Proceed with Caution!


I’ve been living with a spinal cord injury for over 18 years now. I thought I knew everything there is to know and to how to be cautious.

Well, I was wrong.

About a month ago I did something really stupid. We have an electric fireplace and my 3-year-old daughter turned it on. I grabbed my cellphone that was sitting near it. As I started reading and sending emails, I totally lost track of time.

All the while my titanium wheelchair was heating up to no telling how many degrees. My left leg started spasming and shaking like crazy. And that’s what got my attention. I looked down and realized that I’d been sitting in front of the fireplace for too long. 

As I took my jeans off, I saw that I had a decent sized 2nd degree burn on the left side of my shin, just below my knee. Thankfully, my wife is a nurse and she knew exactly what to do.

My burn is now scabbed over and is healing very slowly. I did go to the doctor a few days after it happened because it was looking a little red around it. I was prescribed an antibiotic.

I am truly thankful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. This experience has reopened my eyes to how fast things can happen with a spinal cord injury. Whether you’re newly injured with a spinal cord injury or a veteran like myself, we need to be aware of our surroundings.

Accidents can and will happen even if you are trying to do everything “right.” But they are less likely if you use common sense, which I was lacking at that moment.

Be safe out there and continue to push forward! God Bless!


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