Category Archives: Life in a wheelchair

The power of levitation would come in really handy sometimes

No matter how Vigilant you are, technology tends to break down and when it does, I realize how much I rely on it. It gets me out of bed, into the bathroom, the shower. Basically anytime I’m outside the chair a lift probably got me there. When I don’t have that technology it’s hard for me to move and puts a strain on people who don’t need to be lifting a fully grown man.

Unfortunately, you can’t just go to Amazon and pick up new hardware. I’ve had one lift in the shop for at least 6 months, and the other one is threatening to die. It will all work out, it always does but I wonder where one would go to hire a Swedish nurse in the meantime? As always, thanks to Evie for working her magic.

Happy Monday Everybody

Tow trucks are not wheelchair accessible

It’s never fun to have a car break down, especially while you’re on vacation. That happened to me a few years ago. Doesn’t matter where you are, you can probably find some place to get your car worked on. That’s the major benefit of having a Walmart every 5 miles across the United States. If you’re in a wheelchair and your car braids down in a small town with little or no public transportation or any kind of accessible transportation for that matter, you are kind of stuck.
When this happened to me, it was interesting to see the look on the tow truck drivers face when my dad told him that the electric wheelchair did not fold up and I couldn’t just hop in the front of the truck. So for the first time in my life. I rode in my vehicle, as it was sitting on the back of a tow truck. I’m pretty sure this is highly illegal. but there were no other options in small town Oklahoma. The looks that we got from people as they passed the truck on the highway and realised that there were people actually riding in the vehicle on the back was priceless. I felt A little bit like an exhibit On Ripley’s believe it or not.
It’s definitely not something you see every day, but when accessible transportation is not available, you have to get creative. I’m pretty sure the tow truck driver will never forget me.
As always, I want to say thank you to Evie for actually believing me when I tell her all these crazy stories. Have a great week everybody.

May I share this parking lot with you?

 

Evie does a fantastic job capturing my life in comics. This one may be my favorite of all of them because it is absolutely true.  Most handicapped parking spaces are easily large enough to accommodate a lift that either unfolds out of the side door, or comes from underneath the side door as mine does. The problem is a handicapped spot can be hard to come by, and if I do happen to find one, most people don’t park straight and end up taking up their spot and half of mine. I’m in a wheelchair and have to park it all the time. I almost never park straight, so I completely understand, I’m just saying,  it complicates things.

When we come out from someplace and someone has made it impossible for me to get back in the car,  Jane usually has to back out and we need the construction cones you see in the cartoon above to make sure that I don’t get run over while I’m trying to get back in the car. It keeps life interesting if nothing else.

I need to take a minute to say thank you to Evie for all that she does. I’ve always wanted my own comic strip or comic books(Because my life isn’t that interesting without out a little bit of embellishment).She makes it happen every time I ask and I cannot express to you what that is worth to me.  I have never met a more beautiful person.  I also want to thank all of you for reading. It is great fun to sit down and know that someone enjoys what I write.

Have a great week everybody

 

 

I have a love hate relationship with my desk at work

I’ve picked up another job recently. On my first day, I came in and they knew exactly where they wanted me to sit. I rolled up to the desk and proceeded to bang my knee on it.  FYI tables and desks in public places are rarely just the right height for people in wheelchairs to comfortably sit at. They are either too high or too low, After I banged my knee on the table, the next step was to figure out how we were going to raise

After I banged my knee on the table, the next step was to figure out how we were going to raise it. Since it is a part-time job, and I’m there at least a couple days a week, it needed to be a somewhat permanent solution. After some searching on Google, we figured out that the solution was furniture lifts. I had never used furniture lifts before, so in my mind, they were some marvellous piece of space-age technology. With that in mind, I sent Jane to the store. When she brought them back I found out I was sadly mistaken. They were four pieces of plastic with a hole in each, designed to be inserted under each leg of the table. When the process was complete, the table was  1.5 inches taller. They did the job, but they cost me $30. (gotta love capitalism ).  Some guy has made millions selling four pieces of plastic with holes for legs in them. Why didn’t I think of that?

As always, Thanks to Evie For making my life funnier in comics then it actually is.

I should have been a doctor

My handwriting has never been good. I can put most doctors to shame. It makes sense if you think about it. I have a hard time holding a pen pencil, obviously using them well is asking a lot, I don’t write much in everyday life.Most of my work Is done using a computer so it doesn’t matter most of the timeButI have recently picked up a part-time job helping customers in a retail store, When other employees are busy. It’s pretty simple. I ask them how I can help and take down information until another employee can check them in. I quickly figured out that I needed Jane to take notes for me, because not only could other employees Not read my handwriting, but I couldn’t decipher anything I wrote

What really worries me Is that I know there are other people who have no physical issues whatsoever, who struggle with the same problem. That’s scary. I think doctors must take a class to learn how to write illegibly, Maybe I’m in the wrong profession. Think of it, a Dr. with shaky hands, slurred speech, and issues reading his own handwriting, That kind of sounds like half of the doctors around the world. I think I could pull it off.

