Push Girls Episode 5 review: How Did We Get Here

This episode really struck a chord with me.  It shows two of the girls, Tiphany and Mia, facing one of my greatest fears – speed dating. And Angela deals with the mixed feelings she’s having towards her husband, Dustin (who she’s separated from), who comes to visit her for a few days in LA.  I hate to say it, but Angela is starting to drive me crazy.


Episode 5 begins with Angela getting her hair washed at the kitchen sink. Her PCA/Auntie Judy says the most offensive thing about Angela (not to her face, but still), “She’s like a baby,“ as she talks about how important she feels it is for Angela to get back together with Dustin. WTF?

Tiphany and Mia, both freshly single, decide to go speed dating. The speed dating oordinator says, “I’ve never had any women in wheelchairs before, but if they (the men) don’t like them for who they are, then they don’t want them anyway.” Mia says about her chair before going in (re: being nervous), “I’ve been in a wheelchair for so long. I don’t even notice it anymore.”

SCI Superstar: Tim Strachan

“Go Stags!” is a chant Tim Strachan, 34, heard all the time as the starting quarterback for DeMatha Catholic High School (a premier boys high school in Maryland). And no wonder, at 6’3, 215 lbs, with a “spectacular arm,” Tim was a beast (and the ’beast’  Joe Paterno wanted as Penn State’s next quarterback).

Then everything changed right before his senior year. A day at Bethany Beach landed Tim with a broken C5 vertebrae. He underwent a massive 19 hour neck surgery and had to spend the next several months in rehab. That was over 18 years, and a lifetime ago.

Broken neck? Don’t take Tim down for the count. What he has been able to do since his injury, while sure it’s not the NFL record he had dreamed of, has been just as victorious.

Why he’s fearless

Right away Tim decided to use his injury as a catalyst to keep going full blast. After high school, he went on to graduate from the University of Maryland. And after receiving his undergraduate degree, he was accepted to Georgetown University Law School in 2001 and graduated from there a few years later.

After graduation, he entered the real world and got right into the swing of things right away (like a rock star). He landed a job with the FCC in their Office of Legislative Affairs and works as an attorney adviser, where it’s his job to be the liaison between the FCC and Capitol Hill (I bring donuts! Now please hear me out!) Read this entry

Push Girls Episode 4 review: Hope Its Not Too Late

In this episode, Angela tries to teach herself to pain again and dols out some killer advice to the ladies. Meanwhile, Auti is stressing out about not being able to *stay* pregnant and visit’s a fertility doctor and Tiphany and her girlfriend Miyoko see some rough seas.


This episode had A LOT going on. Let’s start out with Angela, the quad of the group. She decides after 10 years to try to paint again. Watching her struggle holding a brush with quad hands was fascinating. It is not easy learning how to still use paralyzed fingers. Been there. But why did she wait 10 years?

Auti, the 42 year old paraplegic of the group, gets a lot of screen time in this episode. I love what she said about her husband Eric. “Some people are surprised to see an able-bodied man with a woman in a wheelchair, but I‘m spoiled; I like to be carried.”

And I love Auti’s dog Bats, a French Bulldog. She makes “rolling” a dog look so easy. But this episode is all about Auti and Eric trying to get pregnant. She reveals she had an abortion after her injury. “I would’ve had an 18 year old by now,” she cries.

Her mom died of cancer right after her injury and she was in a rough spot (hence the abortion). And now Auti and Eric are having a hard time getting pregnant, they’re worried (well Auti is) that she might be infertile.

Push Girls Episode 3 review: You Don’t Get It

In the third episode of Push Girls, Mia’s backstory with her mother is highlighted, and Angela throws an epic 10 year anniversary party celebrating her “new life.”


As this episode begins, Mia shows what may be possibly the most dangerous type of wheelchair-to-car transfer ever, and that is a busy LA Street. I don’t know how Mia, or any other bad ass paraplegics in any busy city do this type of transfer.

I love that the show is showing the extra dangers people in wheelchairs face in their everyday lives (and how even more important, people need to pay more attention to the road and look out for wheelchair-users when they’re driving).  This episode is really all about Mia, and focuses on her reunion with her mother after not seeing her for three years.  She comes to LA to visit her.

