Tag Archives: quadriplegia

wheelchair Socks

Wheelchair Socks

Today, Dr. Eugene Emmer, owner of RehaDesign Wheelchair Accessories announced the launch of ‘Wheelchair Socks’ an innovative cover for wheelchair casters, the small front wheels on wheelchairs. The launch of Wheelchair Socks comes after years of requests from wheelchair users.

RehaDesign offers three types of wheelchair tire covers for manual wheelchairs. Wheelchair Slippers cover the big rear wheels. Mud Eaters also cover the rear wheels but are made from water resistant neoprene. The new product, Wheelchair Socks are the first covers designed for the small front casters.

Wheelchair Socks

Wheelchair Socks and Slippers

Wheelchair Socks and Slippers

Dr. Emmer said: “For a decade we have sold RehaDesign Wheelchair Slipper covers for rear wheelchair tires. Wheelchair users have told us that they appreciate that Wheelchair Slippers help to keep their floors clean from dirt and free from black tire marks. But for many years wheelchair users have demanded a solution for the front casters too. Until now, we have always given the disappointing answer that it was impossible to cover casters due to the way the caster is mounted on the wheelchair”.

Dr Emmer explained, “Last year after receiving an angry email from a disappointed customer who could not see the point of covering the back wheels and leaving the front wheels uncovered, I had a Eureka moment. In the middle of the night, I woke up and traced out a pattern for a new design. After a few modifications to the new design, ‘Wheelchair Socks’ were born. Wheelchair Socks require more precise and elaborate cutting and final sewing than Wheelchair Slippers do because they must fit the casters precisely. But like Wheelchair Slippers they solve the annoying problem that all wheelchair users have – they help keep floors and carpets clean and protected from damage. The impossible is now possible.”

Wheelchair Socks

Wheelchair Socks

Wheelchair Socks

When asked about the names “Wheelchair Slippers” and “Wheelchair Socks”, Dr Emmer explained: When able bodied people come home, many put on slippers or take off their shoes and wear socks in order to prevent tracking outside dirt and germs throughout the house. Now wheelchair users can use their Wheelchair Slippers and Wheelchair Socks in order to keep prevent tracking dirt and germs throughout the house. In addition, Wheelchair Socks and Wheelchair Slippers will help prevent damage and tire marks to floors and carpets.

Like Wheelchair Slippers, Wheelchair Socks feature a special fabric with a lining that grips to the wheels to prevent slippage. The new specially designed closure makes it possible for wheelchair users to quickly cover the caster wheels while sitting inside or outside of the wheelchair. Like Wheelchair Slippers, Wheelchair Socks are machine washable. Wheelchair Socks’ unique design is pending patent approval in the USA and is now being submitted in several other countries.

About RehaDesign Wheelchair Accessories

RehaDesign is an innovative brand of wheelchair accessories, designed in Europe but distributed worldwide via the www.RehaDesign.com website, Amazon and via a network of independent dealers. Wheelchair dealers interested in joining the RehaDesign network are encouraged to contact Dr. Emmer for more information.

Resources

wheelchair-lovers-hands

Quadriplegic Love Lasts

Quadriplegic love lasts and I was about to find out just how long. It was May10th 1999 and I had only been working as a taxi driver for a few days when at my local rank several drivers wandered over to introduce themselves. Shortly afterwards the passenger door of my car opened and a man got in. “Hi, I’m Steve, hope you are settling in ok.” I looked into the sexiest blue eye’s I had ever seen and fell in love at first sight. Steve was flirty and easy to talk to. After chatting for a while he gave me his phone number and told me to call him anytime, if I needed anything, or even if I didn’t. He said we should grab a coffee back at the garage where everyone went once the night’s work was finished.

There was just one problem. I was married and so was he. Neither of us happily, as it turned out. Additionally some weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. My husband was a violent man who thought nothing of repeatedly raping me. On top of that Steve was already seeing a girl. None of this stopped us growing closer and spending time together whenever we could. Long after everyone else had drifted home from the garage Steve and I would still be there talking. While at work he would look out for me by removing drunk passenger’s from my car if he didn’t think I would be able to deal with them, and was just generally my all round protector.

wheelchair taxi

I knew that our feelings for each other were growing stronger. One night we happened to pull into the garage at the same time to fuel up during a shift. We went in to pay for our fuel and walked out onto the forecourt together. As I went to walk towards my car, he grabbed my hand, pulled me into his arms, and kissed me. I could feel the heat from his body as I surrendered completely to the embrace. In that instant, I knew the feeling’s I had for him were reciprocated.

Steve had to travel 150 miles to work and stayed with family, or friends in the area. A few times he even stayed with my husband and I. As I mostly keep my marital problems to myself it wasn’t until years later Steve would come to tell me he always had a bad feeling about my husband. He knew something was not right between us and could see there was no love.

Steve’s own marriage was in bad shape. During work one night he picked up Kathy, an old girlfriend from his teenage years. He had pretty much separated from his wife so began dating her. As soon as the relationship began he realized it was not going to work. He wanted out but was worried about hurting her as Kathy was in a job that had a time limit on it and she was clinging to him as a savior.

The Game Plan

I took a phone call late one night towards the end of August. “Sarah, are you busy babe? I need to talk to you. It’s kind of urgent.” I replied, “No Steve, I’m at a rank and it is dead quiet. Where shall I meet you?” “Garage, fifteen minutes.” was the reply. I was there in ten, parked my car and got into his. He drove us out of town to a quiet area and began to talk.

Steve explained how he wasn’t sorry about the fling with Kathy, as he had ended his marriage, and that he missed his two son’s. He felt things with Kathy were going nowhere but she kept talking about their future. He wanted out and didn’t know how. I told him there was no easy way and pointed out how during the fling he had neglected work and his friends. He needed to get a grip on things and the relationship would naturally fizzle out. I think deep down we both knew the real reason it wasn’t working out with Kathy.

We talked for several hours that night. Steve knew the thing with Kathy had to end, he knew what he wanted, and I knew what I wanted too. I would have to end my, very unhappy marriage, and try to escape it to be free. Steve was the first person to feel the baby I was carrying move in my belly, everyone assumed it was his, and that we were already seeing each other. Someone had told his estranged wife we already were, but we didn’t know who.

Steve started working more, and things began to get back to normal. He was desperately trying to extract himself from Kathy’s grasp but she kept telling him she would fall apart if he left. He struggled with the guilt, and his ever increasing feelings for me. On the 21st of September, it was Steve’s older brother Mark’s birthday. Kathy, Mark and his girlfriend Louise, plus another driver and his girlfriend all went out to a local pub/club. I drove them to the venue.

No More Secrets

As they got out of my car Steve said I should get there 20 minutes earlier than they had asked me too, and text him when I got outside. So I did, and two minutes after I sent the text, Steve came outside alone and got into the front seat. He pulled me into his arms, kissed me passionately, and said to me, “Right, I’m going to tell her it’s over, tonight, I can’t take it anymore. Sarah, it’s you I want, and if I have been reading this right, I know you feel the same.” I looked at him, “Steve, you know I do, I just didn’t know if I should say anything.”

We did everything but make love right there in the car. Only because there wasn’t time, I wish there had been, no one had ever made me respond the way he did that night without actually having sex. I had never wanted someone so much in my life. He wasn’t put off by me being pregnant. He told me I was incredibly sexy, and he wanted me, so badly, but he had to end it with Kathy first. We arranged to meet for breakfast/lunch the following day. I figured I would tell him everything about my marriage then, and how scared I was of my husband.

I dropped everyone off home, Steve and Kathy last. I got out of the car to say goodnight and he hugged me like he never wanted to let me go. I saw the realization on Kathy’s face, she knew what was coming, and she knew why. She was slim, kind of pretty, younger than me, and a professional stripper. She knew she was going to lose Steve to a married, pregnant, taxi driver. It had been raining heavily on and off most of the night, so after getting me to promise I would drive home safely, and me telling him not to do anything stupid, he promised to call me the next day.

I drove home to my very drunk and unpredictable husband. He was still awake when I arrived. He looked up at me from his chair, “Dropped your lover and his bird off have we?” I looked at him, “George, it’s over, I don’t love you. I want a divorce. Steve isn’t my lover but I can’t do this anymore. I can’t lie about how I feel and I don’t want to. I want a divorce because I want to be with Steve and he wants to be with me. I’m sorry, but there it is.” He freaked out, “I knew it, you’re fucking him aren’t you, that baby is his, isn’t it, that bastard slept in my house, drank beer with me, and all along you and him were fucking each other behind my back! Well, he can have you, I don’t want you, after he’s had you, dirty little slut!.” And with that he stamped off to bed, after about half an hour I followed him, and slept, not very well.

The Accident

At 7.45am my mobile phone was ringing. I woke to a voice on the other end asking who I was, and explaining, “This is Paul, Mark’s twin brother, where is he, it’s urgent.” Fear gripped me. I knew something bad had happened to Steve. “What’s happened, its Steve isn’t it. Tell me what’s happened!” His reply will never leave me as long as I live. “Yes, he’s been in a car crash, it’s not looking good. I need you to find Mark and get him to hospital quickly, may not be much time, I’ll keep ringing around, just get there quick, and safely, ok?”

tetraplegic crash

I was dressed in a shot, my heart pounding, crying and praying to who I don’t know. George woke up, I told him what had happened, told him I was going to the hospital and I would be as long as it took. He watched me in silence as I finished dressing and ran out of the bedroom.

When I arrived at Mark’s house he was waiting for me. “It’s all my fault, I told him he had to move his car. It was across my driveway. He was driving that stupid bloody TVR of Kathy’s. I think they had a row, about you. He’s in love with you isn’t he Sarah?” I just looked at him with tear’s pouring down my face and nodded. “I’ll drive, Sarah you are in no fit state love.” I just totally disintegrated. Louise put her arms around me as I sobbed uncontrollably, and we got into the back of my car. She held me tightly as I wept on the way to the hospital.

On arrival at the intensive care unit of our local hospital we were informed Kathy had died instantly in the crash. The car had hit a massive puddle and slammed into a large oak tree at about fifty mph. She was not wearing a seat belt. We were not allowed in to see Steve. They were too busy trying to stabilize him, so we waited… and waited.

Paul and Mark talked in low voices in the corner. I heard my name mentioned, and Paul say that I should go home, as I was six months pregnant, and they were worried that it was all too much for me. I walked over to them, “I’m not leaving, I’m staying. I want to see him. He needs to know I’m here.” Glancing at Paul, “Does he know, Mark?” Paul looked at me, “Yes, I know, we all knew before he even admitted it to himself. For the last four months all Steve has talked about is you Sarah. Of course I knew, he’s my baby brother after all.”

After what seemed like years, and about a million cups of strong sweet tea, a nurse came to us and asked who was first. Paul and Mark both indicated me, and she asked me to follow her. I went into a bay with four beds. Steve lay in the furthest from the door on the right. His neck brace still on, lines and tubes everywhere, and surrounded by machines. She told me he was heavily sedated but would hear me and know I was there.

