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Remembering Christmas Eve 1978

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  • Remembering Christmas Eve 1978

    Every Christmas Eve I can remember my first as a new SCI. I had just been shipped over to our rehab hospital GF Strong from acute care. So I had to as yet meet my rehab mates who would become lifelong friends. Naturally, everyone who had family was home on a pass for the Christmas holidays. Except of course the patients who had suffered severe brain injuries. My family was thousands of miles away on the East Coast.

    So there I was on Christmas Eve in the 'day room' overlooking the lights of the city. Just myself and the head injury patients. One of them was eating a Styrofoam ball off the Christmas tree like it was an apple. (I'm not slagging people with head injuries; I'm just trying to set the scene.) Sometime later the tree was lying flat on the floor. Meanwhile, I'm looking at my reflection in the large plate glass window thinking Merry f*****g Christmas.

    Needless to say, things got much better and it's been for the most part a wonderful 32 years. So for all the new injuries out there feeling low during this first Christmas with SCI, hang in there it does get better.

    Merry Christmas to all

  • #2
    Merry F*cking X-Mas indeed........that is quite a memory.
    As they say "thanks for sharing."

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    • #3
      Thanks for sharing that VQ.
      I'm only on my fifth Christmas.
      "Its not about being right. It's about getting it right."
      Joe Dumars

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      • #4
        Well Van Quad
        My first Christmas as a new SCI was totally different. I left the hospital on an "overnight" on Dec 18th 2005 and didn't return. The doc in charge of the rehab knew I was going to pull that one so he wasn't surprised when I did. One of the OT's said at the meeting "but I didn't pass him on the cooking class" As if I was going to starve.

        I had both my kids with me for Christmas, my girlfriend came over with her three kids so it was busy and fun. I was stuffed by the end of it and I remember thinking how lucky I was to get out of the hospital when I did.

        This Christmas is a quiet one for me. My son and his fiance left this morning to go to her home town for Christmas and my daughter left on the 22nd to meet up with her mom at her aunts in Los Angeles. So we had out Christmas early and it will be me and the cat in for a quiet day tomorrow.

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        • #5
          Nothing but bad memories here too. I'd been in hospital for nearly a year by the time my first post-sci Christmas rolled around. It was also my first overnight trip home. All those months my mantra had been "I want to go home", as if that could somehow reset everything back to normal. Of course it couldn't, and it was such a mental blow to get home and still be broken, broken, broken. I cried the entire time.

          Ugh.

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          • #6
            I was on pass for christmas but I remember one head injury patient who during dinner in the cafeteria whipped out his penis and jerked off, the older patients didn't bat an eye but the younger ones (myself included) found it to be the highlight of our day.
            A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo! - borrowed from Honey boo boo child

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            • #7
              Wow. David too was in the hospital till December 21st. I had done no shopping whatsoever so on the morning of the 21st when they said they were sending him home in the afternoon, the girls and I took our new accessible van to Best Buy and bought our 60 inch tv with surround sound. That was in 2005. You know that darn ramp comes in handy for alot of things. Just slid that tv in there and back out as soon as we got it home. Then I told our 13 year old daughter at the time to move the car out of the way and she hit the tv which was still in the driveway, tore the mirror off the door. But the tv was fine, it was still in the box thank god. Then we hurried back and got David. Our live Christmas tree was dead because we had neglected watering it so we were afraid to turn the lights on in fear it would catch fire. So we watched videos of Christmas' past on our new TV. David doesn't remember much of any of it. But I too remember sitting in the day room at the hospital playing catch with David with some stupid blowed up big Christmas ornament and the other elderly patients screaming and crying and god do I hate to think of all that. As has been said, things have gotten so much better and I am in great hopes they continue to improve. Merry Christmas to all.

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              • #8
                My First

                2010 I'll be glad to see it go. I'm happy and thankful to be alive for this Christmas to spend it with my 8 year old girl and 12 year old boy. While laying in the middle of a dirt road waiting for help staring up at truck tires and blue sky I did not think I would be hear for this day.

                Yet at the same time as a member of this distinguished club on Christmas Eve. I am mad as hell and hate what has happened to me and all of you.

                Why could it not have been just a broken arm or leg, something that would heal and we could all move on like so many do each day.

                F this condition we share. But peace and marry Christmass to you and all yours.

                CJ

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                • #9
                  CJ I feel your pain. I mean when David was in the hospital there were people who had ODed on drugs and they were walking out just fine but here he was unable to walk, talk, eat, breath, see, control his bladder or bowels, and couldn't move his left arm, all due to Multiple Sclerosis. I have asked the why him question so many times but there are no answers. You just have to pick up the pieces and make the best of it. Your kids are glad your still here and that's what matters. Enjoy your first.

