Plans and Attitudes

Rehab Attitudes

Can destroyed plans destroy your Attitude?.

I hobble into the crowded waiting room at Harborview Hospital’s outpatient clinic. Attitudes, walkers, canes, braces and wheelchairs are everywhere. Speech impairments fill the air. I smile. These are my people.

The majority of the world doesn’t understand having  life changing disabilities thrust on you. I never feel as OK about my disability as when I go to the rehab clinic. I don’t know if it’s sick and wrong, but seeing other people dealing with situations similar to my own, helps my Attitude.

The rehab world is like no other I ever experienced. After signing in, I enter the waiting room. Wheelchairs and quad canes are everywhere. Speech impairments fill the air. I sit in a hard plastic chair beside a suntanned girl chewing gum with her mouth open. She wears faded jeans and a tie-dye tank top. A walker stands beside her chair. She looks mad and bored.

Rehab Life

I plop down in the chair beside her. “What’s up?”

She pops a bubble.

“If you’re talking to me, talk slower, so I hear you right.”

“What’s going on,” I say carefully. I like how simply and respectfully she is in telling me she couldn’t understand me.

“I don’t know what they’re doing,” she said, glaring at the door. “All I know is I’ve been sitting here for way over an hour. The doctors are probably out playing golf.

I smile. I’ve said that same line. “They’re usually late, but not this late,”

She sighs noisily. “I hate this place.”

“How many times have you been here?”

“She pops another bubble and crosses one ankle over her knee. “This is my second time. How about you?”

“About a million. I’m Al.”

“Pam.”

Rehabbers Share

“What happened to you?”

“I was visiting my dad in Hawaii and tried surfing. His stupid girl friend and I caught the same wave. She ran into me.”

“She must have been monster big to put you in the hospital.”

Pam smiles. “She is monster big, but what happened is I hit my head on her board. By the time the lifeguard pulled me out of the water, I’d been under more than two minutes. What happened to you?”

I describe my crash, and our rehab friendship begins. Challenging times makes friendship especially appreciated. 

“Motorcycle’s are death machines. I used to have a boyfriend who got kiled on one.”

I look at the clock on the wall. “Talking to you has made the time fly. I’ve been here more than a half-hour already.

They usually call me before this.”

“I don’t wanna sound mean, but I’ve been here an hour and a half. I better get called before you do.”

I laugh. “Don’t worry. You will.”

Pam and I talk for almost another half-hour before she gets called in.

“Well I guess this is it,” she said, grabbing her walker. She looked over her shoulder at me. “I’m glad we talked.”

“Me too. Would you like to do it again sometime?”

She smiles. “Give me a call.” She hands me a playing card.

The queen of hearts. Her name and number were on the back. “My little sister made it and dared me to give it to a cute guy.”

I smile and put it in my pocket. Rehab has perks.

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If you are looking for an outrageously humorous speaker with keen insights into rehab and accepting life on life terms, contact Al by clicking here.

Winners Don't Quit Association
12515 NE 145th Pl D-130 KirklandWA98034 USA 
 • 206-453-2572

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