She found me a chair but I stood there, next to his bed, more tears came. “Oh Steve, I told you not to do anything stupid and you didn’t listen did you? Oh baby please, hold on, I can’t be without you, not now, I need you.” His eyes flickered open for a second, “Sorry Babe, I’m not dead yet, I’m trying… I love you.” I had to lean in close to hear him, my tears falling on his face. “Don’t cry Babe.” he whispered. I stayed with him, for about half an hour, and then realized that I should let his family in to see him, so I kissed him, on the forehead and promised to come back the next day.

Quadriplegic Ventilator

I walked out into the family waiting room and collapsed into Mark’s arms sobbing uncontrollably and shaking from head to foot. He guided me to a chair, and Louise found a nurse, who took my blood pressure, and asked if I had eaten anything. It was two in the afternoon by then. I shook my head at her, unable to speak. She said someone should take me for food, or home. Louise looked at me and asked which. I said food, so she took me for something to eat, and Mark went in to see Steve.

Turning Points

By the time we came back, everyone but Louise had been in. Steve’s parents had arrived and Steve’s wife was with them. She didn’t want to see him, and caught the train home the next day. Mark and Louise drove me home. Mark promising he would drop my car back later in case I needed the distraction of work. He told me not to worry, Steve was a stubborn git, and he would pull through. At this stage it was unclear what his injuries actually were.

I walked slowly into my flat where I was greeted by my now belligerent husband who without preamble asked if Steve was dead. I shook my head, told him I needed to sleep, and could he keep quiet, and look after Sean, our 2yr old son. He huffed, and agreed. I went into the bedroom, undressed and got into bed. Lying there, on my own, I cried myself to sleep.

I was woken around 10pm by a text message alert, with shaking hands I picked up the phone, and opened the message. It was from Shawn, another driver who worked for the same people I worked for. The text asked where I was, and Mark, and Steve, and how the phone was going mental with work. I sighed and rang him to explain what had happened. I tried so hard not to cry as I explained.

Shawn asked if that was why my car was parked outside Mark’s house, and offered to come and get me, so I could pick it up. I accepted, might seem a little weird, but I didn’t want to be at home with my husband. I had a quick shower and got dressed. George watched as I got ready to leave. “So, what are you going to do if the bastard dies then, stay and dump his kid on me?” I shook my head, “Not now George, drop it, please, I’m going to work.”

That night was busy. Steve’s phone was still diverted to mine, so all his customers were calling for a taxi, and asking where he was. I broke down and wept many times that night. The majority of his customers had seen us together, and knew how he felt about me. They were all very understanding. Mark was at work too, we met up for a coffee at the garage once work was over.

“You ok Egg Belly? Want a coffee?”  “No thanks Mark, Steve get’s me chocolate, I’m off coffee” (Egg Belly was Mark’s nickname for me as my pregnancy began to show). He looked at me, “You’re going to cry again, aren’t you? Come here silly girl, he’ll be ok, and you two will be together.” We sat in the garage, Mark hugging me gently while we chatted about why he felt so guilty about the crash. I have to admit for a short while I also blamed him. And myself because I knew if I had come clean that night in the car park, about how violent John was, Steve would have come home with me. Mark never found out about the violence until much later either.

Hospital Visits

The next couple of months were odd. I went to the hospital every day. On each occasion the nurses giving me a laundry list of the dangers Steve was in. Steve had broken C4-C5, damaged his liver and punctured a lung which was filling with fluid, and blood. He would be paralysed from the shoulders down for life. At the time of the crash Steve was 32 and I was 31.

One day I went to see him, and his mum and dad were there, and strangely so was his wife. She walked up to me asked if the baby I was carrying was Steve’s. I just stared at her, and shook my head no. I later overheard a heated discussion between her and Mark, she told him that she didn’t want him back, and if he lived, I was welcome to him. I didn’t see her again after that.

After a couple of weeks they had to do a tracheotomy, and told Steve he was not allowed to talk. You never tell Steve he’s not allowed to do anything, he talked! I explained that they would do better if they told him that it wasn’t a good idea. His memory at this period was shaky but he was certain that he loved me, and wanted to be with me. After two months he was moved to a hospital further away, a Spinal Unit in Sailsbury. I was by this time almost ready to give birth, and my marriage was dead, the love of my life was paralyzed and my whole life was in ruins.

Tetraplegic Love Lasting

I continued to work, until the day before Kieran was born on the 30th of December 1999. I had an emergency C section with the previous baby, seven weeks early. Unknown to me at the time, this weakens the uterus, so while in normal labour, the uterus ruptured, and I pushed him out by myself. The bleeding wouldn’t stop, the placenta did not deliver, my blood pressure was falling, and somewhere inside me, I knew I was dying.

I panicked as they took me to theater to manually deliver the placenta, the anesthetist was a friend of mine, and I was lying there on the trolley saying Ken, hurry up, I’m dying, please hurry, I don’t want to die, he tried to reassure me but I knew. Several hours later I woke up in intensive care. A male nurse standing by my bed looked at me, and said he knew me, but wasn’t sure where from. I grinned weakly and said Steve’s full name. He said, “Right of course, you’re his girlfriend. I remember now, blimey, he had the girlfriend who died in the crash, you, and a nasty wife.”

I was in the ITU for a week, and in hospital another week. They had to perform a hysterectomy, and were not exactly delicate about how they told me, “You have four children, you don’t need to have any more, we had to do the hysterectomy, or you would have died.” I was off work for exactly eight weeks. When Kieran was three or four months old I went to the hospital to see Steve.

Mark told me they would be ok, and that I needed to get on with my life. I was absolutely inconsolable for months. I couldn’t get over it. Suffering severe post natal depression, the loss of my ability to have more children, and the biggest loss of all Steve, I went and did the most stupid thing ever in the history of stupid. I had an 18 month affair with Mark, Steve’s older brother.

Kieran was 10 months old, it was my 33rd birthday in the October, and Mark organised a small party, at his house. His four kids were there, my four, Mark’s girlfriend, and my husband. Mark and I still dealing with our guilt over the crash, me with the death of my marriage, and my hopes for my relationship with Steve, my husband with his headlong dive into alcoholism and drug abuse, and of course wife beating.

Mark’s girlfriend and I went to the local on foot, leaving the others at the house. Mark and my husband had a fight. He asked Mark if he was fucking me, ever the smart arse Mark said no, but I’d like to. When we returned it escalated. My husband threatened me with a carving knife. Mark bounced his head off a wooden garden table, telling him, if he touched me again, he’d kill him, adding if his little brother was there he would not have offered the courtesy of a warning. The police were called and George was arrested. I was told I could stay there if I wanted to, they would make room, and with hindsight I should have, but I got a taxi home.

Closing Old Wounds

I arrived to find my husband attempting to burn the house down after having trashed everything. I called the police, they came, told me I was winding him up, it was the marital home, and he could wreck it if he wanted. On the 19th of November he kicked me across the living room in front of our 2yr old son and ruptured my bowel. I didn’t get to go to hospital for about four hours. I cleaned up the dinner he had thrown at me, and sat on the sofa, while the pain increased. Eventually he called an ambulance, warning me if I told them what really happened he would take our boy, and my precious bastard baby of Steve’s, and I would never see them again.

quadriplegic abuse
As we walked down the stairs at home, husband on one side a paramedic on my other, I began to feel sick. The paramedics shoes or my husband’s? No contest, as I felt the vomit rise in my throat I turned my head and puked all over his shoes. That made me feel so much better. I was in hospital for two days, before they figured out what was wrong, I was prepped for surgery, I had bowel resection.

Jim, a driver I worked with, and was good mates with came to see me. He sat next to the bed, looked me in the eye, and said, “Sarah, I know what’s been going on. I know you are frightened, and I know that’s why you haven’t left him, but this can’t go on. He will kill you in the end, talk to the police, please I’m begging you!” I looked at him, tears rolling down my cheeks. “You call them here, I’ll talk to them.” It took two hours to take my statement, they wanted me to go home, and said they would arrest him a day or two later… I looked at the police officer and said, “Who do you want to take out of there in handcuffs, and who in a body bag? Because I won’t be leaving in a body bag.”

Mark came to see me in hospital. I told him it was his fault. That if the family had not vetoed Steve being with me, none of this would have happened, he looked at me, and just nodded. The night before I was going home George came to talk me into forgiving him, promising to get help. I said the same thing I said the night of Steve’s accident… That it was over, and I wanted a divorce, and he was to leave when I got home, immediately. He was not to threaten to take the boy’s and he should be packed to go as soon as I arrive. He accepted this and left, taking my baby with him. I was terrified he would harm our kids.

The next morning it was like a military operation, my drugs were dispensed, and ready for 9am. Jim went to the house and met the police, they arrested George. Jim collected the kids, house keys, and came to the hospital to collect me. I went home in my pajamas!

My recovery took longer this time and as I couldn’t drive, I became the radio and phone operator at work, kept amused by all the drivers. Mark and Jim, to name a few, became my support network. Mark and I talked about how I felt about what had gone on with Steve and came to an agreement that it may have been the wrong choice to send him home to his wife. I never understood why they did it. None of them liked her, she was an awful wife, cheating, neglecting the kids, and the house. She was mentally abusive to Steve from the moment he got home. So while Steve was being abused by her, and I was being beaten to within an inch of my life, I completely failed to see who benefited. Mark did, he got what rightfully belonged to Steve, for a short while anyway.

Wake Up Call

One night at work a taxi driver I didn’t always get along with and I were sitting outside the garage smoking, and having a coffee. He turned to me and said, “Sarah, what are you doing?” “Well John I’m sitting here…” “No, you daft moo, with Mark. He’s not Steve, he won’t ever be like him, he won’t ever be him. No matter how much you want him to be. He just isn’t so you need to stop it, now! You get me? It’s only hurting you, not helping, it never will.” I looked at John, tears rolling down my cheeks, “I miss him John, it’s not fair, he should be with me, not being Annie’s pet husband, it’s wrong, it’ll end badly, I just know it.” And unaccustomed as he was to random weepy women, and show’s of affection, he hugged me tight, and said, with a great deal of foresight, as it turned out, “Don’t worry honey, it’ll all come right in the end, you two are meant to be, just keep the faith, don’t ever let go, and you’ll be together someday, I just know it.”

Wheelchair Couple Coffee

I don’t think I need go into the details of the following relationships, of which there were three, suffice to say, I ended it with Mark only a few days after John and I had our little talk. Soon after this my husband who was arrested for GBH with intent, skipped bail, and threatened to kill me. The council refused to move me until he tried, and I had been vaguely seeing the guy who fixed the company vehicles he offered for me to stay with him, we spent three years together, he was an alcoholic too. I had several affairs during that relationship, and as became my habit, when someone got too close I longed for Steve again, and sabotaged the relationship.

