Outside the Comfort Zone

Outside your comfort zone

 

If you ever feeling like you’re stuck, and not moving forward in life, the productive thing to do is make yourself uncomfortable. At first that sounds strange. The thing is, we learn the most when we are uncomfortable or make mistakes. I’m not saying it’s not okay to feel down. Sometimes we need a moment to fully address our feelings. Find someone who motivates you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, a family member, mentor, or someone that genuinely cares. All of my friends are people that I admire on some level. I find that if there is a quality about a friend that you can respect then they are the best people to be around. Success breeds success. The same is true for kindness. How does this relate to moving forward and feeling uncomfortable? Don’t worry, I’m getting to that.

 

Having respect and admiration usually comes back to you. I tend to be my biggest critic but my friends and family tend to remind me I have more value than I know. It’s almost impossible to feel down when you have friends that constantly remind you of that. It’s borderline annoying.

 

Once your friends prevent you from reaching rock-bottom, then you can begin the process of doing something new that might seem scary. I used to be a communication major that was terrified of public event’s and public speaking. One of those really great friends invited me to a networking event. First day there I was scared out of my mind. Was I uncomfortable? You bet. I learned one of the best lessons of my life during that and that is fear can be turned into energy instead of wasted. That uncomfortable feeling is just energy you haven’t figured out how to utilize effectively.

 

Once I figured out how to utilize that energy, it caused me to grow and mature more. Just like anybody else though, those moments of self-doubt creep in. It’s important to catch yourself when those feelings manifest. Reach out to people you respect. You might find yourself accidentally motivated again. Recently I experienced that feeling of self-doubt. It was three specific individuals that motivated me again. Those people reminded me, through their own determination, that I need to keep going.

 

So if you’re ever feeling down do something new. Do something that snaps you out of your comfort zone.

Joe’s hose?

I have a lot of hose! Yes the secret is out. Okay, before you continue reading, you need to say the word hose out loud. Also definitely read the whole thing otherwise you might think something is wrong with me.

I’ve got small hose and I’ve got big hose. Some hose blow, and  other hose suck. A few just push things through. My hose are delivered to me on demand on a monthly basis. Mostly because some get worn out and have to throw them out to replace with new ones. Also I’m a little selfish and I don’t share my hose. I have a lot of hose.

There are even hose hanging in my closet ready for use. They occasionally get in the way and cause problems. Sometimes I have to make sure they stay in their place.

I cannot survive without my useful hose. Every once in a while they send me the wrong hose. You can’t really do anything with useless hose except throw them out. You know what I mean?

There is a lot of tubing required for respiratory equipment as well as a feeding tube. What did you think I was talking about?  

 

It’s a little funny seeing the concerned faces when people learn I have a feeding tube. In reality it’s no big deal in my case. I had the surgery when I was 15 and was rapidly losing weight from complications of my condition. I still eat by mouth, but not enough.

 

If you liked this post then please check www.joe4wheels.com for more. Also tell your friends.

Mary Jane’s Revenge

Mary Jane’s Revenge

I noticed, after a friend edited my previous blog post, that it was full of ridiculous and hilarious spelling mistakes. This is why you don’t proofread your own work while high.  This got me thinking about a time where Mary Jane had me legitimately scared and paranoid.

One of the great benefits of living in California is legalized marijuana. It has greatly improved my quality of life in more ways than one. I have what is called muscular dystrophy which essentially paralyzed my body. I still feel and can move my fingers to drive my wheelchair, but need assistance with physical tasks and a machine to breath. Sitting all day can cause bursitis or hip pain occasionally so a little weed at the end of the day usually does the trick.

I started using it for pain and appetite a year ago. I don’t like being high during the day so I usually wait till later. One day I was having a terrible pain day and accidentally overdid my tincture. My caregiver squeezed to much of the dropper out. I could have spit some out but I’m pretty sure it’s a sin somewhere. Also, excuse my language, that shit expensive and I’m currently a broke ass cripple.

Forty minutes later as the herb did its magic, I’m was sitting forward to eat my favorite high food, Popeye’s. At first I was enjoying what seemed like the best meal of my life. Apparently Mary Jane wasn’t done with me. So the only way for me to safely eat without choking is to sit forward and lean against my armrest. As I sat up I got a creeping that feeling I was in constant free-fall. Even when I gave up on eating and sat back I still thought the world was moving and I was going to fall on the floor. I was absolutely terrified! Eventually I was able to clean my plate. That alone surprised me because I never eat that much.

If you thought the story was over and you were reading the conclusion paragraph, I have news for you. It’s time to buckle up buttercup. If you’ve ever been really high before, then you know time does some strange things. Laying in bed with my breathing mask on, I thought I wasn’t breathing. The machine breaths for me so it’s impossible for me not to breath. I know that, but I wasn’t the most logical thinking human at the time in case you weren’t paying attention. Eventually the paranoia wore off and I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes and it was exactly eight hours later. I stayed away from weed for about two months after that ordeal. Dorothy returned to Kansas.

