Does This Chair Make My Butt Look Fat? Disability & Spinal Cord Injury

Disability Spinal Cord Injury

Does This Chair Make My Butt Look Fat? Disability & Spinal Cord Injury

I have a spinal cord injury. So what? So, wear your damn seat belts people, that’s what! Also… Yep. I am, as we say in Cripsville, ‘rockin’ a wheelchair, ready to roll… But you already knew that, right? I’m down here, where I always am, at butt-level. Doing what I always do, hoping no polyester-clad butt in front of me will see fit to unleash a Taco Bell fueled explosion within my personal space. Or face, for that matter. (yes, that totally happens) For shock value, I often  ask Grandpa in the middle of the Target swimsuit racks “Does this chair make my butt look fat?” Oh how I love the looks… Having a Spinal Cord Injury can totally suck. But it can also rock!

I know what you’re thinking. Those of us among the ‘sitting crowd’. We know that look. We hear all the whispers. We have a spinal cord injury, we’re not deaf. (whole different disability) We laugh with those bold enough from a few too many shots of Patron at the bar who actually do ask! (yes, that totally happened. Once. Maybe. OK, it totally did but grandpa was right there to wheel my drunk butt away)

For some reason, the adult mind just goes there. The small fry’s, they are different. “How come you’re in a wheelchair? ” Or, the really cute –  “How do you go to the bathroom?” Sometimes, when they are feeling brave, they ask to push… for a ride even. But the grown-ups, they go right in for the kill.

“Can you have sex?”

My initial thought is always “Yes, but it’ll cost you way more now”… I can only answer for myself. Yes, I can. Yes, I do. Thanks for playing! Let’s back up. (no pun intended)

Basic Spinal Cord Injury Facts

Here’s some basic facts regarding spinal cord injury. Approx. 12,000 people receive a spinal cord injury every year. 78% of those injured are males between the ages of 16-30. (something about being young, dumb show-offs – ‘riskier’ behavior) I don’t fall into that male risky category, just the age one at the time of my injury. (which was 25, thanks for asking) WEAR YOUR SEAT BELTS PEOPLE! (ok, ok, dumb and risky, it was)

Life After Spinal Cord Injury

For males, especially those between 16-30, sex is important, right? SEX!!! Spinal Cord Injury or not that’s all they think about other than eating and sleeping. Come to think of it, it’s probably in that order too! Sex, eat, sleep… Anyways, the medical industry puts a crap load of money into not only rehabbing these fine young gents into self-sufficient shape but also into ‘quality of life’ betterment. And, what did we just say made for a great quality of life for these guys? SEX! So, there’s… gadgets! And… stuff. Sometimes, it actually does even work on it’s own! Here’s a challenge for all the single ladies… Next time you see a hot-looking crip dude in a chair, pull out your best, cheesiest pick-up line. They are really great guys, some of which are my friends. I’d like to see them happy!

Now for us girls who don’t need pumps and… gadgets; we’ve got it a bit easier. We

can just lay there and pretend like we used to! (kidding, sometimes) Actually, for some odd reason what we lack on the outside that’s ‘workable’ we more than make up for on the inside. (think hyper-sensitive) But, trust me on this one… it still works! We even have shirts, and everyone knows a T-Shirt always makes it official.

Disability Spinal Cord Injury

Screw You!

Granted, all peeps with a spinal cord injury are different. Even those with the same exact level of injury. Picture this: Cox has bundled enough of their fancy cable internet connections to power all of Las Vegas inside your body. Your brain is the Cox control station where the on-off switch is kept. Your body is Las Vegas. Now picture a bunch of teenagers up to their prankster shenanigans set loose in the control station with a pair of scissors. Some of you may lose Facebook and your beloved Farmville (dead crops, no milking the purple cows) while others can still watch funny cat videos and check out all Grandma Juice’s Recipes. And sadly, a few of you are left with a dead screen. No chatting, surfing or cat videos for you. Basically, it’s a crap shoot.

Here’s a few others facts about the crip kind.

