Paralyzed Holidays Don’t Have to Be a Hum-Bug

Paralyzed holidays

The holidays can be a wonderful time of the year for most people.  However, with the trials of life, our ability to enjoy the holidays may change.  Losing a loved one or surviving a life-altering injury or illness can change the way we view the holidays.  Some might become bitter and a time that they use to love might now make them sad as they long for the holidays of the past.  The thing I quickly realized after my husband became paralyzed 2 days after Thanksgiving in 2011 was that I had two choices. I could choose to be bitter or I could choose to allow my new life to make me better.  

I spent Christmas Eve and a good part of Christmas day of 2011 by my husband’s bedside in the ICU.  It was a horrible place to be for Christmas which is my favorite holiday of the year. Our children had to come to the hospital on Christmas day just to see their Daddy. They weren’t allowed into the ICU so my husband had to be wheeled outside in his hospital bed to “enjoy” a few Christmas moments with his children.  It was such a difficult day, I wanted to feel joy because my husband was still alive and with us, but I was also completely devastated that we were missing out on the wonderful Christmas morning at home that I had grown to love with my family. 

When Thanksgiving rolled around the next year it was a difficult day to celebrate.  I couldn’t help reflecting back at the year before, the last time my husband stood up and carved a turkey for our family’s celebration. I looked back at the pictures from the previous Thanksgiving and I was filled with sadness. These pictures were the last ones I took before he got injured.  Me and my husband standing together and smiling as he carved the turkey, hubby on the ground wrestling and tickling our 3 children and our 2 foster kiddos that were in our care, and hubby running around playing basketball with our boys.

It would have been very easy to just be angry and bitter about having the expectations I once had for the holidays taken from me.  But instead, I chose to be thankful that my husband was alive and with us. Thankful that we had 3 healthy children. Thankful that my husband’s pressure sore that he got in the ICU (due to their gross negligence) had finally healed and he was able to start therapy at the gym as well as water therapy.  Thankful that even though on paper we were completely broke, God provided the money we needed to pay every single bill we owed with out missing a single payment. Thankful that my husband didn’t have a traumatic brain injury or suffer from PTSD as a result of the accident that caused his injury. Thankful that I had an amazing family, friends and church family that came along side us and helped us get through that first year. 

The first Christmas he was home was also challenging because it was so very different than every Christmas of my entire life up to that point.  My husband was no longer able to hang the Christmas lights on the house, help me set up the tree or shop for and wrap presents (not that he did much of that, but he did always shop for and wrap my presents at least).  Again, I was faced with the choice to be bitter or better. I chose to appreciate the fact that we were able to take our family Christmas photos again that year, having missed taking them the year before for the first time since our first child had been born. I chose to be glad that my whole family was under one roof that year for Christmas.  I was filled with joy as we all attended Christmas Eve service together again. I chose to be grateful that my husband was there for Christmas morning traditions with our children that he missed out on the year before. I chose to rejoice that we got to enjoy Christmas dinner that year at my grandparent’s house once again. I was even pleasantly surprised that my husband got my Mom to shop for some gifts for me so I had something from him to open even though he could no longer get to a store to shop or hope to wrap a present on his own. 

Every year that passes it seems to get a little “easier” and even though every Thanksgiving brings the reminder of my husband’s injury, it also brings a reminder of how far we have come since that first Thanksgiving he was home.  There are so many things that have changed in our lives, things that will never be the same again. But honestly, that is just how life goes. We don’t get to choose the trials we are going to face, but we do get to choose how we will get through them.  Deciding to enjoy to the holidays by focusing on all the blessings that I still have and all the things we still get to enjoy has made all the difference for me. There are still times I feel sad when I see old photos of holidays before paralysis, and I don’t feel guilty about mourning the loss of the normal we once had. However, I have learned that choosing to be grateful for what we have in spite of paralysis makes everything more enjoyable, especially the holiday season that I have always loved. 

Thanksgiving has just passed this year and it was one of the best ones yet.  I am looking forward to Christmas and New Years and all the celebrating we will do with family and friends.  I am so thankful that Amazon Prime delivers gifts to our home so hubby can shop and my Mom is happy to wrap the gifts he orders.  I know I am blessed and I know not every person whose significant other has suffered a life altering illness or injury has it as good as I do, but I truly believe that our own personal attitude towards life plays a huge role in our ability to be happy and find joy in the holidays.  I hope and pray that each of you reading this is able to reflect on the good things you have this holiday season, count your blessing! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year as well. 

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How to Thrive Financially After Paralysis

thrive financially after paralysis

Thrive Financially after Paralysis

One of the most dramatic effects of paralysis is how it impacts your financial health. When I was injured in November 2011 I had a thriving chiropractic practice and was in a good place financially. Within three months 80% of my chiropractic practice income was gone. 

But by God’s grace eight years later my financial picture is much healthier than it was even before my injury. 

Today I’m going to walk you through how that happened and the steps you can take to begin to move from a place of surviving to thriving financially even when you are paralyzed like me.

Finding Your Purpose after Paralysis

After my injury, I was unable to do what I had been trained to do which was be a chiropractor. It was extremely difficult for me to envision how I could provide for my family and use the skills, gifts, and talents that I had been given to serve others if I wasn’t practicing chiropractic. 

