A much needed change of scenery

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.

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25 thoughts on “A much needed change of scenery

  1. Your attitude and determination will take you far. I’m so glad you have this opportunity to work with amazing people in an incredible facility. Slay that dragon.

  2. Enjoy the change and the benefits of a different PT regimen. Thinking of you and always inspired by your amazing spirit. Fond regards.

  3. I am very excited to read this and so happy that you have a change! I cant even imagine the boringness of the same drab and blah environment! My environment is blah but the scenery and challenges are constantly changing with every patient that comes though the door!

  4. What a great idea. Who knows what advancements you will make whilst in Utah. Asides from it being a gorgeous place, a new treatment centre could be just what the doctor ordered (pardon the pun!) and after all the same old same old, your body might respond tremendously to a new ways and new methods of doing things. I’m very excited for you and hope and pray (well, not religious here, so that term is used somewhat tongue in cheek) that you make more progress. Please, keep us posted on your recovery!!!! 🙂

    1. All prayer is acceptable for me, religious or non. ☺ I think you’re right that my body may respond differently to the different therapy. I already feel a sense of rejuvenation at being somewhere new and different. –AB

  5. I am truly excited that you are able to travel and make this change in routine. I can completely understand where you are coming from in some ways.
    It’s ok to stay home and ‘veg out’ (as we say in Australia) if you want to do nothing for the day and have a choice, but I can tell you it’s no fun HAVING to stay home, because you literally can’t get outdoors, every single day of the week/month/year.
    I hope the SLC therapist has some new tricks up her sleeve for you and I hope you enjoy the change of scenery.

    1. Haha, yeah I’ve never been good at the “veg out” thing myself. I’ve always been too busy running around and being active but you’re right that the change of getting away from home should help tremendously. Thanks for the support and I’ll post some updates real soon -AB

  6. Fantastic news Arash. New surroundings, new ideas, no treatments and exercises. Soak it all up like a sponge!

  7. Hello Arash,
    It’s been a while since I have responded on your weblog
    But I assure you I read every update,
    I’m a sort of addicted to your posts, I read it more than once to translate well
    And if I’ve read, it’s still long in my mind and I think it over.
    I want to thank you first that you always answer. I received your mail with joy.
    Sometimes it’s hard to be first in line at the computer with three children studying in house.
    But today I put everything aside and I’m going to write to you first
    That’s quite something you are telling.
    Every time you notice something little bit difference, a slowly forwards.
    This reminds me of your blog. Spurts and plateaus or a slow and steady climb.
    You see!! There is a progress going on.
    In a few month’s time from now, and that seems like a longtime, but times flies, and if we read your stories than again ,we will notice more of plateaus and steady climb.
    Your body reacts on all your hard workouts, trainings, exercises.
    You are doing good!!!
    When you wrote “Don’t sweat the sweat” I realize I never thought about this, like it’s so normal to me ( or us) to get sweaty.
    But now telling about it… yes that’s great news and really something.
    And then your video update
    So Arash, this I have reviewed several times, good to see you doing the walking exercises. I know it’s not on your own but still….with the therapist it’s hard work but you are doing it!
    I had to laugh when you ended the story, Real men wear pink!
    And how is the gruesome or cruel joke from the universe? Did you get over that cold already
    Yesterday I have received your latest update and I am happy to read that you are in Salt Lake City-Utah for 2 weeks now.
    I hope you enjoy your stay there, and learn about new ideas, exercises and experiences from the medical team.
    And I will look forward to receive and read some updates from Utah!
    Much off love and blessing for you
    From Nelly Vollebregt

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 local time 14.51

    1. Nelly I always appreciate reading your comments and thank you for reading and for caring enough to reach out to me every time I write. I do make an effort to respond to everyone that writes me and I especially like reading and responding to your comments.

      I’m happy that you continue to read my blog as it keeps me excited to continue to write. Yes the progress is hard to determine sometimes but I do need to think that things are getting better, even when it may not feel like they are. And yes, the sweat is a great feeling although I still have to exercise pretty hard to get it to happen. I’ve met a handful of people these last few days in Utah who have similar injuries to mine and fortunately, I have more function in my hands than most of them which makes me grateful. If I didn’t have use of my hands like I do, I couldn’t write the blog as well!

      I’ll be sharing some of my stories from Utah soon, including videos and photos so keep an eye out for that. Much love and best wishes to you Nelly -AB

  8. Oh wow Arash – i missed this post (just saw your more recent one from Utah)— ok – so 2 weeks it is!! Make the most of it … yes change of scenery is really good — new inspiration…even better – this place seems fantastic. Go with the flow and bring home new perspectives and pathways to move forward on your amazing journey! x RL

    1. Hi Robyn! Yes it’s been great to be here although my time has gone by way too fast. I already want to come back here and work with these guys some more. I can already tell that everything I’m doing here will help me when I’m back home. If only to build those neural pathways again, cell by cell… Lots of love to you -AB

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