Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

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A Program of the ATS

Share your tips for recovery here

#1
Share your tips for recovery here
by Katparris on Apr 22, 2013, 04:53PM

People who have gone through the recovery process have stories about what helped them get through the experience, or things they wish they had known from the beginning. Share your tips with new survivors.

#2
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by cookieslovebrook on Jun 23, 2013, 11:57PM

Find something to look forward to!! I sent months in pt and that helped. Plus I wanted my arm to work so the pain was worth it to me. You have to teach yourself you didn’t do anything to deserve what happened to you. That to me was the hardest part. I have a great support system but their was things I would keep to myself. All in all I handle myself better than I could have ever imagined. I am here for whoever wants to talk. Helping others helps me. Makes what happened worth it.

#3
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by Heath on Jun 28, 2013, 07:03PM

Thanks Cookieslovebrook. What has helped me is just staying busy. I volunteer twice a week at the hospital. I also volunteer at a crisis center and in the Fall I am going back to school. I look at it like this, that you have 2 choices. 1) you can sit on the couch and hope something happens or 2) you can get out there and try to make it happen. It brings me to the old saying “Everything happens for a reason” but the thing is, the reason may not be for you, it may be for somebody else to be inspired.

#4
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by cookieslovebrook on Jun 29, 2013, 03:15AM

Heath, I totally agree with finding something to do. In my case there wasn’t much I could do for a period of time due to my injuries. Sometimes a 20 minute trip to walmart seemed like it took as much energy as 3 days in Disney. However, I refused to feel sorry for myself. No matter how day of a day I had I was happy it was me instead of someone else. They told me I was strong but I saw it the other way around. I have been trying to find a peer volunteer program at a hospital near me, its something I am very interested in but so far no luck. I’m so glad you have such a great outlook on ur injury.

#5
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by Heath on Jun 29, 2013, 01:21PM

Well thank you. I understand about things taking longer and like I used to tell my mom when she was here, it’s not like I have anywhere to be. Where are you from? I’m in Charlotte, NC but from Tallahassee, Fl. Keep moving forward and hopefully you’ll find a group.

#6
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by cookieslovebrook on Jul 05, 2013, 12:22AM

I’m in Jupiter Florida but my hospital was in west palm beach.

#7
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by Heath on Jul 07, 2013, 03:43AM

Ok cool!!! Correct me if I’m wrong but Jupiter is in the Lakeland area? If so, I truly do wish you the best on finding a program.

#8
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by Kate on Jul 14, 2013, 10:46AM

I am nine months into my recovery from a fractured pelvis and tailbone. Today I am up and about with a cane and doing well. I wound up going back into therapy with a psychologist to help me sort out all the mixed feelings I have about my injury and lengthy recovery. I am struggling with a lot of different things … indeciseveness, fear, depression and anxiety. I am finding that the best way I can deal with this is to keep busy. I have many projects going now and am starting to feel more focussed, Can you understand what I mean when I say that I feel like I have rejoined the living? I was cooped up in my house for so long and am now beginning to get out and about … it is so good to be out and relating to people. I am isolated in many ways but the injury is causing me to reach out more for support and understanding.
I also totally agree about finding something to look forward to … right now I am looking forward to going to my grandson’s third birthday party. I will have to travel two hours to see him. I am so excited about this. I am being ever so careful so I do not overstress my body so that I can make this trip in two weeks. I am learning how to pace myself.

#9
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by horseychick on Nov 25, 2013, 09:50PM

its good to know people are doing well.

I’m trying to stay busy and focus on things to look forward to, but finding that very hard. I cry a lot and am finding it hard to concentrate – it takes a lot of effort to speak. My accident has left me with a scar that runs from just under my nose through my lip, and at the moment the scar is a very painful ridge. My other injuries are painful too but that is easing day by day. its the inner hell that is killing me.

#10
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by tjoenks on May 14, 2014, 06:53PM

Horseychick:

Start with small goals. If you have your horses still, I found peace in grooming mine and talking to them. They don’t talk back and just accepted me for who I am. Then when I was ready, I started with small goals. Goals like, this week I will walk a block. etc.. and progressed from there. Scars are disfifuring I understand as I have many now myself, but look at them with admiration… YOU SURVIVED IT GIRL!!! The beauty is inside…. forget that beauty is skin deep crap.. its a lie… beauty is where you see it and I feel that the surviving is the most beautiful you can be!

#11
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by MissAmanuensis on May 27, 2014, 03:03PM

@Horseychick: tjoenks has the right idea!

