Posted on March 14, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Doug

Transition to the Real World: Doug Part Four

Like our other participant Chris, Doug also found that Clearview in Juneau played a big part in his transition to the real world.

At Clearview, I was there for 13 months and I got a, pretty much got therapy there, therapy 6 days a week and they really worked, really worked on me getting better. Yeah, got me walking a lot better. And got me working in, especially with occupational therapy, living where I could, where eventually I could live on my own by doing stuff on my own. Their goal is once you leave Clearview, they want you to get into a situation where you can live, where you don’t have to live in like a nursing home or a group home but where you can live on yourself and take care of yourself without having the help of other people.

Aide Helps Transition to the Real World

And the transition to the real world from Clearview.

The (transition to the real world) real world, it’s, it was, it was kind of tough at first. I do have an aide that comes in. They were, they do allow me to have an aide that comes in once a day for two hours a day to just come around, do basic household chores that I can’t do by myself. Because I do own a cat, so they basically do my dishes, help me with my dishes, and, like, make my bed and clean the cat box and other, you know, other stuff that I can’t do, you know. But, and also they take me grocery shopping ’cause I can’t drive.

And basically it’s was just kind of, just, you know, living in the real world again, being able to get out a little bit and see what the real world is like. Now that I have my own computer so I can be talking to people on the computer, my own phone. And I can also walk again. I walk down to the KwikTrip, that’s like two blocks from my house, so I walk every day to get the paper because I like to read the paper, so I walk down every day to get the paper and walk back.

Being Able to Walk Helps Doug Transition to the Real World

The walk is two blocks. How long does it take:

When I first moved there it took me like 45 minutes and now I can get down and back in like a half an hour. I can do probably more than, yeah, I can do more than that, because before I used to, I would used to take my wheelchair and then I would, push my wheelchair down and push it back and then I would sit in my wheelchair and, and wheel my wheelchair back and now I push my walker down and push my walker back.

Even though Doug walked into our interview with a cane, he doesn’t use it on his daily walks as he finds his walker provides him with a different kind of accommodation.

I don’t take the cane because I just push my walker. I have a basket in my walker so I can put my, my paper. If I have to buy something else, I, I can put it in a basket.

As we will learn in our next segments, the physical limitations from his spasticity and left sided hemiparesis appear to be more intransigent than the cognitive and behavioral aspects of his recovery from severe traumatic brain injury.

Next Part Five – Day-to-Day After Coma

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447