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)”

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”