Moral of the story: you can always use more, but it’s impossible to take some out.

Make America Better

Just a warning this post will not be about funny ridiculous moments but more of a thought-provoking blog post. I know there is a controversy involving some people not being proud of being American. Some people want to make America great again while others do not believe America was ever great. As a person with a disability, I have to say I am with the “America was never great” crowd. Sorry if I triggered anybody.

For a good portion of our history, the right to self-determination and equality belonged exclusively to the racist white men. Eventually all men were allowed to vote, though some states still found ways to discriminate against minorities. Wait a little while longer, and finally women were allowed the right to vote, but it still took a while for women to have legislated equality. It only took 214 years after the declaration of independence for people with disabilities to get equality. Only. Imagine how unhappy disabled African-Americans must be with our country’s history?

I do not mean this to sound unpatriotic. In fact, the United States is still one of the better places to live with a disability. Still, there is a lot of work that needs done. Far too many people with disabilities have to choose between a nursing home and death. Far too many people with disabilities face hurtful changes to essential, cost-saving programs. That is why every election I scrutinize every candidate and party’s voting history on disability issues, as well as current legislation they support. This election matters even if there is not any specific legislation that affects you. Always remember that it affects someone else.

Sometimes I can get a little passionate when it comes to politics. I will not tell you which political party is better. If you know me or have read anything I have posted, then you know my position. The Disability Integration Act is one major piece of legislation I am constantly following to see which political parties and candidates are cosponsoring. It would require all states to provide adequately funded in-home care programs for people with disabilities. I would recommend going to this website http://www.disabilityintegrationact.org/summary/ to learn more information. Also, look at the Senators and Representatives that are cosponsoring. It will give you a good idea of how each party and candidate feels about supporting freedom and independence for people with disabilities.

So let us not make America great again, let us make it better.

Clumsy klutzy caregivers

So before I get to the comedy of Clumsy klutzy caregivers it’s important to let people know the importance of a consumer directed,publicly funded caregiver system. In a nutshell, there are many states that have programs that allow people with disabilities to hire caregivers(pca) of their own choice with state, federal, and local governments providing the funding. The program is called consumer directed when the recipient sets the schedule and tasks instead of an agency. I prefer consumer directed because I can go places and do things without asking permission the way I want to.

Here in California it’s called IHSS, or In Home Support Services. Some politicians have been convinced that the system is full of fraud and wasteful spending, but in reality fraud levels are extremely low and is far cheaper than nursing homes. Also, because my caregivers are my employees who follow my training, I‘m respected and not abused.I always have the option to immediately fire for abusive, poor quality care.

The best part about having caregivers in my home everyday is the interesting diverse range of people I get to know. For the most part It’s positive and I deeply appreciate their hard work and dedication. My favorite are the accidental slapstick comedians. Also known as klutzy for the uninformed. Some people are extraordinarily gifted in that department. Early last January a caregiver walked right into my closed bedroom door like a rhino colliding into a safari jeep. At first I thought someone was trying to break down the door. She looked like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer for a few days.My first thought was “oh my God, this is going to be a long week” and “did I hire the wrong person”. Luckily everything turned out pretty good

But wait, there’s more! A few weeks ago I was going backwards down the ramp in my kitchen, the incline is too steep to go forward, unbeknownst to me my caregiver was quietly walking behind me to get some water. Through sheer bad luck and timing my elbow caught some booty leading to a domino effect of my hand getting caught on my controller, and because my controls are reversed, it made me reverse full-speed pinning my Caregiver against the counter and my chair. Imagine my chair squishing somebody’s ass between a counter with no means of escape. My uninjured caregiver essentially twerked to get unstuck while simultaneously laughing hysterically. Disaster averted.

Little things like this make life more interesting. It’s always nice to have people invested in my care, whether it’s family or not. My mom has taught me that sometimes it’s okay to laugh the little things. Some days I might laugh a little too hard but maybe there’s no such thing.

Thank you for reading another one from my writing’s. I decided that my mission is to use my blog and voice to make people laugh while also educating on things that are truely important to people like me. If you like to support my blog or just enjoy reading my stories please feel free to share or you can donate by clicking the donate button to the right.

Bumblebee Hit-and-Run

Can’t believe it’s been a few years since I last wrote something to post. My goal is to post something new every week. So here we go.

This one is about bugs. I seem to be a magnet for anything that flies, stings, and bites. Even fresh out of the shower if there is a bug in a room it will find me. They seem to like me. The problem is it’s a one-way relationship. Insects straight up terrify me. Snakes and reptiles don’t bother me one bit, but bugs, no thank you.

Now that we got that out of the way you’ll understand why I screamed like a little girl when a bee collided into my mustache. Then it proceeded to harass my face like I was the one doing something wrong.

I saw it coming straight at me at a distance. So I stopped, thinking it would go around. Luckily I closed my mouth otherwise I probably would have been choking on an inconsiderate bumblebee. Too bad you can’t press charges against an insect.

