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8 Tips for Adapting After a Spinal Cord Injury

by billf September 27 2016 18:24
tips for adapting after an SCI


My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. bill f 180 medicalAbout 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to use my experiences to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time just talking to our customers on the phone who are new to self-catheterizing.

As you may already know, September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, so, as a C5-6 quadriplegic, I'd like to share a few helpful tips for anyone living with an SCI, particularly those new to their injury and recently released from their rehabilitation center.

1. Plan a daily routine. 
While in rehabilitation therapy, my fellow patients and I were woken up every day at 6:00 a.m. and kept to a pretty orderly schedule from morning to night. If your rehab was anything like mine, they probably had you on a daily schedule like this. I recommend trying to stick to something similar, or perhaps you can come up with a daily routine of your own that will work better for your individual needs.

Having a routine re-establishes a sense of dependable structure after such an injury that does alter your life in many ways. When we create positive habits, whether we live with a SCI or not, this practice has a way of enhancing your life. Especially in early recovery after you're released, having too much extra time without a schedule or tasks to do can lead to depression. Find something you love to do or participate in, create a routine, and eventually, it will become a habit.

Important note: Be sure to continue your self-cathing and bowel program as your doctor or healthcare professional has prescribed. 


2. Exercise and eat well.
Exercise will help you maintain or even lose weight, if necessary. I know it's not uncommon for those with spinal cord injuries to gain weight once they are in a wheelchair, mainly due to inactivity. But it's important to try your best to stay in shape, and not just because it's always a great idea to maintain optimal health, no matter your level of injury. Exercise may also help you regain your independence, and you might find that it becomes a lot easier to transfer from your wheelchair to your car, a toilet, or to your bed, and continue your other daily activities.  

While in rehabilitation therapy, you may have been taught a daily exercise routine with weights, resistance bands, and wheelchair pushes, as I was. When you return home after your release, you might not have access to all the necessary equipment at home. It might be worth checking with your rehabilitation center to see if they offer continuing outpatient-based visits, so you can continue to use their equipment or get assistance with workouts. You might also check with your local gym or fitness center, as they might also have adaptive equipment.

For exercising at home, you may find, as I have, that resistance bands are a great help, because they're not only very effective but inexpensive as well. You can also purchase hand weights or even wrist band weights if you have limited hand dexterity like me.

Continuing to work on pushing your own wheelchair (if you are physically able), is also of great importance. I recall when I first returned home, I would spend an hour during the day pushing my chair as long and hard as I could. At first, I could barely push up a ramp, but with continued effort, I was able to push on my own for a few miles, which was a huge success! I also made sure to keep going to my local rehab center at least three times a week to lift weights and resistance train.

Maintaining a healthy diet is also important to your health. Your rehabilitation therapist or healthcare professional may be able to counsel you on the best foods for your health or refer you to a certified nutritionist to formulate a specialized diet for you.


3. Consider going back to school or work.
If you already had a job before your injury and are planning on returning to work after rehab, your employer should assist you in making any necessary accommodations, so you can continue to work for them. If you are interested in trying to go back to work or plan on working in the future, get in contact with your local Department of Rehabilitation Services, who can assist you in helping find a job, as well as designing a plan and providing you with the necessary accommodations you might require in order to work. They can also assist you in making a plan for any continuing education. Fortunately, they also often offer resources that may help pay for all or part of your education costs. 

There are also scholarships available to those with disabilities, such as 180 Medical's annually offered College Scholarship Program. You can learn more about that at our scholarship page.

Most schools and universities have a department specifically to assist those of us with disabilities. They help make sure that your classes are accessible for you, and if you have any other special needs, they can work to make the necessary accommodations for you. Examples of this could range from getting someone to assist you in taking notes to getting a classroom location changed, if the original classroom is not physically accessible. 

I knew a young man who had done construction work all of his life, and, after breaking his back, he realized that he would no longer be able to do that type of work anymore. Even though he had limited education originally, he decided to go back to school went back to school, ended up becoming an attorney, and has been very successful.

