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Thread: growing up with SCI

  1. #21

    Ok my turn...

    I was injured when I was six years old. I had just started first grade. I'd been in school only 4 months and was out for the Christmas break. On the way to visit family for the holidays we were hit by a drunk driver.

    I spent 1 month in this hospital in N. Carolina and then was flown back home and spent another month in a children's hospital. I got to go home for a few days and then went onto rehab in Virginia, where I spent 60 days. I kept in contact with the people at my school and my teacher sent all of my work up there so I could stay caught up. The rehab people even helped me make a video to send back to my classmates, which when I came back everyone told me they loved.

    When I got back to school it was like I never left. All of the friends I had before were still my friends, and everyone wanted to hang around me because they thought my wheelchair was cool. When we went outside to play, I never had to watch from the sidelines. My friends usually played with me. Granted, I couldn't swing or climb the jungle gym, but we played anyway. Same thing with lunch, my friends sat with me and I never sat alone, unless I had a fight with one of my friends and we weren't speaking to each other. Elementary school was pretty much standard I reckon. Even though I was in a wheelchair I still got parts in school plays and such just like everyone else (now those are embarrassing stories I won't get into).

    Junior high was kind of hard for me because I was in a new school and didn't have many classes with my friends from elementary school. Also, I was getting interested in boys, and the boys I liked didn't know what happened to me. That was a strange time in my life. I clammed up a little bit until my freshman year, when I got involved in a lot of activities.

    High school ROCKED!!!!!!! I was in a chorus which traveled and competed, which most of my closest friends came from. I learned how to drive and got a car. As far as that part of my life, the most exciting thing that happened to me was my first date. You've never seen a gal so exited. But that's another LOOOOOONG story.

    College is another story I won't get into, unless someone really wants to hear it.

    I was talking to my boyfriend about this a couple of days ago. If my injury was inevitable, if I was going to be a paraplegic no matter what, I wouldn't have wished for a different time in my life to be injured. Children are resilient and take what life throws them better in some ways than adults. The reason I am the person I am today is because of my mother. She never treated me different and made me work for myself. Of course, I thought she was mean at the time, hee hee, but I loved her to death for it today. So many times I see SCIs who were injured young that can't do a thing for themselves and it's because of their families. They were always handed whatever they wanted and never had to do a thing for themselves. They were coddled to the point that they were grossly inadequate. My mother had much higher standards for me. Just because I was in a wheelchair, I was no better than anyone else. I was expected to go to college, get a good job, and be a functioning member of society just like everyone else. My mother also taught me that she wouldn't always be around and that I needed to be able to do for myself (which I am grateful for every day).
    What I said WAS true: there ARE many SCI's who are lazy and don't lift a finger for themselves. If you want to disagree that's fine, but come to my area and I will introduce you to a few.

    Folks, I'm not and will never apologize for being happy. I keep thinking that some newbie is going to come to these boards and read how horrible SCI is, how miserable they are, and how life is just bad all the way around, and become tremendously depressed. I want people to know that it IS possible to be happy with SCI, to have a great life, have a college education, have a good job, and have someone to love you as well. We don't know how many people read our posts and just lurk and never respond. If my posts about my life bother you, don't read them. I DO NOT expect everyone to agree with me, NOR do I think everyone should be like me (take note Erin). I do agree that venting about your problems helps some people. I also think that hearing people's success stories helps people as well. But like I said, if I bother you so much, just let it go and don't read my posts. No one is making you.

  2. #22
    Lindsay, Seneca, and me, all hit by drunk drivers when we were children. Wow. Lindsay and Seneca, were you guys wearing seatbelts? I wasn't.

    Lindsay, thank you for sharing your story. I think that it is fabulous that you didn't have a hard time growing up. I'm amazed. I can't quite figure out why your experience was so much different though. Do you think it is just because you have an outgoing personality? Or is it because of your mom, or some other people? I'm very curious and it's useful information for some people reading this.

  3. #23
    I became independent out of neglect, not because I was gently pushed by my parents. It was also out of sheer will and determination that I completed college and graduate school, I wasn't expected to go nor was I supported. My decision to drive was undermined to the point that I had to move away in order to get lessons. Dating, marriage? Forget it, I was told that it was out of the question.

    I wish we were all as lucky as you Lindsays. Based on your story, it seems that you had a very strong network of family, peer and community support which apparently makes all the difference in the world. If even one or all three of these are missing, it can be a nightmare.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Shannon, I wasn't in a car. The drunk driver literally backed (put car in reverse instead of drive) into me as I sat on the steps in front of my house.

  4. #24
    Originally posted by Beaker:

    Lindsay, Seneca, and me, all hit by drunk drivers when we were children. Wow. Lindsay and Seneca, were you guys wearing seatbelts? I wasn't.

    Lindsay, thank you for sharing your story. I think that it is fabulous that you didn't have a hard time growing up. I'm amazed. I can't quite figure out why your experience was so much different though. Do you think it is just because you have an outgoing personality? Or is it because of your mom, or some other people? I'm very curious and it's useful information for some people reading this.
    No I wasn't in a seatbelt. It was very late at night and I asked if I could lay down and sleep.

    To answer your other question, I'd say it's a little of both. I will write more later. There's a pack of screaming kids in our office right now so I must go

  5. #25
    Lindsay, I'm also curious to know what year your accident was, and what level you are? Thanks.

  6. #26

    Beaker...

    Hey you have e-mail from me

  7. #27
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    Raising the white flag:

    Point taken LindsayS

  8. #28
    Originally posted by Erin:

    Point taken LindsayS
    Truce then?

  9. #29
    Senior Member LauraD's Avatar
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    Lindsay, You and Heather sound a lot alike. She is a very outgoing little girl. I know there have been plenty of times in the last 2 years that she has thought I am the meanest mom there is in the world. Yet, I know she realizes that I am the one that is always there for her. I want her to become as independent as possible. She dreams someday of becoming a teacher. If I have anything to do with that, her dream will come true. I do make her clean her own room and she does feed her dog every day. I try not to treat her any different than if she was an AB child.

    I talked with my sister-in-law tonight, she is Heather's aide at school. She said that the though the other kids are still good with Heather, she has now blended in with them. Not all the kids say hi to her like in the beginning. She is now just like all the rest of the kids. I am not meaning that to sound bad either. At school, they have the aides work with the LD teachers and not directly with the child they were hired to assist. They are really trying to get the kids more independent. Heather likes it this way better. She says other kids need her aunt more than she does. I love her attitude!!

    Beaker, Thanks for the compliment!!

  10. #30
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    TRUCE

    Please

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