FAQs

(FRUITLOOP SALLY ALPHA)

This will be an ongoing project but here goes:

  1. How long have you been in “that thing”? (“that thing” would be my WHEELCHAIR if my blog didn’t give it away)I have been paralyzed since September 12, 1999. It was my first fall semester at college. I say first FALL because I also took a class over the summer. Yea, I’m a dork. Whatever.
  2. Is it….permanent? (because you know my uncle’s cousin’s daughter’s sister’s friend’s mom’s husband was paralyzed but he’s walking now OH! and let’s not forget my quack friend that’s a minister healer on network television, he can totally make you walk again, I PINKY swear!) Yes, my injury is permanent and no I do not believe prayer will suddenly heal me and no the doctor’s can’t “fix” it. They did what they could to SAVE my life and ensure I would live a HAPPY healthy mostly normal life.
  3. Why are you in “that thing”? (again, yes people call it a thing, but it really is a wheelchair, I promise)
    Well, after seeing a few clips by Teal Sherer I thought I’d spice things up a bit.   “I was wearing 6″ heels and walking on my sub, when all of a sudden…….” Ok. Not really. Really, people!? I was 18. You think I’d have a sub?! I’d totally only be allowed to be a dom. Really. Do you know nothing?! For real though, I was paralyzed in a car wreck and I am now what is considered a L1,2 paraplegic. (L=Lumbar/lower back)
  4. But you have such a good attitude……Well…I’d rather be HAPPY then feel sorry for myself. Only I can make me happy and I have to live with what I have. It can’t be changed so why be miserable when I can be just as happy if not HAPPIER than the next person?
  5. Where does the feeling stop? (in other words I am too embarrassed to ask you if you can feel it when you have sex or have to pee or poop)
    The answer is that my feeling fades from the belly button down. You can use your imagination and guess how much of what you want to ask I can feel and how much of it I can’t and so forth and so on.
  6. So I think I  know why this next one is one of the most popular searches that leads you crazy people to my blog. YES, I CAN SEE why you come here. Usually. Unless, of course, you are my dedicated slaves and subscribe. How do paralyzed people pee and poop ?? Gah, I totally forgot that was in question 5. Now I know. Mystery solved. Oh. You want an answer? I wiggle my pants down, transfer and sit. And wait. And wait. JUST LIKE YOU. Sometimes I read. Or tweet. (kidding. …  I would NEVER tweet on the toilet. I might check facebook though. Or upload a picture to instagram . . )
  7. Do you drive?
    Yes. My van has hand controls. My van does NOT have a cool lift. Those are crazy expensive and take up space in my van. I have too many kids for that waste of space! For now I am healhy and can break my chair down and put it in the passenger seat next to me. Or as of late I am breaking child labor laws and making my 7 year old put it behind the driver’s seat as one of his chores! I kid. I never MAKE him do it. I just bribe him to do it instead.
  8. Why don’t you use a power chair?
    Because, again, I am young and healthy and do not need one. Plus they are HUGE. My chair in TEENY TINY and fits almost anywhere. I would be way to limited with something that big. Besides, my kids like to “push” me and couldn’t if I had a power chair … maybe when I’m 50?
  9. Did you conceive naturally?If by naturally you mean the “old fashioned” way yes. I had lots of crazy monkey sex with my husband, all over the place. on the floor, in the bed …… oh. Sorry. You didn’t want THAT many details. Right!? In all seriousness, this was ACTUALLY the first questions I had for my doctors. Can I still have children? They assured me that in most cases, YES, women who are paralyzed can still conceive. I just had to wait and see if I got my period back. I did. Obviously. Well, at least 3 times. So far.
