Would you go back to the day of your accident?

ZcollieZcollie Posts: 193Moderator Moderator
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If you could go back to the day of your injury and change it, would you? But if you did, everything you have done, learned, people you have met, a girlfriend, wife, kids, and opportunities that have come about because of your spinal cord injury would be eraced. I have thought about this question for so long. When I was first paralyzed I remember hearing this question from another quad who had been paralyzed for a couple of years more than me. He asked the same question and said "I would not go back to that day and change what happened." I remember thinking to myself, how stupid I thought his answer was. Of course I would go back and change that day if I could! Then I really stopped and took time to think about that question. I have been paralyzed for eight years now and here is my honest and open answer. 

No, I would not go back to the day I broke my neck. As weird as that feels to say. My injury has taught me so much. I have grown and matured in ways I never would have if my accident never happened. Living with an SCI is by no means fun and easy, but I am grateful for the person I have become because of it. When I think back on the person I was before, all I cared about was myself. Now helping others brings me so much joy and happiness. I cannot imagine what my life would be like now had my accident not happened. My injury has helped me find a path to go down that I am truly passionate about, strengthened the relationship I have with my family, I met my wonderful girlfriend because of it, went to college, met amazing people and new friends, started my own YouTube channel, and so much more. 

I now understand where my friend was coming from when he said he would not change what happened to him and completely agree. I am now a much more humble and compassionate person. I know a lot of the positive traits I have now, I would not have learned in my pervious life. I like to think my new life started the day of my accident. I cannot imagine having any other life than the one I have now and love it!!

I am curious to hear others opinions and thoughts about this. 
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI

Comments

  • EmmsEmms Posts: 37Member ✭✭
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    I'd have to erase just over half my life! Nope, certainly wouldn't. I'd love to have lived the same life in a different body perhaps, but life is a journey, you can make it full of regret and cling on to the past, or make it full happiness and a longing for life.. no matter what trips you up on the way! 
    “Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”


  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 328Moderator Moderator
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    Hi Everyone! Brooke here - This is a tough one from my perspective as a wife of a man with a C4 spinal cord injury. It's a strange feeling for me - I look back at how much we both have grown, mentally, spiritually..emotionally since his injury and I wouldn't change a thing. We have done things we would have never done before his injury: travelled the world on our own terms; learned from so many people; devoted time to work on our spiritual side; met and developed life changing friendships; ended up doing things we would have never done B.I. (before injury). The one thing that stands out to me as the biggest change is in our relationship. Since my husbands injury he has become a better person - more loving, caring, considerate, emotionally supportive and the list goes on and on. I feel happier in my relationship than ever before, even though physically, its very different than before and our lives are much tougher. Going through a life changing injury like this really does change your entire focus of life - we find that we live it more to the fullest.

    That all being said....

    My husband is still not at that place of "Acceptance" yet when it comes to his injury. He struggles still with his dependancy, issues with health, and all the lovely things that come with sustaining a spinal cord injury. When I ask him this question, he always says he would go back and change everything. He knows how much he has changed since his injury (for the better) and believes that he would get to this place regardless of his SCI happening. I believe the opposite - I see such a different person now that would not be where he is now without this injury happening to him. He strives to be the best he can be every day, and his biggest struggle is the physical side - he doesn't believe he can be at his very best unless his physical body starts cooperating. I know in my heart he WILL eventually get to the place where he doesn't regret his injury happening deeply... its just going to take some time and self healing. And ill be there to support him every step of his healing journey. 

