Thursday, August 23, 2018

'Recovery' or Acceptance of Disabilities

I'm getting close to the end of my stay here and I'm facing some difficult decisions about how far I should push my recovery compared to accepting and adapting to my disabilities.

Most people who enter hospital do 'recover' from their injuries or illness.  But in my case, and others who are here, the possibility of complete recovery is remote or non-existant.  I will certainly be unable to walk for the rest of my life, so I will have major continuing disabilities.

Yet all around me people are telling me that I have done an amazing job of 'recovery', but I feel like I'm up against the limits.  The staff here set goals that I should reach before going home, but because of my complete paralysis below the waist, it's been impossible for me to reach some goals.  Everyone else I see here only has partial paralysis.  If you can just stand up and walk a few steps it makes an enormous difference.

So I face a mixed bag of recovery and continuing disability.  The question is, how hard do I push myself further, or can I accept things as they are (which an incredible step from lying unconcious in bed!).  There is also the probability that I will continue to improve over the coming months.

So that's where I am at the moment.  Beautiful day here too, the cold temps have retreated for the time being.

27 comments:

  1. It can’t be easy to come to terms with how your body is now if you don’t know if there will be any further improvement. Each day has possibilities. It would be hard to let that go. Then again, life with the disabilities as they are now, is still a life with many possibilities. You’ll figure it all out FG.

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  2. Time will tell. You've certainly made progress from where you were.

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  3. Many have been faced with the same odds as yourself and told that's the best it will ever be. They proved the doctors wrong and went from paralyzed to walking. Only you know how far you can push yourself on the journey to recovery.

    It's about time.

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  4. A friend of mine who broke his back 38 years ago would tell you to push yourself as hard and far as you can. Many of our limitations are those we set for ourselves when we mentally say "I can't". Life will not be the same, but it can still be good. Helen's mother, who had enjoyed singing in a choral group and dancing, had a stroke that, even after therapy and rehab, left her unable to speak and paralyzed on one side -- but she thoroughly enjoyed her remaining years.

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  5. I agree with Rick and Kathy. It's a hard decision.

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  6. Keep doing things up to your ability, and then just a bit more as time goes on. Enjoy the things you like to do. - Margy

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  7. I'm not sure you ever said and if you don't want to answer, that's understandable. What caused you to be paralyzed? Are the docs saying impossible or slight chance? I guess that would help you decide. What a tough decision!

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  8. Keep pushing. You know there are some limitations but push to make what you've got better.

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  9. Keep trying - you never know your efforts may help regain some of your abilities. You have come so far already! I'm happy that you're back blogging and look forward to the day when you can post photos again.

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  10. I can't imagine myself in your position, but I can perhaps see things from the point of view of the staff. The easy option for them is to do nothing and allow you to accept the status quo. It's not in their interest to set you goals that are "impossible"; if they think it's worth working on then there's undoubtedly some chance of improvement. Any progress you make now will make life easier for both you and your wife when you get home. You can do it.

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  11. In a sports club that I belonged to some years ago, there was a man about my age, who was in a wheelchair, and had been for many years. He took up pistol shooting, ( I was also a pistol shooter) and did really well, admittedly his disability was not as severe as yours, but he adapted. He contributed to our club, was a tireless committee member, secretary, and more. I am sure there were days when he doubted his ability to do much, but he then went to work as an accountant for a small firm. I would tentatively suggest to go with what you can do right now, to me you have come an amazing distance, and once home see what happens.Your knowledge of trees, ferns, the water ways, and so much more will all play a part in your life more so than before. And if this is the best that happens , can you live with that right now, and hope that later on improvements, no matter how small, will all help with every day to day "stuff".Sending a bag of "Hope" from NZ.

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  12. The mind and the body are amazing 'tools' and each individual knows their own limitations, even without the disability you are facing. You have come a long way already and there is that popular phrase 'never say never'. I think you will figure things out as you go along and if you see a possibility for further reaches, you will go for it. Just think! Going home soon, now there is something to look forward to!

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  13. I have learned so much already from you as you make your way in life to your "new normal." You are a good writer, and that can be honed and used as a stepping stone from here to wherever you go. And you have such knowledge of the outdoors that can be shared with others. I didn't realize the paralysis is permanent. It makes my admiration of how far you have managed to come even more amazing. I'm glad to know you and look forward to wherever you decide to go from here.