  10. Did you deliver vaginally? No. I delivered via Cesarean section. I know there are paralyzed women who have successfully delivered naturally and I desperately wanted to be one of them. HOWEVER, my doctor and I were worried that with the placement of the rods in my spine I may not be able to bare down all the way and push a baby out. I could labor for HOURS and not be able to do it and in the end need a C-section. So we decided I would go in rested and prepared. I have NO regrets.
  11. Are you done?! Having kids?! Are you going to try for a girl?! I dunno. Maybe. It won’t be for a girl though. It’ll be for a baby.
  12. How do you bathe? Dress? – I have a shower bench I sit on and shower just like anyone else that’s paralyzed. If I want a bath I get the full princess treatment and DH lowers me in and raises me back out of the tub. Dressing? Sometimes on the bed but usually in my chair with LOTS of wiggling and moving side to side to get pants on. If you are ever out with me and I take FOREVER in the bathroom. THAT IS WHY. It’s not because I’m pooping. I swear. Getting my pants up takes about 1-4 minutes depending on fabric and fit.
  13. How do you do chores? oooh you mean like housework? I hire someone. .  . somtimes. In my dreams. Yeah. No. I just do it. You’d have to come and watch. I USUALLY try and make Charlie do the floors. . . I think we are going to hire a maid to come once a week. Someday.
  14. Do you ever feel sorry for yourself? I think IT FREAKING SUCKS. I don’t feel sorry for myself any more than you feel sorry for YOURSELF….and you do from time to time, am I correct? Oh, wait. You don’t? Oh. Ok. Neither do I.
  15. If I see you somewhere should I help you or not? I dunno, ask me. I promise I PROBABLY won’t roll over your toes. If I say NO, believe me. OOOH and NEVER EVER jerk a door out of my hands. EVER! ! !! ! Ask me if I want help. DO NOT EVER jerk a door out of my hand. I do not know how many times I have almost fallen out of my chair because someone jerked a door out of my hands….and do not RUN ahead of me to move things, unless you have asked and I say yes please or I ask.   It slows me down. I am EXPERT and gauging if I will fit somewhere so don’t block me. Please.
  16. what other medical complications do you have because of the paralysis? I USED to have rods on either side of my spine. They often caused pain, but THEY BROKE and may or may not have caused a horrible infection in my spine that I had treated in early 2012. WE also had to remove the rods, which is how we found the nasty thing. I got to shoot up twice a day though. . . with antibiotics. In a PICC line. That was boat loads of fun! I can also easily get a pressure sore (bed sore) and my bladder often just up and decides to have a mind of it’s own. I can’t feel it ya know.
  17. How did you meet “the man”? We met online. I lived in Shiner. He loves Shiner beer. You do the math.
  18. Oh, how nice that he’d date and marry you anyways.( you know you ARE in a wheelchair, after all…. he’d have to pretty special to deal with something like that.)  Did you REALLY just F-ing say that!?
  19. Did you finish college? Not yet. I went back in 2001. Developed a horrible pressure sore that put me in the hospital off and then on again for 4 months. Started planning a wedding, enjoying newly wed life and then getting pregnant. I am doing my dream job though. . . I plan to go back at some point. I  either want to teach or be a medical student…I mean doctor.
  20. Since you never lost conscienceness do you remember the pain when it happened? Yes.
  21. Do you excercise? I wheel my weight around all day, every day and load my chair in and out of the van multiple times a day (although will has been helping me with that) and I lift my body to the bed, couch and toilet many times a day as well. I also have a toddler. .. but no. No REAL exercise. I have asthma. LOL
  22. Do you still go to therapy? nope.
  23. You say you can’t FEEL. Does that mean you can’t have sex? I can have sex and do. I have 2 3 kids, remember?

