Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Reckless Behavior Update

Hey everyone! I had a few days' break recently, which was great. The rainy street and a long stretch of hours for writing... Now that's my kind of vacation. I present you with Chapter Twelve. Things are getting intense this week. Enjoy!

Last week:

Cassia and Aster share an intimate moment. Molly is subjected to an earth shattering experience, and Aster gets waxed. Cassia and Aster find Molly feverish on the couch.

And, as always, The Table of Contents.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Update to The Diaper Problem

This story seems to be bouncing around.  First it was Friday, then I thought for sure Wednesday was free, but it turned out I stole someone else's day :(.  Soooo.... let's go with Monday.  There's only one part left anyway, which I'll put up next Monday.

Chapter 3 of Jamie's saga

And here's Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, in case you want to read from the beginning.

Also, thanks for all the comments.  Seriously, I was floored.  I posted one of my quad stories in the past and one of the few comments I got was that they liked the story but that "nobody is really turned on by this stuff."

Sunday, February 26, 2017

New Story: Letting Go

Hi everyone,
this story originally was a one-shot that kind of got out of hands... It comes in three parts now! I am not claiming Sundays and am just going to post on free days when there is no other post scheduled. Hope that's okay with everyone.
The story is a bit of a reversed pretender story and I am not going to tag the disability yet. I am sure you guys will be quick in figuring it out though =)
Have fun with Letting Go - Part I!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Love UnSeen - New Episode (Finally)

So I thought I'd lost my day.

I've been so sick the last three weeks in particular, being hit with everything at once, it seems. I wanted so much to write and even more to be able to post something for you, but I was too sick and in too much pain to do much of anything.

I didn't realize I'd lost my day and had initially published this on Wednesday. I honestly thought the other story was a draft. I think the confusion came about because when I started formatting the story it *was* still a draft... Regardless, I've spoken to Lee and the author and I'll be able to start posting again on Wednesdays.

I can't promise that I'll be able to make every single week, but I'm going to try to at least post every other week from now on. I'm hoping that I'll *finally* be ready to start posting In/Exhale again soon. I'm so sorry it's been on hiatus for so long as that was never my intent.

For now, I hope you'll enjoy the second half of part 07 of Love UnSeen. I'm sorry that I couldn't post this as one complete chapter. You might want to re-read the first part to refresh your memory before reading:

Love UnSeen - 07 - pt 2

I appreciate your feedback. Thank you.


PS - Table of Contents (updated for those who want to catch up or re-read any previous parts)

Friday, February 24, 2017

New Devo Diary

Seems like no one else is posting on Free Friday this week, so here is a new Devo Diary.

Chapter 26: Skippy Boy Genius part 1

Table of Contents

Thanks again for the comments. I really appreciate it!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Beginnings Chapter 7

Hey there,
hope this finds everyone well. Another Thursday, another chapter of NB. Hope you enjoy this steamy chapter with Anna and Shane getting really close.
I give you Chapter 7 of New Beginnings. Let me know how you liked it. Thank you for reading and commenting,
Love ya'll, Dani

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Diaper Problem continues

From the number of comments, it looks like at least some of you are interested in reading more of this story about a high quad, and it doesn't look like anyone is posting on Wednesdays. On a related note, it's comforting to know that other people are into the darker things that I like. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one.

Part 2 of The Diaper Problem

(And here's Part 1, for anyone who missed it and is interested.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Reckless Behavior Chapter Eleven

Hi guys! I'm back with anything chapter of Reckless Behavior. To those of you still reading, I have to say that I love your feedback! It really gives me encouragement when I'm stuck at a tough part in the story. So thank you!

So without further ado, I present

Chapter Eleven

Table of Contents

And as always, last week's summary:

 Aster and Cassia argue about his care, and they share an awkward morning together. Samuel is still suspicious. Dr. Moscowitz threatens Aster, and Cassia is jealous of Molly and Aster's amicable relationship.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Best Man... hiatus

I tried, you guys.  I thought I could keep up with the story, writing a chapter a week, but I couldn't.  I had to force myself to write the last chapter, and it felt like I was churning out terrible writing just to have something to post.  I can't write this way.  It's too much pressure!

So in summary, The Best Man is on hiatus indefinitely.  If anyone wants to start posting on Sunday, the day is yours.

