Miracles - My Life’s Journey - Chapter 1
Miracles - My Life’s Journey - Chapter 1
When I awoke from my coma, my life had changed. According to what I was told by my mother, the doctors told my parents that I may be like a vegetable for the rest of my life, not able to walk, talk, and even make it past grade 9 high school. One doctor thought positive though and talked positive to my parents.
I had to go to and have a lot of therapy, such as physio therapy, speech therapy, etc.
I remember one time when I was having therapy in the hospital, I was laying on a big bouncy ball and I rolled over it and onto the floor. I don’t know why I remember that.
When I finally got out of the hospital and went back home, my life was changed. My friends that I was friends with before my accident were still nice to me but and came to my birthday party but didn’t hang out with me hardly. I went to see my old classroom, which was in a portable at Hespeler public school. Things were different. I didn’t remember a lot of the kids, some but not all. I attended the rotary center in Kitchener for one year. A bus would pick me up at my house and drive me there. At first, I was in a wheel chair, but as I did therapy, I was able to walk, not perfect but ok. There was a swimming pool there at the rotary center, where we would go into it sometimes. There was also a life skills class, where we would learn to prepare food, etc. We would also go outside and walk around. I remember one time, I would help push a wheel chair with someone in it. A year went by and I had to go back to the hospital to get surgery done on my left leg, to take out a metal plate out of my leg, because after my accident, when I awoke, the doctors put a metal plate in my left leg because it was broken from the accident and a year later they took it out. I remember before the surgery, the doctors asked me, “Would you like a needle or a mask?” I replied, “How big is the needle?” Oh, this big, they replied as they showed me by his hands make like a big needle. The mask, the mask, I replied. So they gave me the mask and I fell asleep. When I awoke after the surgery, my left leg hurt a lot and there was and still is a scar along my front left leg. I don’t remember what floor my room was at the hospital but I do remember it was the one closest to the bathroom. When I had to go to the bathroom, my leg hurt a lot and I wanted to sit in the wheel chair and get pushed to the bathroom, or at least use crutches to help me, but my mother kept telling me, encouraging me to try to walk by myself, no matter how painful it is. When I got out of the hospital and went back home, I first for a little while slept on the pull out couch.bed in the family room, because it was hard to go up the stairs. Eventually, I did go up the stairs. My parents put me in a public school where I was in a classroom with other children. I think it was a special ed classroom or something like that. I had a special ed teacher that would take me out of the classroom and into another room to do some one on one. The school wasn’t too far away from my house. However, even though it was a walking distance which would be a 20 minute walk, my mother had taxi come to the house, pick me up and drive me to school and back. I guess it was because she was afraid of me walking and maybe getting hit by a car again. While I attended school, my mother and father put me in different activities to help develop my muscles once or twice a week. I would go to court side fitness, when there was a court side fitness in Cambridge Ontario. There was a male therapist there that would get me to use exercise machines, such as the bench press, leg extension, treadmill, etc. These machines that I worked on would help me to develop my muscles, such as my arms, biceps and triceps and my legs so I can walk and run better. He even got me to play tennis and squash to help with my muscles and my hand eyes coordination. A taxi that drove me to school and back would also drive me there to the court side fitness after school once or twice a week. When I was 9 years old, my parents put me in swimming lessons where there was just me and the swimming teacher. She taught me to swim front stroke, back stroke and some exercises in the pool. This as well helped me out to develop my muscles in my arms and legs. To this day, we still keep in contact with each other. She was also a family friend. I was also put on a soccer team to play soccer with other children. This thing helped me with my social skills, my hand eye coordination and my physical abilities as I had to follow to ball to kick it with my feet and run. Last, my mother and my father signed me up for horseback riding. The place was named, “Sunrise riding for the disabled A”. It was and still is a wonderful place. After school, once a week, my father or mother would drive me there. At the his horseback riding, we would learn different skills, such as getting the horse ready before we go on, such as putting on the saddle, etc. We would also learn to clean the horse, such as brushing their manes, cleaning their hooves. When we would ride the horses, at first for a while, there would be someone walking beside the horse, until we were ready to ride by ourselves with nobody walking beside the horse. The instructor would give us instructions, like walk on, trot on, etc. These