    - Brooke (WAGS of SCI)
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • EmmsEmms Posts: 37Member ✭✭
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    @WAGSofSCI That was so sincerely beautiful. I do think injury changes you. I don't obviously know what I would have been like, and at 19, the story of my life was only just beginning. I think being injured young I was more adaptable to change. I saw older people injured with I'd say in some cases catastrophic domestic results. I had no mortgage, pension, house to adapt, neither was my work and uni place compromised. I believe it was a good age to begin a new path on my journey.  I'd also had an upbringing with plenty of change and call for independency from a young age with parents in the army, I think that actually helped. I'd like to think I would be who I am now if it hadn't happened to me. Whether or not these things come with growing and maturity, I'll never know. I believe I know more about myself than I would ever have known. I'm thankful to live in an age where we survive. And basically I'm just thankful for so many things everyday, that's how I make peace with myself. I'm thankful. Non of my friends get it!
    “Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”


  • SterlionSterlion Posts: 81Moderator Moderator
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    @WAGSofSCI Hey Brooke I can definitely agree with your husband. I've had some incredible things happen to me since my injury, things I am very thankful for. I've done a lot of growing the last six years (legnth of SCI). Although, I do believe I would've eventually grown to where I am now. I know for fact that half the incredible things that have happened to me post injury would never have happened had it not be for my injury and I am perfectly ok with that. 

    I was playing college football when my injury happened. Something that I said I was going to do the first time I put the pads on when I was age 9. I was happy and very thankful with where I was. I was a freshman and can remember the feeling of freedom finally being out of my parents' house. To only get that experience for three months and end up needing them more than ever before at the age of 18 was a breath taker. 

    Maybe its a man thing, but independence is a big part of becoming a man I felt. I wanted to be able to start my own life and do things for myself. Now being a quadriplegic there are a lot of things I am not able to do for myself. I have made a lot of progress with selfcare things and have worked up to being able to be alone for a weekend but anything more then that will create a mess, for now at least.

    My point is I would not hesitate to stop my injury from happening. Yes, I have a good life with amazing people around me. Yes, I have touched and reached more people than I can imagine and also met incredible others who have done the same for me. I might be to young to fully understand it now, but its not worth the independence I lost. I know my injury happened for a reason so I have no problem accepting it. I just know I would love to go back and stop it if I could, or at least postpone it to my junior year of college. 😅 
  • cruiseybabbbycruiseybabbby Posts: 18Moderator Moderator
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    @Zcollie My friend… Reading this post gave me the chills and I'm not talking UTI! I really don't think I could have spoken Truer words if they had come from my own mind and mouth!

    As you mentioned, it's quite a shocking realization to come to when you honestly would not go back to that fateful day that spiraled your life and the lives of those around you out of control…

    The things I have learned about myself, the person that I was before my accident, the person I have become and the person that I strive to continue to be has been invaluable knowledge and guidance towards my new life purpose!

    Continue living your enlightened life and touching the lives of those who are yet to have their eyes opened! I'll be right there trying to achieve the same goal!
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 193Moderator Moderator
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    @cruiseybabbby Thanks man! I totally understand that for some people they are not yet where we are mentally, and have as much time as they need. However, like you said everything we have learned since our accident is so valuable and a new purpose. You have a great attitude. Roll on man! 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • jaarchjaarch Posts: 50Moderator Moderator
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    I have been thinking about how to respond to this question for a couple days now. While I would give nearly anything to be able to fully function again, I am torn by all of the positive changes in my life since my accident. I have learned so much about myself and have a new appreciation for life that never existed in my previous life. I have been able to help SO many people to cope with their injuries that it helped me deal with mine. My relationships with friends and family have soared to new heights and I have a mental stability that I never really used much before. I guess I really look at my accident as a Godsend, It put me on the path to become the person I am today, and I like this person. Great question @Zcollie!!
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 193Moderator Moderator
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    @jaarch Definitely a hard question to answer. You really have to think about it haha. Thank you. 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 105Member ✭✭
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    Would I go back? YES! We are 20 months post-surgery, the doctor said Charlie's scoliosis had gotten so bad it was effecting his lungs but Charlie had never had any breathing problems or pneumonia nor been in the hospital, only allergies and sinus infections. Since the surgery he has had the flu 3 times, had pneumonia 3 times, 3 UTIs that required hospital visits, pressure sores, is in almost constant pain, lost over a year of school, still isn't back in school full time yet, and since Oct has been constantly sick due to a weakened immune system. The daily meds he will require the rest of his life over time will destroy his liver and shorten his lifespan. Would I go back and say NO to the surgery, yes I would; he would still have CP and use a walker, he would still have a hunchback but he wouldn't require daily meds and constant care, he wouldn't be fearful, depressed and in pain. I blame myself for what happened to my son, my gut told me not to have the surgery but doctors said it was just me being afraid, now I know my instincts were right and my son pays the price for my mistake.  