I think that bumblebee needs glasses or freaking hazard lights! Leave them alone they said. They won’t bother you unless you bother them they said. 


One of the many strange things that happen to me on a daily basis. I also attract crazy.

Santa and the cold virus

It’s been a while since I’ve done another blog post. I’ve been spending most of my time trying to hide from a nasty bug going around. Both my sister and my niece got sick from this mysterious cold/flu or whatever the heck it is. So I barricaded myself in my room and called in reinforcements from the orange juice brigade, vitamin division, and surgical masks. Unlike most people a simple cold can put me in the hospital or even worse so when times like these happen I turn into a major hypochondriac and the “did you wash your hands” police. One of the best ways for me to avoid being in the hospital with pneumonia is to not get sick in the first place. That’s easier said than done especially when you live with a one-year-old.

My best friend and I are supposed to be exchanging gifts and were actually supposed to the day before Christmas. Long story short he ended up getting sick and decided to be a smart friend stay the hell away from me lol you sick, no gift for you. When you know someone with a neuromuscular disorder you tend to be aware of these things so if you know someone with a neuromuscular disorder and has breathing difficulties the smartest thing to do is stay away until you no longer feel sick. Don’t worry they’ll forgive you because they like breathing more than they want to see you. I just realized that sounds really terrible but it’s completely understandable.

Speaking of opening gifts. Tightly wrapped gifts on Christmas are completely unnecessary especially when I can’t even pick up the gift to try to take a peek. When an able-bodied person needs to use brute strength just to unwrap a gift I think that means there was way too much tape. It doesn’t need to look pretty because that paper is going to get shredded in the end anyways. An ugly black garbage bag does just the trick at least in my opinion, but maybe it’s because I’m a guy.

Thank you again for reading another post. Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Christmas and everyone enjoys their New Year’s. I know I will because school starts again at the end of next month so I’m going to enjoy the time I don’t have to care about thinking too much.

The Ballad Of the Shrimp and Grits Lady

The Ballad Of the Shrimp and Grits Lady

In the introduction I mentioned the story about the shrimp and grits lady and you’re probably wondering who is the shrimp and grits lady? Well it all started one pleasant afternoon on my way to downtown Sacramento for an appointment. When suddenly two elderly women in a New Orleans accent begin conversing about Southern cooking. It was immediately apparent that these women were generally not from around Sacramento or anywhere near California. I kid you not the conversation started with “Ooohie I love me some of them shrimp and grits, you know what sounds good right now? I’m bout to get me some shrimp and grits. I’m bout to add some more junk to that trunk with a nice big bowl of shrimp and grits.” Good thing my seatbelt was on because a cripple falling on the floor because he was laughing so hard probably wouldn’t have the desired ending. You can’t make up stories like these because nobody’s mind is that crazy. The sad thing is it was actually making me hungry for some shrimp and grits even though I’ve never even tried it.

The interesting things that can happen when riding public transportation is all I have to say.

Part II: Appetite Revoked

The story gets even better when they talk about throwing a nice big chunk a ham hock into the bowl. The lady sitting next to her had a differing opinion when she said “forget the shrimp and grits just give me that ham hock. I’ll chew on that raw like a pack of bubble gum.” At this point I am thinking I want off this train before they really ruin my appetite. My mind is thinking “Run!!!!” But my legs were thinking don’t you dare even try. In case you don’t know me my body parts and I have many discussions and arguments. I think my win rate is about 50-50 when it comes to arguments of my body parts but I’ll save that little bit of information for another day. The ladies finally arrive at their destination after discussing how much they love shrimp and grits, how many bowls of shrimp and grits, and the fact that they were on their way to get some shrimp and grits!

I didn’t know people like these actually existed. Anybody hungry for shrimp and grits and ham hocks?

My Name Is What? My name is who?



My Name Is What? My name is who?

Hey this is Joseph and welcome to my brand-new blog. I am a person with a disability living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy as well as a college graduate from California State University Sacramento. I decided to share with you my perspective on life and some interesting stories. Be prepared for some rather outlandish stories, and it’s not because of the disability, but rather how crazy everybody else is I run into on a daily basis. When I say people I run into I don’t literally mean run over with the wheelchair of course. Okay maybe just a select few I may actually run into. What can I say it’s a wheelchair malfunction *wink*wink*. Don’t get me started on the shrimp and grits lady on public transportation. You may even hear stories about my Little one-year-old niece I live with and apparently I’m not aloud or drink anything because she keeps stealing my straws. keep in mind though if you’re looking for a blog about the depressing life of a cripple or inspiration porn, yes inspiration porn is an actual phrase and if you come back I might talk about it, then you might be in the wrong place.


As this is my first blog I am still working out the kinks so if you have any advice or comments please feel free to send me a Facebook message or an e-mail at js.wilson90@gmail.com. I would greatly appreciate it. Again welcome to my blog and check back regularly and I will try to update weekly.