My name is Andy and I'm a T-8 level paraplegic andI just want to see if anyone out there on reddit has any questions for a kid in a wheelchair. I got in an accident back in June of 2012. Honestly, you can ask me anything. Here's my website if you guys are wondering if i'm legit: walkwithandrew.com Proof: http://imgur.com/a/EchUF oops. just noticed I put the wrong username on these pictures. Sorry guys, but yes I can assure you I am legit.

Comments: 188 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

eenhuistke50 karma

Since you're doing an AMA, I feel like you're pretty open about your condition...

What's your favorite joke to make other people feel uncomfortable?

Podz1145 karma

Well sometimes if I ask people for a favor and they say no I just say "come on man. I can't even feel my legs." then they feel shitty and kind of do what i want.

Steampenny27 karma

After a big meal I like saying "Am I the only one that feels like they need to get rolled out of here" while rubbing my stomach

Podz1112 karma

Hhahahahaha

uber_party_crasher6 karma

A friend of mine is 18 and a parapalegic. He usually tells people that he cant stand up for himself.

Podz113 karma

I mean everyone is different.

Mcdoogie32 karma

Does your mom.....?

Podz115 karma

Does my mom what?

CUNT_PUNCHIFIER15 karma

It's a reference to a incesty thing.. Don't ask.

Podz1110 karma

Ok. ok.

Steampenny8 karma

it's an ongoing reddit joke about a mother who jerked off her son after he broke his arms. Also see: COLBY 2012 NEVER FORGET, and get a shoebox, jolly rancher, and dorito. I recommend not pursuing any of this for more information

Podz119 karma

lol. yaaaa i can still move my arms.

Cybralisk19 karma

Damn man that sucks, how do you stay positive knowing that you may have to spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair being so young?

Podz1178 karma

To be honest, I don't think I'm gonna spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair. That's how I keep positive. Being in a wheel chair for the rest of my life is quite frankly not an option to me. I don't care what it takes. And as much as I hate to say it because i'm on atheist reddit, but faith helps too. And I mean I still live a normal life. I go to school full time. I still party. I still smoke weed and drink beer just like any other teenager. I don't let my disability get the best of me.

Nick_Newk33 karma

As a Cellular Biologist, I believe you will not spend the rest of your life in a chair.

Podz1115 karma

Thank you! It really does mean a lot!

Cybralisk3 karma

I imagine the wheelchair doesn't help you score with girls much? which is already difficult when your in high school. I think we will have the technology for you to walk again eventually that is why i said maybe. It is going to be science that will allow that to happen though not religion.

Podz1153 karma

To be honest. The wheelchair is a fucking chick magnet. So much sympathy, so much pussy. And everyone in my grad already knew me before my accident so everyone knows who I am on the inside. And I totally agree with you. I mean i'm not one of those jesus freaks that relies solely on prayer and that prayer is going to heal me. I am a strong believer in technology and medicine and I know that it is going to heal me. And thank you! I hope I walk again too!

RaisingCain1235 karma

Can you still fuck, with the whole being paralyzed thing?

Podz113 karma

Yea, read one of my other comments. I go into some detail.

_paralyzed_19 karma

Lucky fucking paras. (I'm a c-5 quad)

Podz118 karma

It'll be ok man. My friend danny is a c-5 c-6 quad and he returned all sorts of muscles. He can 11 pull ups INDEPENDENTLY. The human body is amazing.

Steampenny-5 karma

Yeah it's all well and good to say the human body is amazing, but where medical technology is today, spinal nerves do not regenerate. You can work or pray all you want but if you have a spinal cord injury (once again, without new tech.) there are going to be physical limitations that can't be overcome.

Podz1113 karma

Hahaha. fucking debby downer over here. I mean people can say what they want. But this patient Wesley was injured in October of 2011 and he is walking with a cane. The doctor's told him he had 0% chance of even regaining any function. You obviously haven't researched medical technology. Research the Spinal Cord Epidural Implant. People are walking with that fucking thing. And spinal nerves DO regenerate. The nerves DO heal. It may take a while, and it's not guaranteed. But they do. Research Pat Rummerfield. 1st quadriplegic to return ALL function and live a normal life again. Don't comment on things that you don't know about.