That said, I wanted to have something for you.  So below is an early chapter I really liked from (Almost) Happily Ever After that, if you haven't read the book, will hopefully be entertaining to you.  I tried to make it as devvy as possible.  There's a stairlift, you guys.  I really tried.

Libby and Will go to Coney Island

Will drives us out to Coney Island. For someone like me, owning a car in Manhattan is a huge liability, but Will loves his Toyota Prius. It has hand controls, which is obviously the only way he’d be able to drive it. Public transportation is difficult when you’re in a wheelchair—accessible stations occur only sporadically and the accessibility can get shut down without any notice. Also, getting a cab is impossible. He seems to really like driving, which is a good thing considering you will never see me getting behind the wheel in this crazy city. I only keep my driver’s license around for identification purposes or when I borrow a car to go visit my parents upstate.

On top of that, Will’s got handicapped plates (obviously), so we get all the good parking. We’re lucky to have the plates because it’s probably the last nice day of the fall and parking looks like it would be a nightmare. And I’m currently wearing The Most Uncomfortable Sandals in the World. They were gorgeous when I saw them in Macy’s and I still love how they look, but it turned out that… well, you know.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Note to all authors

Please makes sure to add a label with the title of your story on ALL CHAPTERS.  This label should NOT be on the update posts, only on the chapters.  That way, when someone clicks on a label, all the chapters will appear in order.  I was browsing just now and I realized that a lot of you are not adding this label.  I was going to add them myself, but then stopped when I realized how many there were that needed to be fixed. 

The Diaper Problem

Hey all, it's Aloha, Author of High Quad Stories.  This isn't meant to be a long, multi-part story, but I did write a few more parts to this.  However, since it doesn't look like there are currently any days available, I don't know if I'm going to be able to post any more of this one, but I'll at least put this part up for now.  It's a little uncomfortable, so I'm not sure if many people will even enjoy it. I won't be offended if you don't, lol.

The Diaper Problem

It all started during dinner with the Rosenthals.

It was something that Cathy and I had been looking forward to for weeks.  We met Dave and Michelle Rosenthal at the orientation for Leo’s daycare, and we’d hit it off.  Okay, we sort of hit it off.  Dave and I chatted about the baseball game that weekend, and Michelle and Cathy talked about potty training or bras or whatever the hell women talk about.  When we left the orientation, Michelle said to us, “We’ll all have to get together for dinner sometime!”

I told Cathy that they didn’t really mean it.  Of course they didn’t. They didn’t actually want to be friends with us.  We’re not the kind of couple who has friends—not in any real sort of way.  I make people feel awkward, and the conversations are always stilted with big phony smiles, and patronizing nods.  And wondering when the soonest they could leave would be without it being outright rude.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

B-L-I-N-D?! - Table Of Contents

Meeting the parents
Christmas Lights

New Beginnings Chapter 6

Hello friends,
it is after midnight Thursday morning and I just finished editing the chapter for this week. I have been working more these past couple of days and so I squeezed in when I could to edit and reread the chapter. It seems that every time I go over a chapter I make a little change here and there, there is always something. I also tried to make the font larger but didn't know how. I will try to figure that out because I know the words are very small. Sorry about that. Anyhow, hope the chapter is up to speed for this week and so I give you Chapter 6 of NB. Anna takes Shane to her place and there are some challenges but also lots of moments when they become even closer to each other. Hope you enjoy! Let me know and thanks to everyone reading and commenting. Big hug, Yours, Dani

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Hearing sucks.
Then you tell me I’m crazy, because I should be thankful and all that shit, but let me tell you something: it’s definitely not fucking cool being the only hearie in a family that prides itself in the fact that the last hearing person is rotting away in a coffin for almost a hundred years. It’s not. Especially when you’re a kid trying to fit in.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

B-L-I-N-D?! — II.


We climb the steps to the doorway and I press the doorbell.
“What are we waiting for?” Henry asks, holding his cane close to his chest, nervously fiddling with the black safety tire around his wrist.
“Someone to open?”
“But how-”
“The lights flicker inside the house, ” I hold his hand and show him where the small button is. “No sound.”
“Oh. Makes sense.” His hand long for a moment in the wall, exploring. I take the one that’s wedged between my elbow and ribcage and entwine our fingers instead. I’m ready to do this and he senses it, grinning a little.
Mom opens the door a few moments later, she smiles brightly and pulls me into a tight hug. Before she can do it with my clueless fiancé as well, I try to warn him.
“She’s going to-”

Reckless Behavior Chapter Ten

Hey everyone! So after my lengthly break of two weeks, I'm back with Chapter Ten. Things are still super busy around here, but I went to a snow festival this weekend, which was a great way to take a break. Nothing like a ten-foot tall ice sculpture to amp my writing juices. Thanks for your patience!

