Acceptance to The Shepherd Center
hey guys! Big Announcement!!! It’s been two months since my last update, I continue to make progress and I have one huge announcement! It’s the reason I’m making this update pretty much! I got a scholarship to go to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for physical therapy! This was one of our goals from the very beginning and with the help of my friend Bridget Leroy it’s going to come true. If you missed it or you don’t remember the Shephard Center is the foremost facility in spinal cord injury recovery. We were aiming to go there after my stay at Mount Sinai but the out-of-pocket costs were outstanding. It was a goal but at the time it was completely unattainable. Now, I have somehow gotten a scholarship to go to it The scholarship is for 2 to 4 weeks where I will be given physical therapy and occupational therapy;I will also learn the tricks and trades to Quadriplegic living. there are so many little nuances to this type of injury, I’ve learned quite a bit from other people in a similar predicament I can’t imagine what the Shephard Center will do for me. I will live on campus, I have to bring (Hire in Atlanta ) my own caregiver and buy my own food. I also have to get there, which is pretty important. I’ve done a little bit of digging on what airlines to fly and it turns out American Airlines or JetBlue are pretty good. It will be a little nerve-racking leaving my power chair and putting it into the hands of the baggage handlers but it’s something I’m going to have to do. I mean it’s that or the 16 Hour Dr. down to Georgia. I thought peeing in a bottle while driving stick shift in traffic on my way down to Florida was hard, I don’t want to find out what the drive in this situation will be like. Well, I guess the whole road trip- full bladder - dilemma Is sorted out pretty easily with the catheter. Either way I’m definitely going to fly.
But, I digress! Some of bullet points of what I will be experiencing down in Georgia Will be assistive technology for interfacing in my environment, being evaluated for a manual wheelchair with power (this will make travel easier) and Bed mobility. I’m stopping at bed mobility for a moment to explain how difficult it is being stuck in the bed all night. I can’t move positions so I literally just lay in the exact same spot that somebody put me in the night before all the way until the morning. Learning how to move positions and eventually transfer from the bed into the chair on my own would be a massive life improvement. I will be able to get a driving assessment which will help in eventually getting a vehicle in which I can drive on my own. And lastly, the “ADLs” improving and learning ways to participate in the activities of daily living ( that’s the acronym right there if you didn’t catch it, activities of daily living ADL for short, like- life stuff. You get it. I’ll stop now) This injury has really opened me up to the sunny side of human nature, I’ve witnessed so many people being kind and generous to me. I have eternal gratitude and it’s appropriate because yesterday was Thanksgiving! Getting the scholarship to the Shephard Center is one of the biggest gifts I’ve been given so far. The stars really aligned with this one. I’m not sure how many more updates I’ll have on here. Definitely some on Atlanta and if I have any big adventures planned. If you haven't already signed up for my newsletter on my photography website sign up here: MatthewRaynor.com Once you enter the site a pop-up will show up and you can enter your email address there. I’m going to post updates on what I’m up to with my artwork and also my status with recovery. If the pop-up doesn’t show up just send me your email address and I’ll add you in. I’m also very excited that I finally have some new artwork to add to my portfolio, post injury artwork! I didn’t know if it was going to be possible but I have some new images that I’m very proud of you can check them out on my Instagram @mattyrayna I attached some images below along with one image that I took on my cell phone. I took this photo by myself for the first time which is a mile stone. Thanks guys! Hope you read all the way until the end! Love Matty