Steampenny-1 karma

I've been in a wheelchair for 5 years and I assure you I have researched the topic thoroughly as well as consulted more doctors than I can even count. I know much, much more than you do at 1 year and I can say that with confidence. I apologize if I seem like a debbie downer, but the whole "just believe" or "if you work you can acheieve it" mindset has wrecked the lives of many people with spinal cord injuries. At a certain point people need to accept the function they have, move on, and hope for tech advancement.

Podz118 karma

The swelling in my spinal cord hasn't even gone all the way down yet. I go through all sorts of lokomotor training to regain function. And because of WORKING my ass off I ACHIEVED quad and hip function in both my legs. I just started taking this new drug 4AP which has helped regain motor and sensory function in 1/3 of SCI patients. Maybe you should try it. Are you complete? Just because you have moved on doesn't mean that I have to.

Steampenny2 karma

I haven't directed any of my comments to you. I was cautioning you on telling other people with spinal cord injuries that "Everything will work out, the human body is amazing". I know you still have a lot of recovery and where you are at you should be trying your hardest to maximize your recovery. As for 4AP that is awesome that you are taking it. I've been waiting to try it for 4 years but it has only recently been approved for MS in Canada and insurance wont cover it for SCI. If you re-read my comments you will see that I at no point told you to give up or that your situation was hopeless.

Podz113 karma

Well then I apologize sincerely. I mean i'm not telling people that everything will be ok, im telling them that they should always keep there hopes high. But I just thought about it, how did that quad type the message if he doesn't have all of his hand movement? Anyways, it doesn't matter. But you can actually buy 4AP online. It's expensive but if you really want to try it, then it is readily available. There's only one pharmacy in illinois that has it and luckily it's twenty minutes away from my house. I paid $80 for like 60 capsules at 10 mg each. Today is my second day on it so i obviously haven't seen any changes, but I have high hopes on this stuff.

Steampenny2 karma

Lots of ways for quads to type :) I'm one! I'm incomplete so I don't really count but even complete quads can move their arms (C4 and down) or use talk to text programs like Dragon, or even a mouth stick. I have heard you can buy 4AP online but I have heard it was the instant not extended release form and could be dangerous if your body doesn't react well to it. Seizures are one of the side effects, as it speeds up your neuron firings. But maybe I should look into it again.

Podz111 karma

I mean I know quads can like use iPhones because I see it everyday but I did forget about the speak to text stuff. And seizures only occur in patients with MS. Side effects for SCI are very mild. Upset stomach, frequent bowel movements, stuff like that.

Podz111 karma

nuppal18 karma

I was paralyzed in Oct. 2011 (t-5/t-6, incomplete) I feel they same way I do not plan to be in this contraption for much longer. I feel my legs waking up.

one question during muscle return, can the return be top down? I feel abs and lats below injury level working. And crazy tingling in my thighs when i try to move them as long as a base level of tingling in my feet.

Also, I take flax and fish oil to aid nerve reparation. Were gonna make, lets roll out!

Podz116 karma

Hell ya! I fellow paraplegic. The return of muscles is different for everyone. I know a Quadriplegic that can move his tows and I know a paraplegic that can fire most of the muscles in his legs. Everyone's body is different. I actually returned some sensation in my lats that I didn't have when I first got injured. So to answer your question, yes. you can. The tingling you get in your legs is called Neuropathic pain and if it is very uncomfortable you can take medication for it. I dont because i dont really mind it. I also have neuropathic pain. And as awesome as it is, marijuana is actually a temporary relief for that pain. lol. And i'll be sure to start taking some flax seed! thank you!

Steampenny2 karma

Some extra info: Recovery time after spinal injury is accepted as approximately 2 years. This is the maximum time it takes for the swelling in the spinal cord to subside, and for "spinal shock" to end. After two years it is incredibly rare for neurological recovery to continue. Muscle strength can still be built up in innervated muscles though.

Podz113 karma

I know. I've been informed when I was injured.

nuppal2 karma

from what doctors and the rapists (therapists) here say the tingling alludes to a return. the tingling isnt anything that is bothersome, rather a good feeling. at least i feel something happening!

im trying to cut down or cut out medication, the way i see it, the less toxins coursing through my veins the better.

Podz110 karma

That's exactly how I see it. The tingling is your nerves waking up.

nuppal2 karma

and no alcohol or marjiuana for me! i also suffered a "serious" brain injury. Thankfully neurologists say ive made an "amazing" recovery.

Podz111 karma

Good for you! That's awesome to hear.

trickiericci16 karma

If it isn't to personal, you mentioned that the wheelchair is a chick magnet and it actually gets you laid; is it weird having sex without being able to move your legs? What is that process like? Does she have to lead?