Frying Pan To Fire

I moved on, and had a short lived, sex based relationship with a soldier, 12 years my junior it was very short lived, but mostly enjoyable. I then got involved with someone 20 years younger. We were together for almost six years. During our relationship Facebook was invented and became a world wide access point for people to bugger up their lives, friendships and relationships. I found Steve and sent a friend request which he accepted. That was in December 2009, we didn’t speak much to start with, not directly. Annette didn’t like it so we commented on each others photo’, and generally kept track of each other. Steve has told me since that he was overjoyed when I sent the request. He had been looking for me but only remembered my married name, which I no longer used, and had bypassed me several times while searching Mark’s friend list, thinking it wasn’t me.

In August 2010, Annette got caught out in one of her numerous affairs, and while on the family holiday, announced the marriage was over, had been for many years in her eyes, she spent the insurance money, that Steve had got, and when that ran out, she started visiting sex sites, and meeting random men for sex. The bottom fell out of Steve’s world, he knew they had been in trouble for years, but she had systematically destroyed his self confidence. By the end of November we were in regular contact. In December we had some of the worst snow in year’s. My car was broke down in -20 degree temperatures and was out of action for three weeks. For those weeks, because our house is so remote, Luke my partner at that time went to stay at his mother’s. So he could catch the train to university. And I was alone with my two sons and my laptop.

Sweet Contentment

Steve and I talked for hours on end, with me filling in all the gaps in his memory of the crash, and of the following weeks. Telling him all the stuff that happened to me in those ten years apart and out of touch. He told me how awful that everything was after he came home, how every time they argued she threw the accident in his face blaming him for fucking up her life. When she had alone decided he would go back to her after discovering how much money he would get, plus all the benefits that came along too. Steve recalled, “She took me back to get my money, and pulled me away from you for financial gain, the spinal unit told her I had five years, six max, and once I passed six, that was it.”

By Christmas my car was fixed but my life was in turmoil once again. Steve thought I was happy with Luke, but I wasn’t. I felt like his mother, he was lazy, mean to the kids and our sex life was none existent. After about two weeks of arguing with myself, while Luke was fixed to the Xbox, I started an early evening chat with Steve. I had told him about my fling with Mark very early on during our chat’s and then said I had something else to confess, “You slept with Steve (Steve’s oldest brother) too.” He joked. “God, Steve, no! Credit me with some taste.” I replied, “What then?” he asked. I took a deep breath, and began to type, this is what I said: Steve, it’s you, it’s always been you, I am in love with you, I always have been from the moment we met, and that hasn’t changed. In all these year’s I never stopped thinking about you, wanting to be with you, see you, I am so unhappy with Luke, I just want you…

There was a long pause, it seemed to last forever. Then, “Really? when we started talking so much, I thought for a minute, maybe, hoped, but dismissed it, decided you were just being a mate, but you really still feel that way, you know I’m a cripple, don’t you Sarah? I didn’t get better Baby Girl, you know all this right?” “Yes Steve, I know, why would it make a difference?”

There’s things you need to know he told me, we talked a lot on MSN, when we got kicked off Facebook chat for using it too much. He told me all about his injury, his needs, and the hardest thing he ever told anyone ever, about his erectile dysfunction, and that he and his wife had never had sexual intercourse since his injury. But there are ways we can he said, she just couldn’t be bothered. He wrote it all on MSN with his Dragon dictate software, and the pause, while I read it, seemed like a eternity, the next thing he wrote was “Oh no, what have I done, it’s too much. I want to make love to you and I might not be able too… say something Sarah.”

I answered him, immediately, “No, Steve, I was just reading it, carefully, so I took it all in, so, tell me, what can we do, for us to be able to make love?” His response was one I will never, ever forget…” Oh God Sarah, you really do love me, and want me, don’t you, do you know, how I write text messages, let me tell you, I write them with my tongue, I can drive you to total ecstasy with my tongue, you’ll think you are dying with pleasure, I promise you, I’ll make you come, for hours, and when you think you’ve had enough, you’ll be begging me for more, I can satisfy you more than any man has ever before I promise, but we may not be able to have actual sex, do you think you can spend your life that way?” “Yes, Steve, oh my God yes, I am turned on just thinking about it.” “Good, and there are tablets that can help with erectile dysfunction, I tried Viagra but it made me dysreflexic, and Annette didn’t want to have proper sex with me anymore she had plenty of that elsewhere”

That conversation took place in the first week or so of January 2011, Annette had met a new guy online and stayed with him most weekends, which became four or five days, leaving Steve with her two kids from her first marriage, and her and Steve’s two son’s, who when they said they were splitting both opted to stay with Steve. We spent loads of time on the phone, having both taken out a contract with the same mobile network, we talked endlessly about before the crash, and after, and laughed, a lot. we sent dirty texts, he drove me to orgasm by talking to me, we had phone sex, my vibrator got a lot of use in those weeks, he loved to hear me coming while I gasped his name, and screamed it too.

Annette and her new man found a flat together, they were moving in on the last day of February, I arranged to go and see him, that weekend, the 3rd of March, I lied to Luke about where I was going, Steve had said he would hold me to nothing, until he looked into my eyes when I first saw him, and knew I meant it when I said, to his face that I love him, and his spinal injury changed nothing.

Quadriplecic Love

I arrived at his house around midnight on the Thursday, Callum, his 13yr old son let me in, and I followed him upstairs, I was so nervous, it had been so long, what if I was not how he remembered me, what if he decided it was a terrible mistake. I walked into the bedroom. Steve was in bed as the carers come to put him to bed at 9.30pm, I walked to his side of the bed, all the nerves melted away, we looked at each other for a few seconds, and he said, “Hi Babe, been a while, you look just the same as I remember.” I leaned over and kissed him, we forgot for a second that Callum was there, and he kissed me back passionately, and then said, whoa, children! Callum stayed for twenty minutes, went and made a cup of tea, and then, bless him, made a tactful departure.

Fatal Rapture

In minutes, I was down to my red (Steve’s favourite colour) knickers and bra, and in bed, in his arms. “Get that bra off, this instant, I want your nipples, where I can get them.” I did as he asked, “Come here, then, but remember you are the boss, you say how far we go, or not.” And that night, my nipples got more attention than they had ever had before, and I was gasping for breath by the end, Steve is super sensitive around his neck, shoulders, ears, and head, and I worked this out very quickly. We fell asleep, with Steve’s arms wrapped around me, and his body curled towards me, my knickers lost somewhere on his bedroom floor.

The next morning the nurses arrived, at 8.30 to do bowel care, just walking in like they owned the place, I had in the night kicked the duvet off me, so the sight that greeted them was me naked, wrapped in Steve’s arms, they didn’t know where to put themselves, but made no sign of leaving the room so I could cover myself up. Steve woke up, and said, can you get out, please, Sarah needs to get some clothes on, she can’t stand around on the landing naked while you do what needs doing, can she? they went out onto the landing, and I found my dressing gown, and dragged it on, I went and found the kitchen, made coffee, and waited while his bowel care was done, I could hear them, questioning him, about me, him telling them, that we had known each other for years, and get used to my being around. Is this the new girlfriend then Steve? Yes, his very firm reply.

It was an amazing weekend, the second night he did as he promised with his tongue, by far  the most stable position for this is me facing his feet, where he can get to every part he wants with ease, but I like to face him, because he likes to watch my face as I come, and look into my eyes as he works me into a frenzy, but that way, plays hell with my legs, which start to give way. “Turn around Sarah, I want that cute little arse in my face.” so I do, and in minutes I am experiencing the most intense orgasm I have ever had in my entire life.

My body takes over completely, rocking back harder and harder against the firm pressure of his tongue, while I scream his name, over and over, gasping that I am coming, like he was in any doubt! And just when I think it’s stopping it washes over me again, he pushes his tongue inside me, moaning softly as he does so, pulling me harder towards his mouth, murmuring “Come on Baby, there’s more I know there’s more” And he is right, I push back again, “Oh god, Oh Steve, Oh please, I can’t, can we stop…No, don’t stop, don’t ever stop Oh Steve, I’m coming.” A muffled groan is the only reply, and a giggle, as I change my mind about a break, and then change it again.

While this is happening, I glance at his penis, which with some attention from my mouth had hardened, and then changed its mind, but is in my hand anyway, and it’s hard, properly, “Steve, you are hard! stop a sec, I keep a firm hold, and switch back to facing him, then gently guide it inside me, his face registers surprise, I can feel that, he says, not all over but the warmth, the pressure, oh Sarah, you are a clever girl, I move gently, so we don’t lose it, feeling him hard inside me is just wonderful.

Looking into his eyes, as I move up, and then gently back down, then keep still, and use my fingers to make myself come, at this point, as I do, his eyes widen, in surprise, I can feel you tightening on it, and then he says he has this odd, fluttery feeling in his stomach, which he says is so pleasurable, and I can feel him hardening more inside me, this feeling intensifies, then slowly stops, I think that that was the first time I had an orgasm since my injury, he says, and that was just well WOW.

Wheelchair Love Lasts

So, although there is some erectile dysfunction, with the right stimulation, it’s not all the time, we use a drug called Cialis, if we want it to last longer, and be harder, but most of the time, I can get it to become hard, with a combination of him watching me give him oral sex, and the use of a mini vibrator called a bullet, or just him giving me mind blowing orgasm’s

Quadriplegic Love Lasts

The weekend flies by, and it’s Monday, before I know it, we have time to go to lunch with Victor, a friend of Steve, since they were 17, he is a lovely guy, but his and Steve’s friendship has suffered over the years, due to Victor’s intense dislike of Annette, and her treatment of Steve, and herself serving reasons for taking him back. He told me all about it as time went on, just before the accident.

Victor clearly remembers Steve visiting with Kathy, and telling him, don’t get too used to her, it won’t last, don’t let Justine (Victor’s wife) get too friendly, there’s someone else, I have fallen in love with, but Fuck, it’s so complicated, she’s married, but he is a dick, and I think she is scared of him, and she’s pregnant, and no it’s not mine, but Victor I want her and I know she feels the same.

I just have to get out of this, I can’t deal with her, she’s suffocating clingy, and keeps on about us getting custody of the boy’s, she doesn’t know anything about kids, and I just don’t love her, not that way, what the hell am I going to do? Victor told him to tell the married woman how he feels.

Then we are standing in his back garden, having a cigarette one day, and Victor suddenly realizes he saw me, the totally devastated pregnant woman at the hospital was me, and it all slots into place, and he say’s, “And you still love him after everything that’s happened, incredible.” So friends believe me when I say quadriplegic love lasts.  After all the pain, distance, and time, plus our many obstacles and mistakes, our love for each other has endured to this day.