  • We do NOT appreciate it when you use our special bathrooms. Yes, you have more room to chat on your cell, put on more lip gloss and poop. But, you can fit in that smaller stall. Me and my chair, not so much. It’s a toilet, not a luxury suite at The Hilton. Bad form ladies, bad form.
  • We do NOT appreciate your talking really, really L O U D and/or slooooooow. We may be among the sitting crowd but we can hear just fine. Inside voices.
  • We do NOT appreciate you taking the last crip spot because it’s raining, hot, windy etc. Even if you’re just ‘running in to grab a gallon of milk’. Don’t leave your grandma sitting in the car for looks either. We’re on to that game and will hunt you down in WalMart and tell you just how rude that was. (yes, this totally happens and embarrass my kids)
  • No, you can NOT ‘play’ with my dog. He’s working. And keeping me safe. Would you ask a cop if you can play with his gun?

That’s that. Are we clear? Got ‘crip’ questions? Ask away! I’m an open book.

Now, you answer me this… Does this chair make my butt look fat?

Disability Spinal Cord Injury

Article originally published May 12, 2012 on GrandmaJuice Blog


  1. You’re butt looks great! And thank you for mentioning the large bathroom stall. While I am not in a wheelchair (yet) I do use it because I have problems walking and I have even more problems squatting and those dinky little toilets are so low to the ground that lowering myself down to sit on one is an agonizing experience. I love my crip sticker and I get very angry when someone who does not have one takes my space.

  2. I really liked your post. I know some of my wheelchair bound friends have been some of my most sexually active friends. It doesn’t hold you back! I am like you and I hate when people take the handicap parking spots or stalls. I know I am still a “walker” and I look normal but believe me it’s not always easy.. it takes a lot of strain on my body to keep walking but I don’t want to give up yet and I need that rail in the stall to get my big butt up from the toilet. Because I am a “walker” and young I get LOTS of nasty comments from the elderly and from those people who are in chairs parked in the other handicapped spots. It sucks just as much being a “walker” who fights to keep walking.

  3. This is a great post! Very well written. And your butt is ROCKIN!

  4. Your butt looks great to me. I love your post and your outlook in life.

  5. What a great perspective!! Love your attitude and your honesty!

  6. I love your attitude-LOVE!! I wish more people would read this post to see what a positive attitude you have!! Just amazing!

  7. Thanks for sharing your heart. Love your attitude! And you are beautiful!

  8. I had no idea there were that many spinal cord injuries. That’s a lot of people who are probably tired of those questions. 🙂

    Thanks for answering them honestly.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story with us all. It does make a difference when we know a bit more about each other as bloggers, and as online friends (we “see” and “hear” each other so much every day, that I truly consider you all, my dear gals, my friends, even if we didn’t make it official).
    You attitude and energy are contagious. I love your pun or no-pun-intended sentences. I love your blog attitude, and when you voice your opinions in one of many FB groups, too.
    And you butt does look perfect!

  10. I LOVE this post and I LOVE your outlook! And by the way….your butt looks just fine 😉

  11. Thanks for sharing your story. You have a great attitude too!

  12. Thanks for the giggle this morning and your butt looks fabulous! I’ve often thought that sometimes when we are trying to be more polite, we put our feet in mouths even further. My stepson was in a wheelchair and I often saw how folks just didn’t know how to react.

  13. Your butt looks fab!! This was a great read! Thank you!

  14. i really enjoyed reading through your post this morning and to answer the question no it does not make your butt look fat lol

  15. Hon, you look fab! Love your attitude!

  16. Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate your honesty and loved learning more about injuries like this.

  17. Love the post title! LOL and I think you look great.

  18. Ok, what I want to know is WHY in the world do they only make ONE crip stall?? We need TWO of that size! One for moms with toddlers/babies and one for those who need it for disabilities! The ONLY stall that has the toddler chair to keep the kid from running away..yeah, that’s the crip stall. How stupid is that? Or the ones where the changing table is in that stall too…really? Why can’t I just have the changing table out in the regular bathroom so I won’t be in someones way who needs the stall? really!

    Ronni, you are awesome! And no your butt doesn’t look big! Just your heart. <3
    I love how you explained how it works. Great analogy.