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                  • #10
                    2 years ago we were far from home at a rehab, very lonely.
                    There was a non denominational X-Mas Eve service in a common hall area which even though sad, was very moving.
                    I looked around at everyone-some in beds and thought how none of us had a clue the year before where we would be.
                    Dave had not spoken in several weeks.
                    Later I went back to the little on campus apartment I was staying at alone and just looked out the window.
                    Early the next morning a radio station from our home flew my sister and my 2 adult children (who adore their step dad) in time for Christmas Day.
                    I nearly cry now thinking of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scaper1 View Post
                      Nothing but bad memories here too. I'd been in hospital for nearly a year by the time my first post-sci Christmas rolled around. It was also my first overnight trip home. All those months my mantra had been "I want to go home", as if that could somehow reset everything back to normal. Of course it couldn't, and it was such a mental blow to get home and still be broken, broken, broken. I cried the entire time.

                      Ugh.
                      that would be so tough. Going back to your regular environment in a body anything but regular. I was lucky to rehab in a new city. A completely different environment than home. It was much easier.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tomorrow marks 5 years to the day I was hurt. Kudos to those who say things got better for them. They haven't for me. I have been existing for the past five years, not living.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by orangejello View Post
                          Tomorrow marks 5 years to the day I was hurt. Kudos to those who say things got better for them. They haven't for me. I have been existing for the past five years, not living.
                          Hi Amanda,

                          Ever since my SCI- holidays hold no special meaning to me. Especially Christmas because it's heralded as the biggest and best holiday of the year. All those smiling faces until someone doesn't get that special gift they were expecting. Perhaps it wasn't bought because the gifter was knocked to the ground and trampled upon as the doors of "Black Friday" were opened at 5:00AM. Open those shopping doors early and keep 'em open late so the store shelves full of third world sweatshop trinkets can be emptied for the benefit of the corporate globalist robber barons. Christmas isn't spiritual anymore... it's just the annual cornerstone in the wall of commercialism. When is Oprah going to give out hefty grants to SCI researchers instead of hiding the keys to cheap sub-compact cars under the audience seats. Her show is taking on the air of "The Price Is Right" and you don't even have to "Come on down!"... the advertisers gifts are right under the seats! My friends and family know better than to call here on Christmas and even on Thanksgiving... I don't answer the phone on pre-planned 'happy days'. And my injury was in July.

                          Christmas must impact you very hard since it's the anniversary of your SCI. It must also be an awkward day for you and your family. From a wonderful day of snowboarding 5 years ago to a fuckin' ventilator today. If December 25th is Jesus Christ's birthday and if He has 1 ounce of goodness in Him, let us rejoice mightily in a miracle of giving you back just couple or a few vertebral levels. We wouldn't want to put Him out too much on His birthday and ask for a total healing... just a few levels so you can scratch an itch and perhaps transfer yourself into a wheelchair. You got ripped-off royally and it pisses me off.

                          I don't want to turn this thread into a religious or political rant so let's not go there. I only threw in a few remarks and they were mostly out of anger. This world is full of suffering but it still irks me to no end to see some people get way more than their "fair share" of it. I hope your general overall health is okay and your PCAs are practicing good infection control when they enter your home. If they don't wash their hands thoroughly as soon as they enter and if they have a cough that may indicate an upper respiratory infection... get them the hell out of your space. Though I realize that it's difficult to find good PCAs and you may fear that any type of complaint at all may leave you totally alone and practically helpless for awhile. You probably feel kinda lucky if they just show up on time... or at all! I'm glad you have good family there to help you out in emergencies. BTW, how is your Dad doing? I hope he regained a lot if not all of everything he lost to his stroke. Couldn't "God" have created a neurological system with a little sturdiness to it?

                          Hang in there Amanda... there's less than 2 hours left in this day.

                          Bob.
                          "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

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                          • #14
                            Christmas also marks the two-year Guillain-Barré anniversary of a buddy of mine who was already a C-2 quad. Christmas isn't a happy time for him either. Only one more hour to go.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Van Quad View Post
                              Every Christmas Eve I can remember my first as a new SCI. I had just been shipped over to our rehab hospital GF Strong from acute care. So I had to as yet meet my rehab mates who would become lifelong friends. Naturally, everyone who had family was home on a pass for the Christmas holidays. Except of course the patients who had suffered severe brain injuries. My family was thousands of miles away on the East Coast.

                              So there I was on Christmas Eve in the 'day room' overlooking the lights of the city. Just myself and the head injury patients. One of them was eating a Styrofoam ball off the Christmas tree like it was an apple. (I'm not slagging people with head injuries; I'm just trying to set the scene.) Sometime later the tree was lying flat on the floor. Meanwhile, I'm looking at my reflection in the large plate glass window thinking Merry f*****g Christmas.

                              Needless to say, things got much better and it's been for the most part a wonderful 32 years. So for all the new injuries out there feeling low during this first Christmas with SCI, hang in there it does get better.

                              Merry Christmas to all
                              Yes, I was released December 23, 1997. It's amazing how you remember the first of everything, isn't it? The first summer is really horrible, too. It does get better, though.

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