man with top and derby cane in the PNW

When you gotta go

Where’s the restroom?

There are so many symptoms with MS, that a bunch of them often get glanced over. The one that has been the most active for me lately is incontinence. The opposite of constipation, incontinence is where your bladder is going to empty NOW; with as little notice as possible. I never thought that at 31, I would be like my grandmother and know where every bathroom in the county is. It can be super frustrating when out of nowhere, you have to go. Basically, my bladder’s alarm doesn’t go off early enough.

Bowel and bladder problems are no stranger to the MS community. In my many years of talking with all sorts of folks diagnosed with MS, so many have shared my struggle. There is a special bond created when openly telling someone that you — a grown-ass, bill paying adult — has pissed your pants. Most likely in public. And they understand…because they have, too.  

Needless to say, hitting the road can be tricky; but we love to adventure so we make it work. My solution? An empty gallon jug in the car at all times. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. There is no planning or waiting for the next gas station. 

To those who experience this: you are not alone. I, myself have pissed my pants walking down the sidewalk in Seattle; on the way to a doctors appointment, ironically. As embarrassing as that was (pee smells, folks), it almost feels worse when it happens at home. Ever had to drop a log in a dark gravel parking lot on Halloween? Yeah, me neither…*ahem*. I can guarantee these won’t be my only bathroom fail stories, and when I tell them I wear them like a badge of honor. The plus side is, I can go just about anywhere. 

I bet there’s a long list of medications that help with this sort of thing, but at what trade off? I would rather just work with what I’ve got…unless they produce something with side effects that make everything taste like pizza. Incontinence issues are just a small piece of the MS puzzle, but when you add them together it can be daunting. These are just a few on the so-called “invisible symptoms”. They just happen to be invisible because they are embarrassing as hell. 

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@prouska disabled with Multiple sclerosis on dock PNW

Afternoon at Sandy Beach

When the tide is out at Illahee State Park you can head south down the beach and find a hidden gem called Sandy Beach. Sandy Like the name says it’s sandy, very sandy. Stuff like this being 5 minutes from our house is exactly why I love the PNW.

@prouska disabled with Multiple sclerosis on dock PNWThis was the spot to jump off the pier back in the day. I could’ve sworn it was a 40′ drop…

 

At 7 years old Tucker is all about climbing trees. This place has a bunch of rad fallen trees to climb.
Washington ferry passing illahee state parkPerfect spot to watch the Ferry chug by.

Wheels & Red sitting on beach

This was a perfect way to spend the evening. The wind was whipping the warm air off the water.

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The trip was awesome even though I had Tucker jump from one log to another and he slipped and got some barnacle bun on his shin. You don’t have to travel far to find adventure, it’s in your back yard.

-wheels

 

Trek to Cali

Since starting this project I have reached out to a lot of cool people. Some of the first were the awesome people at the National MS Society. The timing was perfect, they were planning on shooting a video to help people who are newly diagnosed with MS navigate the craziness.

A week after telling them my story they asked me and the family to fly down to Los Angeles and tell our story to the camera. It was a short trip but we had a ton of fun. Hopefully this isn’t the last project we do with the NMSS.

venice BeachWe arrived on a beautiful 82 degree day. We unloaded our bags at the hotel and headed out to Venice Beach.
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b2 presetWe stopped at the Venice Beach Skatepark to watch the dudes shred and pick up chicks, both were great to watch.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBefore we flew out we headed up to Santa Monica to check out the pier.
Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetWell hello PNW it’s nice to see you again!

Big thanks to all the awesome people who made this trip happen. We can’t wait to see you all again soon.

 

-wheels

I Like Canes

I have shown you one of my canes already but I have another favorite. Yup, I have multiple assistive devices. You don’t wear the same shirt everyday, why would I rock the same cane.

I am lucky to have such a talented wife to photograph this journey we are on. I asked her to take some photos of me with my new Sabi Classic cane, of course she said yes, she’s cool like that. We headed down the street to a small park just above the marina to goof around.

I really like the look of my new cane, plus the feel of it makes it an all around badass walking stick. The hook handle feels really natural in my hand, and it’s super useful for grabbing things. I have enjoyed trying to find other uses for the cool handle.

The rubber used in the tip is really bouncy and super grippy. This thing also has almost no weight to it, it almost glides in the hand while you’re walking.


Let me just show you how cool this thing is.

Young man standing with black sabi classic cane looking over water man walking with black sabi classic cane

sabi classic wood handle

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My friend Liz also rocks a Sabi cane — check out her blog at The Girl With The Purple Cane.

Have a look at all the Sabi products at Sabi.com

Big thanks to my rad wife for taking these photos, Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer.

-wheels

So you’re in Seattle, with GregR

It’s finally here! My podcast with GregR, the morning dude on 107.7 The End. The first attempt to record this was junked due to technical difficulties, but we gave it another go. I had a ton of fun chatting with GregR before we headed over to Emerald City Comicon.

