What is Desirability?

by Bethany Hoppe

There is no denying that each of us has Desires, even at the most basic level of being thirsty or hungry. Beyond that, we might get into creature comforts and our sexual appetites. Some people base personal Desires on material things such as clothing, buying certain labels, or simply owning things, regardless of how little the possessions mean to them or how soon they tire of them. Generally, the Human Animal constantly functions on its Desires for comfort, sustenance, survival, and safety. 

Mistakenly, our society often likes to point out the materialism of today’s culture, but fails to consider the Spiritual-Emotional needs of the Person as part of the equation. Out of our frustration, we have become really good at pointing fingers at one another, judging one another on how much or how little one earns, and applying unfounded meanings to the words wealthy and poor. And worse, we then self-apply these unfounded meanings to our physicality, emotional stability, or mental capacity with even more labels. We constantly validate or in-validate ourselves and those around us with very little thought.

But the fact still remains that we all have Desires.

And we should. 

Amazing Quadriplegic Woman's Pony tail Technique

By Tiffiny Carlson 
Every girl wants the freedom of throwing up her hair whenever she pleases, but when your fingers are paralyzed, even partially, this is something you have to give up (quite painfully I might add). But Elizabeth Kolbe, 25, a C6-7 quadriplegic woman studying law at Stanford University, refused to accept her no-pony-tail fate and figured out a way to put her hair up independently after working on a technique for about 2 years. By combining the right lean and moving her hands and manipulating her paralyzed fingers just so, her pony tail technique works.
As a C6-7 quadriplegic woman, Kolbe can move her arms almost normally, and she has about 10% finger function; certainly not enough to just throw her air up thoughtlessly whenever she wants to. She can move her thumb on her left hand and her left index finger, as well as some lower hand tendons.  But as her video of her showing off her technique shows, once she’s in the right position and has her hair in the exact place she needs, everything falls into place and she can get her ponytail up in less than a minute. 

Watch her ponytail technique above.
Unfortunately, since my injury is at the C5-6 level (one level above Kolbe’s) her technique won’t work for me. But despite only C6-7 quads being the only people who can really use the information exactly the way it‘s laid out, it also has another, much bigger lesson: It shows that whatever your injury level, you should make the most of every muscle movement, even if it’s only a flicker, because you never know what you may be able to figure out. The ability of humans to think their way out of almost any situation, even if it takes years, will astound you.
Reprinted with permission by SPINALpedia.com
About the author: Tiffiny Carlson is a freelance writer from Minneapolis. She has a C6 spinal cord injury from a diving accident from when she was 14 years old and has degree in Mass Communications from Augsburg College. Tiff has her own website, BeautyAbility.com and is SPINALpedia.com’s official blogger writing about all about all aspects of life with paralysis. 

SPINALpedia.com is a free user-generated how-to video network for people with paralysis and their supporters to connect and learn from each other. There are thousands of videos available –from the basics (getting dressed in the morning) to the extreme (adapted skydiving)—all able to be filtered by the physical mobility of the users, making searches efficient. Their mission is to empower more people with paralysis with the tools to adapt their lives and re-enter society as active citizens.

Revisiting the Great Outdoors

by Darla Greven

This summer my husband and I wanted to find a way to go camping in Yosemite National Forest. Although we used to love camping, we hadn't tried any outdoor overnights since my injury 10 years ago. We didn’t pull down our old tent and camp stove, but we found some great adaptive alternatives that got me camping and enjoying the great outdoors again with my family.

My Kodak moment… here I am out in spectacular nature; triumphing over obstacles that could keep me from this beautiful place, because of my impressive willpower! Right? No. Unfortunately, my willpower can’t change the fact that real forest floors and true wilderness don’t conform to my new list of special needs.
What I’ve learned I can do is work hard and explore my own resources and push my own boundaries to find ways I can enjoy the things I have always loved, like the outdoors. Since I began living with spinal cord injury, paralysis and pain years ago, it so much more challenging; but I am finding that it’s totally worth the effort!