    (I know I will probably get a lot of flack for this, I have learned that within the wheelchair community it is frowned upon to say anything negative about ones post SCI life, I'm sorry but being honest about my feelings is the only way I can cope.)

  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 328Moderator Moderator
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    edited March 5
    @Monica.T Dealing with the negatives that come with this life is just as important as speaking about the positives. There is no shame in speaking your truth, conveying frustrations and highlighting the downsides that come along with your journey and experiences with injury and illness. It's part of the process and valid. 
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • raphaeltkiarraphaeltkiar Posts: 2Member
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    Hello everyone, I read your beautiful words but I can tell you that if I could return to the day of my accident I will do everything not to have it! no I'm not happy to be paraplegic, no I'm not happy with all the health problems we have. If I could erase everything I will do it without hesitation. My only desire is to return to a normal life, without incontinence, to walk, to move as I want. My only goal is to implant a box of epidural stimulation and to do an intensive reeducation of high level. I will never agree to spend my life sitting, and not being able to do everything I want. sorry not to be as much a philosopher as you, but I will never give up and I will fight with all my strength to integrate a clinical trial and give myself thoroughly to recover my functions. Sorry if my speech does not suit you. have a good day

  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 193Moderator Moderator
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    @Monica.T I appreciate your honesty and I am so sorry to hear everything your son is going through. You have every right to say what you said. I can hear the frustration and sadness in your message. It is not your fault what happened to your son. Do not blame yourself, I am sure you are an amazing mother. Thank you for sharing. 

    @raphaeltkiar I hear everything you are saying. I understand and thank you for giving your honest opinion. I hope you are able to be a part of a clinical trial that helps restore your functions. I believe it is coming soon.
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 127Moderator Moderator
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    I wouldn't I believe everything happens for a reason and you cant change gods plan
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 175Moderator Moderator
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    Wow!  What a question and one that I think we all have asked ourselves at one time or another.  I too, believe that I would go back and erase the accident.  It's not because I am miserable, resentful, angry, depressed, isolated, lonely or sad.  I have a great life post injury and have accepted my paralysis.  I was 59 when my accident occurred and at first, I always used to ask myself would I have preferred to be injured late in life like I was and have had all that time as an able bodied person or would have being injured younger and having much more time to adjust and adapt to life with an SCI.  I still don't know the answer to that one as I vacillate back and forth.  I was very active pre-injury.  I rode my bike, played golf, all kinds of sports, loved doing yard work, traveling, helping others with moving and did all the heavy lifting for my wife.  I just really miss all of that.  I know that it will never happen and aside from the occasional day when I am depressed and feeling sorry for myself, I am grateful that I am still alive and have the function I still have.  It is true that I have met many great people as a result of being disabled, but if I could return to my life pre-injury, I have to say I would without a second thought.  That is just me.  
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 193Moderator Moderator
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    @garrisonredd I hear what you are saying. I believe God has a plan for all of us, but don't think he would want this injury for us. Because to be honest it does suck, but I believe he can make something great out of a situation that seems hopeless. That is what I feel he has done for me. 
    @iamdadman I totally understand where you are coming from. My situation is the opposite of yours. I was injured when I was young (15 years old). I have had a lot of time to process this life changing injury. I am sure if I lived most of my life able-bodied and experienced more of life before my accident my thought process would be different. Thanks for sharing(:  
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 175Moderator Moderator
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    @Zcollie thanks for your insights.  It helps me answer that question I have asked myself a thousand times about being injured early or late in life.  Although I have learned to live and accepted my injury, being able bodied again would be badass!. 

