“WHAT I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY OUT LOUD”

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The other day I was working with my caregiver and I caught myself thinking about some of the things I ask for on a daily basis, and just how unbelievably bizarre they must sound the average able-bodied person. 

I started to make a list of these particularly humorous statements that most people would consider very peculiar indeed!  I found myself laughing out loud because I thought back to my life a decade ago and how I never would have thought I would catch myself asking people to do these particular tasks for me.  To end the year on a funny note amidst a year of complete chaos I hope to leave you with a chuckle by the end of this article.

Bowel Care

I’ve written about this topic numerous times, but when you are paralyzed you need help going to the bathroom.  Plain and simple.  When you (an able-bodied person) go to the bathroom you simply sit down on the toilet and poop.  I, along with most other spinal cord injury folks, especially quadriplegics, do not have this luxury.

I do not have the ability to use my abdominal muscles to push out the poop.  Probably too much information, I know, but that’s life.  In any event, I have to put a suppository in my bum, let the poop come out, and then I have to have my caregiver put gloves on to go into my behind to get the rest of the poop out.  Yes, it’s a pretty involved process, not particularly pleasant, but, hey, it is better than the alternative of going to the hospital because you can’t poop.

So, every morning during my “Morning Program” I ask some of the following questions:

1.) “How much poop did you get out of my bum?”

2.) “Okay, can you put your finger in my bum now to get the rest of the poop out?”

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MY MENTAL HEALTH – My “Inner Demons”

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Mental Health.  Society has come to appreciate the importance of mental health just as much as physical health in recent decades, but somehow there still a negative shadow cast over those who open up about mental challenges they may be facing.  If you break your leg people openly tend to express sympathy for the pain you must be feeling.

However, if you talk about bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or whatever else ails you inside the complicated workings of your brain, oftentimes, people tend to form an opinion about the stability of you as a person.  The leads to people forming quicker judgments about your ability to function in your job, your life, family or home.  It’s unfortunate, but mental health, in my opinion, is still not a topic that gets the attention it deserves.

As many of you know I like to crack open uncomfortable topics and dive right into them.  With that said, I’m going to open up about some of the serious inner demons that afflict me on a daily basis, how I deal with them, and, frankly, how I compartmentalize most of them just to get through my days.

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