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Comments

  1. I love, love, love these FAQ’s (and your wry sense of humor)! You ROCK!
    Congrats on your SITS day :)
    Elena´s last blog post ..Green Goes Simple- Conservation at Home

  2. Wow…..you are so inspiring!!! I feel so blessed to have met you & look forward to a great friendship:)

  3. You amaze me! You go girl!!!

  4. I like that you answer questions so honestly. However, you kind of missed the one I was wondering about the most. How do you manage tiny children from a wheelchair? I can’t even imagine how you would carry a baby safely and still be able to move a manual chair, or how you can manage to diaper a squirming toddler from a sitting position? Must be hard.

    How long is it before they figure out how to run away from you and wedge themselves in somewhere they know you can’t reach them? I can see a naughty two year old doing that pretty easily. Hopefully this time, it will be easier with your two older children to help you.

    Kids are fun, but they are hard work, even when you have full mobility!

    • Deena
      Twitter: JustDeena
      says:

      @Adrian, One of the things that has always amazed me about Priscilla is her ability to mother full time from a wheelchair. Kids really only do what they are allowed to get away with from birth, when they are raised by a mother in a chair, they really know no different. Will is the same age as my daughter, one of the things that originally bonded us together as friends, I remember reading a blog she had done back then about how she gets him in and out of the car when he was an infant. The ability to adapt our lives when we really need to is one of the many things that makes us human.

    • @Adrian, The first email was direct, this one is a blog reply :)

      You manage when you want something bad enough. I am sure there are posts on here that answer how I did those things the first two times.

      I’ve been blessed so far and my kids on ran off once or twice when they first started testing those boundries and I did what other moms did and chased them down, probably faster then one can run. THey have never gone anywhere I couldn’t get them.

      Kids are a blast and they are only hard work when you make them hard work. I make that mistake quite often, but we all parent and learn.

      Thanks for visiting.

      • I don’t have kids (yet) but many nephews and now great nieces whom I was around when they were all infants and did a lot of baby sitting (from my chair).. I have big shoulders and could balance the babies perfectly when they were tiny and when they got a bit bigger but weren’t walking yet, I loved overalls because they were easy to pick up.. like a purse and when I had the babies on the floor, I’d put them on a blanket and then scoop them up in it.. some people who didn’t know me would freak.. but never have I dropped a baby and probably picked them up safer than some parents do by yanking on their little arms! Its so true about how you raise kids.. one of my nephews who I helped raise when he was little, never once tried to run away from me when he was young and believe it or not, I never even had issues with temper tantrums.. but I’m pretty sure that’s only because I was the auntie and not the mommy! lol

  5. Courtney K.
    Twitter: MrsMommyMatters
    says:

    First I want to to offer you a round of applause for your HONESTY :-) It’s so refreshing to see people being open and honest about things, and your answers, quite frankly, cracked me up! I love your outlook on life. I think it’s awesome that you keep a great outlook when so many people seem to “expect” you to be different. Love your blog!
    Courtney K.´s last blog post ..To Tell the Truth…or not

    • @Courtney K., Thank you. You are right. People do expect me to be different and are usually pleasantly surprised when they realize I am just like them. Thank you very much for visiting on my SITS day.

  6. I can’t believe the audacity people have to ask such personal questions. My mother taught me never to ask people questions like some of the ones you get. That would be reserved for a very close friend and then you’d wait until they wanted to tell you. But then I’m in my 50′s and things weren’t as open as they are these days with everyone sharing everything on the internet. It’s great that you can handle it all with such candidness and humor.

  7. Sara Mooradian
    Twitter: PeriwinklePapi
    says:

    thank you for being a real teacher with candor and a really wicked sense of humor. I look forward to following all of your future posts.

  8. Jessica
    Twitter: spitupchronicle
    says:

    I found your blog while perusing through the SITS blog directory and Im so glad I did!! I love your honesty and the way you just power through. Congratulations on your new baby!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I think its amazing that you do all that you do. I was wondering though do you have someone that helps you with the kids? I mean in case they run out in the middle of the street? fall down the stairs?

  10. I have really enjoyed reading your story and your FAQ’s! Of course, we all have days we feel sorry for ourselves and things we wish we could go back and change…but your positive attitude is so refreshing!!

    I appreciate your honesty!! It helps people like me who never know what I should or shouldn’t do for someone in a wheelchair. I don’t want to be the ‘asshole’ that does the wrong thing. LOL But I never know if I’m the ass for opening the door or not…so I know I appreciate it when someone first hand can just say it! :)

    Oh…but I do know that it is BEYOND inappropriate to ask you if you can feel sex! OMG!!! It’s amazing how rude people can be!

    My daughter had a huge, bright red birthmark on her face when she was a baby (until about 2 years old when it started to fade)…I learned then, first hand, how ignorant people are and how strangers somehow find themselves with no boundaries as to what they will say!

    I heard things like “Wow, what an beautiful baby if she didn’t have that awful spot on her face.” Really? You felt that comment was ok to say to a new mom?

