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My first post-injury outing

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    My first post-injury outing

    Because I recieved such a warm welcome when I first came here I just wanted to give an update.

    After 256 days in hospitals, I finally made my first foray into the real world post injury. I've been outside lots but never off hospital grounds. It was a very disorienting experience to say the least. A lot of people have worked very hard to get me to this day. But as prepared as I thought I was, it was still a really traumatic experience. I've been getting myself through the past few months by convincing myself that I will get back to school and other things. But after the outing yesterday, I was convinced I would never go out in public again. I am feeling a bit better about it this morning. Not much. But some.

    The plan for my discharge is early to mid October. I will be going on longer and more involved outings before then so hopefully I will learn to cope a bit better with going out in public.

    I wasn't sure (again) if I should start a new thread. But the other two I have in here are sometimes about negative things. I wanted this one to be positive.

    #2
    Your feelings are normal........but life will soon become boring if you never go out. It gets easier, believe me. I know you're a high injury so you need to keep your mind stimulated...you need the wider world for that.

    I had days when I didn't want to wake up, let alone go out. Now I'm working from my apartment for 2 weeks, it's raining and I'm going stir crazy
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

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      #3
      OJ, I was scared to death the first time I went out. It was back in '72 and you didn't see "us" out and about as much as you do now. Your fear is understandable but it will get easier. Keep the faith, be strong.
      "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

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        #4
        Stick with it, it does get easier. The first time i went out was not fun, and i got really pissed off being stared at so much, but now I usually have a good time going out and certainly going back to school helped. You'll get there too.

        You're in denver now, right?

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          #5
          Sorry it was so hard for you **Hug**
          L1,2 Para since 9-12-99
          ~*~*~Priscilla~*~*~
          Mommy to William (2004) Lucas (2008) Nathan (2011)
          The Wheelchair Mommy Blog

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            #6
            I agree with Surf Sister...the first couple of times I went out with my chair (I have spinal cord disease...so my introduction to wheelie life has been a gradual thing) it drove me nuts to have people stare. When I needed to use my chair full time...I had to go through that feeling again...mainly by my friends who knew I used the chair some of the time...but not on a continuous basis. However, you get over that...and you continue. I think going to school will help...getting back into a 'normal' routine will be helpful.
            "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

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              #7
              OJ.
              It will get easier and also better..I remember when my son and I first went to the shopping mall, he was soo upset, but as time has passed he became more and more comfortable.
              Hugz
              My mouth is like a magician's hat, never know what might come out of it.

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                #8
                I echo the other thoughts. It does get easier to go out in public. I find that since I'm less conscious of the chair, I don't think everyone is looking at me simply because of it.

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                  #9
                  I never had any fears of going out in public. I was only apprehensive of having someone feed me in public. Did it once and then I got over it.

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                    #10
                    I hated going out in public the first time too. Most of what I was feeling was in my head and wasn't really happening. I imagined everyone was starring at me but they weren't. I still get that feeling from time to time though. The only thing that helps is being eye level with so many hot bums. Looking at hot womens behinds takes my focus off of the starring and on to more important things. Women of course.

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                      #11
                      Hi OrangeJello...

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

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                        #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

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                          #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

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                            #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.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              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; 7 Sep 2006, 10:32 PM.
                              Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                              T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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