Last week...

Samuel is suspicious of Aster's sudden paralysis. Cassia scopes out the strip mall and gets a job there. Molly dresses Aster, and when Cassia returns and sees what she's done, she freaks out.

Table of Contents

Monday, February 13, 2017

B-L-I-N-D?! — III


As we’re sitting on the couch before dinner, all I can think about is how freaking much I love Robin. What a pretty name, Robin. Not only it sounds great in English, it also kind of matches her sign name. It’s so poetic. Unfortunately, our parents weren’t as creative when ASL-naming us. I might have a girl crush on her—no, I definitely have a crush on her. It’s a strange feeling, considering I’ve never liked any of my brothers’ girlfriends, and I’ll never admit it, but I was a little bitch to them growing up.
But this is the first hearing girl I’ve ever seen any of them date, and better yet—she’s a CODA. I feel a kind of excitement inside of me that I've never felt before. And she’s so pretty. And she talks to Henry. I love her

New Devo Diary

Holy moly, it's a new Devo Diary! I'm on a roll but I'm not sure how long I can keep up this pace. If anyone really wants to start posting regularly on Mondays, just let me know.

In last week's chapter, I was unceremoniously dumped by Rollerboy, who begged to get back together a few weeks later. I said no because I was already seeing a new AB guy named Kevin, who seemed so promising. And now, here is Devo Diary Chapter 25: Kevin. It's a little shorter than usual which doesn't bode well for my relationship with Kevin.

Here is the Table of Contents, if you need to get caught up or want to read the complete Rollerboy saga.

Thanks very much to everyone who reads and comments--I really appreciate it!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

B-L-I-N-D?! — IV


I didn’t have much sleep last night, if you know what I mean. When I wake up, instead of Henry’s naked chest beside me I find cold sheets. I do a long cat stretch and prepare to join him in the shower. Except that he isn’t in the shower either because there’s no sound of running water. A bell goes off inside my head and I sit up straight, startled by the possibilities. One would think I’m too old to have my brothers pulling tricks on my boyfriends that would have them running for their lives, but it's not entirely out of the realm of possibilities. Then I see him, sitting at the study with his laptop open and a bunch of papers laid before him.

“Hey,” I call him. He doesn’t answer. Only then I realize he’s using two earbuds. He’s slightly crouched forward, with his shirt off. I take the time to appreciate the view.

Update to The Best Man

The postmortem on John and Kirby's kiss....

Chapter 13

Table of Contents

Friday, February 10, 2017

Free Friday Porn, uh... Short!

Actually this short story is rather on the long side. Does not need much explaining, it's steamy, it features two males, one of them a quad CP. Totally my cup of tea recently =)
Enjoy Different Shores!
Not enough yet? Go to The Secret Stash for more.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Beginnings Chapter 5

Hi NB friends,
I barely got this week's chapter edited and it is Wednesday evening now, almost midnight. So thanks to everyone who has been reading this story and has been commenting. I was surprised to see two German comments last week, I would love to know who you are. It's always a bit sad when I see "Anonymous" and I have no idea at all who and where my readers are. Anyways, I bring you Chapter 5 of NB this week. It is somewhat long again but you will get to know Shane some more and also find Anna and Shane getting a lot closer. When reading and editing I do realize similarities to my other stories but I guess that's just the way my stories go. NB being really my very first dev story ever I guess it set the tone for things to come afterwards. I appreciate all my readers and all your comments. Thanks so much, enjoy the chapter for this week.
Hugs, Dani
TOC New Beginnings

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sorry, everyone

For those of you still reading Reckless Behavior... No new chapter for this week. Really sorry. And I especially feel guilty since somebody commented a while ago how reliable I am. Guess not.

Anyway, I teach art and just recently took on a shitload of extra classes, and everything's going way over my head, and I'm trying to piece together my portfolio for an upcoming interview and I haven't slept in a while. So there's my rant.

Ps. Thank you to those of you who are still reading my story. I know it's a little out there, and it's got more subplots than some other stories. So thank you. And sorry, again!

