By Andy DahmenAs a C-6 complete quadriplegic it is not easy to get out and travel. Prior to a mountain bike accident that left me paralyzed 8 years ago, I use to love to get out and do things and see other places. The comforts of home mean a lot more to me now. Everything in my house is set up for my personnel needs to the point that I am able to stay relatively independent. I have travelled a little bit since my injury and many times it can be very frustrating. I wish I could say I am a perfect disabled person but I am not. I have learned a great deal of patience with my injury but I still get impatient and frustrated with things when it may take me 10 times as long to do a simple task as it use to. I am even known to throw a tizzy fit now and then but I generally only throw things when other people are not around. The point that I am trying to get to is this, my trip to Rich’s house was great. I felt very comfortable and the frustrations of being in a new place just were not there. It makes a big difference visiting with a person who is going through much of the same problems that you are. All was not easy either. We, meaning Rich, his wife Marge, and I went through some pretty challenging times, but we resolved issues and still were able to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Rich invited me back so I must not have been that bad to deal with.
Life to a certain extent for everybody is about taking risks. Some risks don’t pay off, but there so many things you see and experience if you do take some risks. I am so glad that I risked leaving my home and experienced something new. While I was visiting Rich, we went places I had not seen before, we went fishing (just being out on the water on a warm day was great), we went to historical places, but best of all we just enjoyed the sunny weather and talked about life. That was way better than staying home! Rich has been a great friend and was a wonderful host. Friends are so important in our lives and my life is that much better because of Rich.