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Thread: i want to say hi to everyone and maybe make some friends

  1. #11
    Member
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    May 2013
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    California. Senior C7/T2 incomplete BSS
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    Welcome Dude, glad you decided to post. I have learned so much from the forum. You can say things here that sound weird to AB's that people here understand and many have experienced. Keep posting and you will find some friends who have similar interests. It's a comfortable spot.

  2. #12
    hi Annie, thanks for the welcome. i expect i will. i look forward to insightful feedback on those issues that you can't get much more from the other side than a suck it up or look at the positives. i end up with a huge amount of me behind the scenes and do often feel very much like a bit actor. the forum thing is new to me, so i'm getting kind of a buzz on this

  3. #13
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I can't believe they would allow accupuncture! Was it that the practicioner wasn't an employee or lack of knowing how it can help? I was a skeptic until my Army physiatrist at Walter Reed used it on sciatica I developed several years post injury. Relief on the first visit. After 5 or 6 treatments pretty much cured since. The pain not the paralysis.

    Interesting history. I was in Germany when I was injured and thankfully Uncle Sam paid my return flight but in the less civilized back of a C-140 on a stretcher. Medical evacuations can break the bank for the under or uninsured.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #14
    yeah, i was to dazed to think it out or i would have stayed here a bit longer and flown back without the special adaptations to the 7whateveritwas. a lot of that was paid for by a fundraiser that a bunch of my old musical buddies put on, concert and barbecue. the flight from michigan to west virginia was provided by a non-profit who apparently specialize in just this sort of thing. the relatively small size of west virginia helped too, as big public officials are much more accessible than they might be in other places. in this case a senator who helped do some stuff like expedite my mother's passport and certain emergency funds, setting up all the necessary social safety stuff was easy too.
    as americans we really do get some pretty good treatment at the bottom, by which i mean if you are uninsured and poor the safety net is much better than it is in a lot of other places. it would have been a lot harder if i'd had more money to my name, as it was i had none so everything was seen to for me. i had worked on the books since i was 16 too, so i had like 7 years into social security. that made a bit of a difference as i understand it, nothing huge but more than it might have been otherwise.

    Thailand is better than any other country in the region about taking care of folks like us, but far from any ideal. A group of musicians, some in wheelchairs and one blind came to give me an instrument and perform for me in the hospital. Lots of damaged people train in music if they have hands, but this creates other problems i think - like special schools for the handicapped (who may be intellectually stronger than their a.b. peers but are nonetheless not given full opportunity to explore their academic potential).

    The ADA is a beautiful thing, and when you see it compared directly to countries without anything similar you can really see how it has affected the way our culture as a whole sees us. of course people here are less politically correct and consoling and treat me more like an amusing prize fighter, with slaps on the back and flexed muscles (if that does anything to explain the difference i experience). a lot of people are genuinely surprised that i am operating alone the first time they encounter me and wonder why my parents aren't with me or i don't have a wife to manage things like farting around in the market for me. There is a big difference in the perception of what serious disability means for a person's life. We tend to want to think we should try to get back to business as usual to the best of our ability and make ourselves as useful as we're able, but a person of relative socio-economic background here with a similar injury level would be much more likely to throw in the towell and spend the rest of his days on recreation (which is fine, they have lots of great archery parks, accessible fishing areas, stuff like this to enjoy). this would have a lot more to do with cultural expectation than personal constitution.

    The country is doing a lot in the way of increasing accessibility though, so i don't have much trouble getting around at all. Shopping malls and grocery stores offer wheelchairs for loan, accessible bathrooms are pretty easy to find in places like that, as new sidewalks are put in or old ones replaced the curbs are cut and space allowed between poles or signs or whatever for chairs to get through, and most places/people are very accommodating and even eager to the point of pushy to try and assist. I have to get pretty snappy with people sometimes to keep them from trying to help me up the stairs, help that can confuse and hinder.

    There are still a lot of hurdles though, and that's part of what i was trying to do to myself. if i hadn't absolutely had to i would never have gotten this strong on my feet, it would have been way too much work to get done in a gym alone. it had to be lived.

    don't get me started on the acupuncture, i'm damn near religious about my chinese traditional medicine. i've met some great practitioners who have helped me lots. I swear i think it had more to do with my level of bladder/bowel function than anything else i've done, even my dietary extremes. i definitely wet the bed at least once a week, and at least moisten my pants in public once a month or so (i wear only black pants for this reason, it helps mask, as do rainy season downpours) but i am able to fully evacuate the bladder by stimulating the area between my family jewels and the unspeakable eye and have a pretty good sense of what's going on in there (despite shitloads of referred pain). probably the closest thing to a miracle i think came my way (barring the beautiful people who helped at various stages) and the cornerstone of recovery that made any of this even remotely possible. i haven't had a bowel accident in years, and the last time i did i had a horrible flu so i blame my inability to get from the bed to bathroom in a timely fashion more than anything else.
    Last edited by mr. dude; 08-22-2014 at 03:34 AM.

  5. #15
    yeah, i think the issue with the hospital was a liability thing. i had spoken to the physiatrist about massage, something called reiki and the acupuncture and they actually ran some tests to make sure stuff like that would be safe. did ultrasound on my legs to check circulation in case rubbing would set loose some clot and stroke me out, etc. It seemed like I was going to be able to get the treatment in the hospital room, but ultimately the acupuncture was forbidden so i had to do it on the sly. at that point the pain relief alone made it worthwhile, even though some stuff i'd read gave me hope that it might have other benefits to me in time. i was refusing to take the loratabs at the hospital because i felt that it was in my best interest at that point to be as mindful as possible of all the sensation i was experiencing, painful or otherwise. and an outrageous number of the musicians and artists in town (my community) had picked up heroin habits while i was overseas and i could see prescription opiates as a common thread in the early stages of most people's addiction stories.

    the way i saw it then (and some part of me still does), i'm not going to stop hurting any time soon. in fact, with arthritis in my dominant wrist and elbow i can already see quite clearly that things are only going to get more painful as time goes on. i might as well save the really good stuff for last. and when i don't need my head to do quite as much as i ask of it now, when i've done whatever it is i'm going to do in this life, i'm going to sedate the hell out of myself and let the fire die down with a big grin on my face on some beach or mountaintop somewhere. until recently stuff like acupuncture, massage, exercise, good food and tea have been about the extent of what i did for pain. Recently though i'm having to reconsider, as at times i seem to lose too much energy to pain. physical and emotional energies, both very limited resources for all of us humans i think. I dunno, i'm sort of re-evaluating my entire approach to the situation. i'm starting to think i might get more out of life and be more productive if i'm a bit more honest about the severity of things and what i can do to improve them

    (didin't get much out of the reiki i don't think, but the placing of hands kind of thing always transfers some glowing warmth i think, power of human intention, i get the same sort of feeling when people want to pray with me and i'm a non-believer),

  6. #16
    Hi Mr. Dude!

    I am also new to this forum. I couldn't help but noticed that you did jiu-jitsu. I recently came across an article about Brian Freeman. He has a T-4 spinal injury and does jiu-jitsu and a pretty big inspiration to a lot of people. Are you still pursuing jiu-jitsu?

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