But over time God gave me a renewed purpose and a new vision for how he could use me in a different way. In a previous article, I detailed how I was able to find my renewed purpose after my spinal cord injury and how you can do the same. If you haven’t read that article I highly recommend it. This article will help you to begin to think of ways to make income again or increase your income.

Finding your purpose is the first step to seeing hope through the fog of your circumstances. John Maxwell said, “If there is hope in the future there is power in the present.” You must have hope in order to move forward after paralysis.

Financial Assistance for Spinal Cord Injury Patients

As I mentioned previously, I lost 80% of my income in three months. My chiropractic practice was on life support and eventually had to close. 

I had three small children at home and my wife who is also my primary caregiver was not able to provide income and care for me and our children. So for a while, we had to rely on others in order to survive.

We received donations from friends, family members, our church, other chiropractors, and strangers who wanted to reach out and help our family. It was an incredible blessing.

Sometimes it’s difficult to receive help from others but during that time the Lord really taught us humility and that it is okay to get help from others.

I also had some disability insurance which helped for a while as well.

I think it’s very important to not settle in and believe that you will always have to have financial assistance from the government.

My goal was to be self-sufficient as quickly as possible. To utilize disability insurance and government assistance along with the donations for as little time as possible.

When I started my marketing company in 2013 my goal was to be supporting our family as quickly as possible and by the end of 2014, we were off disability and no longer receiving donations. Since 2015 we have been self-sufficient and our financial picture has grown healthier and healthier.

Challenge yourself to do what is necessary to support yourself and your family. Find a renewed purpose and use the gifts that you have been given with perseverance despite your physical challenges and you will be blessed.

Money Management Tips for Paralysis Survivors

Another extremely important part of thriving financially has been handling money in a biblical way. Dave Ramsey has a plan called the 7 baby steps which are a biblical way of handling money that we have been using even before my injury and has been key to helping us thrive financially.

As you read through these baby steps remember to focus on the one that is in front of you. If you do not have $1000 saved just focus on baby step one. You don’t have to get overwhelmed with all of the steps right now. The key is beginning to work towards a better financial position. Moving forward from where you are now and not getting discouraged by where you wish you could be. Take life as it is and press on.

Baby Step #1

Save $1000 for an emergency fund. The first step is to save $1000. Having savings is extremely important after paralysis because you never know what’s going to happen with your health that may impact your financial situation. So if you do not already have $1000 saved focus on making this happen as quickly as possible.

Baby Step #2

The second baby step is paying off all of your debt except your house (if you own one) by using a debt snowball. A debt snowball is done by listing your debts from smallest to largest and attacking the smallest one with intensity until you have paid it off completely. Then rolling the amount that you were paying towards the first debt into the second debt until that is paid off. Then moving on to the third debt and so forth until all your debts are paid off except your house.

If the majority of your debt is medical bills associated with your paralysis there are ways to negotiate to reduce these debts. Many doctors and hospitals will settle medical expenses at pennies on the dollar if you can save up and pay with cash.

Having debt is extremely dangerous especially for someone who has suffered a spinal cord injury and is attempting to stabilize financially. Once you are making some income focus on paying off your debt as quickly as possible.

Baby Step #3

The third baby step is taking your $1000 emergency fund and increasing it until you have 3 to 6 months of expenses saved in a savings account. So, for instance, say your monthly expenses are $3000 then your goal would be to save between $9000 and $18,000. The key with all three of these baby steps is to realize that they take time. Especially when it comes to your debt and savings depending on your income. If you can increase your income obviously you can do these steps faster. 

Baby step #4

Once you have established these three foundational financial security steps then you can turn your focus to the future. Baby step #4 is to begin saving 15% of your income for retirement. The best way to do this is generally using a Roth IRA or a Roth 401(k) if your company has it available. Dave Ramsey recommends that you break down your investments in your 401(k) into four categories of mutual funds:

  1. Growth
  2. Growth and Income
  3. Aggressive Growth
  4. International

I use Vanguard for my investments and they have a variety of mutual funds that are in these categories that you can choose from.

Baby Step #5

Baby step five is also focused on the future. If you have children this is when you begin saving for their college education. Vanguard has 529 college savings plans available that you can save for each of your children that I highly recommend.

Baby Step #6

Once you have your financial foundation established and you are beginning to plan for the future the next step is to focus on paying off your house. If you do not already own a home you can begin saving for a house after baby step three. Dave Ramsey recommends saving for a 20% down payment and getting a 15 year fixed mortgage. So if you already own a home or you have purchased a home during baby steps four and five baby step six is paying off that house as quickly as possible. You can use the same principles that you used in baby step two by using more and more of your income to pay down the mortgage debt as quickly as possible.

Baby Step #7

The last step is to build wealth and give like no one else. When you have no debt you have money to do things that no one else can do. Such as giving to causes that you care about. You also get to do things you never were able to do before. This is where we all want to be financially and you can get there.

When you begin to take wise steps financially the Lord blesses you. Every one of these steps is focused around biblical principles and when you do these things the Lord blesses your diligence. This is what we have seen in our own lives. Our business has been blessed. We have been blessed with unexpected inheritances. There have been a variety of things that have happened that have helped us to get through all seven of these baby steps in the past eight years since my injury. It’s completely amazing and we give all glory to God.

