After months of the same routine, of going to the same places on the same days and feeling trapped in redundancy and “Groundhog Day” syndrome (you’ll have to see the movie if you don’t know what I’m referring to here), I decided to shake things up a bit. I’ve come to Salt Lake City, Utah for two weeks to try a different rehab center and to see what kinds of ideas, practices and exercises I can learn from their experienced team of therapists and SCI professionals.
I have to explain how important this change is for me. For years, I travelled frequently all around the world, mostly for work but also for pleasure and before I could get too bored or accustomed to any one place, I was on a plane to a different destination. Even when I was living in one place and leading a less itinerant lifestyle, I was constantly taking weekend trips to the mountains, camping, hiking and exploring the natural outdoors which I love so dearly. So adding to the long list of physical challenges from my accident is the challenge of routine and boredom from doing the same thing over and over.
Over the last few months, as so many of my friends travelled to different destinations and shared their excitement either directly to me or indirectly through Facebook and social media, I had to quietly hear them and fight the envy and jealousy I felt and battle the frustration of not being able to travel myself. In fact, before my accident, I had booked a trip to Lebanon and I’d tentatively scheduled a hiking trip to Patagonia. All of that went out the window. Now, while Utah isn’t a new place for me (I used to work here quite a bit), it’s the break from routine that I’ve been waiting for and I’ve come to Neuroworx to make the most of my experience.
Neuroworx is a non-profit founded by a man who suffered a bad cervical Spinal Cord Injury himself. He was a practicing doctor, with a family and a successful career and, as I know from my own experience, his entire life turned upside down in one instance. (You can read his story here, very inspirational) Although he had trampolines his entire life and had used them for years, his accident occurred on his trampoline in his own backyard. Being a physician, he knew almost immediately that he had suffered a Spinal Cord Injury and so began his own recovery.
Being told he would never walk again (sound familiar??) he teamed up with an incredible physical therapist who worked with him and helped him recover. Now, while he still deals with many of the challenges of SCI, he is walking and has recovered tremendously. That physical therapist became his partner and she is now the head PT at Neuroworx, coordinating the regimens of the many patients who come through their doors.
I’m excited for this change and will try to post a couple updates from here. Now it’s time to enjoy the mountains and the break from routine.