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Thread: A Little Self Awareness...

  1. #1

    A Little Self Awareness...

    I am a walking para (if walking is what you want to call it). It's been about 2 years and 8 months since my injury and I generally walk at home and use my chair when I'm out of the house. I was in the hospital for a week in November and I lost a lot of strength. I've been going back to PT for a few weeks now and I feel good about the progress I've been making. Sooooo (long story, short), I decided to push myself a bit this past weekend and I went for a 15 minute "hike" (outside, on uneven ground) using nothing but a couple of hiking sticks to help with balance; and I had my partner video tape me.

    I had not seen myself walk since my injury and I had no idea how abnormal it would look......seeing myself on video really hit me hard, psychologically. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the fact that I can still walk at all; but there was something about seeing that video that really made me look at myself and my potential (or lack thereof) in a different way.

    I guess I'm sharing this partly just to help myself process this struggle and partly to ask if others have had similar experiences...watching oneself walk, comparing old pictures to new, etc.?

    Thanks.
    "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -Gloria Steinem

  2. #2
    I know exactly what you are talking about. When I was walking, I hated to see videos of myself. Still, it was nice to walk and in my mind I was walking normal so I got a little shock every time I saw it. I even have a video, 41 years old before my injury and that is strange to see.

    But it is nice to hear that you did walk 15 minutes, that is time enough to make life much easier and you proberly will be walking more after some time
    TH 12, 43 years post

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by woman from Europe View Post
    I know exactly what you are talking about. When I was walking, I hated to see videos of myself. Still, it was nice to walk and in my mind I was walking normal so I got a little shock every time I saw it. I even have a video, 41 years old before my injury and that is strange to see.

    But it is nice to hear that you did walk 15 minutes, that is time enough to make life much easier and you proberly will be walking more after some time
    Thanks for your comments. I bet it is surreal to see yourself walking pre-injury.
    "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -Gloria Steinem

  4. #4
    It is. I was only 14 years old in the movie.

    Sometimes I really wonder how my life would have been without the SCI or if it had happened when I was older. I would have liked to see what an adult life without would have been. I could have taken the education I wanted and even got a job and I think I would have been treated differently.
    TH 12, 43 years post

  5. #5
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    yes. I surely do. I did see a short video of me before injury. I only walked across my brothers living room and bent down and picked my baby daughter up. it really poked me in the heart. I am ok with what I can do. I am daydreaming about riding horses again. now that would be something!

    I don't like to see myself walk on video. it is a little retarded, but still I am grateful for what I can do. it is getting better from when I lost tone over the winter, with foot surgery and the four months without enough to eat. and getting gout from malnutrition.
    I raked the little yard here yesterday, and planted some kitchen herbs in containers, and triked for about 15 minutes. knuckle bump girly!

  6. #6
    I am full time walker, basically discharged day after surgery lurching like a drunk and stayed that way. I am really self-conscious about the way I walk - hate going to shops or any crowded places. Absolute worse thing has been getting up on stage to accept awards - having the spot light on, 100's of people watching, I am terrified I am going to fall flat on my face and the harder I try to walk 'normally' the worse I get. I can 100% understand where you are coming from.

  7. #7
    I am eighteen months post-injury and have an incomplete spinal cord injury that only affects my arms and shoulders. I can walk, but I cannot do many things with my arms. One of the hardest things for me is doing things in public with my arms: opening a door, trying to reach up to take a receipt or shake someone's hands, washing and drying my hands in a public restroom, etc. I see people's reactions when they suddenly realize that I have a disability and I become self-conscious. I also dislike the first time I run into people from my pre-injury life.

    I know that things could be much, much worse, but still, it is hard to see yourself judged as "less" in others' eyes. Hopefully, I will get over this self-consciousness.

  8. #8
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    it will get better. too much to do to be so worried about what others think. now falling is a reality. it will eventually happen, but likely because someone steps or runs into you. I am always on the lookout for someone barraling through not paying attention. always looking for a clear place ahead. If I see a potential collision, I stop and let them pass. or move to the side until the coast is clear. I have to say, that on rare occasions when I use a chair, it is nice not to be stepped on, or run over like when I am trying to walk. I have been knocked over a few times, and the only time I got an apology was when my skirt flipped up and revealed my braces when I was on the ground, or if I have shorts on people seem not so pushy.

  9. #9
    Please, please do not take this the wrong way. But you guys worry about things too much.

    I am a walking para too. I need a walker, cannot handle uneven ground too well, I use a wheelchair for anything practicle.

    I'm actually kinda proud to be me. I am really proud that I can try to walk.....I treat it as a little vacation back to the world of AB. But I know I am just a visitor there, and have moved on. I'm never going to be like everyone else, and that's cool in a way. I do get a kick out of seeing myself in the mirror, both in a chair and when standing.

    Besides, it's tough doing what we do. People have to respect that. I know I do.

    Crap, this all sounded conceited...I don't mean it like that. I just love having an SCI and still managing to be totally on top of my life.


    I'll tell you something that is really annoying - someone who thinks they got it all figured out....

  10. #10
    I am with Judy, it is not time to worry about what other people are thinking. If I should think I am less of a person that an AB, I would have been crazy years ago. Because I am not, I am me and I am like that.

    I am not walking at all anymore, I don't have a chance, but when I am thinking back people behaved me more normal when I was walking but I am able to a lot more things when I am in a chair and people are behaving me different. I can't care, I do the best I can and I can't do any better.
    TH 12, 43 years post

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