  19. JU SO FONII!! And so special. ♥ u mujer.

    “t-shirt makes it official” jehe do fans have the same power? ; )


  20. Great post Ronni! Loved reading it! Like your style and attitude in writing this.

  21. Barbara Compton Kesterson says

    What a great blog Ronni. Your outlook is amazing and I love your blogs and have deemed you and Harris my favorites. My mother is wheelchair bound since a stroke some 10 years ago and I know how difficult it can be on her. Her pet peeve is the woman with all the little kids in the handicap stall when she needs it. When Mom has to go Mom has to go. Keep bloggin’ girl and I’ll keep stalkin’, oh I mean silently observing…HOLLA!!!

  22. I love this post! I’m a walker like Ashley above and get lots of horrible looks when I use my crip tag. It take a lot out of me to walk 10 feet, so I don’t understand people who judge based on looks. I may look normal on the outside, but the inside is all sorts of messed up. Thank you for sharing your point of view. By the way, your butt looks fabulous!

  23. Your butt looks FABULOUS!!! Thanks so much for writing this post!

  24. Absolutely love this post and your sense of humor! I’m a walker (with a cane) and have had people shove me, cuss at me, and almost run me over with their cars because I don’t move quickly enough.
    But I do stay out of the bigger stalls, have my kids drop me off and pick me up at the front of stores (which generally doesn’t make other people in cars happy) instead of taking up a parking spot that someone else may need – and try not to grace the public, sitting or not, with gastronomically fueled explosions. And, I carry my ‘Honored Citizen’ card when using public transportation (and no, it isn’t forged as one young man claimed!) so that I can boot healthy people out of a spot/seat that I need (and if that doesn’t work, I offer to sit in their laps, lol).
    Found, and followed, you via the Exposure 99% blog hop – and I’m glad I did!!

  25. Your butt looks great from what I can see, but your attitude is HUGE, and I LOVE It!
    I’m not in a wheel chair, but I am considered handicapped – medically and physically. I can’t imagine my life without my Service Dog, Gabe.
    Voted for Harris – hope he gets his new bed!

  26. Your butt looks great from what I can see, but your attitude is HUGE, and I LOVE It!
    I’m not in a wheel chair, but I am considered handicapped – medically and physically. I can’t imagine my life without my Service Dog, Gabe.
    Voted for Harris – hope he gets his new bed!

  27. Stephanie H says

    Thanks for this awareness post I’m also a member of the Crip club. I am luck through I can still walk somewhat. I do hate having to explain over and over to different doctors why my bladder infection got so bad because that is one of the areas I have little to no feeling. I really hated it after a car accident when the doctor informed me that without reflexes in my legs there is no way I was going to be able to walk. I informed her want to watch me I us a cane and some times 2 to walk. On my really bad days I have to use a chair because my legs do not want to cooperate.

  28. Samantha says

    Gorgeous tush, woman! 😉 and thank you so much for sharing. I will fully admit I like the bigger stall :/ so thanks for calling me out on it, I’ll avoid it unless its the only option next time! I have a FANTASTIC friend with an attitude as great as yours who has the same issue with their spine, and I’m always gettin the ladies to see him 😉 hehe thank you for a very inspiring post!

  29. Thanks for taking the time to build my understanding. YOur frank approach teaches more!

  30. I need some of your Grandma Juice!!!

  31. I love how honest you are. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to put it out there like that, but it’s great that you did!

  32. Your butt looks great! Thanks for sharing your story.

  33. Great post! Haha…don’t be silly, of course it doesn’t look fat!
    Whirlwind of Surprises

  34. This is such a great post! I dislike it when stores put the changing station in the larger stall also. That drives me nuts cause I always feel like I’m holding someone up from going to the bathroom. I love your attitude and humor in this post!

  35. That is awesome that you have such a great sense of humor despite all that has happened. Life gave you lemons and you made lemonade. God Bless you and keep up the good work.

  36. Of course you look GORGEOUS! Thank you so much for sharing yourself so honestly! Looking forward to reading more!

  37. I love this post….thank you so much for sharing a bit about your journey and what you are faced with each day…I am always very cognizant but you gave me even more to think about….Hugs!

  38. Very informative, honest, and helpful.

  39. Thanks for such a great post. May I add, “Don’t stare?” My ex-boyfriend’s brother had several disabilities, including CP, legally blind, and deaf. It used to make me so mad to see people staring at him because he walked with a limp, or talked with his hands, or whatever made them stare.

