Recovery, Challenges

Pivoting in the face of adversity

Rehabbing my body is similar to working at a startup in the technology space. My professional career was dedicated almost entirely to working with small technology companies based in and around the Boston area. Up until my accident anyway.

As a quadriplegic rehabbing my body has been more than challenging. At the start of every day I prepare my mind for the rigors of physical and occupational therapy not knowing how my body will react. The connections between my brain and muscles are either no longer there or only partially there. 


If I want to move my leg sometimes the signal does not get there or only a portion of my muscles fire leaving me with very limited movement. I never know what to expect but one certainty is the uncertainty. 


Working at a startup in the technology sector is similar. You think you are heading in the right direction and all of a sudden you are hit smack dab in the middle of the face with adversity, something you never expected and had never prepared for. Something like Covid. 


Sometimes you are lucky and it’s like a slow-moving train wreck about to happen and you have time to react, other times you don’t see it coming and you can’t prepare. My accident was the latter and I could not prepare. It was like a light switch. Suddenly your whole world is turned upside down. 


What can you do? You pivot. Take what resources you have and make the most of the difficult situation. In business you rely on your team to overcome the adversity, similar to me relying on my team of doctors, physical and occupational therapists, nurses and home health aides. 


The one thing you can’t do is panic! It sounds so simple but does you no good. If you have anxiety and your mind begins to worry this only slows you down and freezes you like a deer in the headlights, stopping you from making progress. 


Both examples require a solid plan with well-defined goals but be flexible on the goals part. Redefining a goal or erasing it completely and replacing it with a new one is never a bad thing. Be focused but don’t be so myopic that you are unwilling to change course.


Last week I found myself back at the hospital getting a midline put in for another round of antibiotics to fight off an infection. Just another bump in the road trying to throw me off for making progress in therapy. It was more of a distraction this time around and I did not allow it to slow me down. 


I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I'm not worried about it. Whatever comes along I will face it head on and apply the lessons I have learned to overcome any physical or mental obstacle regardless of the toll it may take on my mind or body. 



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