Podz1120 karma

Ah a common question. I am currently prescribed viagra. Therefor I still get rock hard boners. It really isn't that weird because I can still do alot of positions. (ex. Doggy style, missionary, cowgirl, etc.) It is weird but i got used to it. Also, I can't ejaculate. I can take special medicine if i want to but i don't want to because I then don't have to use a condom and not worry about getting a girl pregnant. And because I don't cum, i have a boner that lasts for 2-4 hours so therefor I give girls multiple orgasms. So that's pretty cool.

courtFTW16 karma

Holy shit. You're a 16 year old kid in a wheelchair and you have an active sex life? You're doing better than a lot of redditors, lol. Did you lose your virginity before or after the accident?

Podz1117 karma

After my accident. I told you! The chair is a damn pussy magnet!

MrMjgtad7 karma

This kinda makes me wish I was in a wheelchair. Just for a while.

Podz1149 karma

Its a hell of an experience man. Both bad and good as weird as that sounds. If you want, I know a guy in Detroit that can break your spinal cord for a SUPER cheap price.

MrMjgtad2 karma

Haha thanks for the info, but a flight to Detroit is a bit expensive for a 16 year old at the moment.

Podz111 karma

lol

kjmac2 karma

what is the medication you use?

Podz111 karma

What do you mean?

kjmac1 karma

for ejaculation.

Also, do you have insurance? Viagra/Cialis is fucking expensive

Podz111 karma

I don't take any medication for ejaculation. I mean i'm only 16 so i don't really plan on getting a girl pregnant anytime soon. lol. And yes I do have insurance for my viagra. However it's not like a use it often so I don't really spend a lot of money on it. My doctor gives my 20 teblets and I cut them in half so that's enought for 40 sex sessions.

kjmac1 karma

oh, sorry I was confused, I thought you said you had some but didn't take it. I was wondering what meds existed that allowed you to do it. Figured it was Floxmax or something like that.

Podz112 karma

Yes I believe it's something like that. It's usually given to people with Spinal Cord Injuries when/if they want to have children.

kjmac1 karma

that's interesting, had never heard of it. Do you do intermittent cathing or have indwelling?

Podz111 karma

Cathing

Skootchy12 karma

What's it like not being able to feel your legs even though you have your whole life and you can see that they're attached to you? I'm glad you're being positive, I don't think I would personally handle something like that very well. And I really do hope you will be up and walking around by next year.

Podz1128 karma

It was weird at first not gonna lie. But at therapy i'm always on my feet. Either standing in my leg braces our walking in a walker by swinging my hips so to be honest with you it's not weird anymore. I also have a lot of spasms in my legs so they're always moving which is quite soothing. And thank you! it really does mean a lot when people give me there support.

ChisaiKyoku6 karma

You say you get spasms... so you can get vague nerve sensations in your legs?

Podz117 karma

Yes.

morgan_freemun8 karma

So you like prepare briefs for lawyers and stuff?

thegreatgazoo15 karma

That's a paraplegal.

nagumi5 karma

The Paraplegic Paralegal sounds like a great Jonathan Coulton song.

Podz112 karma

hahahaha

fatkiddotjpeg6 karma

Do you fap? Where does the fap mess go? How do you clean it up if it makes a mess?

Podz1112 karma

I jerk off all the time. I can't ejaculate. no clean up.

singingsprocket6 karma

How and at what age did you become a paraplegic?

Podz1134 karma

Well me and a couple of friends decided to go to Bass Lake Indiana for a weekend just to relax. We were out on the water one day and a flash storm rolled in. There were 80 mph winds and the water was going crazy. We decided to start docking up the boat and start bringing in the tubes. My friend Chase and I were bringing in a tube when a tree collapsed on us. He fractured a foot, but I fractured 6 ribs, both of my lungs collapsed, 2 fractures in my pelvis and shoulder, and 2 of my vertebrae fractures causing damage to my spinal cord. This happened on June 29th 2012. I was 15.

singingsprocket5 karma

Wow. I was actually just checking out your website, after I had already asked. I am very sorry that this happened to you. I have a couple of other questions if you feel like answering them. You seem like a very positive person. Do you ever wonder "Why me"? Is there any hope that you will walk again?