  40. michele d says

    What a great story! I am honored to have read it. People with disabilities should not feel alone and unwanted. Praise the Lord there is a special someone for everyone! Many blessings to you!

  41. Thank you for sharing your story! You are amazing and strong. I look forward to continuing to read your blog.

  42. LMAO

  43. You are beautiful and so funny! thanks for your honesty in this post. Question though about the toilet thing…what if there is a line out the door and no disabled person in site, and I have a little girl who may pee her pants and the only stall open is a handicapped stall? Just curious because my mom and I argue about this all the time…just wondering, in your opinion, what is socially acceptable in that instance. Thanks!

    • Grandma Juice says

      Before I was a roller, I brought my kids in the luxury suite with me all the time! I don’t want them getting all up in other people stalls, crawling on the filthy floor or, some creeper walking out with them… the only people I always, always, give that free pass to are mom’s with kids who have to go and get the small fry’s to go ‘in time’ and without incident!!
      From MY point of view… BRING THEM IN WITH YOU!!!

  44. Too funny! Love your attitude! Love your insight!

  45. Great article and fantastic attitude to life in a wheelchair. I’m planning to make the wheelchair buzz in the next few years through the International Wheelchair Club and I hope you will join and take part.

    Best wishes

    Steve aka WheelchairSteve

    • Grandma Juice says

      Hey Wheelchair Steve!
      Thanks for that! Let’s BUZZ the hell outta life in ‘cripsville’! We deserve it! And.. I just LOVE being in the cool kids club!
      Count me IN!

  46. It is people like you that keep so many others going. Your positive attitude and unique outlook is a wonderful inspiration!
    Keep on rockin’ Grandma!

  47. No! It makes no difference at all to your hotness!

  48. That t-shirt is awesome! Thanks for sharing the answers to some questions that I would never ask. I laughed myself silly when I read about the Taco Bell explosions (one more reason not to eat fast food!).

  49. Only you can make a post about spinal cord injuries entertaining. I do love your outlook and your honesty!

  50. This was awesome…your rock that chair and this post! Going to share all over now…

  51. Loved this post! On the “talk normal” issue, I really don’t understand why people assume that the proper way to talk to anyone with any sort of medical issue at all is to talk slower and louder. When I did clinicals for nursing school, I saw doctors do it with people who were in for something like a broken bone. Uh, last I checked, the hip bone wasn’t connected to the malleus bone! And yes, I had to go google ear bones for that!

  52. Melanie Schemanski says

    Super post! I didn’t even know you had a spinal cord injury! thanks for sharing about your life.

  53. Thanks for sharing. And I would do the same thing, take my kids into the handicapped stall if no one was waiting for it! You have a great outlook. And my daughter has hearing loss and I hear the worst comments from the adults about her hearing aids, kids say cute things like “wow, she has big earrings” whereas adults will say, “oh she doesn’t need those things, she can hear just fine!” or “can they make her better”…

  54. You ROCK (and roll)! I wish I had half your confidence, wit and sexy attitude!!!

  55. Thanks for requesting the read on Gen Fab. Will tweet. Would not have ventured over to the article by the title. Shame on me. Well written perspective.

  56. Thanks for sharing the story, and yes you have a wonderful attitude.

  57. I love how “real” you are in this post, it’s awesome! And no, that chair doesn’t make your butt look fat. (:

  58. Your butt looks just fine to me :>) I love your honesty in this post.

  59. Great post, Ronni. My uncle recently (about 18 months ago) became a quadriplegic due to an epidural infection in his neck. He was 53 when it happened. It’s been absolutely devastating. He’s not handling it very well and it’s hard to know how to help.

  60. Love how honest and candid you are in this post! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  61. Donna Cheatle says

    I admire and respect your outlook! I know a lot of people who have varying degrees of disability and the majority of them also have the same positive outlook. It’s completely awesome. As I was reading the part about sex a couple thoughts ran through my head. The foremost was our friend Eric. He’s on wheels as well and that guy has to beat the women off with a stick. (NOT LITERALLY!!) The other thought was that it’s pretty arrogant and rude to ask someone about their sex life. LIke it’s anyone’s business??? I understand curiosity, but to appease it at the expense of common decency is beyond ignorant

  62. momwithadotcom says

    This is seriously a great post! You make me smile. I love your positive outlook on life. Thanks for your honesty, it’s a great quality to have.

