a quest for independence | updates

The quest to regain some sort of autonomy over our lives eventually consumes most fellow quadís. However, being independent does not always mean living without needing any help from others, but rather involves creating a space, both mental and physical, where you simply regain control of your environment. Where you re-establish accountability for your life and future.

Like most quads, post injury, at first I was totally dependant on others for every aspect of daily life. That includes: eating, bathing, dressing, transferring, pooping, reading, using the computer, etc. Pretty much everything I did and everywhere I went required anotherís aid and complicity. Iíd say for the first year or so that was quite acceptable. Hell, I was just glad to be alive and surrounded by the ones I love. Each day above ground was a good day. I had very limited expectations as far as improvement.

But as time went on and I gradually increased my strength I began doing things that I previously thought not possible. First it was very simple things like turning over in bed to get more comfortable and pushing my manual chair. The progress was steady, but so slow it almost went unnoticed. Then after a matter of several years I would advance to about 90% independence, which is where I am today. Thinking back, the biggest impediment to my progress came when I'd failed to believe in myself, when I doubted if I could achieve the next step. I ultimately learned to do the most challenging aspects when I was left without a choice Ė when I had to learn. Necessity is truly the mother of invention, Öand education.

I currently live on my own in a fully accessible condo. I have a PCA come each morning to assist with my morning routines, clean and run errands; other than that Iím pretty much self-sufficient. I do allow help from family and friends at times, but I mostly try to things myself since Iím still in the learning phase, even when it takes me a ridiculous amount of time.

Rather than document my progress in a story format Iíve decided to organize it in sections, or categories. Iíll update them as I live and learnÖThe following are the vital areas Iíve found most important to living independently:

Coming soon, after some reorganization!