    “Is that lipstick?” Yes, because doesn’t everyone put bright red lipstick all over their daughters eye before they go out in public. Again, really? DId you think about that before you said it, or did it just jump out of your mouth before you had a chance to stop it? LOL

    Anywho… thank you for stopping by my blog! Stay positive, it’s such a beautiful attribute!!! I wish you continued happiness!!! :)
    Erin´s last blog post ..Laundry-Craft Rooms

  11. Gina
    Twitter: RulesDreamGirl
    says:

    Hi,

    You have a beautiul family! It’s so nice to meet such a candid fellow SCI Mom. I was injured in ’93 (C5/6 Quadriplegic) and much to the surprise of some, surprisingly positive lol. Paralysis does not = dead.

    Nice meeting you and good luck with the new addition :)

  12. Amanda
    Twitter: aklaborde
    says:

    I love these! My husband was paralyzed in a car accident 10 years and he (well could say we since they ask me when they are too scared to ask him lol) gets these questions all of the time… it’s great to hear everything from a woman’s point of view though. Congrats on the new baby boy! :)

  13. Melissa
    Twitter: cammyjag
    says:

    I have met so many wheelchair users and people with various disabilities (from being a Therapeutic Rec student) and one thing I always love/admire about so many of them is the raw sense of humour. I love sarcasm! It’s weird that people think the humour so different, but we all make fun of the things in our lives. I’m now a teacher, and I think if people who aren’t teachers heard me sometimes they’d think I’ve either lost it or hate children. But what else can you do but laugh sometimes! It’s what keeps you sane. :)

    But in all seriousness, I think it’s so important that everyone learn wheelchair etiquette, as well as etiquette towards disabilities in general, because some things people do to be ‘helpful’ is not only demeaning but dangerous! Even though some things we think are common sense, humans don’t have quite a good track record for using that now, do they?

  14. Ummm…ROCK ON! Especially the part about people getting in the way to help. No, I don’t think they’re doing it on purpose to be a total NUISANCE, but that’s how they come off most of the time.

    I love your honesty on your FAQ. It took me so many years (and sometimes it still takes a LOT out of me to muster up the courage to be that honest. But it pays off!

    Feel free to stop by my blog, Holdin’ Out for a Hero, and offer your thoughts. I hope to connect with you!
    Laura Tellado´s last blog post ..SBACFL Walk-N-Roll Opportunity for Bloggers!

  15. I think #20 is my favorite…”I have asthma. lol.”

    I’m still giggling!!!
    Allyson´s last blog post ..Tried and Failed

  16. I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading it. My husband has T5-6 paraplegia (also thrown from a vehicle) and gets some of the same questions and such. Someone congratulated him for getting out of his truck by himself the other day… He has the same sort of attitude that you do:) It’s amazing how I also get stupid personal questions as well. “I just don’t see how you do it”, blah, blah, blah. What else are either of us supposed to do???

    Anyway, looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    • They congratulated him? Seriously? I’d congratulate them on earning the award for most insulting comment of the decade! ha! :) Welcome to my blog :)

  17. Shasta
    Twitter: shastahun
    says:

    i just found your blog via The Sweet Shoppe and since I’ve only really been active as of this year I thought I would come over to your blog and learn a little bit about you. I love your attitude about everything. The exercise answer cracked me up. I have asthma too and pull that line all the time as an excuse for not wanting to exercise. You have a beautiful family.
    Shasta´s last blog post ..Two Week Wait

  18. Hi Priscilla, I stumbled across your blog and I was encouraged by your story. I am also a disabled mother and when I read about you and your family, I was so impressed by your attitude regarding your disability and just wanted to say that it feels good to know that there are other people who are like me out there in my situation living a normal life . I also get the inappropriate questions and I sometimes just look and I’m like, “really,”" and just shrug it off. I have my good days and bad days but I feel so blessed to be in the position to where I run my own home and take care of my family. I have some friends that still live with relatives and such that always tell me that I’m so lucky which makes me feel kinda sad for them but, I realize that they didn’t have my life experiences. Anyways, thank you for sharing your life with us. You have a beautiful family and keep “pushing” on . You continue to be happy and let no one steal your joy!