Monday, February 6, 2017

New Devo Diary

Hi everyone! It's time for another update of Devo Diary. If you are new, or maybe just forgot, this is my real life as a devotee. It's all true, not fiction. Annabelle said I should call it "Hot Sexy Quad" but that might be misleading. Real life is not as satisfying as a romance novel, unfortunately.

Anyway here we are with Chapter 24, Part 10 of the Rollerboy saga.

If you're new, here is the Table of Contents. I recommend reading at least the other Rollerboy chapters first.

Thanks very much to everyone who has been reading and commenting so far. I really appreciate it!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

(Almost) Happily Ever After

So I am taking a hiatus from The Best Man, at least for this week, but I have something else for you.  I recently released a new book that is a sequel to The Ugly Duckling, the saga of Will and Libby. 

You can pick up a copy of the book (Almost) Happily Ever After on Amazon today!

This is from the blurb:

Libby Saunders was an ugly duckling who dreamed of a magical happily ever after.

Finally, after many, many (many) years of looking, Libby found her handsome prince who would whisk her off into the sunset on a white stallion. He wasn’t exactly the prince she had always dreamed of, but he was so much better. And they kissed and lived happily ever after.

Well… almost.

Because in real life, sometimes it’s not so easy. In real life, the prince might be a workaholic who rarely sees the light of day. Or the princess might notice she’s been off birth control for two whole years, but where are all the new little princes or princesses?

Why can’t happily ever after be as easy as it is in the fairy tales?

Also, while you can read the beginning of the book with Amazon's Look Inside feature, I'm including below a story-length excerpt of one of my favorite Libby/Will scenes from a little further along in the book. Please enjoy!

(Almost) Happily Ever After: An Excerpt

When we get outside, Will gets straight down to business. “Listen,” he says, “remember how the other day you were talking about… you know, getting pregnant?”

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Skin and Scars Chapter 14

Hello everyone! I am excited to bring you another chapter of Skin and Scars. Again, I do apologize for the long wait, but I hope you enjoy the new material nonetheless.

And also...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Beginnings - Chapter 4

Hello friends of NB,
another week gone by and here I am with another chapter. Thanks to everyone reading and commenting on last week's chapter of NB. I really hope you like the story of Anna and Shane. Here is Chapter 4 of New Beginnings where Anna says her final Good Bye to her brother and is contacted by Shane again. Enjoy reading and let me know if you like it. You all mean a lot to me and my writing. Thanks so much!
Hugs, Dani

TOC New Beginnings

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Diaper Problem, Part 2

I’ve had a delay with my most recent freelance web design project and I need to let the people who hired me know about it.  I’ve got my headphones on my head with the mouthpiece next to my lips, and I dictate the letter using Dragon Naturally Speaking.  What I would like the letter to say is:

Dear Jeff,
I’ve been hard at work on the changes you wanted me to make on your website, but I’ll need a few extra days.  I should have everything done by Friday. 

Here’s what it actually says:

Dear Jeff,
I've been hard at work on the change if you want to been awake on your website, but I'll need a few extra days. I should have everything done by Friday.

Close, but nonsensical.  I need to change the first sentence that I dictated so it actually makes sense.  Probably the vast majority of people who use this program can simply highlight the part they want to fix and type in the changes, but I can’t.  I have to do everything using voice commands.  And while Dragon isn’t a bad program, it’s far from perfect.

“Correct ‘if you want to been awake,’” I say.

It highlights the phrase, then offers me some choices for other things it thinks I might have said.  The second option is correct.

“Select two,” I say.

Now what the program is supposed to do is insert the second phrase into my text.  But instead, it writes “select two” in place of the sentence.  So now the sentence reads: “I've been hard at work on the change select two on your website, but I'll need a few extra days.”


I want my emails to sound professional.  Jeff has hired me on several jobs so far and I want him to keep hiring me.  Also, he’s not going to be understanding about me being a quadriplegic, because he doesn’t know I’m a quadriplegic.  He has no idea.  None of the people who hire me know that I’m disabled.  Why should they?

I try again.  “Select ‘select two,’” I say.

Dragon doesn’t like this command.  It’s spinning its wheels, trying to figure it out.  It would be so much easier if I could just reach down and correct those few letters with my keyboard.  But I can’t.

And then the damn computer is frozen.