Podz1117 karma

I mean as soon as I woke up in the hospital I pretty much knew what was up because I obviously couldn't feel my legs. I am VERY positive. That is honestly one of the most important things I can do right now. And yes I personally do believe that i'm going to walk again. The doctors can say what ever the fuck they want but technology is getting so advanced that I am almost 100% sure that by the next year i'll be on my feet independently. I already see people that go to my therapy that have returned sensation and mobility in their lower extremities. So yes, I am very hopeful that I will walk again.

singingsprocket4 karma

I agree that keeping a positive outlook on things is very important. Thanks for the replies!

Podz115 karma

No problem man. Thanks for the questions!

OliWood5 karma

Did you went into a depression after the accident?

Podz1111 karma

For like 2 days yes

Lekkers5 karma

How often are you at the doctor's getting a health checkup? What stuff do you need to make sure is okay? Do you get tired of writing that long ass last name? :P

Podz117 karma

Not often. I am a very healthy person and I was healthy before my accident. I eat healthy. I go to therapy five days a week, and I go to the gym six days a week. I can bench press 205 lbs. I'm pretty fucking fit. Ans yes, my last name fucking sucks.

mawrokgm5 karma

Is there a future medical or surgical option to try and repair the damage that you are thinking of?

Podz117 karma

There is actually this new implant that goes around your spinal cord and is pretty much a detour for your nerves to get around your injury. Pretty cool actually. But it is still being researched.

SqeeSqee5 karma

I know you can't feel them, but what does your lack of leg feeling 'feel' like?

Podz117 karma

I get alot of tingles in my legs because my nerves are waking up. It feels like my legs have ants in them. its weird but i dont really care.

scriminamp5 karma

Have everyday task become harder in your life?

( Taking showers, getting to school, using the restroom, ext.)

An if yes, how so?

Podz1110 karma

Yes but now it's to the point where it's second nature. It takes me ten minutes to shower. I have a chair that slides into my shower and I just shower sitting down. I take a normal car to school. My brother just takes apart my wheelchair and puts it in the back of the car. It takes me 5 minutes to take a piss and 10 minutes to drop a dump.

Reddit__Critic4 karma

Did you happen to used to be a swimmer? Or are you a wheelchair basketball player? I'm asking you this because it looked as though you shave your pits. (Not that I have a problem with that, I actually prefer men who shave.)

Podz114 karma

Haha no i don't play any accessible sports. I actually trim my arm pit hair very short because if i don't then my arm pit hair gets stuck in my under armor when I lift.

draw4kicks4 karma

So do you think you get more attention from girls/ peers because of this or have you pretty much kept the same circle of friends since the accident? Also how badly hurt was your friend Chase?

Podz113 karma

I hang out with the same friends I did earlier. I do get alot of attention and to be honest i don't really mind it. I'm comfortable talking about this stuff. And chase fractured his foot.

BenAtkinsChafer3 karma

Do you ever consider contracting the military so they can retrofit your wheelchair with like lasers and sh*t?

Podz115 karma

Hmm. No. But that's a bad ass idea.

moonablaze3 karma

From your comments about sensation returning, I'm guessing your injury is incomplete. You might want to make this clear as incomplete injuries can be VERY different from complete injuries.

Podz113 karma

I am incomplete. But people with complete injuries can return function also. and the only reason I din't say i have an incomplete injury is because I don't think a lot of people know what that means.

moonablaze3 karma

People with complete injuries can spontaneously regain certain functions but not others. With modern medical treatments its becoming more and more possible.

Podz111 karma

yes you are correct.

TheFast0ne3 karma

A friend of mine got in a motor-accident last week(slipped at 30miles/hour, hit a small pole, pure bad luck) and he'll never be able to walk again. How were your first weeks(hospital/coming back home/reactions)?

Podz115 karma

Is he a paraplegic? My first week in the hospital was gruesome. You just start to learn what happened to you and you lose hope. I hated it. The doctors and nurses just keep on bringing bad news and it fucking sucks. Would you mind sending me a private message of his contact information and I would be more than happy to talk to him. Not to be cocky but I am sure that I will make a huge impact on his whole outlook of his accident.

TheFast0ne5 karma

He's Dutch and he isn't terribly good at English, but I'd love to pass on the information and inform you about his experiences. And yep, he's been diagnosed as a paraplegic.

Podz113 karma

I'm sure he'll know what I am trying to say haha. Ya just message me whenever,

anonymous1234213 karma

Do you go to school or have a tutor?