 

Happy Saturday everybody

As always, Thanks to Evie For adding a bit of comic relief.

I got to bring superheroes to life

It has been a really long time since I posted anything here. Before you throw tomatoes at me(that would make for a mess on your monitor) I have a really good reason. I’ve been helping my friend Starla Huchton turn her hit book trilogy Evolution into killer audiobooks. I’ve been producing audiobooks for a while, but for the first time, ever audiobooks that I have created are available for sale on audible. I think that means I am a professional. 🙂 one of the many reasons I’m super excited about this project is because the trilogy follows the exploits of Candace Bristol in her quest to become a superhero. She is a no-nonsense butt kicker who doesn’t take anything from anybody. I would not want to make her angry. Neither would Bruce Banner. I love this character. If you are not into heroes but like romance, we’ve got that too. These are comic books for adults. There is plenty of adult subject matter. This series is not for the kiddos. That said there is plenty to love here for those of us adults who act like kids sometimes.

 

Before I wrap this up I want to talk a little bit about Audible. It is my absolute favourite service for audiobooks. Thay make it really easy to download your books to your phone, tablet, or PC. This means you can dive into a great audiobook no matter where you are. If you are a brand new Audible listener you can sign up right here and download one book absolutely free. The book is yours to keep forever. If you download one of these two books for free as a new member, both Starla and I get a nice bonus and you get a fantastic book for free. Just make sure you cancel before the 30 days are up. If you are willing to give it a try start by clicking right here if you want to just purchase the books for full price you can click the covers below.

 

Evolution Angel 

And evolution Sage

Evolution Hex wraps up the trilogy and it Will be available very soon.

If you would like to know what you’re getting into before you purchase. You can download a podcast of Evolution Angel. Each episode contains one chapter of the book and Starla is releasing one episode per week. If you are patient you can listen to the first book in the trilogy, with no risk absolutely free the second book Will not be released in podcast form.

Thank you guys very muchFor letting me share something that I am very proud of. I finally got to put some on my audio editing talent to use on something that pays me. To Randy Ray, your time was not wasted. Have a great weekend everybody.

PS Did I mention that my own book is coming out very soon? Stay tuned for that,

I occasionally moonlight as the invisible man

My personality is huge. I’m really hard to ignore even when I’m quiet,(which I will admit is a rare thing). It does happen though. This cartoon was inspired by multiple real-life events. The most memorable time that it occurred was on a date with a friend. When taking our order, drinks, and entrée, the waitress would ask my friend what she wanted and then say and then say “and for him” I  of course, told her what I wanted the first time making it clear that I was not a statue.

When she did it again my friend became livid, I laughed it off because this is my life. It comes with the territory and I deal.. She was so angry on the other hand that we couldn’t even have a decent conversation. After about 10 minutes she went and got the manager. When the manager saw the problem, he gave the waitress a good talking to. At the end of our meal, she came over and apologized, and then got down to look at me eye to eye, and said in a voice that was fit for talking to a two-year-old “you have a nice day okay”.

This, of course, did not make my friend any happier and as I remember it, there was lots of cursing out in the parking lot and in the car.

Another instance occurred when I was on a trip with a very good friend to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The airport staff was great about helping me, so much so that it made me want to travel all the time. However, anytime a question was asked, they would ask my friend what “he” while pointing at me would be needing. Finally, after the fourth person, my friend pulls me aside and says” dude why don’t they just talk to you?” I said because they are afraid I won’t respond and will be embarrassed or if they say or do the wrong thing it might cause a seizure, or tantrum or something.

That seems absolutely absurd, but I truly believe in this day and age lots of people do very strange things in an attempt not to be offensive to anybody ever.

So what should you take away from these stories? First, don’t be afraid of someone who is different than you. Being afraid of someone never leads to anything good. Second, most people are smarter and more capable than they may appear. If you meet someone and you are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, treat them like you would treat anyone else. They will probably surprise you,

This has been how to deal with specials 101. There might be a test later :-). As always thanks to Evie for comic greatness.