Mad Spaz Club copyright wheelchair icon

Website Help and Updates

Mad Spaz Club wheelchair welcome icon copyright streetsie.comWelcome to the Mad Spaz Club website where all the cool wheelchair people hang out. Please report bugs, make feature requests, post complaints and general feedback in the comment section below. We are constantly improving the Mad Spaz Club website to make your visit a safe enjoyable one. Simply register an account to access all our features.

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11 February 2014 Extra Chat Features and Author Pages

We have made adjustments to our live chat to reward our loyal members including; online user list country flags, message window refreshes every 3 seconds (was 4), 500 characters per message max (was 400), anyone with contributor status (has written an article for us) can access moderation tools and initiate private chat windows, and we un-banned several words eg. viagra sex vagina ejaculation. We do allow discussions about sex as long as it is not offending anyone. You can now also read more about an article author by clicking on their name at the end of an article.

8 September 2013 Chat and Gallery Upgrades

Has it really been a year? We have made many improvements site-wide and helped hundreds if not thousands of people living with spinal cord injury. Major upgrades were recently made to our Live Chat feature after a conflict arose with the gallery. The gallery problem is an external scripting one out of our control so we are seeking a new gallery solution. A big thank-you to all our supporters and helpful members assistance over the last twelve months. I will try to post more updates here before another year passes us by.

12 Sept 2012 Amended Registration Agreement

Added “Wheelchair Dating” and “Artworks” forums, opened quick reply feature, upgraded versions and made minor layout adjustments. Amended registration agreement to include; “POST SOMETHING. The more you post the more access and privileges you are given. Members with 0 posts are given a rank of “Voyeur, one who spies on another’s private moments.” As we respect and protect our active members privacy, members with 0 posts are often deleted. To avoid this please make a post.”

11 June 2012 Forum Upgrades

Our forum has been updated to the latest stable version. We also added new avatars, a disability field to profiles, and enabled a “quick reply” feature on all posts. The disability chat room refresh rate has been bumped from 6 to 7 seconds to reduce server load and make it more stable when busy.

13 Mar 2012 Theme Updated

75% of people viewing our website use Internet Explorer. Updating our theme to display correctly in IE and the top 5 browsers is a never ending process. We rolled out several cross-browser fixes bringing our theme upto date today. Let us know if you have any problems viewing our website.

1 Oct 2011 Memberships Increase

600 images were added to our galleries during september. We wish to extend a warm thankyou to all who uploaded and the regulars who assisted new members and visitors during Graham’s absence. We’ve seen memberships steadily increase on our forum. The live chat area has been busy and our most prolific member there Deb has been promoted to a chat Admin. We greatly value all our members and appreciate your continued support.

27 Aug 2011 Article Submission Form Added

Website updates this month saw our article submission form go live to the public. I hope by making it easy, it will prove popular, as I love to read all your stories and experiences. Adding a math quiz to our member registration form cut down spam allowing me more time to work on Mad Spaz Club articles. While there have been several background improvements made the only other noteworthy mention is that over 300 images were added to our image galleries this month. Thank-you all for your continued support.

6 July 2011 JPG Image Upload on C omment Form

We have added the optional ability to upload an image along with your comment. We hope this enhancement makes it easier to share photos and interact with your fellow members here at the Mad Spaz Club.

20 June 2011 Upgraded Gallery Features

Thank-you to all our members who submitted photos to our galleries this month. Nearly 300 images in total. In appreciation we have added new features allowing you greater control over descriptions and how images are displayed. Any registered member can create a gallery and upload images, here’s a step-by-step how to.

  1. In your profile> Gallery> Add Gallery/Images
  2. Click “Add new gallery” tab
  3. Type in your gallery name
  4. Click “Add Gallery” button
  5. Click “Upload Images” tab
  6. Select your gallery name from the “chose galley” drop down
  7. “Browse” to and add your images, you’ll see them listed below the Browse box
  8. When you’re ready click “Upload images” give it time to process and create thumbnails
  9. Then you can add descriptions, alt and title tags, adjust your thumbnails etc.

1 June 2011 New Comment Notification Design

Our exciting new HTML comment notification design was launched today. Simplistic and sleek, if you comment on our website and leave the “Notify me of new comments on this page” box checked you will receive a visually stunning thank-you email notice on your first-time comment and an email notification everytime a new comment is posted on the page you are subscribed to. All MSC notification email includes links to opt-in/out of our services. We hope you enjoy this improvement.

1 May 2011 Reinstated Disability Forums

A flashback to the heady days when websites were built around forums. We get quite a few requests for forums and so after an extensive overhaul the forums we began in 2003 are back with retro flair. Some images and SP posts were not retrievable and we are working on bringing it into line with our one login for all website features policy but it’s up and running with a new “Personals” section so register and post your profiles.

29 Mar 2011 Bluce Ice Theme New Default

We will be rolling out our Blue Ice theme this week. Those resistant to change will still be able to revert to our Ruby theme with our theme switcher for a limited time. Blue Ice is the new default theme. Why? Features; Less clutter to find what you’re looking for faster. Quicker loading pages. Lightweight sub pages. Upgraded security. Easy to read fonts. Footer includes hot topic lists and quick contact form.

4 Mar 2011 Building Blue Ice Website Theme

We are developing a new black blue and white disability friendly theme with simplicity in mind. Soon you can find what you are looking for faster. But you don’t have to cross your legs and wait, use our Theme Switcher and check Blue Ice out now! Be sure to tell us what you think.

28 Feb 2011 Visit Our New Live Chat Area

We promote disability adventure and publish personal stories from wheelchair users and other people living with and caring for people with disabilities. We share knowledge and experience providing information and support to those impacted by spinal cord injury and all that wheelchair life involves.

Get Published

Your story could bring comfort to many. We love to hear from wheelchair users and people living with paraplegia quadriplegia and spinal cord injury as equally from anyone who’s life has been impacted by disability. We want to publish your story, if you are willing to share your story tell us briefly in a comment or our live chat area and we will contact you.

Our Gallery

To upload pictures and share with us you must have a registered account. Your images will not appear until they are approved by an admin. You may also upload images in our forum once registered, these will appear immediately. Visit our live chat area to request an account or higher access to advanced features. Anyone found abusing fellow members or our services will be dealt with severely. We reserve the right to delete any account and services without notice.

Create Your Account

We have taken steps to block spammers but allow legitimate users to still register an account with us. If you have any problems registering simply post or comment here or drop by our new live chat area and we’ll do our best to help you. Admin’s can create accounts and answer any questions about uploading images and publishing articles.

We apologize for having to delete previously registered member accounts and any inconvenience that may have caused. We take your security very seriously and take any action we feel necessary to safe guard you and your privacy. No accounts were compromised, we only deleted previous member accounts as a precaution.

Contacting Us

Other than our live disability chat and comment areas we offer a contact form at the bottom of our home page. We encourage you to ask and be answered in article comment areas so others can read learn and offer answers. We make it easy to post a question, comment or have your story published. So get cracking, shake off that granny blanket and show the ability in disability.

Many people don’t realize a spinal cord injury not only affects the person living in a wheelchair, their immediate family friends and loved ones lives are also affected. Relatives, work colleagues, even your local doctor becomes involved in one way or another. Did you know one third of the population has or cares for someone with a disability.

Dean Pusell Love the Universe in You

Dean Pusell Love the Universe in You

In the summer of 1988 the smell of salt hung in the air by the beach in Australia. I decided to escape the heat and go surfing with friends. We all ran into the water diving in at waist deep. As I floated to the surface face down unable to move. I knew the blood in the water was mine. Thankfully my friends noticed and rolled me over. Unable to feel from my bottom lip down I sucked in a big breath of our precious sky. Funny, I lost a lot of blood but not a tear in the ocean that day.

Dean Pusell Love the Universe in You

Love the Universe in You

I was placed in a halo brace to stabilize my quadriplegia and for the next fourteen months in hospital I was nurtured and doctered to use a cold steel wheelchair for the rest of this mortal life. I was only sixteen. After re-learning how to dress and feed myself it came time to write. Though it was most difficult I not only learned to write again, I came to allow my feelings to flow through my hands, drawing and painting over the next few years.

From 1994-2005 my creative works featured in 65 exhibitions around the world involving surreal painting, charcol drawings, collage, photography and poetry. I even turned my hand to writing lyric’s for a blind man to air on public radio. It lead to more television comericals and interviews.

For the last 18 months I have squinted through my heart, purely absorbing this mystically breathing life of spirit, breeze, and vibes- from pulse to paper in “Love the Universe in You” my scribbles began happily.

In a minds gentle silence and a hearts soft voice this smiling light was healing in a peaceful surrender, what grew in this pink and purple dusk amongst the closing lavender lotuses was the birth of a waking dream… piercing stars now whispered a gentle bliss. – Dean Pusell

“Love the Universe in You” is my latest published book. It was written with a glowing smile, deeply feeling the dual meanings of the title. Grab a copy and find your bliss.

Peace and smiles to all,
Love Dean Pusell
DeanPusell.com

Loving Somebody Extraordinary

It was September 24th 2006 when my path crossed with my soul mate. At 35 I had all but lost faith in eligible men and monogamous relationships, never mind conventional marriage. There he was sitting in the only patch of sun at a Bar-B-Que and I couldn’t resist joining him to soak up the warmth. I had just given up alcohol for good, and offered him a taste of my ginger beer. His cousin, our neighbour of 34 years, was having a farewell BBQ and Francois almost didn’t come. Meeting Francois changed my life forever. 

Loving Somebody Extraordinary

Loving Somebody Extraordinary

Francois is a wiz on computers and online games. At the time he was busy with Lineage II. He explained how he was able to gather with other online gamers across the world to arrange sieges, defend castles and fend off fierce dragons. He called himself a “lowly warrior”. I have since discovered he is more likely a Knight. With many of his fellow swordsmen being North Americans, most of the online battles were scheduled for 4am. This was no trouble for Francois and he would be awake and ready to support his guild. 

His lifestyle was akin to that of a vampire, drawing the thick curtains during daylight so the glare wouldn’t reflect off the graphics, and awake all night to battle. He fought with pride, honour and dignity, and this seemed to mirror his inner core. Francois was clearly a gentleman who encompassed good old fashioned chivalry. He also has a deep understanding of human nature, and a permanent good humour. These are rare and precious qualities that were obviously enhanced through his disability. Francois has a level C5-6 spinal cord injury (SCI) and is completely paralysed from his chest down to his feet. He has partial movement of his upper arms running down into wrist extension, but sadly it stops short of hand and finger movement. 

At 5:20pm on a warm Monday afternoon in 1992, a car drove into Francois flinging him off his motorcycle and breaking his neck. What would you do if you could alter 10 minutes in your lifetime? He was 18 years old and had just started working. He spent six months at the Conradie Rehabilitation Centre for spinal cord injuries where he recovered and was taught how to adapt to his new life. The first three months were spent in a head brace which was fastened tightly to prevent any movement at all so that the bones in his neck could fuse. They didn’t realize that his scapula was broken, and the pressure of the brace against his shoulder was agonizing. The pain in his shoulder restricts pushing his wheelchair to this day. Suddenly lying on your back with no sensation and no movement in your entire body is a life sentence that one cannot compare to anything. It’s unthinkable. 

