Return From Atlanta

Return From Atlanta

Hello all! Shepherd Center was a blast, I enjoyed my stay it was everything I thought it would be. I even got a taste of independence. I was scheduled to have another art show at the Southampton cultural Center April 3, but with this coronavirus outbreak it has been postponed to hopefully June and July depending on the state of affairs. When I was in Georgia I had no idea how serious it was up in New York it - came as quite a shock. But instead of having the show I have ran a awesome sale on my website
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The downside of all of this is that bringing somebody else in will risk me of exposure to the coronavirus and with my inability to cough I may succumb more easily then somebody else my age. At the Shepherd Center they started showing me how to transfer from my chair to the bed but these are things that take years to learn especially with my level of injury. People who injured their lower back are easily showed how to transfer in and out of bed how to get dressed and do pretty much a lot more life stuff. Unfortunately with my level of injury my hands don’t work my triceps do not work and everything requires Nero reengineering for my muscles To make up for what I lack. I am actually jealous of people who are paraplegic, My plight is one which is A little (a lot) more difficult. The difference between a paraplegic and a quadriplegic is that a paraplegic is somebody who has two limbs which don’t function while a quadriplegic is one who has three Or more limbs which do not fully function (me) . Either way paralysis sucks and I would never wish it on anyone under any circumstance so please be careful out there .
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I was invited back to the Shepherd Center in six months for showing great progress. My therapy team congratulated me on my hard work and told me they look forward to seeing me in six months. I am even donating a piece of my art to hang in there outpatient Day Program. It’s the piece a named “Steaming” if you haven’t seen it it’s a picture of a huge wave on the side of a boat in the middle of the storm. And with a new spinal cord injury You are just trying to weather it out and trying to survive. My hope is that people will see the storm photo and know that the calm is eventually coming, There will be a plaque installed where I will write this. I met the CEO the COO And Mrs. Shepherd who set up the hospital for her son so many years ago. The entire thing was a blast, they have a recreational department that helps with anything from learning to travel to going off roading on a special wheelchair to even going Jets skiing. Unfortunately for me it was pretty cold when I was there so Jetske was out of the question. The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating, they even have an apartment complex set up right next to the hospital you don’t even have to go outside. I learned a tremendous amount while I was there, my plan was to come home and continue with the process of getting a grant to convert my van into one that I could drive but coronavirus. I need to get to physical therapy in East Meadow at least a few times a week to continue my progress. I am hopeful that all of these things will happen but it’s going to take much longer than I had expected. I also hope to get my own space, it would be a huge stride it independence. I will have to have a fundraiser for that in the future. I’m imagining a space that is fully accessible that is set up for me to do things so much easier and not have to rely so heavily on caretaking. Me just like anyone else needs some free time alone from anyone and it is difficult with my current situation. I would love to have a modular home built for accessibility or even just an addition to my current home with my mother. Although With that said I am very grateful for the hard work that was put into making my Current space accommodating for me. it was unbelievably kind and I wouldn’t be here without it. So thanks for everyone who has supported me it means the world. Please check out my website if you have interest in my photos. Art is something that gives me direction and purpose it gives me a job to do and I appreciate everyone who helps me do it. Whether it is driving my van to a shoot or putting a photo in a mat it’s all very much appreciated. love mattyray
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