Let me encourage you to just take a step in the right direction financially. Find a renewed purpose. Find a way that you can contribute and serve others. Work towards providing for yourself. And then be wise in the way that you use the money that you are blessed with. Be a good steward. And walk through these baby steps and you will be amazed at what happens.

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Left Side Paralysis vs. Right Side Paralysis After Stroke A Comprehensive Guide

Paralysis After Stroke

What causes paralysis after stroke and what is a stroke? It is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to a particular part of the brain is completely blocked or a blood vessel bursts that causes part of the brain to lose its oxygen supply. Without oxygen-rich blood, a region of the brain will die within minutes. When this occurs in the heart, it is called a heart attack. When this happens in the brain, it is called stroke. 

How Does Stroke Cause Paralysis? 

paralysis after stroke

Because a stroke occurs in the brain, the entire body can be affected. Memory, speech, emotions, and daily activities can all suffer. Paralysis or paresis (limited range of movement due to weakness) is common. 

Depending on the part of the brain that dies, the effects can vary from person to person. The severity of the stroke, the success of the medical care provided, and many other factors will determine the extent of the damage. One of the significant factors is the side of the brain impacted by the stroke. 

Left Side Paralysis Vs. Right Side Paralysis after Stroke 

Paralysis is usually limited to one side of the body. The determining factor is the side of the brain affected by the damage. As far as body movement is concerned, each hemisphere of the brain controls the opposite side of the body. Therefore, a stroke on the left side of the brain can lead to paralysis or paresis on the right side of the body, and vice versa. 

The Tasks Each Side of the Brain Controls 

Besides physical movement, each side of the brain controls various bodily functions. Let’s take a closer look at these to see what other effects may accompany the paralysis, depending on the side of the brain that is affected. 

Impacts of Stroke on the Right Side of the Brain 

The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. Therefore, you may experience paralysis on your left side if a stroke occurs on the right side of your brain. Here are some other possible outcomes due to this being the side of your brain that controls creativity:

This is just a small sampling of the additional effects that can occur when a stroke impacts the right side of the brain.

Impacts of Stroke on the Left Side of the Brain 

The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. Therefore, when the left side of the brain is affected by stroke, you can expect paralysis or paresis on your right side. What else can occur when stroke impacts the logical half of the mind? Here are a few possibilities:

Again, these are just some of the possible effects when a stroke impacts the left side of the brain.

How Left Side Paralysis Vs. Right Side Paralysis Affects Recovery 

When the stroke occurs on your dominant side, this can also increase the impact of any paralysis. For example, if you are right-handed and you suffer a left side stroke, you may not have the function you once did in your dominant hand. Occupational and physical therapy may be needed to help you regain as much ability as possible in your right hand while also training you to use your left hand for things it never had to do before. 

Simple things like eating with a fork, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or putting on clothes can be surprisingly tricky when you are suddenly trying to use the other hand for the first time in your life. And while therapy may help you to regain some movement on the impacted side of the body, not everyone can make a full physical recovery after a stroke. 

Looking Ahead: A Hopeful Prognosis for Stroke Survivors 

While researchers look for better ways to help survivors recover, there are also many benefits to be found from staying positive, remaining social, and remembering or finding your purpose in life. The Thriving With Paralysis website is here to help with motivation content for survivors, spouses, and caregivers alike. Be sure to visit our site regularly for the resources you need.

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

Suffering In Life: Is There Any Purpose?

Suffering in Life is there any purpose

Suffering is part of living with paralysis. 

But it can also be part of thriving with paralysis.

The suffering that goes along with the paralysis life can be physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual.

In order to thrive through suffering it is important to have the right perspective on suffering.

Today were going to take a look at what suffering in life is all about including:

So let’s take a look at reasons for it first.

4 Reasons for Suffering

In Timothy Keller’s book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, he talks about the 4 types of suffering that humans face:

  1. Suffering brought on by yourself
  2. Suffering of betrayal
  3. Suffering of loss
  4. Suffering of mystery

All of these types of suffering can be associated with paralysis depending on the situation. 

So let’s take a look at each of them.

Suffering Brought on by Yourself

We can suffer because of our own foolishness. As Proverbs 13:20 says “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Harm frequently comes to those who are fools or keep the company of fools. 

The Bible has much to say about fools. The word fool today usually means “a senseless fellow, a dullard.” The biblical definition has the added dimension of “someone who disregards God’s Word.” The Bible lists many characteristics of such a person, often contrasting him with one who is wise. Ecclesiastes 10:2 says, “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” A fool is one whose wayward heart turns continually toward foolishness. “Fools speak foolishness and make evil plans” (Isaiah 32:6). Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Fools do not learn their lessons from the mistakes they make. They continue doing the same foolish things over and over again, to their own destruction (Proverbs 18:7).

Suffering of Betrayal

Betrayal is a gross violation of trust and can be one of the most devastating forms of pain inflicted upon a human being. The suffering of betrayal is often magnified by a sense of vulnerability and exposure. For many, the pain of betrayal is worse than physical violence, deceit, or prejudice. Betrayal destroys the foundation of trust.