The ward was full of men forced to come to terms with their injuries. They developed an unspoken bond and deep understanding that would resurface years later when they bumped into each other again. Every three hours they were turned to prevent pressure sores, which meant a peaceful night’s sleep was impossible. Pressure sores are one of the worst afflictions of paralysis. They develop too easily from lack of blood circulation, mostly from a hip or bony extrusion pressing for too long on a surface. Being paralysed means not being able to feel anything below the level of the break, and often a pressure sore can go unnoticed until it’s very serious. Tragically, two thirds of people with a spinal cord injury suffer chronic, intractable pain in those areas where there is sensation. A “complete break” is when the nerve has been completely severed, whereas an “incomplete break” means there is still some connection and some level of recovery.

God’s miracle of creation is clearly evident in how the organs of the body know their respective tasks and carry on as per normal. Bladders and bowels still need to be emptied. This is one of the biggest hurdles that a paralysed person faces, how to manage their bowel routine and to retain some sort of dignity. Did you know that it’s impossible to cough without chest muscles? This change’s the dynamics of catching a simple cold for fear that it may become bronchitis. I certainly didn’t know. I knew virtually nothing about paralysis when I met Francois. But I was willing to learn one day at a time in order to spend time with him. I laughed more than I had in years, life had become adventurous and fun, I had found my very own Mr Bean and perfectly preserved Peter Pan rolled into one. 

Francois enjoys the view from his wheechair in Knynsa

Francois enjoys the view from his wheechair in Knynsa

Our first date was a drive to Ceres, stopping at Bainskloof pass for a picnic. It would be his first picnic in 15 years. Imagine not doing things for 15 years, not going to the movies, not believing you could have a loving partner or a normal life. It was a first of many more firsts to follow. But that picnic was our very first time and we hadn’t yet figured out the do’s and don’ts. That day I burnt his hand with a hot coffee cup (he still has a small scar); he developed the start of a pressure sore sitting on a hard car seat; and he got a bladder infection from an overfull legbag that he didn’t want to ask me to empty. It was love. And the physical attraction was undeniable. He had a twinkle in his gorgeous blue eyes that made my heart skip a beat. 

We both knew from the beginning that we had found the love we had once believed in. I had travelled around the world and found the centre of my universe on my doorstep. We used to play together as carefree children. Francois proposed to me on 7/7/2007 during a weekend away at Cape Agulhas. Our friends and family joined in an awesome engagement celebration at Wiesenhof, in the heart of nature. We had a BBQ at the lapa overlooking the dam, with each guest receiving a straw sunhat as a special memento.

Computer keyboard typing splint

Computer keyboard typing splint

Soon after we met, Francois embarked on an arduous journey of studying IT through UNISA. It’s a four year course that he has immersed himself into, determined to make a success. He has been richly rewarded with distinctions for almost all of his subjects. It’s a tremendous achievement, especially given the technical difficulties involved for him to study and write his exams. He is fortunately able to operate a computer easily with the aid of a typing stick. In fact, with another set of helping hands he has built all his own computers. However, a textbook poses much more of a challenge. To handle a book and turn pages without the use of hands and fingers is no easy feat.

Here Francois’ mother deserves a special mention, as she tirelessly assists him with his studies as his caregiver. The first examination that Francois wrote was nail-biting. Other students are able to write exams but Francois needs a computer to type on. They had designated a computer at the back of the normal exam venue upstairs. On that particular day the lifts were out of order. Mayhem and panic followed. They contemplated carrying Francois upstairs, but this was too daunting and dangerous.

The library was downstairs and they ended up using one of the quiet audio-visual rooms, make-shifting a desk for him. Telephone books were cleverly placed underneath to raise the level of the desk to the height of his wheelchair. Another desk was placed alongside for Francois to be able to lean on. Without him having stomach muscles he is unable to balance, so without support he would topple over. I’m not sure if he would fare well on a boat, it’s an adventure we’re still to try. Lastly, he brings his own keyboard and mouse for ease of use. This was to become Francois’ examination venue thereafter. A few years on, Johan Jacobs, the Deputy Director at UNISA, specially designed motorised adjustable desks suitable for people with any sized wheelchair, and purchased state-of-the art computers for people with any type of disability.

Each exam has had its own set of challenges. Once, Francois had to re-write his exams. It was a very bleak day indeed. As Francois was finishing up and preparing to print, MS Word froze and all his answers were corrupted. That day Francois and his invigilator sat for seven hours straight as he diligently rewrote the entire paper. Tricky too is when questions require him to draw a technical diagram, which he cannot do. This can be beyond frustrating. Frustration is the number one stumbling block. Able bodied people are able to go for a walk, go for a drive, do something else to release our pent-up frustration. How does a paralysed person handle the many frustrations that he encounters? Francois remains sane with an insane sense of humour.

It’s a daily reminder for me to be ever-grateful that I am physically able to get out of bed, take a shower, hop into the car and drive to work. The simple everyday things that we take for granted are actually the greatest gifts in life. Francois is unable to cross a road on his own because of the pavements. It takes a minimum of two hours to get us both ready in the mornings. All routine tasks take thrice as much time and effort.

Going out can become emotionally draining when things go wrong: if the legbag leaks and floods the shoe with urine; not being able to find parking in a designated wheelchair bay; no room for the wheelchair next to the car, a small oversight in some parking areas; the catheter not draining properly (this is life-threatening if not fixed in time); extreme hot or cold weather (quadriplegics don’t have normal temperature regulating bodily functions); transferring into or out of the car in rain where everything plus the wheelchair cushion gets wet. Yet after the rain there is always a rainbow. We had a magical wedding on 4/4/2009, it was a dream come true. The love and support from our family and friends was phenomenal. This was topped by the best adventure we’d ever had, a honeymoon in Kruger National Park.

Travelling-wheelie-Wall-E

Travelling companion Wall-E

Wall-E was our travelling companion, a young fluffy lion with wild hair and an eagerness to see untouched nature. Kruger is well equipped for wheelchairs, and each of the five parks we stayed in had designated bungalows that were wheelchair friendly. Though being wheelchair friendly doesn’t necessarily mean being quadriplegic-friendly. On two of the balconies I almost lost Francois as he went flying down a ramp that was too steep, once backwards! He also burnt his hand quite severely while tending to the fire one windy evening. We had duct-taped a long two-prong fork to his hand so that he could turn the meat. He is unable to feel heat on his hand and the fire must have been hotter than we realized.

 We both tend to put on our McGyver caps when trying to find clever ways of doing everyday things. Great successes are duct-taping a table-tennis bat to his hand, putting non-slip handgrips onto everything, which has amongst other things brought out the chef in him. Along our travels we were privileged to find QAWC (QuadPara Association of Western Cape) through which we have met so many other people in a similar situation as us. Some were recovering at Conradie at the same time as Francois, cementing strong friendships. They don’t let adversity hold them back. It is fascinating to observe how everyone finds ingenious ways of doing things. It is just a lot harder to physically do everyday things, and a person’s potential is dependent on their environment and support base. Which is why it’s uplifting when total strangers offer their help. On a particularly interesting day at the World of Birds, a steep pathway had become damp and slippery. We were stuck. Out of the blue a strong set of arms enveloped my shoulders and helped me push the wheelchair. It’s these moments that live forever.

Christopher Reeve named his first book “Still Me”. He was still the same person inside, regardless of his physical condition and appearance. He was still the same person, yet even better in many ways. As was Francois, he most likely developed a bucket load of patience, a deeper level of understanding, and an enhanced emotional intelligence* after his accident. Chris used his fortune and misfortune to encourage researchers to find cures and a better quality of life for paralysis victims. Chris’ work and legacy is paying off. Recently a paralysed victim of a car accident, Rob Summers, has been able to move again through ground-breaking electrical nerve stimulation. Although still early days, it pays homage to the title of Christopher Reeve’s second book, “Nothing is Impossible”

Jessica

3D wheelchair models Michael and Kay splash into some swimming pool fun

Wheelchair Models Pool Fun

This week 3D wheelchair models Michael and Kay get wet in pool fun. Water is a difficult medium to animate. Plugins can achieve a realistic effect but out of the box Daz3D is hopeless at animating water. Adjusting opacity works fine for still images. However, creating an animated splash effect as Michael plunges into the pool in Daz3D is a big fail.

Three solutions; purchase a plugin, create splashes in another 3D modeling tool to import and animate, or place the camera at water level and move the water surface. For the simple purpose of bringing you original wheelchair related content we did the latter for this short video clip.

Wheelchair Models Pool Fun Video

Realistic Wheelchair Models

Good lighting is essential to realistic effects. Get the movements right before adding lights as they slow render speeds dramatically. We import the pool scene and fill it with water. Animate disability models sexy paraplegic Michael in his briefs and Kay in a pink bikini jumping into the swimming pool. Then add eleven slightly yellow distant lights to replicate sunlight; a ring of five pointing down at -33 degrees, five up at 44 degrees, and one down at -59 degrees. We set raytracing on the last light with an intensity of 73 and a shadow softness of 2 for a realistic sun shadow.

Adjusting Lighting for Wheelchair Renders

[nggtags gallery=pool-fun]

The Pool Fun Part

We understand most don’t care how we create content, you just want to see the end results, and that’s ok. We have no purpose without an audience. If our audience does create and share stories, photos, video, comments, etc we will grow faster and serve you better. We built this website so you can express yourself. These anatomically correct models can be made do much more than we have shown here. We are also interested in using real-life models, disabled or not.

Graham Streets
MSC Admin

Disabled wheelchair model animation Michael pushing manual Flex design wheelchair

Wheelchair Animation In Daz3D

Ok rock stars, here is our Flex design wheelchair animation in Daz3D. With a few quick steps you can have fun creating your own wheelchair animation in Daz3D at home for free. Download a free version of Daz 3D from their website. Previously I showed how to import 3D models and figures, set colors, textures, clothing, pose the figures and so on. Now let’s have some 3D anim movie fun.

Wheelchair Wheel Rotation

[nggtags gallery=rotate]

To setup your wheelchair wheel rotation open Daz3D and click the Pose & Animate tab. 1) Import your wheels to the zero point. 2) Set X Rotate to 720. 3) Set Y Translate to 31. 4) On the timeline set 91 frames, a range of 0 to 90, and drop the frames per second (FPS) to 20. 5) On frame 90 set Z Translate to -389.36. Render to see if your wheelchair wheel rotation is correct and matches the distance. 

It might be worth explaining how I calculated wheel rotation and distance. 2 PI R equals the circumference of a circle. Imagine wrapping a string around the tyre then laying it out flat, we want to know that measurement to sync the wheel rotation to distance. PI is 3.14 and R (radius) is 31. So 3.14 x 31 x 2 = 194.68 for one full wheel rotation. Times 2 again for two wheel rotations and we get 389.36.

