enough resources to do the things I want to do. My goal in life is to help others. I understand that I am doing that with my blog and that just by sharing my story it helps people, but I want to do so much more. I see all the people hurting around the world; I hear all the stories of others who need help. It saddens me to think that I cannot do everything and help everyone.

There are people out there who have lost their homes, their jobs, their family and they have nowhere to turn. There are people with disabilities who need medical equipment, physical therapy, even remodeling done on their homes that they aren't able to get around in. I've always said that I wanted to start a nonprofit organization to help others in need. I'm just not quite sure how to go about doing that. If anyone has ideas let me know.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Believe...

I received this in an e-mail. I'm not quite sure who wrote it but I found it to be very true.

Subject: Things to think about

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born. A Death Certificate shows that we died. Pictures show that we lived!
I Believe....That just because two people argue, doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, doesn't mean they do love each other.
I Believe...That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I Believe...That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I Believe...That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I Believe...That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I Believe...That it's taking me a long timeto become the person I want to be.
I Believe....That you should always leave loved ones withloving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I Believe...That you can keep going long after you think you can't.
I Believe...That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I Believe....That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I Believe...That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I Believe...That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I Believe...That my best friend and I can do anything, or nothing, and have the best time.
I Believe...That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
I Believe...That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I Believe...That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had, and what you've learned from them.....and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
I Believe...That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I Believe...That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I Believe...That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I Believe...That you shouldn't be so eager to findout a secret. It could change your life forever.
I Believe...Two people can look at the exact samething and see something totally different.
I Believe...That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I Believe....That even when you think you have no more to give, if a friend cries out to will find the strength to help.
I Believe...That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I Believe...That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything.
Be thankful for all the wonderful people who help us throughout the journey of life.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to dance in the rain.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Picture

Above is a picture of my sister and I at the art show. She cropped it and changed it to black and white. I think it's a great picture of us. If you're wondering whose fingers are wrapped around my headrest they're my aunt Sandy's. I'm not sure why she was cut out. I'm sure she'll have a talk with me later about that one.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good Comments

Just letting you all know there has been great side conversations going on in the comment sections of my posts (especially my last one). Very interesting thoughts and views. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Think about It

I called this post Think about It because I'm going to ask a bunch of real-life questions and I just want people to ponder for a moment. Something that I wonder is what you would do if you were in my situation. Everyone deals with situations and handles things differently. For those of you who have not gone through this ordeal, how would you react to all of the sudden waking up and finding out you were paralyzed? What sort of things would go through your mind? How would you handle it? I know it's hard to imagine unless you're actually in that situation, but try to put yourself there.

Now I want you to imagine a different scenario. What if you knew you were going to become paralyzed before it happened? Again, how would you handle the news? How would you prepare? What things would you do before it happened? I brought this up because there is someone out there who knows they are going to become a quadriplegic on a vent but doesn't know when. It is a very different situation. In my case I just woke up and found out. I didn't get a chance to prepare or figure out what things I needed before hand. Then again I don't know which would be better. It's a lot to think about and imagine.

Don't feel obligated to share your thoughts. This was just to get people thinking. If you'd like to, you can leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say. Also, feel free to comment if you have gone through one of these situations.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

How Great Thou Art Show

Yesterday I went to an art show at my church. I had one of my paintings displayed in it. The pictures above are of me next to my painting and my painting alone. You can click on them to enlarge. The theme for the art show was Wonder. It was based on Psalm 139:14 in the NIV Bible, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Whether or not someone's art was accepted depended on how well the artist interpreted the theme.

It was great to look at all of the other art as well. There were many different medias such as photography, poetry, painting, woodwork, and mixed media. I even got to meet some of the artists. They also had an artist directory that shared each artist, a description/
inspiration for their piece, and a brief bio about them. I went through and looked at every piece of art. For every one I looked up the artist and read the info about them. It was very interesting to read how they described an interpreted their work and shared their life. I hope to do it again next year.

Below is my info that I put in the directory:

Description/Inspiration: For this piece I used a technique involving leaves. I painted watercolor onto the leaves and placed them on a wet piece of paper. I then painted the background. This is the effect it makes after the paper dries and the leaves are pulled off. My inspiration for this piece was the beautiful work God has created and the power that he has to shine through it all.

Bio: My name is Jenni and I am 22 years old. On November 1, 2002 I was in a car accident. I broke my neck at C-1 C-2 and injured my spinal cord. I am a quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. Despite my disability, I live each day to the fullest. I use art as a form of expression. My unique way of painting involves putting the paintbrush in my mouth while my nurse holds the paper. Another form of expression I use is writing. I maintain a blog online at people from all over the world read.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sun Shining

It is the middle of September and I can't believe how nice the weather is here in Minnesota. The temperature has been in the 80s this whole month; at least 10° higher than normal. We haven't even had any rain. I've been trying to get outside just about every day. It's weird that it is this warm and autumn is 3 days away. The leaves have started to change colors already.

The picture above is one that was taken in my front yard. We have tons of black-eyed Susan's, which the tree frogs love. They sit on the petals all day long sunning themselves. The bees go crazy for these flowers as well. I love just watching all of the little critters. I guess you could say it's my entertainment when I'm outside.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Accident

Many of you know that I was in a car accident, but you may not know how the accident happened. I don't remember anything about it; only what I've heard from others. I guess we were going 60 mph and trying to make an exit. We were going way too fast for the circumstances and the car, a mini SUV, started rolling. The top of the car hit some sort of sign or pole while rolling, crushing the roof in, and then landed back on it's wheels. It was a single car accident.

