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    #16
    That's funny, I was just about to post this question. I haven't worked since my injury 14 years ago and I am now going through vocational rehab to put me in line for a job. I was a mechanic before I got hurt so I'm looking for a job in engineering or CAD.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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      #17
      I'm 21 post injury and 2 years after my injury I went back to school for drafting / CAD operator. I'm on my 3rd different company since finishing school and have been there 14 years now. I'm a design drafter for a large pump manufacture, and we use Solid Edge 3D modeling software. I work on our fire pump product line which supplies fire pumps to hotels, hospitals, airports, etc. We haven't seen a slow in business during the downturn mainly because we ship a lot overseas. I like my job but as with any job it has it's good times and bad times. My injury and chair have never been an issue where I work. I have to go out on the shop floor from time to time thus the reason I run solid tires because there are metal shavings everywhere!
      SCI Birthday: April 25, 1993
      T4,5,6 Incomplete
      Chair: TiLite TR3

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        #18
        One of my uncles works with Solidworks and give me a copy. I've invented a few things using it but haven't gone to school for it. Most of what I know I figure out on my own. There's tutorials all over the place for it. I did an assessment test to see if I could get voc rehab to pay for my schooling I think 10 years ago and I qualified to go to school for mechanical engineering. Of course as soon as I'm getting ready to go to school I got a pressure sore. So then I started getting seizures and have some memory problems. Now they're giving me this heavy-duty therapy to build up my memory, get my endurance up, get me stronger and hopefully I can intern at an engineering facility or something like that and eventually have them offer me a good job. I'm very restricted through the state on how much I can make and still keep my state insurance which covers my caregiver costs. The total is $2000 and I'm getting roughly $1650 a month from Social Security disability although the facility I live at only leaves me a $100 a month allowance. It kind of sucks but I don't think it would be very healthy for me to live alone on bed rest with seizures. Once I go 6 months without one I think I'm going to start looking for some kind of assisted living apartments where I could live alone again or maybe just with a roommate. I like living alone. It gives me the freedom to do what I need or want in my own place plus it just makes me feel better to know that I'm doing it. I guess I just can't explain it but I'm sure some people here understand what I'm talking about.
        C-5/6, 7-9-2000
        Scottsdale, AZ

        Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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          #19
          I work as a parts sales rep for a large ag and municipal equipment manufactuer. I'm the main parts contact for our 150+ dealers across the US and Canada. Basically on the phone all day helping find parts, placing parts orders and checking on shipments. Wish the pay would be a little better, only bringing home about $3-400 more than sitting at home collecting a check. But I'm putting money into a 401k, have so-so insurance, and creating contacts and getting work experience I suppose. Plus I'm not rotting away on the couch drinking beer all day..lol Hoping to move up in the company soon also, if not, I will be looking for other opportunities.

          Will be buying cows here shortly too, so guess you could add farmer back into my resume.
          T8/9 (2-24-06)
          IOWA

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            #20
            I worked as a chef before injury, i still do it at home but cannot work outside the home as its too strenuous and hard. I loved it now i take care of my grandmother who has alzheimers.
            T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

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              #21
              Josh, don't know if you're still looking for a career, but I didn't know you were in rec. therapy - read your post about not getting approved where you did your internship.
              Sometimes it depends on the type of patient who were your clients, sometimes the student themselves have issues - but you didn't mention more. I'm just adding that I've heard of a number of folks in wheelchairs who work full time as Recreation Therapists. If this career is at the top of your list you may want to look further into it by meeting with the school advisor (not internship place) and discuss this, asking specific questions about your experience on your internship. Can you picture the kind of clients you would like to work with? Are you affiliated with any sports teams with disabled individuals? Do you have artistic skills?
              Are you successful in other parts of your life, such as relationships, independent living, etc.? Just some suggestions here as it appears you have lots of motivation and strengths. I have an M.A. in Rehab. Counseling (Retired) so forgive my butting in.