Parents always have a really hard time dealing with spinal cord injuries of their children, and Mia’s mom is no different.  Mia’s mother struggles with alcohol problems, and it’s been a sore spot for Mia since she was a little girl. “When I found out Mia wasn’t going to be able to walk again.  I wish she would’ve just died, because I didn’t know how she would be able to live,” admits her mother.

Wheelchairs and tent camping can co-exist | SPINALpedia

Tofu burgers on the campfire; my very first and very weird camping memory (hey, I can’t help it if my best friend’s parents who took us camping growing up were old hippies that also went to Woodstock).

Camping is in my blood and the videos below prove that you can still camp even if you can’t walk. Sure…it requires extra planning – you need to find a campground that has accessible sites, accessible trails AND accessible bathrooms – but if you ask me? Totally still worth it.

Before heading out, you’ll need an accessible tent.  And yup, they really can be accessible (you just need to think about your specific needs). If you’re unable to transfer onto the ground from your chair independently, you’re going to want to get a tent you can roll into; literally. And yes this type of tent exists too.

Eureka’s Freedom tent is the one and only wheelchair accessible tent that’s been mass-produced.  Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Teal Sherer

Teal Sherer (yup like the color), whose an actress and paraplegic, has come a long way from the log house she grew up in in rural Tennessee. After breaking her back while riding in a car to Labor Day fireworks show when she was just 14, she found a new passion post-injury – acting – hasn’t looked back since.

After college, Teal decided to make the big move out to LA to pursue her dreams of acting. Her first break came in 2004, when she was cast in HBO’s Warm Springs (a film about the life of FDR starring Kenneth Branagh. She played a young woman with Polio. Loved this movie).

She’s also been in several national commercials, including one for Liberty Mutual insurance and another that I remember from awhile ago to get people to get out and vote.

And the past couple of years, she’s developed a huge online following for the character ‘Venom’ she plays (a member of the “Axis of Anarchy”) in the web series hit, The Guild. She is mean and wears a lot of black eyeliner. Watch out. Read this entry

Wheelchair-users: What do you do when someone uses your chair as a footrest?

A disgruntled woman wrote me the other day about one of the biggest pet peeves I think most people have when living the wheelchair life.

People who have no qualms about using our wheelchairs as an end to a means for something they need to get accomplished.  Have no idea what I’m talking about? Let me explain.

The woman who wrote me told me that last week, while waiting for the elevator with a coworker, this coworker suddenly propped his foot up on her wheelchair and tied his shoe.

I don’t know about you, but if you use a wheelchair, this is about equal to someone putting their foot on your thigh.  Highly offensive barely covers it. Read this entry

Wheelchair fashion tips: In your face, and a ladylike runway show

If Bjork can be deemed fashionable, if we can make kitchen appliances fashionable, why can’t we be rolling thrones of haute couture too? Srsly…

If you watch the above video by Tiffany Giddes, a T10 paraplegic and member of The Ability 411 crew (a collaboration of five paralyzed vloggers who answer questions about life with paralysis), she shares all the best fashion tips she’s discovered since her injury. They are awesome.

Tiffany is one tough chick so you know her fashion tips will be good. Her ability to be turn a project into a reality is crazy. Take her new movie Collision about a female wheelchair assassin—she stars in it and helped produced it! It’s inspiring to anyone with a disability who thinks a project they’re getting intro might be too much to take on. Read this entry

Just say no to wall-scuff guilt

Wheelchairs and scuff marks. When they happen they always make you feel like the bad guy, especially when you’re visiting someone. Great, now they’ll really remember me.

But I’m so happy now. Now, instead of silently worrying how I can make amends with the homeowner as I silently sit there feeling guilty as I sip my wine, I can now whip out my Magic Eraser tool, this crazy awesome wall scuff-remover tool (from the company that makes the Mr. Clean products).  All you do is get it wet, then scrub the scuff a few times and it‘s gone (but not if you damaged the drywall).

When I came home from the hospital, my poor mother. I think she hated me. I completely decimated her walls all 7 inches up from the floor (footrest level). It kind of bothers me till this day that my aunt and uncles are more worried about me scuffing their walls than about greeting me when I first arrive at Christmas (move stuff out of the way!).

But the wheelchair…the wheelchair…they’re so bulky and Transformer-like. Smooth edges?  Yeah…none be found. Read this entry