Living with a permanent injury or disability – wise words

eclectus baby 3

Going “off track” here, or maybe ON track!… But for those amongst you who feel depressed and/or that life is not worth living because of your “disability” (i.e. permanently injured limb, loss of body function etc) think about what a wise old avian vet recently had to say:…

Living with a permanent injury or disability – wise words from an avian vet

Here you are crying your eyes out, worried sick, said the avian vet… desperately trying to save the life of your baby parrot who lost 4 toes, including his important thumb (to perch and eat) on one foot (his mom actually bit them off believe it or not!).

You cry because you want baby parrot to live, because YOU believe he is worth a life and, despite his permanent “serious impairment/disability”, YOU believe (and I – the vet) that this baby parrot will have a wonderful life ahead…

YET YOU are crying your eyes out and believe your life is not worth living anymore because you lost “a wing”! (referring to the parrot’s owner damaged arm).

If your baby parrot had broken his wing or damaged it permanently you would still fight for this baby parrot’s life, BECA– USE even without a wing (and the joy of flying and ‘dexterity’) you (and I, the vet)  believe the baby parrot will still be “able” and live a very nice life , and in a caring and loving environment.

So.. The moral of this real story is: think about your “disability” as you would to a baby parrot/your baby pet/ your best pet ever, think about it as if you lost a wing, a foot, toes, fingers, whatever,  and look at your life from this perspective, is it not worth living? Can you not live an exceptional (and even productive to whatever extent) life without a wing? Toes? Feet?

If you think your pet can, so CAN YOU!


PS The baby boy parrot was baptised “Charlie (Chaplin)” at the vet – as he will somewhat walk like Charlie Chaplin, without his 4 toes.


[Dictated and manually inserted on WCV’s behalf]

6 Responses to “Living with a permanent injury or disability – wise words”

  1. @Workcovervictim, so true, so true!
    Unfortunately, the whole Workcover System is based on formulas – not rehabilitation! If an injured worker is not back to work within 3 months, then all the dirty tactics, start. As you well know, no-one wants to be in this hellish system, but the seriously injured don’t have a choice.

    If only the Workcover system would give support and encouragement (what? unheard of!) to the seriously injured, then they might find that they could actually save themselves some money too!

  2. Grieving for the loss of the person you were before an injury is so important. Like a bereavement, different people grieve in different ways and some take longer than others to come to terms with their loss. If the grieving process itself become debilitating, that is where a good councillor or psych can assist.
    It was only after I escaped from the WC “system” that I was able to truly come to terms of what happened, how it affected me and how I could start to move forward with my life.
    The WorkCover “system” does not address, or acknowledge, this grieving process. And by bullying an injured person to “just get back to work” or unnecessarily prolonging cases to pile on the pressure, can prevent the injured from coming to terms with, or acceptance of, their post-injury condition.
    Every case will end – at some point. No-one “wins” in this system and even though there is no justice in workers compensation, there will come a time when we can look back at what happened to us and hopefully see how it has made us better people for coming through it all.

    In the long run, trauma can either make you better or bitter. It ain’t easy, but we ultimately choose one or the other.

    • @FU_CGU, you are so right with re to the workcover system. The question I pose is: how can we grieve, let alone move on when we have to constantly prove we are injured/ill to the ‘system’? The system makes you constantly focus on your injury/illness, pain, impairment or disability… when all we need is a break, so we can come to terms with what has happened, to grieve and to accept…and then find a way to move on/make the most of what we have left and reflect and build upon what we have left and can do. The system should allow for this by facilitating this process, and not by obstructing it by any means. Even simple things such as not having to file disputes or litigation for basic home help when unable to do your own household duties would be a great help, as would be counselling to anyone who has suffered the emotional impact of an injury/illness.Instead we are repeatedly forced to regurgitate our injury/illness and symptoms, attend IMEs afer IMEs, disputes, denials etc. A breather should be mandatory!

  3. @Workcovervictim
    I too often wonder what is preventing me from just getting on with it… I guess to a degree its that we have known the good life of being pain free and able to do everything in a certain way…
    I also look at those that have lost limbs and/or are para/quadriplegic, makes me wonder how they get through each day, is it the support network they have? Is it sheer determination to succeed?
    If others can get through their pain and lead reasonably normal lives, why can’t I???
    Every time I try, I fall further than I was before… Now its from head to toe… Have “they” missed something? maybe one of the herniated discs has completely prolapsed… I don’t know, I don’t have the answers, but meditation (Mindfulness) has been helping. It doesn’t get rid of the pain, but trains your mind to treat it differently. The teacher I have has had a neck injury, he is now surfing again, he is productive has a family. He still has his neck injury, but thinks differently. We can do it, we just have hurdles to jump first… And the power of a positive mind.
    One has to be at the right time to take on meditation, I may have been a bit early, but its giving me something to do, to try and better my situation.

    • @Woowoo

      And the power of a positive mind.

      I think this is the MOST important part, to think positively, stay optimistic and make the most of our life. I also believe it may take some time, depending on your personality and resiliency, to ‘get there’. There is also a big “grieving” component that needs to be dealt with first (i.e loss of a limb, having reached ‘maximal medical improvement’ but still in (a lot of) pain etc, as well as grieving over our ‘past’ life (the one before the injury/illness), but once you can come to terms with what has happened – and say ‘it is what it is”, I believe we should file it away in our “history” (past) and start a new life, or start again and not lament…
      Take a day at a time and discover the joy of (little) things we can still do

  4. This parrot story also reminds me of all those people who are for example born without legs or arms and are able to overcome most of the hurdles and twists in life to become what they want to be and even do amazing / extraordinary things. Why are some of us, injured/disabled ‘workers’ unable to somehow hammer away and get over our (disabling) work injury? Find meaning in life, be productive and live to our fullest?