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Pete – How did you deal with the transition from hospital to home?

Pete – How did you deal with the transition from hospital to home?

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I dealt with the transition from hospital to home miserably in the first few weeks. I’m a very strong willed, hard-headed person, and when I believe in something, I believe in it. And I believed that my situation required more physical therapy, mor... Show More

I dealt with the transition from hospital to home miserably in the first few weeks. I’m a very strong willed, hard-headed person, and when I believe in something, I believe in it. And I believed that my situation required more physical therapy, more occupational therapy and that I was being shortchanged by our institution of healthcare and health insurance. And I went home, and I sat down and stayed there. I didn’t really do anything for the first two weeks. If I dropped something on the floor, rather than challenging myself to pick it up, I just left it there knowing that somebody would come home later. My neighbor came over during these first couple of weeks ,and he could see that I wasn’t myself. He said, “you know, life goes on,” and I wanted to slap him in the face. I really did because your life goes on, my life has pressed pause. When I was in the rehab environment, I was surrounded by people who understood what I was going through, understood what I needed to be able to do to take good care of myself, and they understood how it all came together. And I was immediately extracted from that environment because the time frame that ran out. And I did, I felt it all of a sudden, alone with it. I’ve since then come to express it as a culture shock. I had gone from being an able bodied, average Joe, to this new culture of disability that uses different words, has different practices, different ways of taking care of themselves. And then I suddenly, it was like going to China, learning Chinese and that you have to be Chinese from now on. Sorry China! But you have to be Chinese from now on, and then you come back to Atlanta and say, “okay, now be Chinese.” It just didn’t feel like a fit, and so that was very difficult for me. So, I needed to learn how to be disabled in my own home, in my own life. It was very much a double-edged sword. I wanted to come home where things were normal but I got there and found out that normal was different.

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Pete – How did you deal with the transition from hospital to home?

Pete

Injured in 2004 at age 33, paraplegic
More Videos by Pete
Transcriptadd

I dealt with the transition from hospital to home miserably in the first few weeks. I’m a very strong willed, hard-headed person, and when I believe in something, I believe in it. And I believed that my situation required more physical therapy, more occupational therapy and that I was being shortchanged by our institution of healthcare and health insurance. And I went home, and I sat down and stayed there. I didn’t really do anything for the first two weeks. If I dropped something on the floor, rather than challenging myself to pick it up, I just left it there knowing that somebody would come home later. My neighbor came over during these first couple of weeks ,and he could see that I wasn’t myself. He said, “you know, life goes on,” and I wanted to slap him in the face. I really did because your life goes on, my life has pressed pause. When I was in the rehab environment, I was surrounded by people who understood what I was going through, understood what I needed to be able to do to take good care of myself, and they understood how it all came together. And I was immediately extracted from that environment because the time frame that ran out. And I did, I felt it all of a sudden, alone with it. I’ve since then come to express it as a culture shock. I had gone from being an able bodied, average Joe, to this new culture of disability that uses different words, has different practices, different ways of taking care of themselves. And then I suddenly, it was like going to China, learning Chinese and that you have to be Chinese from now on. Sorry China! But you have to be Chinese from now on, and then you come back to Atlanta and say, “okay, now be Chinese.” It just didn’t feel like a fit, and so that was very difficult for me. So, I needed to learn how to be disabled in my own home, in my own life. It was very much a double-edged sword. I wanted to come home where things were normal but I got there and found out that normal was different.

Pete – How did you deal with the transition from hospital to home?
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