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Thread: My first post-injury outing

  1. #11
    Senior Member
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    Hi OrangeJello...

    Did you ever go to a rehab center? Let us know...

  2. #12
    They've all said it, but I'll chime in, too - my wife was very scared the first times she ventured out of the hospital building in her then new power chair. We (she, PT, a recreational therapist and I) went to the pizza joint just across the street. She nearly froze up at crossing the street - it took a lot of coaxing! Although she had been looking forward to going out, it was no fun.
    We've found that with a number of other things - something is eagerly anticipated, but then it turns out to not be at all as nice as was expected.
    OJ, you're clearly very intelligent & have a lot of moxie & will overcome these things & will get back to school. It ain't easy, though, and will take a while.
    - Richard

  3. #13
    OJ, glad that you got to get out and about.. you seriously needed it. sorry that it wasn't as enjoyable as you hoped it to be. as time goes on and more times out, it will get better, like everyone has said. i hope they get you out again soon.. atleast you feel better about it one day later.. keep us posted and start as many threads as you like..





    Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

    If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

  4. #14
    Thanks everybody for the reassuring words . I know it will get easier with time. It was just a bit of a “shock to the system” to go out for the first time, to say the least. I am still in retreat mode right now. I've been obsessing over how badly I thought it went actually. But my rehab staff seem pleased and everybody told me I handled things very well. The plan is another short trip next week. So I guess I will just hope that one goes better.

    The staring was defiantly really hard to take. I know that people don’t mean to do it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with at this point in time. As Northquad says, I am sure that I was making it much worse in my mind than it really was. And that makes sense. I am not used to this “new me” yet. I am extremely self-conscious almost to the point of paranoia. My sister came along for moral support and that ended up being a bad thing. She got really upset at the staring. For the most part it wasn’t all that bad. People would take a quick look and that was it. I think she was having a harder time dealing with it than me. But when we were at the coffee shop one table of people beside us would just not let up. My sister is a wonderful person, but a tad emotional. To my horror she ended up confronting them about it. At that point I was like “okay I need a hole in the ground I can just drop into.” I probably won’t be going out with her again for awhile lol.

    Other than that, the other difficulties are just things that I am sure will resolve themselves the more I go out. Getting a system established that will work for me. Like your wife rfbdorf I froze trying to get across a street. Also a few other times. I had a whole entourage of rehab staff with me, so I knew nothing bad was going to happen. But I kept panicking. Actually with all the staff hovering over and around me, I felt like I had my very own Secret Service detail.

    I'll post an update after the next trip.


  5. #15
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I was released from the hospital on my 13th birthday (Halloween). I had been on an outing to the movies when I was in the hospital - but it was different - I was among others like me. The only thing I remember about not liking it was getting on/off the 'short bus' and people staring.

    When I got home, I wouldn't leave the house. I hated the way I looked. One day, my mother literally grabbed my ear and dragged me out. We were going to the orchard to pick up some apples on a Sunday drive whether I liked it or not. lol

    We stopped at a store and they talked me into coming inside by coaxing me with 'pick out a treat.' Somehow I trapped myself in the little aisles (this is 1985) between the Coca-Cola and deoderant. As a new teenager with my self-esteem wiped out, I was never so embarressed! I started to panic and I couldn't get out - customers were staring - the manager was trying to move things - my mother was after the manager and my father stomped off. I just bawled. I remember it being a quiet ride home. LOL

    So it could have been worse .. lol .. good luck with the next outing OJ! Practice makes perfect and it's a wonderful feeling to get back out again doing normal things (shopping, movies, more shopping etc).
    Last edited by lynnifer; 09-07-2006 at 10:32 PM.

  6. #16
    I will never forget my first public appearance at college in my chair. Two females getting a late start at post secondary education looked over at me as I was pushing towards one of the buildings and said: "I think it is so nice they make things so people like that can go to school".

    Now I have yet to figure out what sort of a person like that I am but I am certain those to sanctimonious ladies are total assholes.

  7. #17
    Orange, this gets easier with time. A good rehab program would expose you to the "Real World" in small but increasing doses. This increases your self confidence, but also thickens your skin for the stares, etc. that are a reality of life in a chair.

    Have you given up on going to a more expert SCI rehab program such as Craig or BC Rehab?

    (KLD)

  8. #18
    Senior Member Jesse's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangejello
    Thanks everybody for the reassuring words . I know it will get easier with time. It was just a bit of a “shock to the system” to go out for the first time, to say the least. I am still in retreat mode right now. I've been obsessing over how badly I thought it went actually. But my rehab staff seem pleased and everybody told me I handled things very well. The plan is another short trip next week. So I guess I will just hope that one goes better.

    The staring was defiantly really hard to take. I know that people don’t mean to do it, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with at this point in time. As Northquad says, I am sure that I was making it much worse in my mind than it really was. And that makes sense. I am not used to this “new me” yet. I am extremely self-conscious almost to the point of paranoia. My sister came along for moral support and that ended up being a bad thing. She got really upset at the staring. For the most part it wasn’t all that bad. People would take a quick look and that was it. I think she was having a harder time dealing with it than me. But when we were at the coffee shop one table of people beside us would just not let up. My sister is a wonderful person, but a tad emotional. To my horror she ended up confronting them about it. At that point I was like “okay I need a hole in the ground I can just drop into.” I probably won’t be going out with her again for awhile lol.

    Other than that, the other difficulties are just things that I am sure will resolve themselves the more I go out. Getting a system established that will work for me. Like your wife rfbdorf I froze trying to get across a street. Also a few other times. I had a whole entourage of rehab staff with me, so I knew nothing bad was going to happen. But I kept panicking. Actually with all the staff hovering over and around me, I felt like I had my very own Secret Service detail.

    I'll post an update after the next trip.

    I know this is not a laughing situation, but I LOVE your sister. Please dont be too upset with her. It might be her way of dealing with her first time out too.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse's Mom
    ...Please dont be too upset with her. It might be her way of dealing with her first time out too.
    I'm sure that's the case. This is something she, as well as you, needs to get accustomed to. Speaking as the AB half of our marriage, SCI has a very strong impact on those who are very close to the SCI'd. Obviously I can't say it's as strong as on the SCI'd, but it may be what's hit me the hardest in my lifetime.

    I found myself feeling extremely protective and actually hostile towards anyone whom I thought might be not getting out of my wife's way fast enough, cars that didn't give her enough room, etc. That hostility was very foreign to me - it was almost like a complete change of personality. That took a long time to get over.
    - Richard

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    Orange, this gets easier with time. A good rehab program would expose you to the "Real World" in small but increasing doses. This increases your self confidence, but also thickens your skin for the stares, etc. that are a reality of life in a chair.
    (KLD)
    Oh for sure and that is the approach my rehab staff has been taking with me. They've been very working hard to prepare me for going out into the world. As much as it felt like I was being thrown to the lions, we've been gradually building up to and practicing non-stop for this first outing. But I suppose you can only practice for so long before you just have to get out there and do it. It was actually a very short outing, although it felt like it lasted for days lol. We've been working on a plan that will gradually increase the time I am out and trying different places and situations. Coming on the heels of a very difficult first outing, I am very tempted to say I never want to go out in public again. But that's not true. Like you say, I just need to build up my self-confidence.

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