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Thread: looking for a bit of advice

  1. #1

    looking for a bit of advice

    I'm 32 years old- two years post injury, or just about two years anyway. I find that I'm having trouble moving forward. Since my injury, I have spent most of my time arranging for housing and going to therapy. Most of my therapies will end in the next few months. I feel like the drama of getting injured, then going all over to get back whatever function I could is coming to an end. I will need to change my focus and give myself a sense of purpose, a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Which is why I'm looking for advice. Have any of you been through this? What did you do? Before leaving the all reason therapy phase of SCI was their anything you wished you had gotten done while you still had the attention of OTs, PTs? How did you find a sense of purpose? What was the transition like and how did you do it?
    I must say, that I have looked back into going back to school and going back to work. To study or work at I don't know. I also serve on three community boards, so I am trying, not just complaining. If you have any suggestions, drop me a line

  2. #2
    School? Career? Are you married? Do you have children? Those are the kind of things that motivate me. Knowing that others count on me is motivation for me to keep moving on.

    What stirs you?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Whats your lvl?

  4. #4
    Senior Member danielgr's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Walton, NY USA
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    get going

    I was injured 11 years ago. It took me almost 2 years to get back to work full time. I lived in a small town, it was not handicap accessible and there were no jobs for a disabled man like myself. I had to make some sacrifices because of my injury, so I found a job in a city and moved away from my family. Believe me, it was not easy being on my own and adjusting to this "new way of life". It was different being on my own, I didn't have everyone doing everything I couldn't. I either had to ask someone for help, do it myself, or just accepted that I couldn't do it anymore (like working on my car).

    I guess what I'm saying is, start looking for something you would like to do for work. Don't just look for something in your area, look everywhere. See if you can find something you will like and make life easier for you. You are starting over now, so take your time and exhaust all your possibilities, then go for it. It will not be easy, so be ready for them challenges ahead.

    Good luck with whatever you do and stay strong.

  5. #5
    I was fortunate in a way to not have to return to work. I was at a point in my life anyway that I was trying to work less, because my youngest son was entering his teens and I learned my lesson from the last one. Teenagers make me batten down the hatches.

    I inadvertently got involved in some very absorbing volunteer work. I developed a lot of skills I didn't know I had.

    Still need more social interaction. That is the downside to not working.

    The fact that you recognize the potential difficulties of this transition tells me you'll be able to weather it. I never seem to realize how hard it will be until I'm up against the wall. It was precisely that transition that led me to CC in the first place.

  6. #6
    BMC, a couple of thoughts: It is very good that you have identified the potential problems that may be coming up when you leave PT and the schedule and structure that provides. The fact that you are aware of it will make dealing with the situation and identifying all the options you have much easier, I think. I went through a very similar circumstance and it was NOT easy to re-enter "normal" life. As you say, when the drama of intensive Physical therapy ended, I was left sort of in a void.
    In the end, after a couple of wasted and unhappy years, I got into graduate school and that was excellent for me. Later I started teaching and that still makes me happy.

    As for the physical therapy, although your time as an out-patient may be about to end, you must continue exercising at home or at a health club. That helps a lot with my overall level of health and wellbeing (when I do it), as well as being fun (sometimes). One thing I wished I had known about before I was discharged from PT was aquatherapy and swimming. I also wish I had made a final appointment with orthotics to see if they have a more advanced version of the AFO I was using at the time, they come up with new stuff sometimes, or your function changes.

    Do you have any hobbies that you may want to explore further, or make them profitable? Did you work before you were injured? Maybe a part-time position could be good for you. For me, it is crucial that any activity Im engaged with provides structure to my day, and the opportunity to interact with other people on a regular basis. In any case, the following months may not be the easiest time of your life.. You may consider some form of support, such as counselling or psychotherapy to make this transition. Finally, I wish that someone would have advised me to try to have FUN sometimes, instead of trying to make everything about my new life 100% efficient and successful. You deserve it and will make everything else easier... best of lucks!

  7. #7
    coming up on 3 yrs and still have no structure so it's not only you. sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed is my bp & shower (which is only 3x/week)

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    good advice on the pool best therapy and there are people to talk to dont allow yourself to become isolated it can become hard on the soul. the pool will keep you going a reason to leave the house til you decde what your destiny is....blessed be

  9. #9
    I don't know your level of injury but, as I've stated before, my grandfather has been a para for over 30 years now. He's turning 73 here in a few days and he still keeps himself at least as busy as me, and I've got 2 kids and a full-time job!

    After his injury, he took some correspondence courses (from PCDI, I think) in electronics and maybe some other stuff as well. He got into television repair when that was big, and did a lot of leather work in the 70s-80s. His big thing now is gardening and his system produces some of the most amazing vegetables in the area. He's also very focused on the family, and has been doing some research into our ancestry on the internet. Back in the 80's he was really good at NES, I remember he schooled me in Dr. Mario many times. He builds wooden planters in his garage as well.

    He basically just finds things that he finds to be enjoyable and challenging and does them. If there's something he can't really do right away, he figures out a system for it. All his plants are in raised beds that he built so he can reach them from his chair. He's got a great automatic watering system that he built as well. I think more than anything he loves solving problems in new ways. That's my grandad's attitude, maybe it can work for you as well!

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