Posing Disabled Wheelchair Model

Now the wheelchair animation is looking good we start posing disabled wheelchair model Michael. Sit him in our flex wheelchair at frame zero and on frame 90 set Z Translate to -389.36. Then add key-frames and adjust his chest, arms, hands etc to give the illusion he’s pushing the wheelchair. Take a few renders going back and tweaking to achieve a realistic motion. Here’s our paraplegic hunk Michael in motion.

Sweet, all we do now is set a scene add a few lights and drop in a background. Indoor lighting can be a bit tricky in Daz3D so I won’t bore you with all that here. Just know in Daz3D you need raytracing on at least one light to get a realistic shadow effect. Here we have the sunlight (distant light) coming through the window and four down lights (spotlights) all set with raytracing on.

And with that I’m off to watch The Lorax.

Conrad Treasury Casino streetside wheelchair pity hot spot

Wheelchair Pity

Funny things happen to me in my wheelchair. Being a quadriplegic I have no use or sensation in my hands. I slip a kind of large insulated cup onto my wrist to lift a can or small bottle of drink to my mouth. I call it my cooler. I was sitting outside of the Treasury Casino one night when a lovely woman came by and dropped a few coins into my cooler! OMG, wheelchair pity, she thought I was some kind of handicap street beggar.

I must have had a look of shock on my face. When people say, “Oh you poor thing.” I just smile and let them hold the door. I think it’s better than ignoring me. Pity is just another form of compassion after all. And sure I had a hoody on, but it was a new $140 Billabong one and my Nikes always look new. Hardly the fashion of street beggars or wheelchair pity.  I felt like asking, do I look like a bum lady?

It was after a long day of hospital check-ups, abdominal x-rays and kidney ultrasounds I have to endure each year. I like to drive my power wheelchair downtown to the casino afterwards. It’s an 8km (5 mile) trip along foothpaths and quiet back streets hugging the gutter. I zoom down bicycle paths and cross several bridges. I know the city well and like to go a different way each time to see new things.

Conrad Treasury Casino streetside wheelchair pity hot spot

The Conrad Treasury Casino wheelchair pity hot spot

We have drive through service liquor outlets. I frequent them, bars and shops along the way to renew my drink, and take photo’s of my journey. Crossing over the last bridge I snaked my way along the river and up into the heart of the city. I made good time and rolled on into the casino heading straight for the sports bar.

Ordered my usual, a rum and coke (pre-mixed in a small bottle) which the girl slipped into my cooler. Rather than have them mess with my wallet I put $50 behind the bar and my drinks come out of that. I could see the roulette tables from the bar. My strategy is to wait for four spins of the same color in a row then bet on the opposite color. After four black in a row I bet $50 on red and it won.

It doesn’t always work but I believe in at least trying to get the odds in your favor. It paid for my drinks. I thanked the girl at the bar for helping me as she took the empty bottle out of my cooler. I phoned ahead for a taxi cab and went outside to complete my journey home. I live a further 50 km (30 miles) from the casino.

It was out on the steet corner backed up against the casino wall, sheltering from the cold night air, when along came my generous donor. Watching up the street for my taxi cab, I heard a clink of metal, and felt my arm wriggle. Looking to my right a beautiful woman stood close before me smiling. Her eyes switched to the drink cooler still on my wrist then back to my eyes.

I peered into the cooler to see around a dollar in small change. Her smile widened with generosity. “OMG, I’m not a street beggar” I said. Her smile vanished and head tilted as if she was confused. “I just had a few drinks and a bet at the casino here. I’m just waiting for my taxi ride home.”

The woman looked over to a tall man standing a few meters from us watching this all unfold. “OMG… I am so sorry how embarrassing.” She said to me in a foreign accent. I said, “No, thank-you, that is very kind of you but I am fine. I even had a win tonight. I greatly appreciate your generosity, but really, I am not poor.”

She asked if I needed help to get into the taxi. The tall man stepped up and slipped his arm around her shoulder with a reasuring hug.  They were from Denmark. I explained how we have maxi-taxi’s with a hoist in the back. They lift me in my wheelchair so I can drive straight on in.

I declined the offer to use her spare change toward my cab fare home and she fished it out of my cooler. I suggested giving it to the next person she see’s doing something nice for a stranger. Pay it forward. The wind whipped around the corner as they walked off.

Conrad Treasury Casino riverside city lights

Conrad Treasury Casino riverside city lights

I pulled my hood back on tight and thought of a Sporting Wheelies Association friend of mine. Carmen was sitting in her push wheelchair in the mall with a half full can of Coke between her legs. A guy walking past pushed five cents into it. Carmen is a feisty girl, she tore him a new one.

Next time I go downtown I’ll be sure to shave and wear a tie. Even when I do I still get a lot of wheelchair pity, or as I like to say, wheelchair compassion. It’s nice to know there are still good people in this world, even if they only cross our path for a minute or two.

Images Copyright  KC: Luke KC at Flickr

wheelchair disability fetish woman

Disability Fetish and Medical Fetish

A fetish is like a spider web. A fetish means to have a sexual arousal to an object behavior or type of person. Simple enough, until you try to describe an individual’s fetish to someone. It is like trying to guide them to one particular span of a spider web, without pointing at it. Adding to the complexity many fetish can overlap each other. A person with a disability fetish may also have some parts of a medical fetish. We separate the two, explain them, and look at their differences.

I think most of us have been guilty of over using the term fetish at one time or another. Bragging about your favorite fishing rod does not mean you have a fishing rod fetish. While I have heard some of my friends describe their fishing rod as if it were an extension of their penis, in clinical terms it does not qualify as a fetish.

Disability Fetish

Abasiophilia is the medical term given to those who are sexually aroused by and attracted to disabled people. It may be a minor disability like missing fingers, or a profound one like blindness. Some of the most common disability fetish are a strong sexual attraction to amputee’s and paralyzed wheelchair users such as paraplegics and quadriplegics with a spinal cord injury.

wheelchair disability fetish woman

Wheelchair disability fetish woman with crutches and neck brace

The extreme form of disability fetish is a very strong desire to be disabled. So strong, a person with an extreme disability fetish may elect to have their legs broken, limbs amputated, or even paralyzed by having their spinal cord cut. These people are often called wheelchair wannabes, because they are attracted to and want to be in a wheelchair.

I know of one girl who loves wheelchairs so much she spent her first year of college living in one. At the end of the year she went to stand up out of the wheelchair and collapsed on the floor. By using a wheelchair for so long her leg muscles had wasted and they could no longer support her. She was quite happy about her new found disability.

Many find it hard to understand why any one would want to have a perfectly healthy limb amputated. I try to explain it this way. They do not find perfect people attractive. They see disabled as normal, and normal people as disabled. With an extreme atypical disability fetish they can feel very uncomfortable with a healthy limb. Only once that limb is disabled or removed do they feel good with it.

Less extreme disability fetish include the sexual arousal and attraction to disability equipment. The medical term for this is Paraphilia. By wearing leg braces, plaster casts, and using a wheelchair to feel disabled, they become sexually aroused. You may have heard of the term wheelchair pretender. Because wheelchair pretenders fake a disability for sexual arousal they are a much maligned group. Wheelchair pretenders are not seen in public very often. Please don’t go tipping people out of their wheelchair because you think they are faking it.

[nggtags gallery=disability-fetish]

A disability fetish does not have to be a love of a particular object. It can take many forms. Some feel a strong sexual attraction to the actual disabled person. In the case of spinal cord injury they are known as wheelchair devotees. With an attraction to wheelchair users, a wheelchair devotee often knows what life in a wheelchair is like. Therefore, they make good lovers and life partners to wheelchair users.

Very few real wheelchair users have a disability fetish. They only use a wheelchair because they have to. Most wheelchair users do have an interest in disability and medical devices but it is not a sexual attraction or arousal. Wheelchair users may also be attracted to other wheelchair users, but again it is not usually in a disability fetish, or love interest kind of way. They are simply interested in like-minded people.

Medical Fetish

An atypical medical fetish is a strong attraction to medical apparatus purely for erotic sexual gratification. People with an extreme medical fetish use torturous medical devices, speculum’s, mouth and anal spreaders, enema kits, probes etc. They may even consent to false operations where they are surgically opened, and with nothing fixed or removed, sutured closed. An extreme medical fetish can be a dangerous thing.

Medical fetish woman in wheelchair and neck brace

Medical fetish woman in wheelchair and neck brace

In recent clinical observations extreme medical fetish are being aligned with identity disorders and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders). OCD are an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, obsessions, or behaviors. They get a very strong compolsion to think or act a certain way. Often when it is acted on it results in self harm. For example, an obsession to wear a neck collar constantly will result in weak neck muscles causing all kinds of harmful problems. We do not condone self harm in any way.

Our featured model is sexually aroused by a skin tight rubber dress, wheelchair and stiff neck collar. It is not a case of extreme fetish or OCD. The restrictive elements are disability fetish. She likes the feeling of being disabled that they give. The apparatus that excite her, wheelchair and neck collar, are medical fetish. This is a prime example of how several fetish can overlap.

These less extreme medical fetish, the sexual arousal of wearing orthopedic leg braces (calipers), plaster casts, spinal braces, and wheelchairs are common. In such settings the wheelchair simply becomes a device to fuel erotic pleasure. The same way some people find a vibrator or lingerie sexually arousing. Some like the feel some like the look. For the most part these mild forms of medical fetish are harmless.

[nggtags gallery=medical-fetish]

A medical fetish can include a sexual attraction to medical people. Doctor and nurse porn movies, people receiving medical examinations and so on. Most are simply role play, and they are not very good actors at that. You know, the movies where the patient suddenly finds their spinal cord injury is cured by the sight of a half dressed doctor or nurse, and well… you can guess the rest. If it were only that easy I would be walking. These “actors” give doctor’s, nurses, wheelchair pretenders and real wheelchair users a bad name.

It is rare for a real wheelchair user with a spinal cord injury to have a disability fetish. They may be interested in medical apparatus, wheelchairs and mobility equipment. They may have a great appreciation for doctors and nurses. But seldom is it in a sexual medical fetish way. Just as some people with a spinal cord injury use an enema, it is not by choice, they consider it a chore. We don’t find probes sexy.

Conclusions

wheelchair fetish disability fetish medical fetish woman

Wheelchair fetish disability fetish medical fetish woman

Disability fetish are grossly mis-represented in the commercial sex industry. Gimp calendars and videos of amputees having sex are a poor representation of real life. In true atypical form a disability fetish is a sexual arousal to disability equipment or a desire to be disabled. A medical fetish can range from an attraction to wheelchairs to torturous medical devices. In the extreme a fetish can be harmful to your health.