Does it feel annoying being accommodated all the time?

How much can you do on your own?

Thanks so much for fielding questions-- it's pretty damn cool of you to put yourself out like that.

Podz1110 karma

I go to school full time. I am actually very independent and do every thing on my own that I did pre accident. My mother still cooks for me and cleans my room, but i'm only sixteen, so i shouldn't be doing that anyways haha.

anonymous1234213 karma

Wow. That's really cool. Are you a sophomore or young junior?

Podz114 karma

sophomore

anonymous1234213 karma

Alright, cool. Almost a junior!

Podz113 karma

yep!

Lilpl12342 karma

[deleted]

Podz111 karma

I mean nothing is really to hard. I do miss being able to do things that I can't anymore but I can still do alot. Like for example I am writing you this message frm my friends house and were all swimming right now haha. Yea I wrestled freshmen year and I fucking loved it. I miss it so much but I mean I still have my upper body which I am thankful for.

Loldude1012 karma

Have you been introduced to Reciprocating Gait Orthoses? And do you have any desire to walk again?

Podz111 karma

Yes I have a pair of those and that is my only desire.

iprizz2 karma

I have a few questions for you...

  1. Do people stare a lot? if so how do you deal with it?

  2. Have you been doing rehab and if so, has it helped you?

  3. What is the best way to make a wheel chair bound person feel comfortable when you're (myself) am hanging out with them?

Hopefully you can answer these questions, thank you.

Podz111 karma

I mean I can cope with people staring at me. People are just curious. I go to rehab 5 days a week and yes it helps alot! Honestly the best way to treat someone in a wheelchair is just to act like they are a normal person.

nuppal2 karma

wait you can support you own weight!!? Thats fantastic, if you have voluntary control over part of both legs that qualifies you for moto-loco therapy.

im in France where hopefully ill pass the two-year mark and hope that my recovery is like the right-hand side of an x3 graph.

Podz111 karma

I can't support my weight independently but on a walker yes. I do lokomotor training 5 days a week.

nuppal2 karma

What is the average length for that therapy? I'm in France and I've decided to not come back to the US until I need that

Podz111 karma

2 hours. It depends where you go.

nuppal2 karma

Total? Not per session.

Podz111 karma

One session is two hours. I go 5 days a week. But there are hundreds if not thousands of different questions so I can't really answer your question.

nuppal2 karma

Also, what is the time-frame for stairs?

Podz111 karma

I have a stair lift so like 30 seconds.

Spacedout09112 karma

Can you get an erection and (even though you are still young) can you have sex/ ever hope to have sex?

Podz112 karma

Yes and yes. I have actually lost my virginity since my accident.

Spacedout09113 karma

Not to be rude/weird, but how is that possible? Do you enjoy sex?

Podz112 karma

Yes. Very much. I love pleasuring girls.

shitthebedd2 karma

You're from South Bend, are you a Notee Dame fan? Have you been to any ND games

Podz111 karma

No no. I'm from Chicago. The accident happened in bass lake Indiana and the hospital I stayed in was in south bend. But surprisingly enough I am a Norte dame fan but I have not been to any games.

thedubbledutch2 karma

What are the troubles with getting a girlfriend?

Podz112 karma

No troubles.

MrNintendoCoke1 karma

Is this like polio?

Podz112 karma

not at all. but yes in the same way. polio gets worse, where as you can return function as being a paraplegic.

moonablaze2 karma

Actually, no. Polio gets better or stays the same after a short period of time. You may be thinking of muscular dystrophy which is degenerative.

Podz112 karma

you know what. youre right. i was thinking of MS. I mean polio attacks the spinal cord so it is some what similar to a spinal cord injury.

moonablaze3 karma

Common mistake, especially in a time and place where you have likely never seen someone with polio. (It does still happen in the third world)

Podz111 karma

Yep.

watchdat_cominatcha-2 karma

Proof?

Podz113 karma

What do ya need man?

watchdat_cominatcha2 karma

Just something linking you to the site, like an acknowledgement on the site of this AMA. Just linking to the site doesn't quite do it.

Podz114 karma

Just put up some pics

rookoor-3 karma

[deleted]

Podz113 karma

I never get picked on. A lot of people actually have respect for me and what i've been through. I mean i'm not too sure how to answer this question but I sure as fuck don't take shit from anyone. Maybe the other paraplegics that are getting picked on are just little bitches and let people make fun of them.