Lately we have been getting a lot of negative feedback; people telling us that we are too positive and they can’t relate, that the things we post about don’t accurately portray life with a spinal cord injury, that Wheel Love isn’t unique. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their feelings and we aren’t out to make everyone like us, but, having said that, we want to explain a few things.
Wheel Love is a place where people can come to learn about the good, the bad and the ridiculously funny aspects of living with and loving someone in a wheelchair.
However, we are two women who are in relationships with two completely independent paraplegics and we fully understand that our situation is different than a woman who is in a relationship with a fully dependent spouse. We are not our wheel love’s caregivers, we are their partners and we don’t help them with things like bowel routines and transfers. Everything we write about is based solely on our experiences within our relationships. We try our hardest not to speak on behalf of the entire SCI community and make assumptions about what life with different injuries or disabilities is like. We wanted to create a community where people in similar situations could find support, encouragement and friendship through our words, our videos and our experiences. We understand that some people won’t be able to relate to us, but we will always try our best to connect you with someone you can relate to, whether that’s another person, another group, or another website.
Over the last couple of years we have put a lot of heart and hard work into creating something that we believed could help people. It is so easy to get caught up in the negatives that SCI life can throw at you. On top of regular relationship struggles, we deal with UTIs, pressure wounds, dysreflexia, a healthcare system that basically knows nothing about dealing with SCI, the extra needs, extra medical costs and it’s so easy to get lost in the worry, the things you can’t do and the life you had before.
We’ve all had those moments where you just want to cry and say “f*ck it, this sucks”.
We’ve shared with you our struggles with things like disappointment, family acceptance and infertility. The important thing is that we know how to move past that and this is why Wheel Love chooses to be positive. It isn’t an inaccurate portrayal of life with an SCI, it is just how we have chosen to live our lives. We believe that humor and positivity are the best way to make through the hard times and we try to make that evident in our posts. If we can give just one person a little glimmer of hope, or make them smile for a couple seconds, or even change their outlook just a little bit, then we have succeeded.
We created Wheel Love two and a half years ago not with the goal of making it big or having a ton of social media followers, but with the goal of helping people. We saw a need for support that focused on the spouses, the family, the friends and the people who loved those with SCIs. We wanted to join the likes of Apparalyzed, Spinalpedia, Rick Hansen Foundation, AbleThrive and the numerous other websites and social media accounts that are dedicated to educating and supporting those living this SCI life. We wanted to be a resource and we feel like we have accomplished that.
We are unique in our perspective, but we are a part of a much larger community, all driven by the same goal.
So, to those of you who have always supported us, thank you. To those of you who send us emails and messages, we love hearing your stories and your kind words mean the world to us. To the other organizations, support groups and communities like us, we love what you do and look forward to working with you or alongside you in the future. To those of you who feel the need to belittle us and tell us we aren’t genuine or good enough, thank you for making us that much stronger and more determined.
Sam & Chelsea