Check it out would ya!

                                                    itunes logostitcher so you're in seattle Multiple sclerosis awareness

kid in toon link costume at kndd radio station

Big props to my man GregR for having me on his podcast. Check out other episodes here, also find GregR on Twitter @gregr1077.

Thank you Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer for the photos.

-wheels

driftwood along beach point no point hansville washington

Point No Point Adventure

Even in the winter we have to hit the beach.

Looking through our adventures you would think I have a thing for lighthouses. I do not, they just happen to be at beaches.

Hansville, Washington is home to Point No Point.

Lighthouse hansville washington point no point

I love to having access to rad beaches so close to home. We don’t have to pack or plan anything, so I don’t feel as bad when I’m tired and am ready to head out.

We usually just walk along the beach and watch the waves roll in. Tucker loves to fill his pockets with treasures. That just happens to be rocks the size of baseballs.

 

Wood stairs going up through the woods

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao-Tzu

Point No Point has a tall staircase that leads into a beautiful wooded area and a lookout over the water. It’s hard to convey just how daunting a simple staircase can be. I managed to slowly climb it with three stops for rest. You just have to keep moving forward.

-wheels

Canes for a Cure || Top & Derby

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Top & Derby_MS Orange twitter

Canes for a cure

I have been using the same $15 cane I bought 4 years ago when my MS first started slowing me down. I wanted to make it fit my style so I plastered it with stickers. The grip is completely gone and the tip has no traction. As terrible as this cane is, it has helped me a lot over the years but now it’s time for an upgrade.

The search for a new cane is frustrating. Everything seems to be designed solely for function. I thought it was weird there’s not much out there designed for a 30 year old dude with tattoos and piercings. The search led me to a group of rad dudes who built the Chatfield cane. Reading through the features it was clear this was the cane I was looking for. The shaft is solid Walnut and the tip, or “shoe” as they call it, is inspired by a skate shoe. Yup, you read that right, skate shoe inspired. I think I found my Excaliber.

The grip on my old, cheaply assembled Walmart cane completely peeled off years ago, leaving an uncomfortable plastic handle. Getting around with a wobbly, unstable cane is a task in itself. The Chatfield from Top and Derby blows the shoddy aluminum tube of a cane out of the water. The handle on the Chatfield just feels right. The girth (heh, girth) of the handle fits my hand perfectly. And I don’t talk about girth in my hand very often. The grip and stability of the shoe inspired tip has been noticeably helpful.

Top and Derby have integrity. They care about the people that they are helping, they are hip and stylish, and they’re using their platform to spread awareness about things that really matter. Their Enable Initiative proves their dedication; with March being MS awareness month they created 200 limited edition Chatfield canes decked out with Pantone (158) orange handles and shoes and custom laser engraving. For every one of the 200 made, they are donating the proceeds directly to the MS Societies of Canada and the US. I’m honored they sent me one of these beauties.

In my teens I spent my time skating and riding BMX through skate parks just like this one. I’m the same rad dude; just because I can’t shred the half-pipe doesn’t mean I’m not shredding gnar through life. And after 4 years with a $15 cane I realize that it’s more than an assistive device; it’s the face of my MS. The Chatfield is a cane I’m proud to have people stare at. Go ahead, ask me about my cane.

This ain’t your grandfather’s cane.

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You can purchase the Cane for a Cure at TopandDerby.com

All of these rad photos were taken by Meghann Prouse Indie Photographer.

The Girl with the Purple Cane

Meet Liz Jackson. She is an amazing person who has a neurological disability similar to MS. Liz lives in NYC and is breaking down the stigma of using assistive devices. She rocks a cane and rides a bike. She is The Girl with the Purple Cane.

lady dressed like forrest gump sitting on bench with cane and suitcase

Photo:Hanna Agar

 

I found her when I was learning about this rad company named Top & Derby who make kick ass canes. She was on the front page sitting on a bench with her T&D cane.

Not long after seeing her Forrest Gump inspired photo I decided to reach out to Liz and say “Lets be friends”. I put it all out there, and her reply mirrored my excitement. Since then we have talked non-stop.

I have learned so much about her already. One thing that was clear from the very first email was her passion. Liz puts her heart into everything she does. She started a grassroots movement to breakdown the stigma of assistive devices.

#YesJCrewCane is her way of doing just that. Liz is working very hard to get mainstream retailers like J. Crew to sell canes. They already sell some assistive devices but not others. Did you know that glasses are an assistive device? Let’s make canes cool too.

Please support the movement of inclusion. Go to Change.org and sign the #YesJCrewCane petition, it only takes a moment.

Follow Liz through this journey at TheGirlWithThePurpleCane.com

Making friends like Liz is whats it’s all about. So many great things to come!

-Wheels