Suffering of Loss

There are a variety of losses we can suffer as part of our human experience. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a business etc. For those of us that are paralysis survivors, some of the losses we have experienced are more difficult for others to understand. The loss of independence. The loss of dignity. The loss of a vision of the future.

Suffering of Mystery

Sometimes we don’t understand why we are suffering. The suffering comes upon us not because of our foolishness, the betrayal of others, or our loss. Some suffering is just a mystery.

God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Although we do not understand all of our suffering, God does.

Results of Suffering

Regardless of the type of suffering and how it is affecting you there are three primary results of suffering: Salvation, Sanctification, and Endurance.


Jesus Christ is the ultimate suffering servant. Jesus is God. Yet he chose to come to earth and be born as a baby. To live a human life and become our perfect sacrifice. Although he was without sin he took all of our sins upon him on the cross. He suffered through the betrayal of Judas. He was scourged and beaten. He was nailed to a cross. He suffered excruciating pain. But the spiritual pain was even worse. For while he was on the cross for three hours he lost fellowship with the father as he took our sins upon him. He then died on the cross. Three days later he rose from the dead defeating Satan, and sin, and death!

If you have not put your trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ then suffering can be used to bring you to repentance and faith.

Romans 10:9 tells us that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead will be saved!

Sometimes suffering can put us in a place of dependence on God unlike anything else.

Until God is all we have sometimes we cannot see is all we need.

CS Lewis said: 

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Sometimes suffering is what is needed in order to get our attention and shake us out of our complacency so that we may be able to spend eternity in heaven.


If you are already a Christian then suffering can result in sanctification.

Sanctification is God’s will for us as Christians (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy.

Suffering can increase your dependence on God. Suffering can be make you more humble. Suffering can make you reflect more on what’s important.

These are all extremely important parts of growing in holiness and becoming more like Christ.


Romans 5:3-4 says “not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

The writer of Romans, the apostle Paul encourages us to rejoice in our sufferings because of the endurance that comes as a result.

Through suffering we become more perseverant. More persistent. We become more resilient. We are able to endure more in life. 

But there’s even more that comes with this endurance. Paul says that the endurance we receive through our sufferings leads to character. This is a godly character directly comes from suffering.

And lastly he says that as a result of the growth in character that comes from the endurance that came from the suffering we will have hope.

Hope that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Hope that after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (1 Peter 5:10). Or stated another way in 2 Corinthians 4:17 “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

Suffering does not feel light or as if it will only last a moment when we are going through it. But when we compare the suffering that we have any life that may last 60, 70, or 80 years to all of eternity we can see that it is like throwing a single grain of sand into the ocean. 

And so we have hope.

Hope of receiving a perfect body in a perfect place with a perfect God.

Ways to Deal with Suffering

Suffering is not easy. But there are ways that we can deal with suffering more effectively.

Comfort Others

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

On our journey of suffering look back at those who are following the same path you are on and offer encouragement. Whether they are paralyzed or they are just suffering for other reasons. We can comfort others and so take our focus off our self.

Remind Ourselves

Samuel Johnson said “people need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.” Consistently reminding yourselves of the truth described in this blog is important. It’s also extremely important to remind ourselves that Jesus suffered more than any of us ever have or ever will. Here are some verses to memorize and meditate on:

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:3-4).”

“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Philippians 3:10).”

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:20-21).”

“For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too (2 Corinthians 1:5).”

Pray and Ask for Help

God understands your suffering more than anyone else. 

When you struggle with suffering take those struggles to him in prayer.

Also confess your struggles to those closest to you. 

Don’t keep them in the darkness where the enemy has all the power. 

But bring your struggles into the light so others can pray for you and encourage you.

is there any purpose

You can thrive with paralysis even when suffering in life!

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

Great Online Paralysis Support Groups

Paralysis support groups

paralysis support groups

You are never alone! Even when you feel like you are the only one who can ever possibly understand your paralysis, there is likely someone, somewhere who presently is going through or has been through the same thing, or at least something similar. Millions of people around the world are living with paralysis. You just need the right resources to help you connect to a community that can offer you the support you need and to help you continue thriving with paralysis. 

Here are a few online paralysis support groups and online communities where you can discuss shared experiences, find guidance, and connect with resources that can help you through any stage of living with paralysis. You can also use some of these online communities to locate local support groups for personal interactions with other paralysis survivors

Inspired Spinal Cord Injury Support Community

All you need to do is register with a username and password, and you can immediately connect on Inspired’s spinal cord injury and disability boards. There are already tens of thousands of posts on thousands of topics, so register today and get Inspired

United Spinal Association 

The United Spinal Association is made up of chapters in 31 different states plus the District of Columbia. Since they all operate independently, there are various resources from chapter to chapter. To see if there is an association in your state and what resources they offer click here

CareCure Community

The CareCure Community is based at Rutgers University and comprises of two sections. The care community has a forum where you can discuss varying topics from relationships and sexuality to equipment and exercise. You can also ask questions to spinal cord injury nurses in the care forum. 

The Cure side of the community is devoted to the latest advancements in therapies designed to restore function for those who are living with a spinal cord injury. There is up to date news as well as research articles regarding everything from TBIs and stroke to SCIs and multiple sclerosis. You can find anything you want to know about the research in regard to paralysis here. 


The Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System, based at the University of Washington, is a monthly forum that scheduled in the evening. You can watch videos of past forums and look through the archive of previous topics. You can also subscribe to get email notifications regarding the forums. Discussions are of interest to those living with paralysis as well as caregivers and family members. 

Pushrim Social Network 

Pushrim is a unique social media platform designated for the spinal cord injury community. There are currently more than 2,300 members connected through this community. You can add your own blog posts to the community site and read those posted by others. There are also podcasts available that provide topics of interest for patients, caregivers, and family members. You need to create an account to access the majority of the site. 


SPINALpedia is another unique online community that allows you to share inspiring videos and images and to view those of other members. There are also learning portals and a blog to provide additional information relating to spinal cord injuries. There are more than 25 categories of information and over 125 subcategories to help you find the information you want. The community feature also allows you to follow accounts that you find to be the most inspiring so you can quickly access the images and videos that are going to brighten your day. You can make friends and speak to other members one on one or in a group chat setting.

Reeve Connect

No discussion about the paralysis community is complete without mentioning the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Reeve Connect is the community portion of the website. There are forums involving relationships, wellness, and even one to share what has worked for you with other community members. You can discuss everything from how accessible your last accessible hotel room actual was to what you should do if your medical care provider isn’t taking your condition seriously enough. 

Find Additional Resources from Thriving with Paralysis 

Thriving with Paralysis is all about finding hope and learning that you still have a purpose and can reach goals that allow you to thrive rather than just to survive. We have divided our posts into three categories: survivors, spouses, and caregivers. You can receive monthly emails by signing up on our homepage. There is no spam, and you are under no obligation to continue receiving blogs – you can unsubscribe at any time.

We also have an inspiration page, where you can read the experiences of authors, motivational speakers, performing artists, and other successful individuals who are proving that the paralysis community can have an impact, not only on one another but on the world. You may just find the inspiration that you need to start up your own business or project. Be sure to check back regularly to see our latest blog posts, resources, and inspirational stories. You can also contact us here to ask questions, let us know what you love about the site, or to make any suggestions on how we can improve this site to be a better resource for you and your family. We look forward to being a part of your journey from surviving with paralysis to thriving with paralysis!

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

Living with Paralysis: Battling Nerve Pain

Spinal Cord Injury Neuropathic Pain

After surviving a spinal cord injury there are certain things that you must battle on an ongoing basis in order to thrive with paralysis. In a previous article, I talked about the importance of battling fatigue and today I’m going to talk about battling nerve pain.

Many people may wonder “can a paralyzed person feel pain”?

The short answer, absolutely.

Quadriplegic or paraplegic nerve pain is also known as spinal cord injury neuropathic pain frequently occurs at or below the level of injury. For me the nerve pain is concentrated in my right leg from my hip to my toes. The location will vary depending on the day.

Leg pain after spinal cord injury (also called radicular pain) is very common. There are other types of spinal cord injury neuropathic pain that you may be experiencing including:

Regardless of the type of nerve pain you have, I’m sure if you’re like me you just want to get to the underlying cause or minimize the pain as best you can. Unfortunately with spinal cord injury pain it is often difficult to identify the stimulus. Improper signals from the damaged spinal cord may be to blame. So identifying strategies to minimize pain may be the most important part of battling nerve pain for those of us that are paralysis survivors.

I am of the opinion that the fewer drugs I take the better my body functions and the better I feel. Gabapentin, ibuprofen, Vicodin and other pain medications may be prescribed but I have found collection of natural remedies have been much more effective for the pain and also my overall health.

Natural Solutions for Neuropathic Pain

I have tried a variety of different natural solutions for neuropathic pain over the past eight years. I am going to review the ones with you that have had the most benefit to me. It’s important to try different things because no spinal cord injuries are the same. What has worked for me may not work for you. What has not been successful for me may be successful for you. There is so much individuality with our bodies and spinal cord injuries but it’s important to try different things until you find what helps you the most when it comes to battling nerve pain and other struggles of spinal cord injury or paralysis.

Standing Frame

As I’ve said several times in this blog the piece of equipment that is the most important to me other than my manual wheelchair is my standing frame. I have described how I purchased a standing frame and the impact it has made in my life in other blog posts. But I will say that standing every day for 30 to 60 minutes has made a tremendous difference in how I feel overall including nerve pain, spasms, fatigue, and vitality. Our bodies are designed to stand and when we can’t stand our body cannot function properly. Get a standing frame and get standing every day.

Massage and Stretching

I have been getting regular massages for years and it has made a tremendous difference in my nerve pain. My massage therapist also helps to stretch my legs and work out the tight muscles that tighten as a result of sitting on an ongoing basis.

Chiropractic and Acupuncture

I have tried both upper cervical chiropractic and acupuncture over the years to improve my quality of life after spinal cord injury. For me, chiropractic and specifically a unique type of chiropractic that is very gentle and precise called upper cervical chiropractic has been very effective at helping me to stay healthy since my injury. This type of chiropractic requires no twisting, popping, or stress on the spinal column and is safe for those who had spinal cord injuries. 

Acupuncture is something that many people have also seen good results with when it comes to nerve pain and other symptoms associated with spinal injury or paralysis. In my case, acupuncture led to some autonomic dysreflexia symptoms and did not help my nerve pain or other symptoms. I would recommend trying both upper cervical chiropractic and acupuncture to see what will work best for you.


