Skin Prison (A Disability Post)

Skin Prison

A brief retelling of my history.  I broke my neck in 1982.  Five days before I turned 19.  The result was quadriplegia.. paralysis in 4 limbs.  Although the only effect in my left arm is the tiniest decrease in sensation, there is no such thing as a triplegia, so a quad I am.  As far as this story goes, that’s not a big deal.  I’ve gone so far as to tell people the accident and resulting disability are a GOOD thing, because the way I lived my life back then I surely would have ended up dead sooner or later by pushing the edge… the accident slowed me down.   As it turns out now, that’s probably not true.  Driving like a maniac, jumping off cliffs and diving into shallow pools with trees floating in them is nothing compared to the shit people do today.  Extreme sports, jumping out of helicopters and flying next to cliffs in a suit designed to make you soar like a flying squirrel makes me look like a massive pussy!  I wish I had the opportunity to do that stuff!

Describing what life has been like over the last thirty years is a rather overwhelming task and I’m struggling to find a way to break it up into manageable pieces.  Please excuse the missteps I’m bound to make in the process.

Today my purpose is to explain how my world has shrunken down to a bed in a small room in a small house on a small street in Schenectady.  “Skin Prison” refers to the body in which I reside.  The vehicle I have improperly maintained over the years. Continue reading “Skin Prison (A Disability Post)”


Medical History, Part One

Medical History (Part I… Part II is Skin Prison above)

There are a few reasons for posting this where anyone can see it.  The easiest reason is that if I’m dying (again) in an ambulance or hospital Emergency Department and need the people charged with keeping me alive to know everything I only have to spit out a web address.

Another is:  since I’m writing about my experiences this will give some kind of glimpse into walking a mile in my shoes (hahahaha)

Another is:  this is a great time to be alive.  To stay alive.  To be thankful for till being alive to love and make stupid mistakes and maybe learn from them.  I can’t believe I woke up this morning.

This is not pretty and there are people that should not click read more.  I’ve left out more than I’ve put in and most of the bullets have such bigger stories.  I’ll get to as many as I can, but only if they make me laugh.

Continue reading “Medical History, Part One”

Pain, Part One

Growing up I had a very high pain tolerance.  I could just ignore most pain if it was intense as long as I knew it would be short lived.  Chronic pain is another story.  Knee surgery and a broken collarbone were not fun for me by any stretch of the imagination.  Being an idiot I used knowledge of this fact to “impress” people.  If there was a fight brewing someplace it was not a big deal for me to smash my fist into a brick wall to let everyone know what kind of fun was about to ensue.  In my head this was also a way (along with head butting stop signs) to impress the girls.  Maybe smashing my head against stop signs helped lead to the foolish notion that any of this would impress a girl.  Headbutting stop signs could explain more and more of my thoughts and behaviors now that I ponder it, but I digress. I became familiar with true pain after I broke my neck. Continue reading “Pain, Part One”

Virginity… Twice Lost?

You can only lose it once right?

What if the first time was so bad you’d get a mulligan? What if the second time it wasn’t much better?
Seems a bit ridiculous that “you always remember your first” is so true; but how could it not be? Expectations high and results well… you fill in the blanks for yourself and I’ll spill my story below… Continue reading “Virginity… Twice Lost?”

Fear and Loathing in America

Recently, I received a text from a close friend who asked me if I had gotten a strange email from someone we both know.  At first I joked that “every correspondence I receive from said individual is weird” but I told him I’d check it out and write back.

In my inbox indeed I found the following:

Do you know which city this is? 
It is MARSEILLE, France’s 2nd largest city!
And do you know what is the 2nd language spoken in Marseille?
Well, yes: it’s French. THE FIRST IS ARABIC.
Give them Paradise, and they will turn it into a garbage bin.
Muammar Gaddafi said in a speech that there was no need to invade Europe, because in 20 years Europe would be Muslim!
Are any of the readers of this e-mail foolish enough to think it will stop in Europe???

The text was interspersed with pictures of brown and black people living their lives and smiling and interestingly… creating art.  Others were selling goods in an open market.  Many had traditional Muslim garb, though not all.

I wondered whether my friend had an email virus that was using his account to spread unwanted emails out to his contact.  When asked via text if he sent the “do you know which city this is” text or does he need to run a virus checker ?  I offerred to email it back to him if he didn’t know what I was talking about.  In response I received the following:

I sent it firmly proudly.  Don’t need it back.  On my way to Colin Hay show.  Talk later ~ tomorrow.

My immediately rely:  No, you’ll get my reply now.  Please dont ever email me anything again.

Him: delete it then.  Peace Continue reading “Fear and Loathing in America”

In the beginning…

In the beginning there I was in high school, mostly bored and often in trouble.  I was into fun, mischief and girl’s pants (when I could).   I put in enough time with studies to get by but school was a social game for me.  I was interested in knowing people and how they thought more than Trigonometry or Chemistry.

I began journaling in little composition notebooks with my intended audience as my classmates.  The goal was to make them laugh, cry, “freak out,” get mad or think a little more deeply about subjects that at the time seemed important to me.  I was all about getting reactions.  The feedback I received ranged from “you’re crazy” to positive, which is to say; all positive, so I’ve kept it up over the years.

Sharing my journals became a way of introducing myself to people as the years went by.  People could get a sense of who I was and how I thought by reading what I had written; and by watching reactions to those writings I could gain a similar sense of someone else.  I’ve shared less and less of my writing over time and at times stopped writing altogether because I had always felt the need to “publish” something if I were to really take my writing seriously.  My ruminations never quite fit a format for a novel, short story or book of poems, which led me further away from a writing practice.  The advent of blogging has given me the outlet I’ve missed all this time, so I’ll begin again.  Over time I hope people will again react, interact and rekindle that other missing piece as well.

I intend to do a bit of history in some posts.  Whenever a group of friends get together and tell stories there’s always someone who says, “We should write that down” followed by someone else “no one would believe half of it anyway.”  Well I’m just the guy to give it a try.

For those interested I’ll cover the roller coaster ride that has been my life in terms of health and survival and I’m hoping to have some guests weigh in with some amazing (and equally unbelievable) recollections of their own.  I’ll transcribe earlier writings if I can find anything worthy of carpal tunnel risk and I’ll add other categories as the mood strikes.