  63. callista83 says

    Great post and thanks for sharing. I am guilty of using the stall sometimes but mostly if I have a baby in a stroller with me so I can fit him in with me.

  64. You never fail to make me smile and giggle! I love your attitude! You butt looks great! 😉

  65. Stephanie Hastie says

    Wow! I follow your blog b/c of the giveaways mostly, just saw this post and realized you are in a chair. If you are on any of the dis sites, I have probably run into you, since I am a t7 para, and use a chair myself. I have just adopted a rescue dog, and am trying to train him myself. Did you train your service dog, or get him already trained?

    • Grandma Juice says

      1st – I used to be active on the boards but, maybe I was on the wrong ones… a LOT of whining and self pity and not enough How do I? and Go Do This type of talk. I did the self pity for about a good year. Everyone needs to. But not forever.
      2nd – I don’t trust my ‘teaching’ skills enough for a service dog who is to help me, yes. But also keep me safe. I can train a pet not to poop in the house LOL You should check on That is where I got both of mine (1st has passed away) Depending upon where in the country you are, the wait list is about 6 months-ish. They breed, raise and train all dogs free of charge for the disabled. I LOVE, love, LOVE them! I honestly owe my independence to them and their awesome animals! The dogs are born into their program and then raised in regular homes where they learn basic commands and manners and exposed to everyday living. The grocery store, public transportation, family life, movies theaters, going to work wherever their ‘person does daily… etc. If a person goes and does, they go and do to be comfortable in any life situation. then turned back in to CCI for advanced training. They then are also STATE certified and ADA certified. Then you go, are matched and YOU are then trained to handle the dog and then come home and live happily ever after. I can’t say enough good things about CCI. All this, free of charge… FREE OF CHARGE. Safe, trained and trusted.
      I’m crying now LOL, they are full of that much awesome sauce!! 🙂
      email me!! I’ll help you through the process and answer any questions you might have!!
      My opinion, train your pets, not your service dogs. PLEASE…. for your safety as well as the dogs and any people you may come in contact with!
      Where are you located? And… which dis boards are you on??

  66. Tami Valentine says

    I’m fairly new to blogs and giveaways and I never knew your story behind “Grandma Juice” nor did I realize you were in a horrible accident and in a wheel chair. You are one brave and strong woman. I admire you!!!

  67. You have a great attitude and sense of humor. An inspiration for those of us dealing with much less. I’ve always had a big butt even when thinner. Never thought of having it hidden in a wheelchair.

  68. Marti Parks says

    The tips and information is great, but best of all is your attitude. Thanks!

  69. Jessica Houston says

    I love the humor in this post and now I know people with a spinal cord injury still can have sex lol!

  70. your post is great even though you have damage it not done any thing to you tell how it is me i am diasble and i get the looks why and what wrong with you i have in plant and i am death in the other ear so i been disable for while you got what it take and then i like the t shrts

  71. great post, with honesty and humour, I loved it <3

  72. I MIGHT ask a cop to play with his gun, but I’d much rather play with your dog. I won’t, of course, but just in case you catch me staring, it’s your dog that I’m looking at! 🙂 Great post!


  1. […] you’ve heard of me, but so far, have not heard from me. You also know that Grandma Juice is disabled, and rocks a wheelchair. And, you also know about her service dog, Harris. If this is all news to you, then you have a lot […]

  2. […] equate to ‘broken’ and ‘painful’. I wrote in detail about that over. here. Does This Wheelchair Make My Butt Look Fat? Go ahead, read it. I’ll wait. Prior to that were the migraines. Oh My Oh My Mylanta! Those […]

  3. […] planning a trip like that while you’ve got this wheelchair firmly attached to you? After my accident in ’95 that left me with a spinal cord injury, I pretty much assumed those exotic and tropical places were a dream and out of my reach. […]

  4. […] in August, I told you I had planned my first Cruise aboard the Carnival Sunshine. Because I’m disabled, I need wheelchair accessible travel options. I’m back today with an update on my trip and […]