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                #22
                I got hurt (the bends, SCI Incomplete) in 1973, But I also had certified as a stick welder all position, I did rough carpenter work, docks, bridges, you get the idea. I worked at this work until my body which was slipping all the while, and I constantly looked for other work tasks I could do. I bought and operated a Dairy farm which sounds like harder physical work than it is. Hiring help for things I could no longer do. I did this about 10 years I was about 42/3 years old, and a hurting puppy. I sold my cattle and gave up my leased farm land. But I didn't have a customer for my farm and home. I found work as a MIG welder at $6.50 an hour in a shop. but that was standing in one place all day sticking pieces together and welding them.

                My Town lost the Highway superintendent, about this time, he quit one day, I applied to fill in, and did a proper job, so as it was normaly an elected position, I ran and won the next election. So I stayed until I finally did lose an election. (As an FYI, There is no unemployment Ins. for many elected positions) So with no unemployment we were on tough times, but I could still drive, and drive a truck I did have a CDL.

                For one year I drove a truck, this was hard for me "getting in and out" not the driving. But during my tenure as Supt I went to a mail in school for treating drinking water and waste water, also distribution and collection systems (Municipal work), eventually also some actual classroom work. I took the State tests and passed them, now with certificates I could apply for a wider range of municipal work. Something worth trying.

                But I knew I was losing ground my legs spasmed every night so bad my wife could not sleep in the same bed with me. My knees got to hurt so bad they often kept me awake, and when I slept the spasm took over. Being municipal work I was drug tested when that came into effect (early 1990's) But the former driving work this was the rule anyway. So I depended on Asprin, Advil, and many of the over the counter pain meds. They killed my stomach, and even water gave me pain in my gut. In 1993 I applied for a Supers job in a northern NY village and got it. I studied for Codes enforcement work as well as rounded my certifications in Water, Waste Water with night classes where appropriate. I retired on Jan.31, 2003 some 40 years after I had been hurt. I was sooooo fortunate I could still walk (some) and do more than I probably should have. But with a very young family 2 children one an infant.

                I am so happy to have been able to work and get to a point my retirement was not 100% Social Security based. But it was built up in a very fortunate way so we were pretty much independent we sold the farm buildings helped our kids through college, and bought a small home in SE-NC where we are now. I bought crutches and canes to assist my walking. Now I buy my own wheelchairs, which have become a necessity the past 6 years when my legs failed pretty consistantly inside and outside my home, very embarrassing at times, being lifted and carried by strangers to my vehicle. Or being stranded even with crutches and have to find somewhere to sit until my legs regain their ability to hold me up and walk in one direction.

                I cannot imagine living my life having to stay home with the inability to do something purposeful with that life for those 40+ years.

                I appreciate every person who tries to work at a meaningful job. Meaningful means a lot of things, its definition is up to you. I loved the work that I did, though I never got to get to $50,000 a year for doing it. The Highway Supt in my county makes twice that for far less responsibilities. But I was/am still very luckyand y'all can be as well. It does feel good to work "IF" you can. I do not want to criticise anyone who cannot. I abbreviated my story but it is correct, I just left an awful lot out, and it is still too long.

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                  #23
                  I'm Co-owner and V.P of Sales at Independent Medical in Scottsdale AZ. Love what I do helping out fellow chair users and others with equipment to assist them with activities of their daily Lives. yes life is good. T-10 para post 20 years.

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                    #24
                    I can find a pun it just about anything said in its typically a dirty one. So I had a nurse tell me I should be a "Standup Comic". I just kind of looked at her funny. Maybe I should get a standing frame and a fake hip. Yeah, that would be cool, especially if I could roll around on it. Maybe I should come up with the routine.
                    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
                    Scottsdale, AZ

                    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by rybread View Post
                      I can find a pun it just about anything said in its typically a dirty one. So I had a nurse tell me I should be a "Standup Comic". I just kind of looked at her funny. Maybe I should get a standing frame and a fake hip. Yeah, that would be cool, especially if I could roll around on it. Maybe I should come up with the routine.
                      It must be the chair. My office is telling me the same thing. They want to put me on youtube.

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