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  14. I understand what you are saying. You are being realistic.
    I recall providing respite to a palliative client. Her two childhood friends came in. All in their 80s. One aid how well her friend looked, in bed, on a morphine patch. Barely able to converse. She died the next day.
    I wrote an article about hope, once. You exchange your hopes and dreams with your changing circumstances.
    One determines what is realistic. I had to give up bike riding, and running, due to frequent leg injuries. I just had to be realistic.
    All the best.

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  15. You do have some challenges ahead of you. I think the best you can do in keep moving forward and make the best of the ;one that you have.

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  16. Well, you can never know. Just don't give up doing the best you can at any attempt to try things, and if a recovery goal seems do-able go for it!

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  17. Keep moving forward everyday!Therapy sets goals on what is possible !Your mind sets the limits ,Be the engine that says I Think I can in all things!God Bless you on your journey!Also they are always discovering new things to help like at the world renown rehabilitation institute of Chicago

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  18. With a faith in God, prayer and hard work I think the impossible can happen. I pray daily for a miracle for you. : )
    I believe God will let you know when the time has come for acceptance.
    Hang in there my friend. You are amazing.

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  19. This is truly tough, Stew. I can’t even imagine what you must be facing and what goes through your mind. Like you, I have spent my entire life outdoors, and the thought of losing my mobility terrifies me. I am sure that many of the platitudes above are well intentioned but unrealistic. “God bless you on your journey” and “Your mind sets the limits” are not going to help you to walk again. We have never met in person, but just know that I think of you often, especially when I struggle with a fern ID! Waterloo is not so far from where you live. If ever there is anything I can do feel free to ask. From any perspective you have been dealt a cruel hand.

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  20. Hey FG So great to see you this morning with Mrs FG. A new goal is to learn to Airdrop your pictures from your iphone to your ipad to show people your smiling face as you have achieved so much in Rehab. I know you can reach that goal - very obtainable and magical when you think about "moving" a picture through the air from one device to another. Both devices need to be in the same room and be looking for each other. That I know but someone will know how to explain the steps. Hope you can discover this magic in the days ahead. Thanks again for the gift of your visit today to UH. DC from Spiritual Care

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  21. I have been reading your posts every day and am so impressed at the progress you have made. Who knows how far you can go!

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  22. Hi FG! It is going to be a challenge and is up to you to recover fully from what you have gone through. Disabilities is a hard one for which I deal on a daily basis. I use a walker but am limited with it. I am finding doors that are not automatic, businesses that still have stairs and no ramp available. Gravel stones are impossible to be mobile on with a walker. But I find we learn to cope and work around the barriers that are presented to us. Hang in there, stay positive and be thankful you that you made it and the worst is behind you.

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  23. I am struck by the types of dilemmas you must face each day. The worst is behind you. You are teaching all of us how to move forward in life while also seeing the beauty of each day. I follow Amy Van Dyken on Instagram. She is former Olympic swimmer, who became paralyzed from the waist down after an ATV accident. I have now idea how many ranges of spinal cord injuries there must be, but it has been so interesting and inspirational to follow her journey since her accident. I know she struggles with pain, and frequent UTI problems, yet she has been able to move on and even give back to the world of others with disabilities. You might want to check her out. Thinking of you...

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  24. Living in your new reality is obviously a challenge for you, Mrs. FG and the rest of your support system. Mark Twain's observation in regard age could be applied to changed abilities, “age is a case of mind over matter; if you don't mind it, it doesn't matter!” Cheering you on from Texas

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  25. I do feel for you. I was very seriously ill last year following a tiny stroke and honestly thought I would die. None of my doctors had the faintest idea what was the matter and kept telling me I must eat when I couldn’t, or take exercise when I could hardly drag myself out of bed. I realise my situation was as nothing compared to yours but I can tell you I took an age to get used to taking it one day at a time. 18 months later I am happy to say I am much improved but still have to take things very gently. So only do what you can and try really hard not to want to overdo it. Yes I know, it’s hard to take advice like that especially as you were so active.
    But don’t forget we all waited for news of you and were thrilled to hear you are so much better and many of us would be dropping in for tea is we didn’t live thousands of miles away.
    Acceptance is the key I suspect but don’t forget we will be here applauding your progress. Don’t rush!

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