Ready To Read.
After spending December and January putting all my energy into simply staying alive, my priorities had a major shift. My one-year goals had suddenly become five-year goals, and a few long-term goals became lifetime behavioral alterations.
For instance, up until now I was giving my health a high priority, but maybe not the highest priority. I scheduled my medical appointments, but in truth, I was scheduling them around my work appointments.
From now on, my plan is to schedule my doctor's appointments first, then my work appointments. If there's a conflict, the work appointment gets rescheduled or canceled, if necessary.
Starting The List
That thought brings me to a confession and decision.
I've purchased a few books providing information on living life after a spinal-cord injury (SCI). That's purchased, but not read.
This year, my one resolution is to dedicate the next 12 months toward reading as much about SCI as I should have been previously doing, and I would like to share these publications with you.
The first book I plan to reread is Yes, You Can!: Guide to Self-Care for Persons With Spinal Cord Injury from Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). I've picked up some bad habits along the way, and this book will at least get me back on the proper track.
Secondly, I'll read Healthwise for Life written by the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) Desert Pacific Healthcare Network. This book covers issues ranging from first aid to chronic disease and how to navigate the VA health care system to quickly get you to the proper care provider. I still wonder why I don't take this book with me to all my VA medical appointments. Let's say that's about to change, as well.
Third is The Spinal Cord Injury Handbook for Patients and Their Families by Richard Senelick, MD. I read this once already while I was an inpatient at a VA hospital in 2010. I need to reread it. I'm curious what my reactions will be reading it 10 years later.
The fourth item I plan to read is Paralysis Resource Guide written by Sam Maddox and published by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Maddox not only works for the foundation, but he also published another book titled Spinal Network: The Total Resource for the Wheelchair Community in 1989.
The Next Four
Next on my ever-growing list is Life On Wheels by Gary Karp.
This book is for the active wheelchair user. I'm really going to delve into this one before I head back out there and damage my body any more than I already have.
The sixth book is Rise Above by Ralph W. Braun. For those of you unfamiliar with his name, roll out to your VA SCI parking lot and look at the modified vans parked there. You should see his name on quite a few of the side panels.
If that doesn't help, ask an older PVA member to tell you about BraunAbility. You'll find very few people who are unaware of that name.
The seventh book on my list is Rowing Against the Wind by Angela Madsen. She's hardly the only Paralympian currently in PVA, but she may well be the only one who holds multiple Guinness World Records.
However, if you think this came easily, all I can say is read her book. I read it five years ago, and I still find myself complaining about how difficult my life can be sometimes. Whenever I run into her, I stop complaining. There's more in her book than I could have ever dreamed.
The final book on my list is Universal Design Toolkit by Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD. Eventually--and this is also my hope--we will all move into a home of our own. But how accessible will it be and how much will it cost?
This book is focused on timesaving ideas, resources, solutions and guidance for making homes accessible to wheelchairs. It's not the only book available, but this one references many other books and can at least start you on your way when you're ready to make that final leap.
Creating A Good New Year
Is that a lot to read and learn? Absolutely, it is. But as I look on my life 10 years later, I'm very glad I read some of them.
Now, it is time for me to read all of them. The information I need is there, and it's time I begin to absorb it. One lesson I've learned, however, is that we just don't have happy new years--we create them.
I wish you all a year with good cheer and happiness.
Scoba Rhodes is a U.S. Navy veteran and author of Rules of Engagement: A Self-Help Guide for Those Overcoming Major Personal Trauma.
The opinions of the author do not necessarily reflect the position of Paralyzed Veterans of America.