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Pete – What were the important milestones in rehabilitation?

Pete – What were the important milestones in rehabilitation?

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The most important milestones? Okay, the first one was a pretty simple one. They were working on me getting from my chair, to the floor and back, and I was able to rationalize why I’d never able to do this. The physical therapists and the occupatio... Show More

The most important milestones? Okay, the first one was a pretty simple one. They were working on me getting from my chair, to the floor and back, and I was able to rationalize why I’d never able to do this. The physical therapists and the occupational therapists that I was working with were certainly knowledgeable in what people can do. Certainly, they had gone to school, and become very insightful and knowledgeable about this. But, I know me for 33 years at this point, and I know what my body can do because I’ve always been a very physical person. And, it was very easy for me to create a disconnect between what they were telling me was doable and what I could actually do. And so, I was expressing that disconnect in saying “well, you know, I understand you’re telling me something that you learned about in college, but I’m telling you my physiology, my shoulders, my arm length, the seat height, is not going to come together for me.” And then a woman named Minna Hong came in to that therapy session and she has an injury about like mine, at T12. And she was able to, without breaking cadence in her conversation, get out of her chair, onto the floor and right back. And that’s when the story the therapists were telling me went from a fairy tale into a real life story because for Minna Hong, this was her life. This was how she’s living. It’s not something that she read about in a book in college four years ago. And so, that’s what made it real. That was the first milestone for me is that people actually are doing these things, and people who were much smaller, and dare I say “weaker” than me. Viewing myself as a strong, physical person, I couldn’t be outdone by a 90-pound woman who was five years my senior. So, the next milestone I would say is accomplishing that goal of getting from the floor to the wheelchair, which at time I saw as an enormous challenge. When I had this first little taste of success, I was able to fuel my confidence for my next challenge. And as simple as these little things may have been in the beginning, they were the foundation for the confidence that it took to maintain my integrity of self and still be able to fold in this catastrophic disability into a life where I could vigorously pursue my happiness.

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Pete – What were the important milestones in rehabilitation?

Pete

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

The most important milestones? Okay, the first one was a pretty simple one. They were working on me getting from my chair, to the floor and back, and I was able to rationalize why I’d never able to do this. The physical therapists and the occupational therapists that I was working with were certainly knowledgeable in what people can do. Certainly, they had gone to school, and become very insightful and knowledgeable about this. But, I know me for 33 years at this point, and I know what my body can do because I’ve always been a very physical person. And, it was very easy for me to create a disconnect between what they were telling me was doable and what I could actually do. And so, I was expressing that disconnect in saying “well, you know, I understand you’re telling me something that you learned about in college, but I’m telling you my physiology, my shoulders, my arm length, the seat height, is not going to come together for me.” And then a woman named Minna Hong came in to that therapy session and she has an injury about like mine, at T12. And she was able to, without breaking cadence in her conversation, get out of her chair, onto the floor and right back. And that’s when the story the therapists were telling me went from a fairy tale into a real life story because for Minna Hong, this was her life. This was how she’s living. It’s not something that she read about in a book in college four years ago. And so, that’s what made it real. That was the first milestone for me is that people actually are doing these things, and people who were much smaller, and dare I say “weaker” than me. Viewing myself as a strong, physical person, I couldn’t be outdone by a 90-pound woman who was five years my senior. So, the next milestone I would say is accomplishing that goal of getting from the floor to the wheelchair, which at time I saw as an enormous challenge. When I had this first little taste of success, I was able to fuel my confidence for my next challenge. And as simple as these little things may have been in the beginning, they were the foundation for the confidence that it took to maintain my integrity of self and still be able to fold in this catastrophic disability into a life where I could vigorously pursue my happiness.

Pete – What were the important milestones in rehabilitation?
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