There were five of us in the car and I was behind the driver's seat. Although I did break my neck and injure my spinal cord, it could've been a lot worse. I did have my seatbelt on, which probably saved my life. The other four people in the car sustained mostly minor injuries except for one person whose neck broke but didn't injure the spinal cord and was in a coma for a month and a half. Everyone has recovered and they are doing remarkably well.

Because the car was crushed, they had to use the Jaws of life to cut me out. I was airlifted to HC MC hospital. From there I began my journey to where I am today. A factor that always seems to amaze me is who was behind the car when the accident happened. In the first car was a woman who called 911. I ended up meeting her a few times while in the hospital. I don't know how the order goes on these last two but in one of the cars was an ER nurse who had just gotten off of work. The other was a doctor going to a high school football game who said that he hadn't taken that road in two years. All three helped in some way to save my life. Coincidence? No one will ever know.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section or e-mail me. I'll try to answer them as best I can.


"Every tragedy contains the seeds of triumph."
-Scott Sorrell

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Weekend

Yesterday I entered one of my paintings in my church's art show. The show is next Saturday, but it's a juried show so they still have to pick which ones make it in. I'm sure mine will be in it though. I won't know until the 16th when they send me an e-mail.

Today I went to this thing outside in Wayzata, MN called James J. Hill days. They had a bunch of nonprofit booths and also an art fair where people could sell their work. It's pretty big with a lot of people. They closed off a long street for it. There was also about an hour long parade with about 60 entries, including the animal Humane Society with dogs and the Wayzata High School marching band. I like doing things I don't do very often. I'm not much of a parade watcher but it was fun and I enjoyed watching the kids run in the street and pick up all the candy people were throwing.

On Tuesday I have it interpersonal communication class again and I will be taking a quiz on chapter 2. I suppose I better get right on reading the second half of the chapter. I also have to read chapter 3 for this class and chapter 3 my creative writing online.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ride of a Lifetime

A couple of weeks ago I went for a ride in the sidecar. I put a picture above but the video still needs a little bit of editing. That's why it's taken me so long to put a post up about my ride. I thought I would just put a picture up so you can at least believe me. I'd been talking about going in the sidecar for at least two years now. It took a while to plan, but I finally did it! I had so much fun! They lifted me out of my wheelchair and into the sidecar using a Hoyer lift. My nurse took my ventilator off of my wheelchair and put it in the trunk. I know that sounds dangerous, but it was actually really secure in there. We only went down the street and back. I would definitely do it again. I will hopefully get the video on my blog soon, but if for some reason I don't, I will upload it onto YouTube and give you a link to it.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creative Writings

I wrote this for my creative writing class. We had to write a paragraph about a thrilling or anguishing incident either from our childhood or adolescence. I chose to write about the time I woke up in the hospital after my accident. I used all five of my senses and similes and metaphors to describe the experience. I don't really remember the moment that I woke up, a lot of it is from what I've been told and what I have imagined.

My eyes opened to the sound of beeping alarms and glaring lights. Still drowsy from all of the sedatives, I struggled to figure out where I was and what I was doing there. My thoughts thickened like fog as I looked around, imagining the worst. I felt alone like a lost child in a crowd of thousands of strangers. The room was stale. It was breathing with people; rushing to get to their destination. I heard crying from behind the curtain to the left of me. I saw a flash of color brush past the end of the bed I was laying in going towards the cry.

After learning from my family that I was in the intensive care unit, and that something serious had happened to me, chills fell over me. I was in severe shock! I tried to talk but no words came out. My mouth was as dry as cotton and I could taste the plastic from the tube going down my throat into my lungs. I tried to sit up but my body wouldn't allow me to. I was paralyzed. I had broken my neck and injured my spinal cord in a car accident.

The next writing is a poem that I wrote. We had to describe a relationship we had with either an animal or a machine in a paragraph or poem. I chose to write a poem about my vent since our relationship is inseparable.

My Lifeline

My lungs are expanding, in out, in out
I feel my chest rise and fall
I am one with the vent
It's breathing for me
The sound is like an airplane flying ahead
Colored lights flash across the surface
Attached to me always
It flows through me like wind through trees

Can you tell I love to write? I will share more as time goes on. Let me know what you think. I'm always looking for feedback and constructive criticism.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Busy As a Bee

For a while I was so bored and now I'm so busy. Classes are going great, but they are definitely time-consuming. It's good though because I would rather have stuff to do than not. I've been doing a lot of writing for my online class. It's been great being creative though. I'll be sharing some of my work in future posts. My communication class is just getting started. We took a quiz Thursday on chapter 1. I have more reading and writing to do for next week. Better get a move on it! Starting tomorrow.


"The world is so fast that there are days when the person who says it can't be done is interrupted by the person who is doing it."

Thursday, September 3, 2009


The other day I was watching 60 minutes and they re-aired a clip that they had done a couple years back. It was about Forrest Bird, the inventor of the Bird respirator. Bird is now 88 years old, and is still enjoying life flying his planes and working long days. He first invented a makeshift respirator for his friend who had trouble breathing. Soon, he was trying to find a way to make an affordable, portable respirator for anyone to use. He has saved millions of lives. If you'd like to watch the video clip from 60 minutes, click here. I encourage you to take the time to watch it. It is very good.