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Thread: How many here 20-30 y/o

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stormycoon's Avatar
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    How many here 20-30 y/o

    Ages 20 -30's... not having SCI for that long even though im in the 10 year range c-6.... hit me at 24 im now 34. just looking for insight on their/our arduous or triumphant paths afterwards....
    I am not your rolling wheels
    I am the highway
    I am not your carpet ride
    I am the sky
    I am not your blowing wind
    I am the lightning
    I am not your autumn moon
    I am the night, the night..

  2. #2
    Im 32 will be 33 in july. Been 4 years for me T6 incomplete
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  3. #3
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    Just like the rest of the population, what someone makes of their life really depends on the person.

    I was in rehab with a couple really great extroverted young guys, 19 years old both of them. They both have great loving supportive parents and many friends. Both played hockey at a highly competitive level. Both injured doing something really stupid (as was I). But unlike me, their injuries were unrelated to their passions in life. We're all going on 5 years post-SCI. Neither of them, with seemingly ample love and support, have managed to move forward to navigate life as a cripple.

    Maybe it's their mothers' coddling them. Maybe its our age difference - I was 32 but still living by the seat of my pants. I tell myself I had developed better coping skills through those extra years of life experience. My family and I had been completely ostracised for years, I had no one when I got out of the hospital. What turned my life around was the fact that I basically rehabbed off drugs and alcohol because of my injury, still clean and sober, wouldn't have it any other way. The two aforementioned young men had been occasional social drinkers but are now chronic marijuana smokers.

    No idea what makes a sports-minded young individual turn away from an active lifestyle. The three of us are all quads, admittedly they do have less hand function than I. Here in Alberta we are blessed with excellent funding toward wheelchair sports. The local quad rugby team is afforded approximately $50k/year. With the abundant resources you'd think we'd have a never-ending supply of new players coming to try our sport. Unfortunately we only average 1 new player every 2-3 seasons for a total of 12-13 players in the mix and feel lucky when we have 8 at our bi-weekly practices for a proper 4 on 4 scrimmage.

    I realize wheelchair rugby may not be able to replace the love of another sport, nor is it for everyone. But its' something to at least try. I, nor my coach, could not for the life of us convince these young men to even come watch a game, let alone hop in a chair. I know if they did they'd be hooked... For a long time I wondered if possibly they were right and I was strange for wanting to be seen in a wheelchair, making a spectacle of myself, playing "don't feel sorry for me"-ball. This being my third season travelling throughout North America meeting a lot of players along the way I have realized those guys that don't want to try are the exception to the rule. This has recently been reinforced by an amazing new player that found our team. He was injured playing hockey for the University of Alberta as a physical education student. After rehab he went right back to school, loving family, sexy girlfriend, C5 quad with life by the balls, always a smile on his face. I never once take my function for granted around guys like him, working triceps truly are my blessing.

    For myself wheelchair sport was key. I don't know how else I'd have been thrown together with a group of peers that have this crip life figured out. We share everything, we all know everything about one another. Travelling and lodging together we teach each other tricks for living as quads. Whenever I meet someone and explain my lifestyle and how rugby changed my world I hesitantly use the phrase "normal", because when we go to a tournament and there's 50-100 guys in chairs we are the "normal". We're the stars. We're the reason. That in itself instills confidence in all of us.

    The best thing I ever heard post-SCI is the most basic human need is self-confidence. Without it a person might as well be dead. If you don't feel good about yourself your life won't be much fun. Occasionally I'm asked to return to the rehabilitation hospital to speak to the newly-injured. I always go and inexplicably end up returning to that. In order to succeed one must follow their heart and find their passions in life. Doesn't matter what it is. The people I know that are happiest, more importantly healthiest, are the ones who have followed that path. They found a reason to take good care of themselves. We say it in sport, a positive attitude goes a long way and successful habits are addictive. Same goes for life. Once you begin feeling good about yourself it snowballs and life just falls into place.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Brilliant post Tooley.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Stormycoon's Avatar
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    Yes for sure Tooley. One correction though I mean rings a tone but kinda rough for some readers ..mosts ''confidence'' is the 1st thing to go and not return they just dont know how to mentally endure or enhance or just can't. That may be a dangerous comment yet seems theres not many here checkin anyway..
    How in haides do your friends with less hand function, or you manage their own bowels??? And traveling, you manage everything by yourself u say?? Please expand
    I am not your rolling wheels
    I am the highway
    I am not your carpet ride
    I am the sky
    I am not your blowing wind
    I am the lightning
    I am not your autumn moon
    I am the night, the night..

  6. #6
    i was hurt when i was 21 now almost 27. i honestly would say that after 5 years of being hurt (July 09) that i am in a much better place. But.. like everyone else, you have your bad days and good days. Life is totally different for me now. I cant do much of the things i used to love like hockey, running...etc but you find new things to love. Tooley made a comment about sports but for me, murderball and these other wheelchair sports just doesn't cut it for me. I'm trying to get into it but i guess that a part of my ego i have to let go and just accept what has happened and truly just embrace the quad life. But the guys you meet that are playing these sports at the Olympian level are just spectacular. Their attitude and perspective is truly inspirational (yes... i am allowed to say this).

