Everything Is Rolling Smooth

My name is Arturo Valdez and I am from Mexico City. Almost 23 years ago I had a motorcycle accident which caused a spinal cord injury at the T7 level. I have Luque wires in my back from T2 to T12. At the beginning of this journey, my life was like people told me it would have to be, as the medical books say: dealing with pressure ulcers while seated in a large, heavy hospital wheelchair. One day I decided I could, and must, do things differently.

Arturo playing wheelchair tennis

Once a psychologist asked me what I used to do before my accident. I told him that I had my business and my partner, and I practiced basketball and karate. Then he asked, "And now, what do you do?" My answer was, I'm married. I have my business. I practice basketball, tennis, and karate. I do many more things now than before: skydiving, paragliding, paintball, and travelling to different countries for business. The only difference is that now I do these things in a wheelchair, which is the best, by the way — my Quickie Q7.

Arturo skydiving

Since I decided how my life was going to progress in a wheelchair, I have realized that the barriers, limits, and disabilities are only in my decisions. Of course I have needed preparation, training, and lots of information about my condition, my injury, my body, and the assistive technology available today. Acquiring the right wheelchair, cushion, backrest, and accessories for my life and my circumstances is key. But I also need to be aware of and tend to any injuries or infections that may have consequences for my injury and the lack of sensitivity and mobility from my chest down. I also decided that day that if I needed to be in a wheelchair, I was going to look for the best one. Since then, my life has not been normal; it has been better. I have been able to carry out projects and accomplish goals that I had only dreamed about before this change in my mindset.

I have had the opportunity to share my life experience by writing a book about a taboo subject in terms of disability and sexuality, El Silla Sutra Sexualidad Activa (The Chair Sutra, Active Sexuality). Due to the subject matter, no publisher wanted to print the book. But since I am a graphic designer by trade, I was able to edit and print the book myself. Thanks to my book, I have been invited to radio and television programs as well as travelling abroad to talk about it.

To end this story, I can only say that life is based on the decisions we make day by day. No matter the physical limitation, there are people who just move an eye and with that, they move the world. Today I am a happy person, married with a daughter, with a business and activities that keep me busy and fill my heart, all while in my wheelchair. This is why I always say that in my life today, "everything is rolling smooth."

Arturo with his family

About the Author

Arturo Valdez

Arturo Valdez
Mexico City
47 years old
Graphic designer
Sales Rep. Loh Medical Mexico, Panama, and Guatamala

Arturo's ride is a Quickie Q7

Most of the stories here on Live Quickie were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.


Date: 6/27/2017 12:00:00 AM


Comments
Fernando Nava
Arturo is my cousin, and I´m proud of him. When he had the accident 23 years ago, all the family was shocked, but Arturo proved that he is a very remarkable person and an extraordinary human being. He is a great life example for all of us.
6/28/2017 8:10:25 AM
 

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