Most disabled wheelchair users do not like to see wheelchair pretenders use a wheelchair to gain pity, sympathy, money, or special service. Neither does the general public. Wheelchair devotees are attracted to wheelchair users and so make good partners to them in love and life. However, not all wheelchair devotees have the best interests of wheelchair users in mind.

Resources

  1. All images used in this article are courtesy of Ultimate Psycho. Model; Lou Moon. You may not use or redistrubute any of the images that appear in this article without express written permission from the copyright holder; Ultimate Psycho.
  2. Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 39.
  3. Feinstein RE, Connelly JV. Personality disorders. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 60.
  4. Koran LM, Hanna GL, Hollander E, Nestadt G, Simpson HB, et al. Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2007;164:5-53. [PubMed: 17849776]

 Websites

Sexy wheelchair babe shivers in orgasm sitting on top of boyfriend in love swing suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing

A wheelchair hoist sex swing helps wheelchair users enhance their sex life. Tetraplegics (quadriplegics) and paraplegics often find it difficult to achieve some sexual positions. Sex after a spinal cord injury is made hard by paralysis and poor mobility. The sex aids mentioned in our wheelchair sex article raised many questions. Here we take a closer look at a wheelchair hoist sex swing. Some paraplegics and most tetraplegics will already own a personal hoist and sling of some description. These make suitable assistive devices for intercourse and love making. Avoiding the expense of an actual sex swing.

Who Uses a Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing

Sexy wheelchair babe shivers in orgasm sitting on her boyfriend in love swing suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair hoist sex swing

By far the majority of wheelchair hoist sex swing users are regular able bodied heterosexual couples. They can however, be of great assistance to wheelchair users with paralysis. Like those with a spinal cord injury. A wheelchair hoist sex swing may be unknown to people with a disability. Few discuss sex with wheelchair users for fear of offending, or getting offended. Also, many hold the opinion disabled people don’t, or should not, have sex. Others believe all disabled people are oversexed. These misconceptions are slowly changing. We encourage healthy discussion on wheelchair sex life and sex after spinal cord injury. We promote the many beautiful aspects of disability.

Suited to lovers of different sizes and disabilities, it’s easy to adjust the height and angle of your body, in a wheelchair hoist sex swing. All without detracting from each other’s arousal. Quality sex swings offer neoprene padded supports for your butt and back, and stirrups for legs or feet. It’s just a matter of finding what suits you and your disability. Adult stores stock sex swings but we suggest searching online first. Research what type may best suit you. Buying online could save you time and money as well.

Why Use a Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing

Sexy wheelchair lovers bouncing in love swing climax suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair lovers climax in hoist sex swing

Difficult sexual positions are no longer exclusive to the athletic and sexually gifted. With a wheelchair hoist sex swing disabled couples can be more sexually adventurous. They can achieve stimulating sexual positions previously only imagined. Reap the benefits of pleasure a wheelchair hoist sex swing can arouse. A healthy imagination in lovemaking is key to generating pleasure. It helps to renew the desire for sexual intimacy. By experimenting with new positions in the bedroom, you can swing your love life into action. Enjoy weightless sex in unlimited positions. Explore your deepest fantasies.

Take a go slow approach until you are comfortable and confident. It is possible to overbalance in some sexual positions. You may slip right out of the wheelchair hoist sex swing harness performing others. A personal hoist sling can be of advantage in that respect. While not as many positions are achievable, they require minimal balance. Personal hoist slings are purpose designed to prevent from dropping a person, no matter their handicap.

Using a wheelchair hoist sex swing enhances disability sex life. They are not sleazy. They simply make sex with a disability easier. Wheelchair lovers are often amazed how easy these make sex. 

Challenging sex positions, that require exertion and skill, become easy using a wheelchair hoist sex swing. You can find the right angle to achieve deep penetration with minimal exertion. Sexual positions never felt so good effortlessly. Put more comfort and enjoyment into your disabled sex life. Swing into action and sex it up.

Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing Components

Sex Swing: The sex swing is all you need. Optional extras are a heavy duty spring, frame and hoist. A good quality sex swing harness is made from neoprene padded adjustable ballistic weave nylon straps. These provide maximum comfort and strength. The swing costs around $120.00 USD.

Sex Swing Spring: A heavy duty high tensile steel spring is ideal for those with limited mobility, like quadriplegics, or tetraplegics. The spring helps to minimize the effort required to make rocking and bouncing motions. The average sex swing spring can suspend around 200 lbs. Your local hardware store may have a cheaper option. A sex swing spring costs about $180.00 USD.

Sex Swing Frame: The sex swing frame is like a tent frame. It is a free-standing rigid metal frame to suspend the sex swing from. Most sex swing frames hold up to 400 lbs. There are many types of frames ranging from $150.00 to $500.00 USD.

[nggtags gallery=fantasy, swing]

Sex Swing Hoist: Some hang their sex swing from an eye-bolt in a doorway, ceiling joist, or beam over their bed. We recommended any eye-bolt installation be done by a qualified carpenter. Or you can hook the swing onto a hospital style, personal hoist. Take advantage of the hoists raising and lowering capability. If you don’t own a personal hoist, there are a few sex swing models that come with a hoist. Using a remote control you can raise and lower the swing effortlessly. Personal patient type hoists cost thousands. Sex swing hoists cost around $550.00 USD.

Already Have a Personal Hoist

Check the maximum weight rating before you go bouncing around in any hospital style, personal hoist. Remember safety first pumpkin. Position any personal wheelchair hoist sex swing over a bed. Or place something soft below you in case you fall. Keep a phone within reach. Just in case it all goes horribly wrong. Good luck explaining your dilema to emergency services lol.

Occasionally, both sexual partners have very limited mobility. Two tetraplegic (quadriplegic) lovers for example. They are restricted by poor hand and arm function. An electric battery powered patient hoist with remote control is ideal. It will help to make wheelchair hoist sex swing positions much easier. That is the purpose, easier love making for people with a disability.

[nggtags gallery=swing]

Some see a wheelchair hoist sex swing as nothing more than a kinky S&M bondage device. Strip teasing, pole dancing, a vibrator, these things are not everybody’s cup of tea. Personal hoists are used for transferring people with high level cervical C1-C7 tetraplegia. Paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, wheelchair users transfer into and out of bed etc, with a hoist. In the home however, a personal hoist can serve many purposes. Limited only by imagination. Most tetraplegics will already own a personal hoist and sling. These can be used as a wheelchair hoist sex swing. It’s just another perk of dating a tetraplegic.

Five Common Hoist Sling Types

Here are five common hoist sling types. Four are suitable for use as a wheelchair hoist sex swing. As an assistive device for sex and intimacy after spinal cord injury. The fast fit, and toileting (or dress) slings, offer the greatest freedom and sexual access. Hammock type slings are restrictive. Material covers the private areas. Hammock slings are fine for able bodied folks. Hammock slings are not well suited for sex with wheelchair users. Or any disability where a severely compromised range of motion, poor motor function, or extensive paralysis exists.

[nggtags gallery=sling]

By not crossing leg straps (sections that come up between the legs) legs spread wider apart in slings. This is great for sexual access, but it does create the risk, of slipping right through the sling. Lengthening top shoulder straps reclines a person into a flat supine (face up) or prone (face down) position.  This is good to hover your partner over you on a bed and rock back and forth.

Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing Tips and Tricks

Sexy wheelchair lover spread legs in love swing suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair lover in sex swing

The disabled wheelchair user does not always have to be the one in the sling. Switch it around and use your imagination. Try a 360 spinning motion if you dare. Climb in on top of your partner in your wheelchair hoist sex swing sling. Pushing the sides of a sling outward raises it a few inches. By pushing, and relaxing quickly, you can get a rhythmic bouncy motion going.

Try a little something new. Tie your disabed lover up and use the hoist to position them exactly where you want them. Blindfold and spank with a spatula lol. It’s all about having fun. Good love making begins in the brain hours before intercourse happens. Scented candlelight, massage, music, lingerie etc, all enhance the sexual experience. Get into the swing of it. For more tips on sex after spinal cord injury, and sex with a disability, see our wheelchair sex article.

RESOURCES

Spinal pain treatments and relief

Chronic Pain After Spinal Cord Injury

We take asprin for headaches, broken bones heal in six weeks, ongoing chronic pain however is a never ending nightmare of doctors drugs and treatments that typically yield little success and soon daily life becomes consumed by pain. From getting groceries to attending Susie’s wedding, life decisions are based on levels of pain felt today or of those percieved in time. So how can we ease and free ourselves from chronic pain with minimal drugs and little effort.

Training in the field of psychology I’ve been studying chronic pain more lately and noticed how deeply it is entrenched in lives watching someone close to me battle the condition. The very deadline I set myself for this article passed due to my relative’s chronic pain and her resulting difficulties. Whether you use a wheelchair, have ambulatory difficulties, or have other physical issues, the odds are chronic pain will factor in life at some point.

Who Suffers Chronic Pain

Chronic Spinal Pain

Chronic Spinal Pain

In developed countries, almost 20% of the adult population is currently afflicted with persistent and/or recurrent pain. According to International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), only 1-2% of that documented chronic pain is attributed to cancer. The majority of that chronic pain is attributed to neck, back, joint, and musculoskeletal disorders.

There’s little wonder why people with on-going, unrelenting pain seriously consider suicide as an alternative to suffering a life defined by pain.

Only recently has the study and appropriate treatment of pain become part of mainstream medical research. Pain study now encompasses interdisciplinary research by psychologists, clinical doctors, biochemists, and neurophysiologists, among other professions. The most recent research has found that the sensations caused by severe, ongoing pain can literally change the chemical mechanisms within the central nervous system. Neuronal changes occur and the brain becomes primed to perceive pain, even after the source of pain is removed.

Additionally, research had found that pain perception is perceived differently based on gender and ethnicity. Believed to be attributed to neurochemical responses, women appear to experience pain far more than men, and those of African descent show a greater tendency to experience chronic pain than whites. When comparing responses to analgesic treatment to chronic pain, particularly various forms of opioids, men and women can expect markedly different levels of relief.

What is Chronic Pain

Pain is defined in three medical stages:

  • 1. Acute pain lasts 30 days
  • 2. Subacute pain spans 30 to 90 days
  • 3. Pain that exceeds these time spans is classified as chronic pain.

Acute pain after any trauma or disease signals actual tissue damage as well as the potential for possible future tissue damage. Acute pain and chronic pain should be addressed and treated differently. The timing of pain treatment is another factor to consider, the longer someone experiences untreated pain, the longer it will take medical specialist to treat and hopefully remedy that pain.

Pain specialists note an individual experiencing severe pain treated within 60 to 80 days from onset, has a probability of becoming pain free near zero percent. If that same individual was treated within the first 30 to 60 days of onset, they would most likely have become pain free.

Economic Cost of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain left untreated or under treated drives the costs of health-care skyward in the form of visits to the emergency room, urgent care clinics, and predominantly extended stays in hospital. In the US alone, there are more than 50 million lost workdays related to persistent pain per year. Translated into cost for businesses $61.2 billion each year.

