Eight Ways to Thrive with Paralysis

Posted by Allen Rucker in Life After Paralysis on February 23, 2023 # Lifestyle

Photo of blogger Allen RuckerSocial media, that two-faced ghoul, has accelerated to hyper speed a habit Americans were already addicted to: lists. Lists use much less brain power than actual reading, are easy to copy and slap on the fridge, and have worked for centuries. Nine Best States to Die In. Ten Ugliest Stars in Hollywood. Five Ways to Avoid Looking Stupid. You come across them online, and you cannot not read them, even if they are outdated or wrong.

Paralyzed people need a list, too, as a way to navigate through a world where you are still considered wounded and needy, airlines don’t want you to board their planes – you are not cost-effective – and Rand Paul thinks you are faking it to get free money from the government. How can you thrive in such a hostile environment? Start here.

  • To avoid all those stares or condescending smiles or pats on the head, don’t go out in public. It’s 2023. Any possible thing you need or want can be delivered right to your door and you can develop some rich friendships with the delivery people. I know it sounds harsh, but it is hassle-free, plus you’ll sleep more.
  • If you do have to go out in public, be sure to bring along a 300-lb Chechen bodyguard. Others won’t pity you; they’ll be afraid of you. Maître d’s will kick people out of the restaurant to give you a good table. It’s better to be feared than put on a waitlist.
  • The next time someone says you are their hero or an Absolute Miracle, say back, “Oh, balderdash! Everybody is handicapped in some way. My girlfriend can’t work the remote. Many people are afraid of broccoli. Many more are just not too bright. Wouldn’t you call that a handicap?”
  • The top two things that could ruin your life are 1. Pain, and 2. Incontinence. Try to avoid both.
  • The next time someone comes up and says, “You are being punished by God,” click your fingers and say, “Oh! That’s the problem! Duh! Thanks for the one-up!
  • To answer people needlessly asking, “Do you need help?”, just hand a card reading, “Oh, no, thank you. That’s very kind of you. May you be forever blessed.” They might buy you coffee.
  • To answer that awkward Tinder first date question, “Can you, uh, perform sex?”, simply don’t tell them. Let them guess. It will make the date last longer.
  • Know that, in heaven, no one is paralyzed. But there is a long tradition that the previously paralyzed have permission to get away with damn near anything. You no longer have to apologize for your existence. So be patient.

Eight easy steps to a greater tomorrow. Let me know how it goes.

Allen Rucker was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and has an MA in Communication from Stanford University, an MA in American Culture from the University of Michigan, and a BA in English from Washington University, St. Louis.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.