Central PA SCI Networking

Rick Allwein T12-L1
Featured Stories
Our Purpose
Contact Us
The Network
Join the Network
Calendar of Events
Sexuality, Pregnancy, and Parenting

This guy is amazing!

In 1983, Rick was injured in a motorcycle accident resulting in a T12-L1 spinal cord injury.  He spent time in rehabilitation at E-town and Hershey Medical Center.


Rick uses prone carts to stay off his butt and get as much down time as possible.  It’s a preventative measure considering he has a history of pressure sores.  Rick adds, “Like life’s not tough enough, now you can’t even sit in a wheelchair!”  He can get through everything else and doesn’t have too many difficulties.  What is a prone cart?  Built by the master himself!  Check out Rick’s website for more!   www.pronecartcity.com



The prone carts have been most helpful; beats being bed-ridden!


Life after SCI is tough.  How do you make it? 


“I’ve read somewhere that using three apostrophes after a sentence is a sure sign of lunacy.  It helps!!!  Also, being just too dumb to give up.  Perhaps dumb is the wrong word, obstinacy, or stubbornness may be less offensive to the truly dumb.  Sorry.


Do you have any quotes or words of advice that inspire you?


Yes, but most of them aren't suitable for family viewing.  Ha, Ha!  Seriously, you gotta tell yourself some tough love sometimes.  Emphasis on tough.


Google is also great for researching motivational, coping things. Joyce Meyer, Jesus, Buddha, you can't read too much.  Sometimes it's just getting through the next 5 minutes without eating a bullet.  That was early on, now I'm much better.  No really, I'm much better now. Seriously, much, much better...  Read stuff, it'll help.  At the very least, reading is a distraction and will stimulate your imagination.


What do you currently do for work?


I haven't been working for quite a while.  Post-injury I tried working and school, but my butt kept falling apart, so I gave up trying.  After many years and a couple major surgeries, I started building prone carts for myself just to be able to move around.  Tried swimming at LVC, and things were going great!  I was feeling better, my breathing, heart-rate, just being around the kids was inspirational.  I was contemplating trying school again, an O&P (orthotics and prosthetics) school, but then my shoulders crapped out. Arthritis.  I never so much as itched in my shoulders, and suddenly, screaming pain and couldn't even get out of bed.  It hurt!  Now. somewhat better, but still apprehensive about trying anything new.  What'll fall apart next???


If I could have a do-over I wouldn't buy a house way out in the boondocks.

If I lived closer to town and could get broadband internet I would take some online courses and study more.


Tell about any hobbies you enjoy.


Got into sailing.  If the "End Draweth Neigh"  I'd like it to be on a sailboat!  Sailing's awesome. It's almost like being rocked in a cradle, even in the rougher water.  I go down to Annapolis, there is a group called CRAB, Chesapeake region accessible boating.  The only boating group in the bay dedicated to disabled sailors.  They're terrific, and I've dreamed and read about it for years as an escapist type of thing, but it's even better doing it!!

Just getting out on the water for a while, from the minute we raise the sails and kill the engine, I can't stop smiling! (or using apostrophes!)

                     more info about sailing at www.pronecartcity.com


Describe a typical day for you.  It is so different for all of us. 


Just taking care of the domestic chores; laundry, dishes, sweep da floor, mow da lawn, oy, it never ends.  Started working on my boat again.  I only eat one real meal a day to reduce the blimp factor, and it helps with time management in the early morning and during the day.  I do like to cook in the evening though and even enjoy baking bread.  I quit watching TV altogether, don't need the brainwashing.  Like to read in the evenings.  Books, almost anything.  I exercise, do what I can with weights, dumbbell, barbells...  I get out about once a week to do the shopping, groceries, etc...


Do you have any advice for people with new injuries? 


Yeah, don't be such a wus!  You’re not the only one to go through this so quit your bellyaching!!!  Seriously, stay tough and do what it takes just to get through the day, sometimes, at the worst, just think 60 seconds ahead, and if you get through that, then do it again.  And do something, don't just lay there!  Even if all you do is pick up some crap around your house, that's more than some worthless AB's (able bodies) do in an entire week!  Also, try not to be too hard on yourself.  Give yourself a break.  You've just been cosmically (and perhaps comically) kicked in the nuts- it takes a while to pick yourself up off the floor.  So be a little more gentle with yourself, and with the people who are laughing at you!  Hmm, there seems to be a conflict here, I guess I mean to say don't wallow in self pity, let others pity you.  Yeah, that's it!  But you gotta be tough enough to not completely fall apart.  Think about your future and what your gonna do with your screwed up life, and try to make it happen, and don't be a quitter, nobody likes a quitter.  Praying also helps, and trying to be thankful.


Anything else you would like to share about yourself? 


Hey waddya want, my secret family recipes???   Jees!



Email Rick!!

Moving Forward!