If Cathy were here, I’d ask her to do a hard restart for me.  But unfortunately, I’m alone.  I’m not alone often, but it’s sometimes a necessity.  My morning caregiver leaves around 9:30 and my mother will come to help me at lunch at eleven.  So that’s an hour and a half gap where I’m alone.  I have the PCA set me up at my computer, and we all just hope I won’t need anything until eleven.  Which I usually don’t.

It’s just past ten now, which means my mother won’t be coming over to help me for almost an hour.  So that means I have to restart the computer myself.  Fortunately, in the front pocket of my T-shirt, my PCA has placed a stick with a mouthpiece that I can use to do the hard reset myself.

I bend my head forward as far as it will go, and grasp the mouthpiece between my teeth.  When I’m certain that I’m grasping it securely, I carefully pull it out of my pocket.  I then lean forward as far as I can, reaching for the power button on the computer with the point of the stick.  I hit it.

Not hard enough.

I lean forward further.  The belt across my chest keeps me from going too far, which is probably a good thing considering it’s the only thing keeping me from falling forward in my chair and not being able to get back up.  But I only get a few more millimeters of distance.  I press as hard as I can and in the process, the mouthpiece slips from my lips.

I watch in horror as the stick falls from my mouth and clatters onto the desk in front of me.  Then it just lies there. 

It’s so close.  It’s right in front of me, six inches from my fingers.  But it might as well be in Mars.  I can’t reach that stick.  There’s no acrobatics I can do that will get me that stick, short of telekinesis.  I’m fucked.

Well, so much for writing a letter to Jeff.  I guess I’ll do it when my mother comes.

I figure I’ll watch television in the living room until she gets here.  Cathy set up one of those Alexa systems that I can control with my voice, so it’s pretty foolproof.  It can be frustrating at times, like everything else, but I’m better off now than if I’d been a quad twenty years ago.

I lean my head back, shaking it until the headset falls off and lies around my shoulders.  It’s still plugged in to the computer, but if I back up quick, it will yank the cord out.  I’ve done it before—it will be fine. 

I lean forward to bring the mouth controls for my chair closer to my lips, but then I realize something else horrifying.  When my PCA put my headset on, she twisted my sip and puff controls all the way to the side.  They are too far away for my lips to reach them.

I want to kill her.  She knew I was going to be alone here for over an hour.  How could she not make sure my controls were within reach?

But really, it’s my fault.  I should have checked.

This is fucking depressing. I can’t help but feel the true extent of my limitations when I’m staring at my wheelchair controls six inches away from my face and unable to reach them.  Independent with mobility?  Sure, if somebody doesn’t move my goddamn control just a couple of inches away from me. 

So now I’m stuck here, staring at the frozen computer screen for the next hour.  Thank God it’s no more than an hour.  I’d been telling Cathy that it was fine for her to leave me alone for two or three hours, acting like a big shot.  But it’s clear that even an hour is probably too long for me to be entirely alone.

It sucks.  I’m in my mid-thirties, an adult, and I feel like I should be able to stay on my own.  But it’s clear that it’s not realistic.  I’m not sure how we’re supposed to fill in the gaps though.  There’s a teenage girl who lives two blocks down who stayed with me for three hours a day last summer—she fed me lunch and helped me with whatever I needed.  It wasn’t a bad situation—she was a nice enough girl and she didn’t charge too much.  She didn’t help me with any personal stuff back then, but she told Cathy that she was thinking about nursing school and might be willing to get trained in some aspects of my personal care next summer.  At the very least, she could learn to empty my leg bag.

Sure, it was a little awkward to hear her refer to me on the phone as “the disabled guy I babysit for.”  But that was a small thing.

Cathy wants me to spend a couple of days a week at an adult day program.  Those programs are really for old people with dementia, but there’s a local one that does take people with severe disabilities who can’t be left alone during the day.  They wouldn’t be able to provide any physical care, but they told us that it would probably be a good exercise for the other residents to feed me and help me with other things.  But I nixed the idea, partially because I do work during the day and this would keep me from my computer, and also because I hated the idea of being in what is essentially day care for adults.

Eleven o’clock rolls around and I start to get panicky.  Where’s my mother?  She’s usually on time.  I make one last ditch reach to try to bring my wheelchair controls close enough to use, but it’s hopeless.  I’m stuck until she gets here.

Five minutes later, I hear the lock turning and blow out a sigh of relief.  Mom strolls into the house, and immediately ruffles my hair, even though she knows I hate that.

“Everything okay, Jamie?” she asks.

“Can you move my controls?” I ask her, before even explaining about the computer.