Cost Following Spinal Cord Injury

Chronic pain in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) is a common and significant problem. Almost four out of five persons with SCI report chronic, persistent pain. Of that identified group, almost one-third report that chronic pain interferes with their daily activities and quality of life. In a separate study, over one third of participants with thoracic or lumbar SCI pain reported they were willing to trade recovery from their SCI for immediate pain relief.

Recent research has found that adequate pain relief around any spinal cord lesion early in treatment can help prevent later chronic pain. Correlations among those with incomplete spinal cord lesions where abnormal sensation exists near the initial lesion site treated for pain relative to the number who have gone on to suffer chronic pain later in life are also emerging in favor of early pain management.

Spinal pain treatments and relief

Spinal pain treatments and relief

In a survey by Spinal Universe back pain treatments reported as most successful were also the most simple to enact, weight loss, exercise and massage, and furthermore aligned with other studies they conclude prescription pain management is the most effective in treating chronic pain.

Pain Management Narcotics and Addiction

There are numerous things to consider in the discussion of pain: how pain is measured, the sources of chronic pain, how individuals rate their pain, the perceptions of doctors, and the need of the sufferers, to name a few. However, based on my most recent experiences, the most difficult component of pain care is pain management through pharmaceutical treatments. I have found the single greatest fear, among untrained physicians and their desperate suffering patients, is addiction to narcotic pain relievers.

Despite our expectations to the contrary, chronic pain management is not explored in detail in medical school, unless one is going to specialize. The popularly held misconceptions regarding opiates, their derivatives, and the newer non-opioid analgesics are one of the major reasons many suffer chronic pain needlessly. While studying psychology, my primary focus was substance abuse, a field which is complicated and filled with emotional issues.

There is a clear and well-defined line between an individual whose body has sustained trauma seeking pain relief and substance abuse. The concepts of addiction are complicated and fraught with different theories of addiction and treatment. To clearly examine the nomenclature of abuse and addiction to medicinal drugs intended to relieve pain we need to understand that profound differences exist between medical pain relief, substance abuse, and chemical dependence.

Spinal cord injury pain medications

Spinal cord injury pain medications

Substance abuse is defined as the use of drugs or any other chemical substance (legal or illegal) with some pattern of regularity, such as drinking to excess every weekend. Substance abusers are still able to maintain their life roles and responsibilities with some degree of competence. Monday is still a work day and the individual arrives on time, worn out and hung over, but still at work.

Chemically dependent individuals are, however, a completely different story. Chemically dependent individuals devote all their attention, emotions, and thoughts toward every aspect of their addicted life. A chemically dependent person chooses to forgo relationships with their family and friends; their primary relationship is with their drug of choice. Their life revolves around the drug, instead of enhancing quality of life, it consumes their life. It’s rare for a person who is adequately treated for chronic pain to display such behaviours.

While at times chronic pain may seem to overshadows everything in our lives, it is not by choice. When we seek treatment and care for chronic pain, we are entitled to the most appropriate medication possible, whether that is morphine or methadone. When we experience such profound chronic pain, the odds are very slim that we will become addicted to our medication. Unless there is a history of addiction in the family background, it is relatively safe to take powerful medications, strictly according to the prescriber’s orders.

Making changes and adjustments to narcotic pain medication is reckless and potentially life threatening, unless under the prescriber’s orders. If at any time you feel you have become dependent on pain medication consult your physician and ask they re-examine your prescriptions and drug regime.

Conclusions

Chronic pain is frustrating and exhausting. It hurts those who suffer from it and those who love and care for them. Chronic pain is a condition that is often extremely difficult to treat. It can take months or even years to find the right physician, the right treatment, and the right medication. Many find it difficult to stand up to a doctor and tell them we are capable of participating in the choice of our treatment, particularly if narcotics are part of the discussion.

We are all well within our rights to educate ourselves and subsequently advocate for ourselves or a loved one. We are all entitled to pain relief and an improvement in the quality of life. The consequences of inadequate chronic pain relief are potential greater harm than the consequences of addiction. The earlier a possible dependency is addressed the more effectively it can be dealt with. If you have concerns or questions about chronic pain, please contact your physician.

Resources

  • ABC of Spinal Cord Injury, 4th Edition; Grundy, David (ed). 2002, BMJ Books, London.
  • American Pain Foundation;  http://painfoundation.org
  • Encyclopedia of Disability; Albrecht, Gary L. (ed). 2006, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
  • Fundamentals of Substance Abuse Practice;  Johnson, Jerry. 2004, Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning, Belmont, CA.
  • Health.Com;  http://www.health.com
  • International Association for the Study of Pain; http://www.iasp-pain.org
     
Phoenix Radio Live Online SCI Interview

Phoenix Radio SCI Interview

Phoenix Radio Episode:

Date: 28.01.2011 Time: 2.07pm (double segment).

Interview

Graham Streets talking on life with a spinal cord injury.

Presenters

Simon Baker and Suzanne.

Click the image below to stream interview audio.

Transcript

  • Simon: We have our next guest on the phone there. Graham Streets is an enterprising man who has experienced some setbacks in life. Graham had to struggle to get anything he has after a motorbike accident in 1994 saw him become a quadriplegic. He had his own electrical contracting business and things were busy but pretty good. Graham had to struggle to get everything he has since he was a sole driver of a vehicle in Queensland and there is no insurance for the driver in a single vehicle accident. Graham is on the phone to tell us about his struggle and what he is doing to get things changed. Welcome to the program Graham.
     
  • Graham: Thankyou.
     
  • Simon: Graham, let’s start by telling us about your experience of the legal side of your case as far as your application for compensation and what your lawyer advised you?
     
  • Graham: Currently in Queensland there is no automatic financial cover for people injured in a single vehicle accident as you mentioned. On the Gateway Arterial Highway where I had my motorcycle accident the corner was poorly constructed. Several people had lost their life on this corner. When looking into compensation I was told I had a good chance of winning several million dollars, that it would cost around a million dollars to launch such a law suit against the Department of Main Roads. My lawyers weren’t willing to risk fronting that kind of money and I didn’t have it.
     
  • Simon: Suzanne, you’ve got the next question…
     
  • Suzanne: What did this mean for you and your business?
     
  • Graham: After 11 months of recovery and rehabilitation in the Princess Alexandra Hospital, I was unable to continue working, my electrical business pretty much folded. I sold off some stock and gave most tools and equipment to friends in the trade.
     
  • Suzanne: This placed a lot of burden on your family?
     
  • Graham: Yes, for most people with a disability support and assistance comes mainly from family and friends. A spinal cord injury like any disability is not only a difficult time for the person who receives the injury. Often family and friends also struggle and the emotional and financial burdens can be massive. I had few options but to move back in with my aging parents with my Mother as my primary carer. Instead of me looking after them in their retirement years they were having to look after me again at their own cost.
     
  • Suzanne: Is there any funding available for you to apply through the State Government for personal carers?
     
  • Graham: There was and there currently is, however these waiting lists are long and many languish on them for years and years, only a small percentage secure that kind of permanent funding.
     
  • Suzanne: Graham, tell us about your mobility please?
     
  • Graham: I’m a C4 quadriplegic. I rely on a power-chair and require assistance with getting into and out of bed, showering, meal preparation, basically a fairly high level of personal care needs.
     
  • Suzanne: Tell us about your time in Rehabilitation and did you meet people with similar issues to your own?
     
  • Graham: Yes, as they say there’s always someone worse off and that can help acceptance of a disability through rehabilitation and while counselors and such are great, talking with others who actually are going through the same problems, and facing the same day-to-day issues as you is a great comfort as well.
     
  • Simon: You’re with Suzanne and Simon this afternoon and you’re listening to Ipswich Connections on Phoenix Radio online. We are going to have a quick music break and when we come back in a few minutes we’ll continue talking with Graham and we’re going to talk about life with a spinal injury and we might cover a couple of other things.

Music Break

  • Simon: Welcome back to Ipswich Connections. A radio program committed to giving people with disabilities a voice. You’re listening to Phoenix Radio online. This program is supported by University of Southern Queensland and Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland. We are talking with Graham Streets who became a quadriplegic back in 1994 from a motor vehicle accident. Graham, so what’s the one thing that is missing for you to have a relatively normal life?
     
  • Graham: Simon, I’d have to say the ability to drive is something I miss terribly. Getting around to see friends, getting re-connected in the local community, without having to rely on maxi taxis and that sort of thing. It can get quite expensive, public transport and getting around that way.
     
  • Simon: Yes and the fact, because you have to rely on public transport, it’s not always there when you want it. They get delayed through obviously no fault of their own, it’s just the nature of the work that they do too.
     
  • Graham: Yes exactly, it also makes it hard in that respect to hold down a full time job.
     
  • Simon: Yes, Yes that’s right. Okay, Suzanne…
     
  • Suzanne: What did Australian’s disability support system do for you?
     
  • Graham: Suzanne, I was able to receive a disability support pension and after eight years on a constant battle and struggle to get where I am today, the Queensland Department of Housing supplied me with housing, and I have permanently funded carers who assist me into and out of bed morning and night. I’m one of the lucky ones really.
     
  • Suzanne: Did you trial any respite centres?
     
  • Graham: There’s a fantastic four bed respite centre in Petrie called Backstop House, they take four wheelchair bound people at one time. It’s a great temporary break for my parents.
  • Suzanne: What needs to be done to change the laws?
     
  • Graham: Currently there’s a big push to bring in a scheme called NDIS, a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
     
  • Simon: Yes and with that, it’s a no-fault scheme where it doesn’t matter how you acquired your disability, you’ll always have the support that’s needed.
     
  • Graham: Yes it’ll be a great safety net whether you’re born with, or acquire a disability be it spinal cord injury, or any kind of disability later in life.
     
  • Suzanne: Is this the same throughout the whole country?
     
  • Graham: Yes it would be a nation-wide scheme that will automatically cover all Australian residents.
     
  • Suzanne: I believe you have developed some new skills and are now employed?
     
  • Graham: Yes, I currently work from home part-time as an accountant and I also do a bit of web design and I’m a webmaster.
     
  • Simon: So give yourself a plug, tell the people how to get in contact with you.
     
  • Graham: Well, my domain name is streetsie.com
     
  • Simon: Graham, we certainly wish you all the best and if you’ve got something happening there please drop us a line, give us a call, say hello, don’t be a stranger, and we’ll certainly be talking to you again sometime in the future.
     
  • Graham: Thankyou for your time Simon and Suzanne.
     
  • Simon: That was Graham Streets talking on his life with a spinal injury and what needs to be done to see that others in severe cases when you acquire a severe disability you have some opportunities there with the NDIS scheme that’s coming in. Thankyou very much for listening in today. You’re listening to Ipswich Connections on Phoenix Radio, supported by USQ, and our program Ipswich Connections is with the Cerebral Palsy League.

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