  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 105Member ✭✭
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    WAGSofSCI Thank you for understanding. I know someday we will become 'okay' with our new way of life, but right now all of this is still so shocking and foreign to us.  
  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 105Member ✭✭
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    Zcollie Thank you. We are slowly learning that we are still in the emotional and mental recovery process, it's not easy but being here has helped a lot.
  • BelieveInBaileyBelieveInBailey Posts: 18Member
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    Would he go back to January 15, 2019... without a doubt. My son's injury is not due to an accident. It was a suicide attempt. He had actually completed suicide. The police left as he was being loaded into the Coroner's vehicle. The EMT's sensed something though. They tried again, and revived him.

    For the first 8 weeks, my son wished he had died, that the EMT's wouldn't have tried again. 

    The past 4.5 weeks, he wishes he hadn't jumped, that he wouldn't have had that moment of weakness, that he would've been honest about what was happening in his mind. My son has autism. He also has bipolar and schizophrenia. The voices were his friend when he felt he had no other friends. He didn't admit to the staff at the mental health facility he was residing at (or to me) that the hallucinations were more of the bad friends than the good friends. In a moment of being taken over by the hallucinations, he jumped from a 100 foot bridge.

    I was finally able to convince the Psychiatrist to put him back on Lithium. It's the one med that has worked beautifully to control the hallucinations. The facility he was at felt it was too expensive - both the med itself, and the needed labs every 3 months, so they took him off it. 

    Immediately upon going back on Lithium 2 weeks ago, he is happy, positive, ready to work in rehab to build up as much strength and confidence as possible. 

    So, yes. He would go back to that day and do it all differently. Mental illness is a b*tch. 
  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 105Member ✭✭
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    Zcollie  We are 20 months post injury and we are still in that emotional and mental state of coping, I think we are slowly beginning to move away from the original shock but being here has helped us so much, to begin understanding we are not alone, there are others out there that understand has helped us more than anyone realizes.

    May you enjoy many happy days on this new path of life.

  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 105Member ✭✭
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    BelieveInBailey  I can not begin to imagine what you have been through, my heart goes out to you. To have already endured so much and to have come so close to losing your son. This intrusion into your lives must be so very difficult to accept.

    I am truly glad to read that your son's rehab is going well, when I saw the word "happy" my heart smiled for you. I will be praying that he is able to hold on that positive attitude and that he gains daily in strength and confidence. And will pray that you are comforted and strengthened daily as you begin this next phase in his treatment.

    God Bless

  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 175Moderator Moderator
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    @BelieveInBailey
    What a story to share.  I struggled with depression prior to my injury and can still experience bouts of clinical depression.  I was never suicidal until after my injury but between my wife and three children couldn't bring myself to do it.  Your story touched my heart and I am so grateful for the paramedics who saved Bailey and the fact the lithium has helped.  I can't believe lithium is that expensive.  I took a trial dose, not for depression but for relieving nerve pain.  It didn't work but the whole prescription with my part D Medicare only cost like $3 for 36 pills.  I did have to do the blood work every week actually, but again I had coverage.  Tell Bailey he is loved by those who don't even know him due to his strength and courage.  Much love and many blessings...
  • BelieveInBaileyBelieveInBailey Posts: 18Member
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    @Monica.T @iamdadman

    Thank you both, so much! It has indeed been a life changing experience for all of my family. I am thankful that he is in a good place mentally now. Prayers and positive thoughts are most appreciated. 

    I’ve not thought Lithium was expensive, either. I think they were unfamiliar with it, and looked for any excuse. In the long run, they will definitely end up paying for it. My son wasn’t to have left the facility alone. There was to have always been a Rehabilitation Specialist with him. They evidently thought it would be ok, but look what happened. 

    We are suing. Sure, a settlement would be nice, but more than anything else, I want to prevent this from happening to another family. 


  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 175Moderator Moderator
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    @BelieveInBailey
    That sounds like negligence plain and simple.  Sometimes penalizing these corporations financially is the only thing they understand.  It's all about the almighty dollar with them.  The sad truth is that if it happened to Bailey it could happen again.  Anything you can do to prevent that is commendable...

    Joe
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