helped me to develop, social skills, cognitive skills, physical skills. We would have competitions at the CNE. I remember one time at the CNE, Princess Anne was there. I got to meet her, and shake her hand. I also told her that I have a cat at home named Princess. I think she said that she’s not a cat person, or something like that. I had some pets as I was growing up after my accident. I had fish, then a hamster, then a rabbit, and then a cat. Having pets helped me because, it taught me responsibility. Anyways, back to school, I was at centennial public school until I was 12 almost 13. I was put into some classes, as well, where there were other children. Someone for a little while would come around and do stuff with me, like teach me how to make food, shopping snowshoeing, etc. That would be once a week for a little while. I still had my special ed teacher, because that would be one on one with me. At the time, my mother taught kindergarten at the school, so having her there helped a bit, although, I was on the other side of the school. I had some friends at the school. I even had a best friend for a while until something happened. I remember, it was in the cafeteria in the school was where it started. Some kids told me to tell my friend that I call you out. I didn’t know what that meant, but I went along with it anyways. He got upset. When we all went outdoors, he was waiting for me. He was going to fight me, but I didn’t know why. Some other kids there were defending me by not allowing him near me. The teacher intervened and we both got sent to the office. The principle talked to us both and also asked me by I said, ”I call you out” and if I knew what that meant. I responded, no. Long story short, our friendship was over for a long while. I made friends with another boy at the school. We would hang out after school sometimes like on the weekend. He came with me sometimes to gym and swim, where there would be some other people there with a brain injury and there would be adults and also some children. It was an hour in the gym, playing different games/activities such as floor hockey, basketball, badminton, etc. Then the next hour, we would go into the swimming pool, swimming, or go into the hot tub. My mother and 5 or 6 other ladies started a brain injury association after my accident when I awoke from my coma. They would have meetings with specialists coming in and talking, like doctors, etc. As the years went by, the brain injury association grew. I tried to fit in with the other children at school. It was hard though. I didn’t know how to very well. My parents sent me to camp. It was called, “Camp Keewatin”. I was there when I was 11 and 12 years old. I spent a few weeks there. I stayed in a cabin with other children. My brother and my sister went to another camp. At camp, we went canoeing, swimming, did arts and crafts, hiking and learned life skills, etc. I had a lot of fun at camp. Although it was fun, I again tried to fit in. One thing I remember about camp, was one bad experience. We took a bus to a swimming pool. I went to the deep end, because I knew how to swim, taking swimming lessons. Anyways, a boy pushed my head down under the water and held me there for almost a minute. At least I think it was almost a minute. I tried to get my head out of the water as I gasped for air. He finally let go, I think it was because somebody stopped him. I never told anyone about that, not even my parents. Other than that experience, I had a great time at camp. When I got picked up from camp and gone home, I found that my brother's bedroom was in the basement. I no longer shared a bedroom with him. My father built a bedroom for him in the basement. It looked nice. I had a computer, a Commodore 64, with some games on it. It was really to help me with my fine motor skills and cognitive skills. The computer was on a desk that my grandfather made for me. I still have that desk today. My grandfather liked making things from wood. He even built me another desk. My grandmother and grandfather would give my brother, sister and I haircuts when we needed it. They had the hair cutting tools. As I was going to school, sometimes, I would forget my lunch, so at the office, they would call my father, in which my grandmother would make me a peanut butter sandwich and sometimes, I would forget it at the house, or I just didn’t want to eat it. Anyways, my father would stop at Harvey’s and get me chicken fingers and fries. My father would take me with him to Tim Horton’s where some of his friends were at we sat by them. One time, a lady that worked there, named Bernie said to me quietly, “Peter, would you like a coffee?” I nodded my head and said, “yes, yes, yes”. So, that’s when I had my first coffee at 12 years old. Although, some years later, I found out that, it was a tiny bit of coffee and the rest milk. Every second Saturday, my father would take me to work with him. He worked at Babcock and Wilcox in Cambridge, Ontario. He was an engineer. We would be there for a few hours in the morning. I got to sit on a chair near him as he worked. I made my own fun as one time, I made a little round cup out of paper and I would crumple up paper into a little ball and throw it into the cup, kinda like basketball. I would also colour on paper, etc. Being with him and spending time with him meant a lot to me.