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News Link • Healthcare Industry

Surviving With a Disability: The Wheelchair Prepper


This is a guest post by W. D. Sultemeier

When MD asked for readers’ help I responded with a suggestion for an article about and for the prepper who finds himself in a handicapped situation. I really meant the suggestion for MD to take the ball and run with it but he turned the table and challenged me to prepare a guest post.

I was diagnosed with a syrinx on my thoracic spinal cord in 1996. I was a teacher/coach at the time at a local public school and due to a stroke suffered by my dad in ’93, I was also operating the family cow/calf business. I was, while having earned a pair of college degrees , someone who preferred a physical, outdoor lifestyle.

The prospect of spinal surgery was frightening to say the least but the option was limited. The cyst was removed but the damage to the spinal cord was already done due to its lack of elasticity. Thus began a slow debilitation.

Let me say I seek no sympathy and have looked at this episode as a challenge. Pain management is the biggest part to my altered life. A gradual change in my mobility required an “adjustment” to my lifestyle. I went from a limp , to a cane, to crutches and walker, to finally a wheelchair. I had time to make some preparations to the changes that were coming. Those who find themselves faced with an abrupt physical change have a daunting but do-able task before them.


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