    • Priscilla says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello! I love to hear from other moms that don’t let their disability get them down! :)

  19. Kami
    Twitter: themommadiaries
    says:

    You are so freaking awesome! As a woman who’s been in a wheelchair her whole life, everything you wrote is SO true! I have another to add to your list….PLEASE LET YOUR CHILDREN ASK QUESTIONS!!! I cannot tell you the amount of times a child has come up to me to ask why I am using a wheelchair, only to have their parent embarassingly hush them and scurry away. Ugh.

    Anyways, nice meeting you :)
    Kami´s last blog post ..Weekend Recap

  20. Hi Priscilla, I just found your blog and it was very encouraging for me. I’m in my late 30′s and have been in a wheelchair for the past 1 year and 8 months. I used to be very active but since becoming wheelchair dependent I very infrequently go anywhere. But reading your blog reminded me that it is still possible to live a full life. Thank you. I need to learn to do this despite my disability.
    I recently had a baby 5 1/2 months ago (my first and only one) and didn’t begin baby wearing because if figured that this was for active people that go to various places and take walks with their baby, etc. But now I’m interested in beginnning baby wearing in order to bond with my baby more. (Due to post partum depression for the first 4 months and my well meaning mother “taking over” my baby as if SHE were his mother because she didn’t think that I was capable of taking care of my baby because of my disability. She felt that he wouldn’t be ok unless he was with her all the time. ( He has been a formula fed baby from the beginning.) Needless to say, this led to some serious prolonged postpartum depression because I didn’t have my baby with me (although I was needing him desperately) because he was always in her arms and I was intimidated by the way she had taken control of my baby. Anyway, now I’m trying to re-establish a bond with him and I’m wondering if baby wearing might help since it’s hard for me to hold him for prolonged periods of time. But I’m not sure how he will take to being worn since he’s not used to being worn. Also, my mother got him used to her walking around with him and I cannot do that (although I can stand for short periods of time and take a few steps). He often starts to wiggle as if he’s uncomfortable after I’ve been holding him for a few minutes while sitting. I saw the picture of you wearing your young baby in a sling in the wheelchair. I’m sure you’ve been practicing baby wearing from the newborn period but I was wondering what you thought of me trying to start babywearing now when my son is 5 1/2 months old. Also, what type of baby wearing sling or carrier do you reccomend for someone who is wheelchair dependent who will be sitting whenever they will be wearing their 5 1/2 month old baby? I would love love to hear your thoughts on this since you’re an experience wheelchair user and baby wearer. Thanks!

    • Priscilla says:

      I stopped around 6 -8 months. The babies just lost interest and wanted freedom at that point!

  21. i’m not even sure what i was looking for when i came across this post, but i just want to say that i appreciate your candor. my best friend married a para a few years ago and they have an adorable little infant now. i sometimes wonder the questions you addressed, but would NEVER ask her/them…the last thing i want to do is offend her. and i really have no intention of being rude or disrespectful; these are topics i would feel comfortable discussing with people i’d known for ages – and while she and i are close – i don’t want to make her uncomfortable! i’m rambling – anyway, thanks again for sharing!

  22. Maxynne Marr says:

    Priscilla,
    I am a paraprofessional working with a fourth grade boy who is paralyzed from the waist down. Thus far, his toilet issues have been handled by a regular time to take him and change the Pull Up he still wears. As he is getting older his sense of modesty is increasing. He is definitely able to transfer himself from chair to toilet. Is there anything I can tell him to watch for as a signal he needs to go? He says he has thought about it but doesn’t “feel” anything. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Priscilla says:

      Timing is a big thing. Just go about every 2-3 hours, more often is you’ve had more to drink, and you can sometimes feel your bladder bulge if you feel the lower abdomen.

  23. Thanks for answering these questions… I can definitely see how they are so personal — even to the point of intrusive, but if I’m honest, I was also curious about some of them myself! Thanks again.
    Erika´s last blog post ..My Blogging BFF

    • Priscilla says:

      Hi Erika! Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome. I’d rather people know than wonder and assume something that’s not true. :)

  24. Wow, I just love you, lol I can so relate to everything you say and love your positive attitude and sense of humor :0) I too am a stay at home mommy to 3 in a chair oh and I just happen to be 30 something too :) I little closer to the something though ;) I look forward to following your awesome blog!

  25. You are such an inspiration and such a special person. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Keep being freakin’ awesome.

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