Supplements have also helped me with my overall health and specifically with nerve pain. I take a variety of supplements every day and one of the best ones for reducing chronic inflammation in the body which can be associated with neuropathic pain is taking omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil).

In addition to omega-3 and other supplements in the past 2 to 3 months, I began experimenting with CBD oil and creams. Many people in the spinal cord injury community have had great success with CBD products for nerve pain and other symptoms.

I obtained free different types of CBD products; a CBD oil tincture, a CBD oil capsule, and a CBD cream. I tried all three of the products at different points to determine the effectiveness in my own body. After a trial of the tincture and the capsules, I found that both caused some issues with my digestion including constipation but the CBD cream was a winner for me.

My wife rubs the CBD cream on my right leg where I have nerve pain from my toes all the way to my hip every day before I get out of bed and I have seen a tremendous difference in nerve pain. On a bad day, my nerve pain can be a 7 or 8 on a 10 scale (10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt). I was having nerve pain every day and having severe nerve pain about 2 days per week. Since I have been using the CBD cream the severe days have gone away completely. I still have mild pain on a daily basis but it is significantly improved.

I have also noticed a difference with my sleep since I have been using the CBD cream. Before using it I would wake up and not be able to go back to sleep for three or four hours the night about one or two times per week. Since using this cream, if I wake up I am able to go right back to sleep. This has made a tremendous difference in my fatigue and energy level as well.

You can purchase the CBD cream that I am using here. They also have other CBD products if you would like to try ones that may work best for you.

I want to encourage you to keep battling. 

Keep battling that nerve pain and don’t let it beat you.

You can thrive with paralysis!

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

7 Must-Haves if You Are Living with Paralysis

One of the things that can help you to thrive with paralysis is the acquisition of a few items that improve your quality of life or make day to day activities a little bit easier. Here are some of the products that our founder uses. To get a closer look at the products discussed here, follow this link to our resources page. Keep in mind that some of the exact products may not currently be available on Amazon. However, Amazon will provide you with suggestions, and you can check the reviews to see if the products match up to what we are describing here. 

Here are seven products that you really want to have if you are living with paralysis. 

#1 Ryobi Air Pump for Tires

If you use a wheelchair, you know the struggles that ensue when your tire pressure drops. A battery-operated air pump is perfect for adding some quick air at home. You can also bring it with you on long car trips, so you don’t have to exert extra energy if your tires begin to deflate while you are away from home. 

#2 Cooling Towel for Your Neck 

A cooling towel can help provide your neck with relief for hours. While ice packs cannot be in direct contact with the skin, lose their coldness quickly, and have to spend hours in the freezer to get cold again, cooling towels are different. Soak it in water, wring it out, and snap it to get hours of refreshing coolness at a time. 

#3 Bard Leg Bag

If your paralysis requires you to wear a catheter bag, this is the best way to wear it comfortably and keep it out of sight. It’s quality Velcro, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything else quite like it. You can secure the bag tightly without cutting off blood flow to the lower part of your leg. 

#4 Split Frame Bed 

A split frame bed can be both the best purchase for you and your spouse. There are times when you just have to have your legs elevated or sit up a little to get off of your back. You can adjust your side of the bed without affecting your mate’s sleep. Plus, the model featured on our resources page also has dual massage motors which you will both really enjoy, as well as USB ports on both sides of the bed for charging your devices at night. 

#5 Alternating Pressure Mattress with Inflatable Pad & Electric Pump System 

Pressure sores can become a challenging reality when you can’t be mobile much of the time. Therefore, an alternating pressure mattress becomes a must. This helps to shift the pressure for you when you can’t do it yourself, thereby reducing the risk of developing pressure sores. The air pump quietly inflates and deflates the 130 air cells in alternating patterns to create the effect of shifting your body weight. This helps to ensure that pressure is not focused on any one part of your skin for extended lengths of time. The low-pressure pump makes it easier to sleep through the inflating sounds, and the energy saver features helps keep your electric bills down. 

#6 “Will It Fly?” – A Book to Help You Start a Home Business 

One of the things we focus on a lot here at Thriving With Paralysis is the need for purpose and satisfaction in life. Starting your own business that you can run from home despite the challenges of living with paralysis is a great way to accomplish this lofty goal. 

At the same time, you may have reservations because living with paralysis usually means having less income to begin with. So can you really take the risk of investing time and money into starting your own business? This book can be a great help, showing you how to fully develop an idea before you start sinking money into something that may or may not work. 

#7 Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 

This is a great way to get your thoughts down in writing without needing to be able to sit at the computer or type. The NaturallySpeaking line of software is designed to allow you to speak in your usual manner while the program learns your speech patterns and types what you dictate. It can allow you to compose letters, emails, memos, or any other kind of document. You can even send the emails using voice-operated commands. You can also use it for dictating messages in a chatroom, filling out online contact forms, or updating social media posts. It gives you a great way to keep in touch with just your voice. 

More Resources to Help You Thrive with Paralysis 

At Thriving With Paralysis, we look forward to providing you with links and reviews of great products that can really make things easier for you. Check out our resources page for links to the items discussed here as well as many others. When you follow the links on our resources page and make a purchase from Amazon, you are also helping to support our vision of bringing hope and healing to the millions of people around the world who are living with paralysis. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting our mission, and we hope that these products can help bring you some relief and improve your ability to thrive with paralysis.

