Welcome to the Spire Community Blog. This is a place for our community to connect by sharing views and experiences, by finding common ground, or by discussing differences.
Content will range from short stories with a black humour element, to serious articles with sources cited. Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) may, or may not, take centre stage. This is about life in its entirety and sometimes the SCI and the effects it has on our life is our main focus, and sometimes it’s not even in view.
Our bloggers are community members, who all live with a SCI, whether it is their own, or a family member’s. You are invited to comment on the posts and we also welcome guest contributions; feel free to contact us if you'd like to become a guest blogger for Spire.
Do you remember a time when you were so excited, bursting with energy, unable to stop yourself from telling your family, partner, friends or even a total stranger what your next exciting goal or adventure would be?
A spinal cord injury is a life changing event. Discovering I had lost the use of my bladder and bowel, as well as sexual function filled me with immense shame. It was hard enough to deal with bladder and bowel dysfunction that I shut down any sexual desire or need for intimacy.
Emma Booth, Australian Equestrian Paralympian, shares her experiences of personal growth, and all things horses, after becoming a paraplegic at the age of 21.
“Whatcha been up to?”
“I’ve been soooo busy.”
You hear it all the time, right? It’s like it’s a badge of honour and if you haven’t been busy, then somehow something’s not right about that.
Alex is a very social wheelchair user around town, he shares his journey back to employment post-spinal cord injury...
Apparently using the excuse "I’ve been too busy" for not getting things done is not an excuse any more! The last few podcast interviews of very high profile successful people, who have major projects on the go, all say the same thing: "being busy is a myth".
In his latest blog, Lachlan McLeod talks about writing, making podcasts and employment issues for people living with SCI.
Regaining your driver’s licence post-SCI can be a great personal achievement. Alan shares the intricacies of purchasing a new car, and the adventures it can lead to!
Wayne ventured to the newly opened Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola ride which gives visitors of all abilities the chance to take in the Mornington Peninsula from a bird’s eye view. Read about his experience!
The emotional stresses and extra challenges faced by people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) can have profound effects on their health and quality of life. Peer-support is an effective way of combatting these stresses and challenges and provides an immense range of benefits.
Diverting from his standard blogs topics about nutrition, movement and mindset, Curtis shares his journey of becoming a new father…
Regaining your driver’s license post-SCI can be simple and stress free; leading to personal achievement and independence…
A story that highlights the incredible importance of carers!
A change of pace from some of the usual stories, Geoff Dossetor recalls his travel experiences and how he was inspired to take up mouth painting.
Geoff is sharing his story for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week (5 – 11 September 2016) to encourage people in the community to ‘Think I Can't, Think Again’ - about what it means to have a spinal cord injury (SCI) and to help encourage and create a more inclusive and accessible community for everyone.
A story that tests the independent components of living in an over 55 Independent Living Rental Facility and offers a little more insight into the pleasures of quadriplegia!
An inspiring story from 2005 about how Wayne and Jodie fell pregnant against the odds.
Picture the spectacular sunrises and sunsets of the Mallee, the brilliance of the reds, mauves, oranges and yellows, transforming the sky into a magnificent light show.
Let me start by saying that I'm a big fan of people being courteous to one another.
Already a fan or not, Lachlan McLeod shares his passion for Melbourne City Wrestling (MCW) and the joy that can come from being actively involved in your hobbies and interests!
Raelene West, research assistant at RMIT University is interviewed about her personal experiences and the challenges that she and other people living with disabilities can face when seeking employment. Raelene is also part of the Professionals with SCI Network Group (PROwSCI).
Georgina Fiorentino writes about her views on body image, being realistic and maintaining a healthy and active life - sharing her own personal journey and the ways in which she maintains a positive mindset.
Feeling apprehensive about the NDIS, Lachlan shares his thoughts and experiences so far around the complexities of the new Disability Scheme.
He also explores the importance of taking breaks and enjoying passions and hobbies - and for Lachlan that is Melbourne City Wrestling!!
Curtis Palmer shares his experiences, tips and alternatives to gyms in dealing with your health and fitness and finding ways in which to reach your fitness goals.
I believe that you shouldn’t waste opportunities. This is especially true for people with disability because I feel we don’t get enough to begin with. Lachlan shares his thoughts on how new and emerging technologies can provide greater options for those living with a SCI.
Stephen Callinan provides an interesting and informative account of his trip with friends to Hamilton Island. Sharing his tips on planning, thinking on the spot and enjoying beach life!
Sharyn Craven shares her story about becoming a quadriplegic in high school. Her courage and determination in setting new career goals and the hurdles and barriers she overcame to reach study and employment outcomes and personal achievements.
Lachlan McLeod has been a quadriplegic his whole life. Currently he is writing a blog to help demonstrate that people with disabilities can lead fulfilling lives. Read about his personal life experiences, travel and his thoughts about the NDIS.
Stephen Callinan shares his story about acquiring a spinal cord injury at the age of 17; his motivations to return to high school to complete his VCE, his journey into university and what he envisions for the future.
Ok so now it’s time to get really serious about my health and weight, and as per my Blog summary I am supposed be on a weight loss journey. I have been home now 9 months which has been ample time to settle in and get a routine. As with many, the whole New Year, new start thing has been a number one opportunity to clean up my eating and increase my moving.
Anthony Bartl provides a thrilling and entertaining account of his first snorkelling adventure on the Great Barrier Reef.
Macca is currently on a marathon road trip from Darwin, through Queensland's sunshine coast, NSW and, eventually Melbourne. He's travelling with his carer and partner Jess and his dog Horsey. Here he shares his list of tips he's learnt so far.
A Poem about SCI written by Jacinta.
Jacinta recently marked her first anniversary with SCI. She reflects on her journey and highlights the tops five indicators that she reckons shows she has "come of age" living with SCI
Kevin's blog is about his journey pre SCI and the challenges he has faced post injury. Support of family and friends has been very important as he reinvented himself. He has a great style of writing and his analogies with nature are a simple but brilliantly effective way of conveying his journey and message.
Martin Leckey talks about his exercise regime at the gym at his local council leisure centre, the significance of exercise to people living with SCI and particularly to him after his episode of bladder cancer in 2012.
Blogger Jacinta writes about her need to be realistic about what she wants to do; and not feel regret about things she would never have done anyway - SCI or not - like climbing Mount Everest!
Blogger Jacinta writes about how her injury challenged her to transition from an unhappy upright to a happy and motivated quad.
Brittany Dejean talks about dancing with her dad at her wedding.
Curtis Palmer - paralympian and qualified personal trainer - shares his wealth of knowledge on health, fitness and mindset.
In his 2nd instalment, he talks about "Where to from here" and goal-setting.
Martin Leckey discusses the impact of a diagnosis of bladder cancer on his life, and why people with SCIs are more prone to bladder cancer.
Macca gets into his Gold Chrysler in Echuca and sets off for the Northern Territory for the ultimate road trip through the Red Centre.
Ramps made of old doors, fly-in carers, thousands of kilometres, catching up with a few ‘Bennys’ and being tracked down by Channel 7? Yep, it could only be another Macca story.
Kate frankly talks about her bowel care and that getting the colostomy as "the best thing I have done in the three years since my SCI".