I wouldn’t be a good hitchhiker

Having my own personal chauffeur is pretty cool. The downside to not being able to drive is always having to rely on someone else. When I was younger(this was before Uber. Can you even get a wheelchair accessible ride from uber?) My mom always got me where I needed to go.  She would drop me where I need to be, go run errands, and pick me up after. It worked very well unless she was grocery shopping and got stuck in line.(That happened a few times. My mom always sees someone she knows. Every year at Christmas I would go to the movies while she did her shopping for the year. When you are shopping for Christmas is very easy to lose track of time. This was before I owned a cell phone. I had two options I could either borrow someone else’s phone or ask to make a call from wherever I was. Neither option why is really appealing to an independent guy. Most of the time I just waited. Sometimes it was 10 minutes, and sometimes it was an hour and 10 minutes. The waiting was never bad except for the fact that every third person I saw, who saw me waiting, what ask if I needed help or a ride somewhere. They all meant well, but you can only say, “no I’m fine just waiting for a ride” so many times. It was also very hard to estimate how long it would take to do something. There were many times that my mom had to wait on me because I would give estimated time and the movie would start late, or I will see someone I know(or a girl I wanted to flirt with) and mom or dad would be stuck waiting on me. It happened a lot with my dad because if I gave him a time, he would show up early and whatever I was doing would run late. it was a major source of frustration for my family in my younger years.

When I got into college I found a bus service that would come to my house and pick me up, take me where I needed to go, and bring me home. (This worked great until they dropped me off and forgot to pick me up twice)

 

Needing a ride everywhere made things like dating extremely tough because the length of a date is extremely hard to predict. If it was a good date, my ride was always waiting on me. If it was a bad date, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough and was always waiting for my ride. Things are different now because I have a cell phone and can make a call, or send a text right from my wrist

I also have Jane now. I’m her only focus when she is at work so I rarely have to wait and I am rarely late for anything. However, I think the dating situation might still be a little awkward. I can swing by and pick a girl up now less awkwardly than I could when my parents were driving, but I think it might still be awkward for her to have to sit in the seat behind me, with a third person in the car, who is also driving. Not exactly the best environment for a first date. It might be a little different however if I owned a stretch limo instead of a minivan 🙂

As always thanks to Evie for gracefully putting my life in comics.

I’m pretty sure MacGyver was paid better than I am

jj-macgyver

MacGyver was my favorite show growing up. How he could make something out of nothing to get out of a jam, always made my imagination run wild. I’m not a kid anymore, and if I’m being real honest I despise the new MacGyver. (they used to his first name in the first two minutes of the first episode. I had wait six years for that back in the day) but I digress. As I am getting older, I’m being forced to think outside the box to make a living,  just like MacGyver. My disability makes it really hard to go out and get a “real job” if I had a real job, how would I handle simple things like using the restroom on a regular basis without the benefit of a lift or getting lunch without help. There are a million things that able bodied person does every day at work that they probably don’t think about, I’m not saying there’s not a conventional job out there for me, but the circumstances would have to be just right.

In the meantime, I’ve had to find ways to make money from home. I have done video editing, audio editing, social media management work with musical artists online to give them a place to play, and I currently work for a nonprofit. All of these jobs have been part-time. Often I’m working more than one at a given time. All of this in an effort to make money so I can pay my bills. This is been ramped up since I met Evie. She actually invented the concept of MacGyvering a paycheck. She created this blog to help me a  book and she is constantly encouraging me to go get new opportunities and find better ways to make money in an unconventional way. One of the great benefits of MacGyvering a paycheck is that you get to be your boss, and work on your own schedule. To do that you have to be a self-starter, very organized and have a plan each and every day. If you don’t it Is very easy to take an entire week off.

This sounds great in theory until you realize that every day you take off, is a day that you’re not making money that you will use to pay her bills at the end of the month. If I want to eat or have any kind of life, I have to work everyday. What this means for me it Is that my days are never boring, because the only person responsible for my success is me.

I sometimes envy those of you who have “Real jobs” especially you’re reliable paychecks. Then I remember that if I had a real job I probably wouldn’t be able to go to work in pajama pants. I may not be rich but I have small pleasures.

As always thanks to Evie for giving me a Great comic to work with. If you would like to support us and the creation the book there’s a donate button on the right side of the page.

You didn’t really need those toes did you?

jj-toes

I have actually had people ask me what it feels like to have your toes run over. This is funny to me because I’ve never actually experienced it. I’ve had people stick their feet out and ask me to run over them. I’m not sure why but it has happened. My high school principal stuck his foot out more than once, and dared me to run over it, so I did. People either fear having their feet run over or they are curious about it. As a person in the wheelchair it’s not something that I set out to do ever, but it does occasionally happen. Especially in a crowd of people, I assume it hurts.

If that’s the case I have to think that the people who ask me to do it on purpose might be a little dense but then again, I never understood the TV show Jackass.  Much like being in your car on the road with people who are stupid, or texting or whatever, When I’m out in public there is always someone who isn’t paying attention and there is probably a segment of the wheelchair population who enjoys taking those people out. I never have but I’m not going to lie, I have been tempted. “oh I’m sorry I had a spasm and my hand slipped” you could probably make a game out of it. “Wheelchair bowling” Taking someone off their feet would be considered a strike. You can’t fix stupid but a little pain probably does motivate people to pay attention. Watch your toes people! Until someone invents a hover chair we all have to share the same space.

Have a great week everybody. As always thanks to Evie for bringing my world to life in comics.