No matter what you were doing before you had your spinal cord injury, the sky is the limit on what you can do in the future. While it took me a while before I was able to get my first job, I was so grateful to finally have a daily purpose with going to work, because I was starting to get depressed by not doing anything. No matter what your level of injury is, see what job options might be available to you if that is of interest.


4. Join a local support group.
I can't say enough good things about support groups. These meetings can be so beneficial. Not only does it allow you to share ideas with people who are going or have gone through the same things, but some of my best friends today are people I met through my local support group.

Most states, cities, or larger towns have spinal cord injury support group meetings or an association of some sort. For example, i'm originally from a small town of approximately 15,000 people, and even there, we had a group that met every month. There were not that many of us, but it was nice to meet people in my area with similar disabilities and understood some of the issues I was also encountering. If you live in a rural area, you might have to travel to get to the nearest meeting. The Spinal Cord Association in Oklahoma City offers their meetings by Skype, so that people who are unable to make it to the meeting can still participate. If there is not already a support group in your area yet, you might consider starting one.


5. Use the Internet.
There is a wealth of information available to you on the internet, from educational information, community activities, local support groups, helpful webinars, adaptive equipment and clothing, charitable associations, and more. If you have found this article, then you already know what I mean. I have written several blogs for 180 Medical discussing all types of issues which you may also find helpful, all the way from achieving independence as a quadriplegic, traveling, adaptive clothing for people in wheelchairs, and even my experience with adaptive sports like kayaking.  

Some great resources to start:
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
National Spinal Cord Injury Association (United Spinal)
Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation
Progressive Independence
DREAM (Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring)
Dream2Walk 
Triumph Foundation
Facing Disability


6. Start driving again.
For me, personally, getting behind the wheel again was the biggest step in feeling as if I had gained my independence back. While I know that some people have too great a level of injury to be able to drive themselves, many others are still able to do so.

Most paraplegics are able to transfer into a car or truck, break their wheelchair down, and load it into their vehicle, so the only modifications they may require are hand controls and possibly a steering wheel knob. These modifications are usually under a few thousand dollars. As a quadriplegic, I require a van with a lift, automatic door openers, a 6-way seat base, hand controls, and a tri-pin on my steering wheel. These adaptive modifications to one's vehicle can end up being very costly, however. There are more types of modifications available.

If your ultimate goal is to get back to work, then the Department of Rehabilitation Services might help pay for the disability modifications, but you are responsible for paying for the vehicle. If you currently have a vehicle, check to see if it can be modified. If you are purchasing a new vehicle to have modified, most manufacturers offer up to $1000 to assist in paying for your adaptive equipment. 


7. Participate in Adaptive Sports and Recreation.

bill adaptive kayaking 180 medicalWhether you want to professionally compete in sports or just enjoy doing something for fun, there are so many options available to you, both indoors and outdoors. I personally enjoy swimming, kayaking, riding my hand-crank bike, water-skiing, and I even went snow-skiing once but haven’t had the opportunity to go back yet. Check your local resources and give the internet a quick search to see what is available. 

A few helpful organizations and informational websites:
Life Rolls On (Surf and Skating events)
National Wheelchair Basketball Association
VA Adaptive Sports (US Department of Veterans Affairs)
Disabled Sports USA (this includes local chapters and youth programs as well)
Blaze Sports America
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation information on Team Sports
Paralyzed Veterans of America Sports
Oklahoma Adaptive Sports Association (OKASA)
U.S. Paralympics
Adaptive Sports USA
Adaptive Adventures

8. Never give up.
Above all, don't lose hope! Life is not over for you, even if it has been drastically changed by your injury. There is help and assistance available, and many opportunities exist out there.

As someone who has been where you are right now as a newly injured person living with a spinal cord injury, I wish you all the best on your new journey and hope you will be able to reach out for any support you may need at this crucial time in your life.

Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month? Learn more:
spinal cord injury awareness month 2016

 
bill bio pic 180 medical employee
Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Jared

by Jessica September 20 2016 20:58
Earlier this summer, we were proud to be able to announce the names of each of our 2016 College Scholarship recipients. This year, there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

Throughout the following months, we will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured Macy. This week, we are happy to feature Jared Grier, the second of our seven scholarship winners.

jared 180 medical college scholarship winner 2016
When Jared was just 19, he anticipated there might be many transitions in the course of life ahead, but one day brought a life-alteringjared and his frat brothers 180 medical college scholarship winner change he could have never expected after finishing up his first year of college. During a fun outing with friends at a local park, he climbed a tree, just as he had many times before, but when he tried to get down, he fell and landed on his neck, fracturing his C6 vertebrae and rendering him quadriplegic. Since that time, he has gone through some very difficult challenges such as multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, and continuing therapy. Once he was home, he says he "made it [his] goal to return to campus as fast as possible." 

His fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, has been a huge part of his life since entering college, and his brothers joined together with him to create a fundraising campaign, called the Grierstrong Movement, which was originally made to garner support for Jared by the organizations on his college campus. Now, Grierstrong continues to grow with aims to bring awareness to the community about spinal cord injuries and the impact they can have on people's lives.

As of the beginning of the fall semester, Jared is continuing forward with his education, unwilling to give up on his goals at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he plans to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.

We are truly impressed by Jared's commitment to continue forward and turn a potentially devastating injury into a direction that helps positively impact others' lives. You can learn more about the Grierstrong Movement at grierstrong.com.

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month? Learn more:
spinal cord injury awareness month 2016

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Macy

by Jessica September 8 2016 08:04
Earlier this summer, we were proud to be able to announce the names of each of our 2016 College Scholarship recipients. This year, there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

Throughout the following months, we will be featuring each recipient on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. This week, we are happy to feature Macy Huff, the first of our seven scholarship winners.

macy 180 medical college scholarship winner quote

Macy's life changed unexpectedly and dramatically when she sustained a spinal cord injury when she was only 15 years old during a tumbling/cheer-leading accident, which left her paralyzed without the use of her arms and legs. There were many new challenges that she has faced and overcome as a C5-6 quadriplegic, and she feels that it changed her life in more ways than that. During her time in rehab at Riley Children's Hospital, she encountered some very helpful and encouraging Child Life Therapists that had a big impact on her life.

macy cheerleading senior pic"They taught me how to advocate for myself, make physical adaptations, and approach learning in a different way," Macy says. "I hope to one day pay it forward and assist others who find themselves in a similar situation as I found myself in April of 2013."

As of the beginning of the fall semester, Macy has started on her undergraduate studies at Franklin College with a major in Education, which she hopes to use to either become a Child Life Therapist or a Special Education Teacher, so that she can positively impact others' lives too, just as the therapists, teachers, and assistants who she has met since her accident have impacted her life. And not only will she be carrying a full-time college class load, she is also elated to have been invited to cheer with the Franklin College cheer squad. 

Outside of school, Macy has devoted her time to volunteering at her local food pantry, coaching cheer, participating in Student Council, Key Club, and Best Buddies (a peer mentoring program for students with disabilities). 

Macy's commitment to never give up, despite the odds, is truly inspiring, and we're sure she will find success in her future endeavors. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

Did you know that September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month? Learn more:

sci awareness month footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. She loves writing, playing music, creating art, and spending quality time with her dogs, friends, & family.
 

A Look at National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

by Jessica September 1 2016 08:47
sci awareness month blog header
Did you know that September is National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month? Originally cosponsored by Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, the bill for this awareness month was created to recognize the prevalence of spinal cord injuries in the country as well as highlight the achievements of those who living such an injury are accomplishing.

According to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, a person becomes paralyzed every 48 seconds in the United States. Here are several other statistics of note about spinal cord injuries, presented by the United Spinal Association:

  • There are approximately 12,500 new spinal cord injuries each year. 
  • The number of people in the United States in 2014 who have a spinal cord injury has been estimated to be approximately 276,000 (with a range from 240,000 to as many as 337,000 individuals).
  • The average age at injury has increased from 29 years of age during the 1970s to 42 years since 2010.
  • Approximately 79% of spinal cord injuries occur among males.
  • Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury, followed by falls, acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), and sports-related accidents.