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

3 Items That Have Changed My Quadriplegic Life

Living the Quadriplegic Life

When it comes to living with paralysis the right equipment can make all the difference. For me, there have been three items that have changed my life. Living the quadriplegic life is very difficult but these three pieces of equipment have made a tremendous difference in my quality of life, independence, and function.

Properly Designed Manual Wheelchair

Quadriplegic life

The first may seem obvious but it’s actually not. When I first came home from the hospital I was not strong enough to push a manual wheelchair so the rehab hospital recommended a power assist chair. This was beneficial for me for the first several years after my injury but eventually, I got stronger and I didn’t need the power assist chair. I was able to push a manual wheelchair but I didn’t even know it because I had the power assist chair. 

So when I was eligible through my insurance to get another wheelchair I decided to challenge my body and get a properly designed manual wheelchair. This has made a huge difference in my overall strength and mobility. If you can use a manual wheelchair I highly recommend you do so for the sake of your health and confidence.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

The second piece of equipment that has changed my quadriplegic life is a wheelchair accessible vehicle. It took me four years to get back to driving again and I only wish I would’ve done it sooner. The independence that I have now that I have a wheelchair accessible vehicle is incredible. I can go where I want to go when I want to go there. I don’t have to wait for someone else to drive me or feel like I’m being a burden to them.

The biggest challenge with a wheelchair accessible vehicle is the cost. When I purchased my vehicle it was five years old and it still cost $40,000. A new vehicle can be much more expensive. At the time my business was still in its early phases and we did not have enough income to afford the vehicle. 

But through fundraising, we were able to raise all but $5000 to purchase my vehicle. We did nearly all of our fundraising through social media. A friend of ours created a GoFundMe and we just told people about it online and others shared about what we were doing to get me back on the road again.

The outpouring of generosity was overwhelming. In about eight months we had raised $35,000 and were able to purchase the vehicle. A friend of mine from childhood who I hadn’t seen in 20 years sent me a check for $10,000 towards the vehicle. Other friends and colleagues all stepped up to help get this key piece of equipment. 

So I would highly recommend if you do not already have a wheelchair accessible vehicle that you reach out to your network of friends and family and let them know what you want to do and why you want to do it and you will be amazed at how many people want to help you.

Standing Frame

The third piece of equipment that has made an incredible difference for me as I am living with paralysis is my standing frame. For four years after my injury, I did physical therapy, neurorehabilitation, water therapy, activity-based therapy, and anything and everything else I could think of to improve my function, independence, and strength. We had spent tens of thousands of dollars of donated money on these therapies and I finally realized that I had peaked from what these therapies could offer me. After all these therapies I realized the key to my ongoing improvement would be to stand every day. 

A standing frame is a piece of equipment that you can transfer into and get you into a standing position. They have frames that are stationary and also frames that are gliders. Our bodies are made to stand. If you stand every day for 30 to 90 minutes like I do it makes a tremendous difference in your circulation, bone density, nerve pain, spasms, strength, mobility, contractures, and so much more.

By the time I purchased my standing frame my business was doing well and I was able to cash flow this piece of equipment. But if you do not have the funds available to purchase one of these standing frames which can cost somewhere between $5000 and $10,000 you can fundraise that money relatively quickly.

If you do not have these three pieces of equipment I would highly recommend you put a plan in place to get all three of them. Either through your own savings or through fundraising or a combination of both. These three pieces of equipment have changed my quadriplegic life and I’m confident that they will change yours as well.

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

Living with Paralysis FAQ

Whether you are new to paralyzed living or if you want to learn more about this condition because you have a loved one who is living with paralysis, you have found to the right source for getting answers to your important questions. From learning to do things for yourself again to know how you can help a spouse, you may have a lot of questions. While we can’t answer every question here, we want to present the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about being paralyzed. 

What Is Paralysis?

Paralysis is the loss of voluntary movement of part or all of the body. Medically, the term plegia is also used. The term paresis refers to reduced ability to move a part of the body voluntarily. 

What Are Some of the Common Causes of Paralysis? 

There are about 20 different things that can cause paralysis. However, the vast majority of people living with paralysis can categorize the cause in one of four ways:

  1. Cerebral Palsy – This condition results from the brain failing to develop properly in the womb. As a result, a person may lack motor function in individual limbs or other body parts.
  2. Multiple Sclerosis – This is a condition in which the body attacks its own nerves. As scar tissue forms, paralysis and other symptoms can occur. 
  3. Spinal Cord Injury – Trauma to the spine often causes paralysis from the point of the injury downward. 
  4. Stroke – When blood temporarily stops reaching parts of the brain, those cells can die. If the parts of the brain that are affected control motor functions, paralysis can result. Paralysis as the result of a stroke often affects one side of the body. 

What Secondary Conditions Are Associated with Being Paralyzed? 

Being paralyzed involves a lot more than adjusting to paralyzed living. There are many secondary conditions that can be dangerous and require attention. A few of the more prominent associated conditions include:

What Treatment Is Available for People Living with Paralysis?