“Oh, dear,” Mom murmurs.  She brings the controls to my lips and I’m flooded with relief.  I’ve got my mobility back.  I move away from the computer and immediately do a weight shift backward.  I’ve been in the same position way too long and I don’t want to get a sore.

My mother restarts the computer with one button press, then feels my leg bag to make sure it doesn’t need to be changed.  She doesn’t even ask anymore—she just grabs it.  “Your diaper is clean?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say. 

“Should I check?”

Her checking would involve unstrapping me from my chair, then leaning me forward to get a peek inside.  But the truth is, I can tell when it needs to be changed by the smell.

“No, it’s fine.”

Mom smiles. “Let’s make lunch then.”

Since the computer is busy rebooting, I follow my mother to the kitchen where she prepares my lunch.  Whatever it’s going to be will be something low fat and low calorie.  Right after my injury, I lost a bunch of weight and couldn’t seem to gain it back.  That trend continued for several years.  But lately—I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m getting into my mid-thirties and my metabolism stinks, but I’ve been gaining weight.  Too much weight.

As a quad, I really can’t risk being overweight.  It will put me at risk for skin breakdown and make it harder to do my care.  But on the other hand, I can’t exactly go to the gym and work off the extra weight.  So my only option is to diet.

So far, I’m not sure it’s working. Ever since I lost the muscles in my trunk, my belly has jutted out, but I was never fat exactly.  But now my gut has definitely packed on some extra weight, to the point where my pants that have buttons don’t button anymore.  And the sweatpants leave behind a scary indentation.  Cathy had to buy me all new pants.  And my shirts all stretch over my belly.

On the plus side, at least my face has filled in again and doesn’t look so skeletal anymore.

“How long do you need me to stay with you?” Mom asks me as she starts chopping lettuce.

“Cathy is coming back at two,” I say.  “We’ve got a doctor’s appointment.”

She raises her eyebrows.  “Everything okay?”

I haven’t told my mother about my new mission.  I know she’d say I’m being ridiculous or vain.  She sees nothing wrong with the fact that I need diapers.  She can’t figure out why it bothers me.

“Just a check-up,” I say. 

I’ll tell her when it works.

My lunch turns out to be a salad with low fat dressing.  It’s fine.  I like salad, and I definitely want to work on this weight issue.  Mom puts the salad bowl down in front of me, spears some lettuce with a fork, and holds it out for me to eat.  Of all the people who feed me regularly, my mother is actually my preference.  She’s very patient.  My father is the worst at it.  Well, technically, Leo is the worst at it, but of the adults, Dad is worst.  He won’t wait for me to finish one bite before he’s got the next ready, and he doesn’t like waiting.  I end up wearing a lot of my meal, which Leo thinks is hilarious.  Daddy, you need a bib.

Yes, that’s just what I need in my life.  A fucking bib.

As Mom feeds me, I focus on my doctor’s appointment. This could potentially change my life.  I just hope Cathy is open to what the doctor has to say.

To be continued...

The Diaper Problem, Part 3

Dr. Clark is the local specialist in spinal cord injury and I’ve been seeing him since the month I got out of rehab.  Usually when I roll into a room, I’m the only guy in a wheelchair, but in Dr. Clark’s waiting room, I’m never alone (although to be fair, I’m usually the most disabled guy even there). When Cathy and I enter the waiting room today, I recognize one of my buddies from rehab, Tony.  Tony is about five years younger than me and got hurt riding an ATV. 

Looking at Tony makes me feel like I’m looking into a mirror.  He’s got the same skinny arms and legs strapped down to his chair, and I can see he’s also put on some weight in the midsection region.  He’s even got an identical strap across his chest.  It’s almost hard to look at him, because of how severely impaired he looks—if that’s how I look, it’s no surprise Cathy and I have been having trouble making friends.  His mother, who I recall became his caregiver after he was discharged from rehab, is accompanying him and she looks as exhausted as Cathy probably looks.

One thing that’s new on Tony that surprises me is the trach jutting out of his throat, tied around his neck with a blue cushion.  Both of us had trachs in rehab, but we both managed to get them out.  Somehow Tony’s has reappeared, although I can see the red cap on top of it, indicating he’s not actively using it.

“Hey, Jamie,” Tony calls to me as I pull up my wheelchair beside his.  There isn’t a lot of room and I knock into him slightly, jolting both of our bodies. 

“Hey, Tony,” I say.  “Long time no see.  What’s going on?”

“Notice my new addition?” Tony wags his eyebrows at me. 

“Oh my gosh!” Cathy exclaims.  “What happened?”

“He got pneumonia last year,” Tony’s mother explains to us as she touches her son’s shoulder gently.  “It was touch and go for a while.  He recovered, but they weren’t able to entirely wean him off the trach.”

“She puts me on the vent only at night,” Tony tells me.  “During the day, I’m fine.”

“Usually,” his mother adds.

I shiver slightly.  I hated having that stupid trach and it’s unsettling to think that I’m one pneumonia bout away from getting it back. 

“What are you here for?” Tony asks me.

“Just a check-up,” I lie.

Tony and I never confided in each other about that sort of stuff, although maybe we should have.  I’m sure he has a suprapubic catheter like I have, or something like that.  I’m sure his mother is trained to help him evacuate his bowels, the way Cathy is.  He knows what it’s like to have someone helping you with something so personal.  He’d get it.

I cast a quick glance at his groin area, wondering if I detect a bulge of a diaper.  Tony wouldn’t have told me if he had to wear one, and I never told him. But there was one time when I very obviously shit myself during a group therapy session, to the point where someone had to immediately take me away to be changed.  Later, Tony caught up with me and said, “Don’t feel bad—it happens to all of us.”

Maybe I should have done a better job keeping in touch with Tony and the other guys from rehab.  But it just brought back too many bad memories. 

I wonder if Tony is thinking the same thing, because he says to me, “You and Cathy should come by for dinner sometime.”

“We wouldn’t want to impose,” Cathy says to his mother.

“Not at all,” she says quickly.  “We would love to have you over.”

Tony rolls his eyes. “If I can squeeze you into my social calendar.  It’s pretty much nonstop dates these days.”

He laughs at himself, and for the millionth time, I feel incredibly grateful to have Cathy.  If I’d been single at the time of my injury, like Tony was, I’d probably be living with my parents the same way he is, and I can’t begin to imagine how I’d meet women. Well, I wouldn’t.

A nurse calls our name and we follow her to the examining room.  Once we’re safe inside the room with the door closed, she says, “This is about a bowel-related issue?”

I nod, not really wanting to provide details more times than I have to.

“We’d like you to transfer to the examining table then,” she tells me.

I look at the examining table then back at the nurse.  “That’s not going to happen.”

“Dr. Clark will want to perform a rectal exam,” she tells me.  She frowns.  “We can find a staff member to help with the transfer.”

“That sounds fine,” Cathy says before I can protest again.

A male nurse comes in to assist Cathy in transferring me to the examining table.  When I see the muscles in his arms, I at least feel comfortable that he’s going to be able to transfer me without any difficulty. Cathy undoes all my straps, and immediately my body tilts to the right due to my complete lack of trunk control.  The nurse leans me against his chest, grabs me by my pants and shifts me over to the table in one swift movement.  Then Cathy gets behind me to help ease my body down onto the table. 

“Wow, you’re good at that,” Cathy tells the nurse.

“It gets me a good workout,” he laughs as he flexes his biceps. I try my best not to be pissed off that this guy is flirting with my wife while showing off his muscles.

“Should I get him undressed?” Cathy asks him.

He looks me over.  “From the waist-down.”

So while we’re waiting for Dr. Clark, Cathy takes off my sweatpants and shoes.  I’m left in my T-shirt and diaper, and I can’t help but wish they’d given us a sheet to cover me with.  Wouldn’t that have been a reasonable thing to do for my privacy?  But fuck it.  Nobody seems to give a shit about my privacy anymore.

Cathy shifts the head of the examining table up just in time for Dr. Clark to enter the room.  So I’m able to look at the doctor instead of staring up at the ceiling.

To my horror though, he isn’t alone.

“Hi, Jamie, Cathy,” Dr. Clark says to me. “This is a medical student who’s been shadowing me.  Her name is Maddie.”

Maddie is twenty-something with a pert little nose and blond hair tied back in a ponytail.  She’s really cute, and absolutely the last person I want to discuss this around.  On her part, she seems incredibly uncomfortable to have walked in on me half-naked.

“Jamie has a C3 complete spinal cord injury,” Dr. Clark tells Maddie.  “He has no movement or sensation below his shoulders. One thing we do for him here is work on issues with his bowel and bladder program.”  He smiles at me.  “Jamie, would you mind if I showed Maddie your suprapubic catheter?”