Overcoming Adversity of a Spinal Cord Injury

man in wheelchair sci monthThe effects of a spinal cord injury can be life-altering, but it is important to know that individuals can often overcome the challenges of their condition and go on to live a normal life and achieve great things. 

180 Medical's founder, Todd Brown, is one of those people. Todd was involved in a motocross accident in 1994 that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Since that time, he has had to deal with the daily challenges that anyone with a SCI might encounter. He started 180 Medical because of his own experiences, including suffering from urinary tract infections from having to reuse his intermittent catheters. 

After learning about closed system catheter kits from some of his friends in the adaptive cycle racing community, he saw great improvements in his health and his day-to-day life. With the right catheters for his needs, he was better able to manage his condition and felt his life had been turned around. Todd wanted to help others in his situation, and as a result, he started his company. Today, 180 Medical is a leading supplier of urinary catheter supplies.

What Can You Do to Help?

Chances are that many of us know someone who has suffered from a spinal cord injury. The goal of SCI Awareness Month is to educate the general public on its prevalence, ways we can prevent these events from occurring, and how to best provide treatment and support for those living with a spinal cord injury.

There are a number of ways you can help the cause and spread awareness:
  1.  Make a donation to a spinal cord injury foundation or charity, such as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. This will help with funding for research for a cure as well as advocate for others in need.
  2.  If you know someone with a spinal cord injury, take some time to acknowledge what they're going through and congratulate them on overcoming their challenges. 
  3.  Consider joining the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's United Spinal Team Advocacy group to help work for change, stay in the loop on upcoming events, and find information on local support groups. 
  4.  Share helpful facts and information about SCI on your social media accounts throughout September. 

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A Milestone in Achieving Independence as a Quadriplegic

by Jessica March 25 2016 08:12
My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. About 28 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time just talking to our customers on the phone who are new to catheterizing. 

As some of you might already know from my previous blogs, I have been a C5-6 quadriplegic for the last 28 years. With many of our customers also having spinal cord injuries, some of whom are still quite new to being paralyzed, I thought I would share a little story with you about how something negative that happened to me actually turned out to be a very positive situation.

milestone blog header

One beautiful summer Saturday night in my hometown, my friends dropped me off at my parents' house (where I was staying at the time) after a fun night out. It had not been a full year after my accident, so I was still new in my journey to adapting to life in a wheelchair, but my parents' home had been outfitted with various adaptive accessories like a porch lift, so I could make it inside more easily in my wheelchair. 

While wheeling myself up the incline, I looked up and realized I was about to run right into a giant spider web with an equally large spider perched right in the middle. Needless to say, my natural reaction was to jerk back away from it, and when I did, I flipped out of my chair backwards and hit my head pretty hard on the concrete. I saw stars for a few minutes, but luckily, there was no major injury.

After coming to the realization of what just happened, I realized I should probably at least move off of the pavement, as I am rather susceptible to getting pressure sores. So I was able to pull myself and my wheelchair onto the grass at least. For a while, I just laid there wondering how I was going to get back into that wheelchair. I had fallen out before, but I always had someone available to help me get back into the chair. I knew that I couldn’t yell loud enough to get my parents' attention or anyone else's. And I couldn't call anyone, because this is before cell phones were such a common thing as they are today. No one was around to help, although my faithful dog stayed beside me, more than happy to lick my face, because she knew something was wrong. It was a sweet gesture, but unfortunately, she was no help in assisting me getting back into the chair.  

The situation came down to two options: I was either going to have spend the night in the yard until my parents woke up, or I was going to have to figure out how to get back into my chair.

Back when I was still in the rehabilitation center, I recalled seeing a paraplegic man demonstrate how he got back into his wheelchair. At the time, I remember I thought I'd never be able to do something like that, and I was amazed at his abilities. For those of you who are not familiar with spinal cord injuries, paraplegics have full use of their arms and hands and some of their upper body, depending on their level of injury. As a quadriplegic, I am paralyzed from the collarbones down. I have partial use of my arms; my biceps work fine, and my triceps work in my left arm but not much in my right arm. I also have no use of my hands and the rest of my upper body. This is a definite disadvantage as compared to a paraplegic, especially in a situation like this one.

inspirational disability quote
After giving it a lot of thought, I decided I would just have to do my best to reenact this technique myself. My first attempt did not go well. I was able to get my bottom up to the cushion in my chair but the cushion was too tall for me to get up onto it. After struggling to the point to where my arms were giving out, I decided to abort that attempt. I then decided to take the cushion out of my chair and sit on it to give me a little more elevation and to make the distance to the seat of my chair a little lower. I rested a few minutes to get my strength back up.  After resting I was ready to make my second attempt. I positioned myself in front of the chair and pushed up with all my might. I almost had it except my knee fell to one side, and I couldn’t quite get myself all the way onto the seat of the wheelchair. Still, I knew I was very close at this point, so I couldn't give up! I figured that if I could hold my knee in place with my chin, I might be able to make it. After resting again to get my strength back up, I got back into position, put my chin on my knee, and one last time, I pushed as hard as I could. And I did it! I was able to get my bottom back onto the seat of the wheelchair, slide myself back, and got upright again.

Although I was totally exhausted from going through all of this, I was overjoyed -- and that's putting it lightly -- to know that I had just achieved something that I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to do on my own. 

Since that time, I have been living independently. I am able to take care of all of my daily activities as well as working full-time here at 180 Medical. I also love getting to participate in a
daptive sports such as kayaking when I can. Unfortunately, I do still fall out of my chair on occasion. This is just part of life, or at least it is for me. Luckily, I am able to get back into my chair without having to rely on somebody to assist me. This was just one of the many challenges I have encountered that have helped me realize my goal of being an independent quadriplegic. I wanted to share my story in the hopes that, if you are struggling with any issues due to a physical challenge or disability, this will inspire you to keep trying and never give up. 

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SCI

Adaptive Clothing Options for People With Physical Challenges

by billf February 11 2016 12:51

My name is Bill, and I have worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. bill fAbout 26 years ago, I was involved in a motocross accident that rendered me quadriplegic. You can learn more about my story here. Over the years since then, I've been able to help and counsel others who are also dealing with life after a spinal cord injury. I am happiest when I am helping others, and these days at 180 Medical, I spend a lot of time just talking to our customers on the phone who are new to catheterizing.

Encountering Difficulties with Dressing Post-Injury

When I first became disabled, I didn't think I'd ever be able to dress myself again (since I am paralyzed from the shoulder blades down, and my hands no longer function). While in the rehabilitation center, it was recommended that everyone wear sweat pants, since that was the easiest form of clothing for the staff to get on and off while dressing those of us going through physical and occupational therapy. On top of that, I had on a halo. At the time, I figured I'd be stuck wearing sweatpants for the rest of my life.  

After being released from rehab and getting the halo removed, I decided one of my main goals would be to learn to get dressed without any assistance. I realized that my good old blue jeans I used to wear were going to be virtually impossible for me to put on. The first problem was that they all had buttons, which made it too difficult for me to manipulate due to my limited hand dexterity. When someone else put them on for me, I noticed that it was hard to keep them up especially when transferring in and out of the wheelchair. The back of the pants were always coming down, and I was unable to pull them up by myself. I did eventually find some standard pants with elastic, which worked better, but I still had the problem of the back of the pants being too low. 

A New Option for Clothing

While searching on the internet one day, I found out that there are clothes specifically designed for people with physical challenges -- from shirts all the way to specialized shoes. I was especially excited to see adaptive pants: jeans, dress pants, and more. These are designed for people who are sitting and also for those with limited hand dexterity, like myself. 