Living with paralysis is about learning to manage the condition since treatment options are limited unless you are experiencing paralysis as the result of a condition that can be reversed. There are several factors when it comes to paralyzed living that you should know about. 

Can You Thrive with Paralysis? 

The answer is a resounding yes! If we did not genuinely believe that, this website would not exist. You can read many inspirational stories right here on our website of individuals living with paralysis who continue finding joy and meaning in life. This includes the inspiring story of our founder, who is continuing to thrive with paralysis and enjoy life with his wife, children, and extended family. 

Paralysis FAQ

Where Can You Find Hope? 

Our goal is to bring hope and healing to the millions of people living with paralysis around the world. While you have to learn to live with paralysis, you don’t have to give in to the despair that often comes along with it. We are confident that our regularly updated blog will provide you with essential insights and encourage you to keep looking for what will allow you to experience satisfaction with life despite the challenges that you will have to face daily. Join us on a journey to help people all over the world to thrive with paralysis. 

We hope this living with paralysis FAQ was beneficial for you. For other questions that were not answered here, feel free to submit our online contact form. You will get a direct response, and you may even see your question answered in a future blog post.

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below:

What Is the Purpose of Marriage? Bill’s Perspective

It is my opinion and experience that many marriages struggle because they do not have a basic understanding of the purpose of marriage.

I believe that my wife and I have thrived in marriage before and after my injury because of the foundation of our marriage being founded on the correct purpose.

So I want to share with you what I understand to be the purpose of marriage in the hope that it will strengthen your marriage and help you thrive.

Marriage Is a Metaphor

Marriage is much more than a legal institution and contract. It is primarily a spiritual metaphor. To understand this we have to take a look at the creation of marriage and the first marriage ceremony.

When God created the universe including the earth and the first man Adam he said that everything he had made was good.

But then he declares what is not good.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

The First Marriage Ceremony

So the man needed some help and God created Eve and as her father gives away the bride. 

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  (Genesis 2:22)

But then God also performs the marriage himself.

Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)

One-flesh = A single organism. 

Therefore divorce is a type of amputation surgery similar to the removal of an arm or leg.

As John Piper says “When couples speak their vows and consummate their vows with sexual union, it is not man or woman or pastor or parent who is the main actor.  God is. God joins a husband and a wife into a one-flesh union. God does that! The world does not know this. This is one of the reasons why marriage is treated so casually in the world and in the church.”  

God solves the problem of man’s solitude through speaking marriage into existence. Just like he spoke into existence the light, the sky, etc. in the creation account. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)  And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” (Genesis 1:6) God also speaks into existence marriage.

[Jesus is speaking] “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  (Matthew 19:4-5) [God Said]

Why Did God Create Marriage?

Yes, he created marriage to solve the problem of solitude for Adam but there’s even more to the purpose of marriage.

Anytime the Bible talks about marriage it will mention the verse that follows the first marriage between Adam and Eve.

“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  (Genesis 2:24)

Paul quotes this verse in Ephesians but then he gives the all-important interpretation in verse 32.

“This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”  (Ephesians 5:31-32)

He refers to marriage as a mystery to people but he says that marriage is all about Christ and the church.

Geoffrey Bromiley said, “As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with his people.”    

Marriage Is for God’s Display

Throughout the Bible, Jesus refers to himself as a groom coming for his bride who are the true people of God (Matthew 9:15, 25:1, John 3:29).

As a groom pays a dowry for his bride in many cultures, Christ paid the dowry of his blood for his redeemed bride.  He called this relationship the new covenant “this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).

A covenant is a promise. 

A promise is about actions not feelings. 

No one can promise to go on feeling a certain way.

Marriage is a sacred covenant rooted in covenant commitments that stand against every storm “as long as we both shall live.”

So marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant commitment to his church, not the other way around.

As God keeps covenant so shall we…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”   (Hebrews 13:5)

So because marriage is a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and the church a husband and wife can understand how to interact with each other by looking at the way that Christ and the church interact with each other.

Covenant Love Is To Pass Over Sin

Christ’s bride, the church, is free from shame not because we are perfect, but because we have no fear that Christ will condemn us or shame us with our sin.

That’s why in Genesis 2:25 it says that “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”  Because God had already designed marriage to display Christ and the church even before the fall of man into sin to exercise covenant love so that we could cover sins and flaws in each other. 

Staying married is not mainly about staying in love it is about covenant-keeping. Let the thrill of “being in love” go and then you will find new thrills all the time rooted in covenant love.

Marital covenant love that is distinct from “being in love” is maintained by the will, strengthened by habit, and reinforced by grace.

CS Lewis said: 

“It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it.”

purpose of marriage

Marriage’s Deepest, Highest Purpose

So the true purpose of marriage is not sexual intimacy, friendship, mutual helpfulness, child bearing or child-raising, etc. (as good as all of these things are) it is the flesh & blood display to the world of the covenant-keeping Christ to his church.

This is why Jesus said, “At the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”  (Matthew 22:30)

We won’t need marriage in heaven to display God’s covenant anymore because we will be with God!

When you have this understanding of what the purpose of marriage is you and your spouse can stand up against any challenge. When your marriage is built on this rock no matter what storms come you will not be shaken.

Also, I want to encourage you to check out our Free E-Books by clicking the images below: