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We Don’t Miss Out On Much – A Backbones Blog Collaboration

Have you guys heard of BACKBONES?!?

This aptly named and totally awesome 501(c)(3) non-profit organization exists to “help people with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D) and their families connect with their communities.” 

This girl right here (moi!) totally digs a mission of supporting community connection. Therefore, I dig BACKBONES and the refreshingly delightful stuff they get behind (take for instance their yoga discovery workshop for people with spinal cord injuries workshop this weekend in Tucson, Arizona – umm… why are Ri and I not going?!). After meeting founder and executive director, Reveca Torres, at the No Barriers Summit this past summer (remember that adventure?… click HERE to jog your memory), and instantly deciding that the rumors were true – she is wicked cool- I was stoked when she and I decided to do some blog collabs. Here’s a snippet of my premier post for the BACKBONES blog, and a link to read on directly from their site. 

We Don’t Miss Out On Much.

Part of the reason people are in a romantic relationship is to share hobbies and life experiences together, right?

So in my world, I am always pumped to explore some new something with my boyfriend Riley, who is a C5/6 quadriplegic. Of course, there are so many stereotypes about people living with physical disability, and when Ri and I first got together one or two of the naysayers in my life expressed concern over the things I would “miss out on,” simply by choosing to be in a relationship with someone with a spinal cord injury. I ignored those skeptics in favor of love, and over the years, we have (of course) honed in on how we, as a couple, seek fun. Here are our Top 3 Takeaways that might help others living a similar lifestyle to enjoy the adventures of life just as much as we do.

Itchin’ to read on? Click HERE to discover just what these 3 takeaways are all about.

And as always, thanks for reading, friends!! ~~Drea

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Celebrating Life and a Different Kind of Birthday

1/9/2018

As it stands, we are 9 short days into this 2018 business and that fact means tomorrow marks Ri’s spinal cord injury anniversary. Yesterday, Riley casually referred to 1/10 as his “new birthday,” which I naturally understood to be his subtle way of telling me he needed a piece of carrot cake. You don’t need to tell this girl twice, Riley Poor, I’ve got you (or at least your belly) figured out.

I make light, but of course 1/10 is an emotionally charged day, for reasons that go beyond Ri’s SCI, even. January, in general, carries themes of birth, death, rebirth, and creation throughout our home. I was considering such matters, the other night, after reading my serendipitously apt monthly horoscope by my faves, Chani Nicholas . And just then, and maybe because I am feeling a bit love sappy, a really special little moment happened, and I couldn’t help but to conclude my night with sticky tears of gratitude drying on my cheeks as I whispered to my sleeping man just how fortunate it really is that life brought us together.

I will share with you that I call Riley my Ribear, in part because he’s big, he’s strong, and he has a thick head of brown fur-like hair. But you see, when I was a child, I had this brown teddy bear that I just adored. He was perfect, despite the fact that he had a big gash right down his midline where his seam had split open revealing the soft, pure white stuffing he was made of. I really can’t recall my teddy not having that gash – it seems it was always there and from time to time I would lovingly patch that wound up with a bandaid or two. We all have our wounds and for some, they become so all consuming that they turn our insides sour. But for Riley and my teddy  (do you know what happened to that teddy, mother?!?) that’s just not the case. Ri’s the kind of bear that is filled with pure and sweet honey, and he isn’t afraid to reveal his wounds with an open and graceful heart. Sometimes, when he doesn’t know I am watching, I catch him revealing that pure gentle spirit in the most beautifully subtle ways.

So a couple nights back, I was reclining in bed and getting ready to / but not quite ready to sleep. I still had the TV on (bad habit to kick in 2018 me thinks?) as Ri drifted off into Ri snoozeland. It’s typical for Ri to start his dozing before me, which is a good thing as he stirs awake quite frequently throughout the night and gets up really flippin early in order to make it off to work at a reasonable hour as I, on the other hand, often sleep in. Ri’s snoring is my favorite bedtime lullaby, and when he kicks it into high gear my mind becomes peaceful and my eyes grow heavy. So I flipped the TV off and settled into the darkness that is officially our room now that we purchased total black out shades (yes! game changer…treat yoself). Moments later, a huge snore seemingly startled Riley awake. Or so I thought, based on the fact that he began humming the sweetest little something of his own composition for the next 30 seconds or so. I listened for a few and then opened my mouth to tell him goodnight and that he was the sweetest goddamn man on this planet, but he hummed right through my interjection. And then, without pause, he let out a seriously legit snore and continued on with his sleeping for the night.

Riley had been humming in his sleep, you guys. Who does that?

This, coming from a man whose pain and spasticity and paralysis accompany him to bed each night and are there by his side again each morning. He tells me it feels like his body is locked in concrete. He tells me that a lot of his body feels like my foot feels when it has fallen asleep and is just starting to wake up. That’s what many would call torture. At night, he waits to wake me until he absolutely must – mostly because his spasms have left him in a contorted position that he is unable to work his way out of. It isn’t like this all the time, but it is that way more of the time than he will ever admit. And somehow, between all of that nonsense, Ri hums in his sleep and wakes each morning with a smile that would impress anyone that is awake at such an ungodly hour.

And I guess that’s the end of my story, point being that despite physical pain and limitations, the spirit can transcend.

I want to take a moment to thank the amazing community of people that saved Ri’s life 9 years ago and have continued to nourish his body and soul through your unfailing friendships and palpable support. Each of you mean so much to me.

Thanks for reading. Ri and I wish you each love and happiness in 2018.

Andrea

He’s so badass!

 

 

 

Is it time to buy a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber for your home?

Access Oxygen aims to bring Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy directly to anyone in need. The wonderful advantage to Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers is that they are safe enough for home use and sometimes, this can make a lot of sense.

Two questions that might be crossing your mind already are:

  1. Isn’t that too expensive?
  2. Can I (or a family member) really operate a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber?

Here is the scoop!

Mild hyperbaric chambers, also called portable chambers, are know for their portability. They are safe, easy to assemble, and ideal for home use. They are offered at varying price points, with units starting around $4,000.

In terms of operation, portable chambers have a simple design, allowing for ease of use. There is minimal maintenance involved long term, and the units can be stored away in a bag when not in use, saving space within your home.

So how do you know when it is time to purchase a chamber? Here a few guidelines.

  1. Are you already hooked? Lifelong fans interested in healthy aging can save time and money by investing in a home chamber. How nice would it be to put your dives on your own calendar, instead of having to coordinate with a clinic?
  1. Are you treating a chronic condition or do you plan to use mHBOT for longer than a few months? Oftentimes, chronic conditions benefit from ongoing and frequent chamber use. Rather than spending all of your funds at our clinic, why not invest that money in your long term health plan? Your body and wallet will thank you later!
  1. Will travel time or scheduling constraints get in the way of following an mHBOT protocol at a clinic? Depending on your condition, your treatment plan may have you diving up to 5 days per week for a number of weeks. If you have committed to utilizing a Mild Hyperbaric Chamber, but time is a major obstacle, consider a rental or purchase for your home.
  1. Do you know other people who could benefit from mHBOT? While a prescription is required for anyone who dives in the chamber, why not split the cost with a friend or family member and share in the benefits?

If the guidelines above resonate with your situation,  please contact us and together, we can figure out what makes the most sense for your unique situation. Our goal, as always, is to help our clients Access Oxygen!