Adaptive Pants and Their Unique Features

Adaptive pants are designed for people who are sitting (as well as those with limited hand dexterity like myself. Here are some of the main features that I and many others find helpful in getting dressed daily.
  • Higher back side and lower front side. This works well, especially when you are in a wheelchair, so you don't have to worry about too much skin showing from the back. This also keeps the front of the pants from bunching up as much as regular pants do. 
  • No pockets on the backside. This eliminates as many seams and grooves as possible in order to prevent getting pressure sores. Speaking as someone who is in a wheelchair for the majority of the day, this is a very important feature, as I have been susceptible to pressure sores before. 
  • Elastic waistband to help keep the pants up during normal wear. Since my abdominal muscles have deteriorated a little, due to my condition, my waistline changes from when I am lying down versus when I am sitting in my chair. The elastic helps accommodate for these size fluctuations and alleviates the need to wear a belt.
  • Wide variety of different closures (versus standard pants). Some pants offer zippers, Velcro, or hook and eye closures which are easier to manipulate than the standard button closures on regular pants. Some companies still leave the button on the outside, so it still looks like a regular button and eye closure. For those who are unable to use a zipper, the Velcro closure is a great option, because it's easy to use and strong enough to stay closed.
  • Longer/wider opening on the crotch of the pants, which makes them easier to get on and off. It also helps in gaining access to the urethral area for people who catheterize, especially women.
  • Fabric loops that are sewn into the inside of the pants so no one can see them.  These are designed to help people with limited hand dexterity to help pull the pants up.  

Techniques in Getting Dressed Independently

There are different techniques people use to get dressed. I prefer to get dressed while lying in bed.  I get the pants pulled up on both legs while sitting in bed and then I lie down and roll from side to side while pulling them up. Some people find it easier to get dressed while sitting in their chair.  It basically comes down to whatever is easier for you.

While I have mainly discussed the kinds of pants for those who are able to get dressed independently, they also have styles that open up the entire front of the pants as well as some that open up in the rear for easy access. They also offer pants that the entire legs can be opened up. It is amazing how many options are available, whether you can dress yourself or whether you have someone that helps you put on your clothes daily.

Like I mentioned earlier there are quite a few companies that offer adaptive clothing. I am very thin and have a hard time finding the right size to fit me, but I've found that many companies will offer to make the necessary alterations to provide you with the proper fit. If you type "adaptive clothing" in the search engine on your computer it will bring up a large variety of companies to choose from. I recommend checking out the various companies to see which one best fits your needs.

Questions about the best catheters for your intermittent catheterization needs as a person with physical challenges? 180 Medical can help. Please contact us and a friendly specialist will be glad to help you find the right product for you. 

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bill bio pic 180 medical employee
Bill has worked for 180 Medical for over 10 years. He loves getting to talk to our customers, sharing his first-hand experiences as a quadriplegic, and helping those with in-depth questions about self-catheterization. He enjoys spending time outdoors, as well as watching and attending motocross events. Learn more about Bill's story.

180 Medical 2015 College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Erin

by Jessica October 14 2015 12:22
As of August, we announced all of our 2015 College Scholarship recipients. We had a large and amazing group of applicants, so it was difficult to narrow down to our final seven recipients. We are honored to be a part of helping students achieve their dreams. As the fall semester progresses, we will continue to feature our individual scholarship recipients, so be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get notified when new blog posts are published. Previously, we've featured Mallory and Mary Beth. Today, meet Erin! 

erin kavanagh scholarship 2015
Erin has been accepted to Carnegie Mellon University and as of this fall, she is on her way to a Pre-Med degree so she can become a doctor someday. She has overcome adversity since birth, having undergone 18 surgeries and experienced all forms of physical tests, etc. But Erin took this more as a challenge to learn. She became fascinated with the medical terminology and procedures. "I treated visits to the hospital as an adventure," Erin says. "Instead of seeing tests and operations as something to dread, I occupied myself with learning the specifics of the procedure they were going to perform on me."
erin k

She has worked hard to achieve such honors as a National Latin Exam Magna Cum Laude certificate, member of the National Honors Society, New England Journalism Award for Best News Article, placing 1st in state with Junior Engineering Technology Society (JETS), and more. She has also volunteered at various events and served as President of her high school's symphonic orchestra and Treasurer of the Art Team. 