Yeah, I do mind.  But what the hell.  It’s not like I’ll ever see this girl again.  “Sure.”

The tube is already jutting out of my diaper, but Dr. Clark tugs down the diaper to show where it enters my abdomen.  There are several drops of piss hovering in the tubing, and they shift and make their way down to my leg bag as he moves the tube.

“A suprapubic catheter is a better option than a Foley catheter that goes through the penis,” Dr. Clark explains to Maddie, “because it decreases the risk of infection.”

Maddie nods solemnly.

“Now, Jamie,” Dr. Clark says, “Cathy says that you’ve been unsatisfied with your bowel program.  That you’d like to try to eliminate the accidents.  Now, how often do you have accidents.”

I glance at Maddie. “Once a week.”

Cathy snorts.  “No, more like three times a week.”

That’s… okay, it might be true.

“You’re using magic bullet daily now?” he asks me. 

I nod.

“Magic bullet is a suppository that stimulates a bowel movement,” Dr. Clark tells Maddie.  “Cathy inserts it and then they wait for him to get emptied out.  I looked through the documentation, and it looks like we’ve tried quite a few things before arriving at this particular bowel program.”

“But it doesn’t work,” I say.  “Obviously.”

“One issue that we’re facing is that you don’t have a lot of rectal tone,” he says.  “Or at least, you didn’t last time.  We’d like to test you again.”

I know what that means.

Cathy rolls me onto my side in anticipation of a rectal exam.  She does it by rolling my right leg over my left, then putting my right arm across my body, then slides me over onto my side.  I hear Dr. Clark undoing the Velcro on my diaper and pulling it down to do a rectal exam.  I hold my breath.

“No change from last time,” he announces.

Damn it.

“Jamie,” he says, “would you be okay with Maddie taking a feel?  I’m trying to teach her about rectal tone.”

Jesus Christ, absolutely not.

“Sure,” I mumble.

Maddie uncertain shadow hovers over me as I hear her gloves snapping into place.  I can’t feel what she’s doing, but I hear her gasp followed by a familiar smell and I know exactly what just happened.

“Oh my God, he…” she manages.

“It’s okay, I’ll get him cleaned up,” Cathy says quickly.

I’m afraid to know how badly I shit the examining table.  It takes about ten minutes before everything gets cleaned up, and Dr. Clark excuses himself in the meantime.  When he returns, I’m in a fresh diaper and Maddie is conspicuously absent.

“After reviewing your records and feeling your rectal tone,” Dr. Clark says, “I’d say that the chance of maintaining bowel continence is extremely small.”

Great.  So I really am stuck with the diaper forever.

“However,” he continues, “there are surgical options available to you.”

Cathy frowns. “Surgical options?”

Dr. Clark nods. “Some of my patient who have had difficulty with wound management in the sacral area have had diverting colostomies.  That way they don’t have to worry about incontinence.”

“A colostomy?” I blurt out.  “You mean I’d have a bag on my belly?”

He nods again.  “As I said, it’s not a terrible option.  It would involve a significant abdominal surgery, but it would be a simpler way to manage your bowel.  Your stool would collect in a bag and you’d just have to have the bag emptied periodically, which would be easier than cleaning up an episode of incontinence.”

I don’t know what to say to that.  As much as I hate wearing a diaper, I don’t know if having a bag of shit on my belly at all times would be preferable to that.  I imagine Cathy and I having sex and her having to look down at that bag while we’re doing it.  That can’t be sexy.

Plus the idea of going through a surgery is scary.  I’ve been hospitalized a couple of times for urinary tract infections since my injury, and I hated it.  I spent most of the time stuck in bed, relying on the slowest nurses on the planet for all my needs.  And what if after I was intubated for the surgery, they couldn’t get me off the ventilator and I ended up like Tony?

“I need to think about it,” I say.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Cathy says.

Dr. Clark shrugs.  “Jamie, your wife is the one who does your bowel program.  Is this is her preference, I’d say you don’t have a problem.”

I bite my tongue, not wanting to tell the doctor about my son’s horrible proclamation the night the Rosenthals came for dinner.  About how my baby was getting out of diapers and I wanted to do the same.  I know he’d tell me I’m being ridiculous, and he’d be right. 

But I can’t help but think that maybe the colostomy isn’t the worst idea.

To be continued....