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Thread: Explaining what happened

  1. #11
    Stupidity, is my answer to the question when asked what happened, was young, fast and stupid. Most of the time there is no follow up questions after that.
    c6/7 incomplete 6/30/07

    whats that smell? its me, cause im the shit.

    если я сейчас умру то нахуй я родился

  2. #12
    Senior Member darty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    I agree that you need either some kind of answer or just ignore them. You need to forgive yourself most accidents are stupid and unnecessary but they are accidents and a spinal cord injury is one that you can't take back and changes your life for ever. I have several answers depending on who is asking and how they ask. Sometimes I will jokingly look all around and say "what, what do you mean what happened to me, is something wrong with me"? Other times if it's sincere and I want to answer I tell the truth "I fell asleep driving 34 years ago, no seat belt, no air bags" and they will usually say oh man I have fallen asleep driving before. If it's a child or young person with their parents I will say something like " I had a car crash and I wasn't wearing my seat belt, you always wear yours don't you? and Mom and Dad always wear theirs to right"?

    Usually I try to turn it into a positive thing and move on.

  3. #13
    I really appreciate your very valuable feedback.

    I don't get this question too often, but when it happens I have to answer. I answer them, as I've said in the first post, except with the stupid part. I'll like to have the right answer depending who is asking me. Answering to the kids is the most difficult and I'll like to aware them about some risks. Especially the ~10yo boys which are so captivated about powered wheelchairs

    It's not like that me or them were living under a rock in the last 10 years, but this just happened to me before I posted this question. One of the relatives of my parents, decided to ask me how it really happened. I'm sure that he knew the answer and I retold it. I can't change the past nor to be rude.

  4. #14
    Anyone who has body surfed very much knows how dangerous the surf can be.
    For me, the last time I took a step I tripped on a power cord.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  5. #15
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I hit a UFO (Unidentified Floating Object.)

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    SW Florida
    I think there are many reasons why people ask how you could have been injured so badly. But from my perspective there are two that stand out--guilt and fear. Ask yourself why people need to know--actual need. We are all motivated by our feelings. Underlying our logic and reason are feelings.

    When people you know see you struggle, they have to be wondering if there is something they have done to cause your injury--your hurt. Could they have prevented it by some action of their own in the past? Maybe they could have taught you to be more careful or sheltered you more or called you away from your friends on that day. Maybe they just feel guilty because you were the one chance selected to be injured, not them. Survivor's guilt. All our actions effect others in ways that are certain but also a mystery because we cannot always know the future consequences of those actions.

    I had a friend in high school. We used to go together across town to a neighborhood that had cool music shops, leather shops, and clothing stores. You might call this neighborhood a place of hippies. The area was east of Cleveland, and it was called Coventry. My friend moved away from me but still we planned to meet for another adventure to Coventry. One day I called him and he told me he couldn't go that Saturday because he was going sled riding with friends. I hadn't heard from him for a while so I called him to tell him what he had missed. His sister answered. She seemed upset. Then she told me her brother died in a sledding accident. He hit a tree. This bothered me for a long while. If he had gone with me that day, he would still be alive. Maybe I should have been more persuasive; but how could I know. His death seemed hard to accept because it seemed like I was involved somehow.

    Fear motivates people you know, and don't know, in a similar way as guilt. But this motivation is more primal. When people see you, they must often wonder if an injury like yours could happen to them--perhaps in a moment of carelessness. They may even fear that other people they care about could be hurt so badly in the future. They may ask over and over again, not out of guilt, but out of fear.

    When I was injured, it of course affected my family too. Each one of my six children reacted differently. My youngest son was just three. He kept asking if he would have to fall and become paralyzed like me when he grew up. He was genuinely afraid.

    It may sometimes seem annoying, but know that their own mortality is frequently on the minds of the people around you. Seeing you reminds them. You don't have to give them a long, or a complete answer; just acknowledge their concern.

  7. #17
    It's strange, I hardly ever get asked anymore what happened to me, maybe it's because I look so experience at it at this point people just figure it must have been a long time ago. I do remember a time when I use to get all sorts of questions. Maybe it's younger people in wheelchairs who mainly get these sort of questions as people find it more sad that a younger person is in a wheelchair rather than a older person, not really sure.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  8. #18
    I rarely get asked either. I'm 'old,' too, so maybe that is it (age 58 now; wheelchair user since age 54).
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."

  9. #19
    completely agree with Ala that fear is what motivates the questions. fear that it could be them or their family. I also agree that you need to let go of the guilt - accidents are accidents for a reason. I also agree that I don't get asked as often now by random strangers as I did in my younger days (i'm 27 years post SCI, I was injured at 15). Maybe I look experienced or they expect it more from someone older. I don't know but definitely less than before.

    In my twenties I used to tell random strangers that one night I was abducted by aliens. I now couldn't walk because the shift in gravity on re-entry to earth was too great for my spinal cord to handle. I used to love the conversations those brought on.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    SW Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by sabmother View Post
    In my twenties I used to tell random strangers that one night I was abducted by aliens. I now couldn't walk because the shift in gravity on re-entry to earth was too great for my spinal cord to handle. I used to love the conversations those brought on.
    I wanna see THAT sci-fi movie.

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