It's inspiring to see such a promising young student like Erin as she gets the proper training to become a doctor at Carnegie Mellon University, and we're happy to be able to contribute in part to her dreams. 

We are honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's annual scholarship, visit www.180medical.com/scholarships.

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

180 Medical 2015 College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Mary Beth

by Jessica October 7 2015 12:20
Earlier this month, we announced all of our 2015 College Scholarship recipients. We had a large and amazing group of applicants, so it was difficult to narrow down to our final seven recipients. We are honored to be a part of helping students achieve their dreams. As the fall semester progresses, we will continue to feature our individual scholarship recipients, so be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get notified when new blog posts are published. Last week, we featured Mallory. Today, we are featuring Mary Beth Davis. 

mary beth davis scholarship quote
Mary Beth is attending Oklahoma State University this fall and working towards becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. In 2010, she was involved in an injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She was told not only that she would never be able to walk again, but that she would have to change her career plans. "That kind of news is not easy for anyone to swallow," she says. Despite it all, she and her family remained steadfast in their faith, and Mary Beth continued to work hard to achieve her goals. 

mary beth graduateNot only has she done exceptionally well with her academics, she has also proven a dedication to helping others and her community, such as participating as a board member and volunteer of the INTEGRIS Patient and Family Advisory Council, helping out at animal rescues, and motivational speaking and nutritional/health advocacy. She is also a Reeve Foundation peer mentor as of 2015. She likes to keep active to, using the handcycle, FES bike, and EasyStand Evolve. She has also participated in the Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma pageant in 2014 and 2015, taking home the People's Choice award and the Professionalism award. 

As Mary Beth continues working toward her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian at OSU, and we are so happy to be able to contribute to her future. 

We are honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's annual scholarship, visit www.180medical.com/scholarships.



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

180 Medical 2015 College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Mallory

by Jessica September 28 2015 08:27

Earlier this month, we announced all of our 2015 College Scholarship recipients. There were so many amazing applicants with inspiring stories and goals, and like every year, our scholarship committee had a really hard time narrowing down to the final 7 winners. We are honored to be able to help students achieve their dreams. 

Throughout the next few months, we will be featuring each individual winner on our blog, so stay in the loop and sign up for our newsletter to get notified when new posts are published. This week, we are happy to feature one of the recipients this year, Mallory Turner. 

mallory 180 medical scholarship recipient 2015

Mallory, a 22-year old student attending graduate school in Accounting, is an amazing person who proves a great dedication to her goals and achieving academic excellency. When she was only 16, she was injured in a car accident that left her quadriplegic. "To an independent, athletic, and outgoing 16 year old girl, it seemed like the end of the world," Mallory said, recalling the aftermath of the accident when she was told she would be in a wheelchair the rest of her life.

mallory turnerDespite the odds, she was determined to not let this new condition and way of life derail her dreams. Mallory wrote in her essay: "I wanted an even playing field; that way when I do succeed, it is on my own merit and not because I received preferential treatment." With a little ingenuity, she has learned to type using only her pinkies and utilizes various ways to make tools such as pens or makeup brushes easier to handle. She graduated at the top of her class in high school, maintaining a 4.03 GPA.  Although college was an entirely new challenge, she made it through all four years, and as of this fall, she is pursuing a Master of Business Administration. She is on the HSU Honor Roll, and is an active member of Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Phi Beta Lambda Collegiate FBLA, and Psi Chi International Honor Society. She also enjoys assisting her church by functioning as the AWANA bookkeeper and the co-ed softball coach during the summers.

Mallory's commitment to her goals and her independence is really incredible, and we are happy to be able to contribute a piece toward her future. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we understand there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's College Scholarship, visit www.180medical.com/scholarships.

September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Learn more:
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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 6 years and currently works as Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.
 

Time to Apply for 180 Medical's 2015 College Scholarship Program

by Jessica January 28 2015 13:24
Are you seeking financial assistance to help pay for your full-time college hours in the Fall of 2015?  Up until June 1st of this year, eligible applicants can apply for one of seven awards. Learn more:

180 medical 2015 scholarship