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  1. #11
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Alberta, Canada
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    7,176
    Hey Amanda. I'm glad you made it home safe. The feelings you've just explained are feelings that I too felt when arriving back home. Quite the shock, isn't it? But I know you will do well. Keep the spirits up.

  2. #12
    OJ -
    Thanks for your thoughtful, insightful and open essay on coming to your own home. Things may sometimes feel like you are drinking through a firehose, but it sounds like you are doing well.
    You said "this is your life now." Well, yes, and no. There are some new constraints (OK, a lot of them), but you still have the ability to mold your own life. It's good that you are aware of where the responsibility has now shifted; in the long run that will make things easier & better.
    A party is a great idea!!
    Best wishes,
    - Richard

  3. #13
    Thanks everybody I was very glad to read the replies and to realize that others had these exact same feelings. I have been wondering if perhaps I wasn't as happy as I should be going home. I mean, I am very happy. It is a relief to finally have a place I can call my own again. But that happiness has been tinged with feelings of fear, doubt, and confusion.

    A party lol. That would be a good idea. Especially since I found out yesterday the apartment complex has a "party room", complete with a bar, that is isolated from the apartments and can be rented out. I was so impressed! I have planned exactly one party in my life--and came within a whisker of being sent away to an all girl's boarding school in the middle of nowhere. (Seriously, ten years on you would think my parents would forget/forgive about the "slight" trashing their house took--they haven’t ). Planning something like that could work as a distraction, plus help me reconnect with everybody.

    Day five and things are up and down. I am getting a little more comfortable with the idea that this apartment is my home. I guess I am still in that disorganized state that comes with any move. My brothers and my dad did a great job of moving everything for me. But my apartment still has that sterile, unlived-in-yet feel to it. And the number of still unpacked boxes makes me wonder how I possible had all this stuff in my other place. I thought I had downsized before my last move, but apparently not. My rampant materialism appalls me. For the time being, all the unopened boxes have been relegated to the spare bedroom where they can happily be "out of sight and out of mind." My sister is coming over to do some painting and stenciling on the walls. So hopefully the place will start to take on a more "home-like" feeling.

    The physical lay out of the apartment is great. It is huge and as barrier free as possible. Despite this, over the past four days I have managed to put a bewildering number of scratches, gouges, and holes in the wall with my chair. Still working on the whole "getting around gracefully" thing. Sigh. But there are a lot of things here that will maximize my independence--almost everything can be run from an environmental control unit. I had a certain degree of this in rehab, but this set up has far exceeded my expectations. So that gives me a reason to feel a bit hopeful that I am not going to be as helpless and dependent as I once thought. There are still some bugs to work out in terms of getting things set up as well as they might be, but that will come with trial and error. So I guess all I can say is that things are "coming along." I am still having a hard time taking everything in and part of me just wants to retreat as far away from the world as I can. But there are small signs of hope as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    Getting a year's rehab must be both a blessing and a curse. I don't think it would happen in the
    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    US because of the cost. They kick us out quick. You no doubt needed that time to learn the complexities of your sci, how to keep yourself alive when all the mechanisms have shut off. The downside is a year is way more than enough time to get mentally "institutionalized". You'll have to keep fighting that. You've done a noble job of it already, I have no fears you'll overcome the agorophobia. (Don't know what else to call it; it's a feeling I know pretty well myself.)

    Cut yourself some slack. Dot the i's, cross the t's, things will all f
    all into place. Because for things to not is unthinkable.
    I have been in different hospitals for a year. But I guess it's not entirely correct that all of it was rehab. I spent three months in ICU. Then I more or less languished on a general rehab unit for five months. I had some rehab but not a lot because the main focus was on trying to get me and keep me medically stable. Plus as wonderful as the staff was, they didn't have a lot of experience with my type of injury. So I didn't progress as quickly as I might have. I really didn't start much hard core rehab until I went to a more specialized program that focused on high level injuries. But yes, thank god for the public health care system in Canada. Should I ever go back to work, I will never again grumble about how much of my pay is eaten up with taxes. Thanks to the "need to plan for the future" that my father drilled into us since childhood, I had very good private insurance coverage as well. I shudder to think where I would be otherwise. But, yes, as you say betheny a year inside hospitals has put me in a sort of institutionalized mindset that is causing me some issues in dealing with the "real world" again. It's a tough thing to break out of.

    I am trying to cut myself some slack, yes. As you say, things will fall into place. I have to believe that and get myself into that mode of thinking, despite my doubts and fears.
    Last edited by orangejello; 12-11-2006 at 06:04 PM.

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