For me, setting goals, or planning things, helped me immensely. First, get a calendar…look at all the hoildays. Think about somehow “celebrating” some, or all, that interest you. Even though it may be far away! For example, It’s May, but thanks to the Internet and library, you can browse through decorating ideas and recipes for Christmas. You can make lists of things you’d like to give as gifts. You can make lists of places you’d like to visit, places you’d dreamed of travelling to.
You can look at booklists, and set a goal for reading or listening to all of them, like “Top ten Books of the 21st Century” . If you’re feeling down, comical memoirs can help. Stories of people overcoming great hardship and challenges give me inspiration!
If you are having trouble concentrating and speaking, and you cry often, music and audiobooks can help. You can rent movies, cds and the audiobooks from the library. Also, please don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.. It took me several years to tell him of my depression and anxiety because I just accepted that it couldn’t be fixed and that this was my “new” personality…it isn’t! S/he is there to help you, and if that’s not their area, ask for a referral.
I went through a lot of these things, myself. Setting small, attainable goals helped me immensely! I also made a schedule for myself; I found that a routine helped me. Getting up at the same time, doing PT, then watching a funny sitcom, then lunch, then sit outdoors, then call someone, et cetera. This helped me realize that I am LIVING.
If you’re really having a bad time, and feel helpless and hopeless, please talk to your doctor, friends or family…someone who can help you. There are a lot of resources on this website, as well. Don’t be afraid to reach out!

Miss Amanuensis

#12
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by robinbloomer on Nov 13, 2015, 10:21AM

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#13
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by bmunsky on Apr 15, 2016, 08:23PM

My recovery was 7 years of taking 2 steps forward then one giant step backwards. My emotions were a yo-yo of feeling a strong appreciation of life, seeing all the Miracles in my life that I over looked before, and believing the Impossible was possible. Then the next day, hour, or minute I wanted to die, lost hope, felt like I was a burden to everyone in my life, and gave up the fight to heal my body save my life. Maybe this was me just being human. Being this way wasn’t helping my body to heal. I learned, years into my recovery, the power of my mind, my thoughts, my emotions, and who I am being on my physical health. I was introduced to living in the present. To live in the present, the here and now, means to let go of your past and to stop dwelling on the future. This required me to accept what happened to me and the new me. I understood that my trauma and everything else from the past can not be changed. I can’t predict the future or control it. The only thing I have control over is what I am doing right now, the present. When I caught myself thinking about the past or future I brought my attention back to what I was doing at that moment or focused on something else to distract my attention and my thoughts. Something like reading a book, listening to the radio, exercising, and other activities that would occupy my attention. I still do this today. It helped save my life, heal my body, and leaves me with a sense of peace. Every time I visit a trauma patients, trauma survivor, or their family members or friends I always share with them one way of being that helped me the most to get to become a survivor and no longer a victim. Practice living in the present can do the same for you.

#14
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by Cindee on Jun 30, 2016, 09:32PM

Thanks for the positive message. It’s hard to let go of what happened but I will do my best to live in the present instead of the past.

#15
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
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#16
Reply: Share your tips for recovery here
by local2100 on Nov 28, 2017, 10:37PM

I had a motorcycle accident 10/2011. I hit 2 cars, flew 200 feet in the air and wound up against a utility pole. I spoke to the EMT who was on the scene of my accident and he stated I was given a 1% chance to survive the accident. I was flown to shock trauma in Baltimore. I had Doctors’ Robert O’Toole repair my hip, Andy Eglseder repair my hand, and Andrew Pollak repair my leg. I had my left hip repaired with mesh and screws. My left hand was originally 3 finger amputations, but Dr. Eglseder saved 2 of my fingers with one amputation of my middle finger. My left leg was amputated above the knee by Doctors’ Pollak and Boulton. I had 17 fractures in my remaining stump which by the grace of God all healed. I spent several weeks in shock trauma, 3 of which were spent on the 6th floor in the ICU. Dr. Scalea was taking student doctors around the center visiting patients. I was one of Dr. Tom’s favorite patient’s in the ICU. All the doctors and staff in shock trauma were a Godsend for me during my recovery. I was a lineman by profession and am currently receiving social security benefits. I have a prosthetic for my left leg and am using my right hand more often now since I was left handed. My hip is doing well with no signs of arthritis yet. My left leg has no pain, but my left hand is starting to get arthritic. If not for all of the dedicated personnel at shock trauma, I would have died on that fateful day.