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Thread: Remembering Christmas Eve 1978

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Remembering Christmas Eve 1978

    Every Christmas Eve I can remember my first as a new SCI. I had just been shipped over to our rehab hospital GF Strong from acute care. So I had to as yet meet my rehab mates who would become lifelong friends. Naturally, everyone who had family was home on a pass for the Christmas holidays. Except of course the patients who had suffered severe brain injuries. My family was thousands of miles away on the East Coast.

    So there I was on Christmas Eve in the 'day room' overlooking the lights of the city. Just myself and the head injury patients. One of them was eating a Styrofoam ball off the Christmas tree like it was an apple. (I'm not slagging people with head injuries; I'm just trying to set the scene.) Sometime later the tree was lying flat on the floor. Meanwhile, I'm looking at my reflection in the large plate glass window thinking Merry f*****g Christmas.

    Needless to say, things got much better and it's been for the most part a wonderful 32 years. So for all the new injuries out there feeling low during this first Christmas with SCI, hang in there it does get better.

    Merry Christmas to all

  2. #2
    Merry F*cking X-Mas indeed........that is quite a memory.
    As they say "thanks for sharing."

  3. #3
    Thanks for sharing that VQ.
    I'm only on my fifth Christmas.
    "Its not about being right. It's about getting it right."
    Joe Dumars

  4. #4
    Senior Member Geoffrey's Avatar
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    Well Van Quad
    My first Christmas as a new SCI was totally different. I left the hospital on an "overnight" on Dec 18th 2005 and didn't return. The doc in charge of the rehab knew I was going to pull that one so he wasn't surprised when I did. One of the OT's said at the meeting "but I didn't pass him on the cooking class" As if I was going to starve.

    I had both my kids with me for Christmas, my girlfriend came over with her three kids so it was busy and fun. I was stuffed by the end of it and I remember thinking how lucky I was to get out of the hospital when I did.

    This Christmas is a quiet one for me. My son and his fiance left this morning to go to her home town for Christmas and my daughter left on the 22nd to meet up with her mom at her aunts in Los Angeles. So we had out Christmas early and it will be me and the cat in for a quiet day tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Nothing but bad memories here too. I'd been in hospital for nearly a year by the time my first post-sci Christmas rolled around. It was also my first overnight trip home. All those months my mantra had been "I want to go home", as if that could somehow reset everything back to normal. Of course it couldn't, and it was such a mental blow to get home and still be broken, broken, broken. I cried the entire time.

    Ugh.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper1 View Post
    Nothing but bad memories here too. I'd been in hospital for nearly a year by the time my first post-sci Christmas rolled around. It was also my first overnight trip home. All those months my mantra had been "I want to go home", as if that could somehow reset everything back to normal. Of course it couldn't, and it was such a mental blow to get home and still be broken, broken, broken. I cried the entire time.

    Ugh.
    that would be so tough. Going back to your regular environment in a body anything but regular. I was lucky to rehab in a new city. A completely different environment than home. It was much easier.

  7. #7
    Tomorrow marks 5 years to the day I was hurt. Kudos to those who say things got better for them. They haven't for me. I have been existing for the past five years, not living.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by orangejello View Post
    Tomorrow marks 5 years to the day I was hurt. Kudos to those who say things got better for them. They haven't for me. I have been existing for the past five years, not living.
    Hi Amanda,

    Ever since my SCI- holidays hold no special meaning to me. Especially Christmas because it's heralded as the biggest and best holiday of the year. All those smiling faces until someone doesn't get that special gift they were expecting. Perhaps it wasn't bought because the gifter was knocked to the ground and trampled upon as the doors of "Black Friday" were opened at 5:00AM. Open those shopping doors early and keep 'em open late so the store shelves full of third world sweatshop trinkets can be emptied for the benefit of the corporate globalist robber barons. Christmas isn't spiritual anymore... it's just the annual cornerstone in the wall of commercialism. When is Oprah going to give out hefty grants to SCI researchers instead of hiding the keys to cheap sub-compact cars under the audience seats. Her show is taking on the air of "The Price Is Right" and you don't even have to "Come on down!"... the advertisers gifts are right under the seats! My friends and family know better than to call here on Christmas and even on Thanksgiving... I don't answer the phone on pre-planned 'happy days'. And my injury was in July.

    Christmas must impact you very hard since it's the anniversary of your SCI. It must also be an awkward day for you and your family. From a wonderful day of snowboarding 5 years ago to a fuckin' ventilator today. If December 25th is Jesus Christ's birthday and if He has 1 ounce of goodness in Him, let us rejoice mightily in a miracle of giving you back just couple or a few vertebral levels. We wouldn't want to put Him out too much on His birthday and ask for a total healing... just a few levels so you can scratch an itch and perhaps transfer yourself into a wheelchair. You got ripped-off royally and it pisses me off.

    I don't want to turn this thread into a religious or political rant so let's not go there. I only threw in a few remarks and they were mostly out of anger. This world is full of suffering but it still irks me to no end to see some people get way more than their "fair share" of it. I hope your general overall health is okay and your PCAs are practicing good infection control when they enter your home. If they don't wash their hands thoroughly as soon as they enter and if they have a cough that may indicate an upper respiratory infection... get them the hell out of your space. Though I realize that it's difficult to find good PCAs and you may fear that any type of complaint at all may leave you totally alone and practically helpless for awhile. You probably feel kinda lucky if they just show up on time... or at all! I'm glad you have good family there to help you out in emergencies. BTW, how is your Dad doing? I hope he regained a lot if not all of everything he lost to his stroke. Couldn't "God" have created a neurological system with a little sturdiness to it?

    Hang in there Amanda... there's less than 2 hours left in this day.

    Bob.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  9. #9
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Christmas also marks the two-year Guillain-Barré anniversary of a buddy of mine who was already a C-2 quad. Christmas isn't a happy time for him either. Only one more hour to go.

  10. #10
    My dad is doing okay Bob. Thanks for asking. Not many people do. Slow progress that has been painful to watch as he is angry and frustrated by the struggle to regain what the stroke affected but he is walking short distances now and doing fairly good health wise. His ability to speak is still very impaired so that part hasn't gone as well as the rest of his recovery unfortunately. I don't know that he will ever speak normally again although his mind is working fine. As for me I honestly don't know Bob. I am just very tired. I wish I could see beyond the bleak but I can't. I have thought about you in the past few months and wondered how you were. I hope you are doing okay.

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