    Anyways, good luck bro. The Care Cure Community is a real good place to ask questions and vent. We're all for you here.
    c5/c6 brown sequard asia d

  7. #7
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerkens View Post
    ... the guys you meet that are playing these sports at the Olympian level are just spectacular. Their attitude and perspective is truly inspirational ...
    In my eyes ANYONE getting out, breaking out of their shell, beyond any of our own expectations is "spectacular" regardless of what the level or activity is. It's just good for the soul. A new player Team Alberta (quad rugby again, sorry gang) has in my sister city to the south (Calgary) has CP quite bad. 30 y/o, does not walk, spasticity enough so that he can not extend his arms fully. First joined club ball recreationally a couple years ago using a powerchair to get around he could barely push a manual wheelchair. But he did. Progressively, slowly mind you, just kept working at it. He's never going to be a great athlete. But the self-esteem he has gained from being around like-minded positive people is truly amazing. That, to me, what wheelchair sport is all about. When I get down after losing a game or even just dropping something in the kitchen I often think about his struggles and I am reminded what life is all about. That is my "inspiration". Get knocked down, even for 25-30 years, get back up smiling. On my twitter feed I follow one called SportsQuotes, something to that effect. The quotes randomly rotate through. One of my favourites is one by Babe Ruth - "it's hard to beat a person who never gives up."

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormycoon View Post
    Yes for sure Tooley. One correction though I mean rings a tone but kinda rough for some readers ..mosts ''confidence'' is the 1st thing to go and not return they just dont know how to mentally endure or enhance or just can't. That may be a dangerous comment yet seems theres not many here checkin anyway..
    How in haides do your friends with less hand function, or you manage their own bowels??? And traveling, you manage everything by yourself u say?? Please expand
    Most of the low-pointers (rugby classification) can and do. Through trial-and-error, for better or worse. They never cease to astonish me. How a guy with no hand or wrist function brings his own shower/commode chair combo (disassembled travel type) bolts it together with a standard issue allan key, navigates it into a hotel bathroom, uses it to do his business and is ready to go for 8am seems impossible. My one teammate will be up at 4:30am to get it done, all chuckles at the breakfast table 3-4 hours later. I've said it before here - "IT IS POSSIBLE."

    Others that can't, don't. Not everyone wants it for themselves to be independent. So be it, to me accepting help is the most difficult thing in the world so I respect them for accepting their limitations. Our club team will pay for an aide to travel with them. Here in Canada the airlines have something called companion fare - the caregiver flies for free. Helps a lot. Plus being able to bring your own personal aide is huge, having to train a stranger in a couple hours is not fun for them.

    I can get specific on my own experiences about doing bowel on the road. I was taught by the best, a kid with zero hand function that grew up (as a C6 quad) in foster care with no aids for daily living other than a box of latex gloves. Squeemish? the following not for the faint of heart.
    My little buddy was 10 years old when a truck hit and dragged him a few blocks. Wheelchair, ok. Parents couldn't cope, left him in the hospital. School sucked, teased relentlessly, wasn't much more than a paycheque to his foster parents throughout his childhood. Shit his pants, locked in the bathroom and told he wasn't allowed out til he cleaned himself up. Get'r'dun in a regular bathroom in a huge hospital-style wheelchair.
    My first tournament flying across the country travelling without even a raised toilet seat I wasn't sure how I would accomplish things. Luckily my roommate was this kid (now 21). "Here just do it like this" he tells me, performing a dry-run fully clothed. Tight hotel bathroom, I actually used the ironing board as a pry-bar to lever the bed away from the doorway so that my chair would fit. Ok, he shows me. Performs a 180-degree transfer onto the toilet, lifts his feet up onto the seat his day chair that is facing him as he sits on the toilet. Leans to the side, grabbing the vanity or tub, simulates a dig-stim and/or wiping. For this maneuver a tight bathroom is best, no way to fall if there's something to catch you. The deed done, turns a little sideways and puts his feet in the tub. Then with one power lift and a long wingspan from growing up in a chair, transfers into the bathtub. Wow. Swings his legs back over the edge of the tub and ensuring your scrotum isn't underneath you push off opposite edge of the tub to sit on the edge and then back in your chair. Okay, I tell myself, if this little weakling can do it then I will be able to. And not nearly as pretty but I can and do. Some guys prefer to dry the tub to minimize slipping, I actually prefer it slippery so my legs and butt slide easily up over/onto the ledge. There it is, wheelchair backpacking - no trickle trunk full of medical devices just to take a dump. What works for some won't for others.

    @stormycoon - how far are you from Portland? There is an amazing young guy that plays rugby there, Kip Johnson. He is a C5, least function of most rugby players I've met. But travels well, nowadays with his fianc? and manages ok. I would try to find some peer support from someone like him if you are serious about learning the ropes.

    The hardest thing for me and my foolish Irish pride is asking or having to be shown how to manage all this bullshit. It was never my style, I'd rather go out looking absolutely ridiculous figuring out everything for myself than be seen begging for help. That has been my biggest challenge by far - accepting my limitations. The days when I can do that are my best because I realize even I can grow into a better person.


    btw, I mean no harm in these posts. I am not trying to be in anyone's face. I take the time to put my two cents in here in hopes that any newly-injured person can put it together to make life better. In the beginning when I first found CareCure I'd read old posts for literally months just trying to make some sense of this all. Please don't interpret anything I say as derogatory or negative. I have a unique (one way to put it) outlook, not everyone is going to agree with me.

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