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Calcium Carbonate (Calcium Carbonate)

Differentiating your own fears about how you look from the actual reactions of other people can be quite confusing. Try comparing how you viewed people with disabilities before your injury and how you now feel about yourself. Think about how you react to fellow patients whose injuries are comparable to, or worse than, your own.
Ask yourself a few questions. What frightens you or “turns you off”? This may help you to understand the reactions of others and not take their responses so personally. What makes a person seem attractive or approachable? You might try modeling these positive aspects of self-presentation. What makes you feel good about your own appearance? Although you may need to wear casual clothing for physical therapy, you can still dress up for visiting hours. Developing strategies to help others see beyond the disability to the “real you” also helps you see yourself as a whole person, not a collection of physical flaws.
One way of gaining a greater sense of control over social situations is to anticipate reactions to your different appearance by commenting on it or even drawing attention to it. You can use humor – making a joke about yourself – or simply comment on the facts of your situation (“You can see I need crutches now. It’s because my spinal cord was damaged and my legs are weak”).
You can also put your own creative stamp on your crutches or wheelchair. This can elicit a positive response from others and help them focus on your choice of embellishments – that is, on an aspect of your personality – rather than on your impairment or “sickness.” Many wheelchairs and crutches are now available in a variety of colors, and you may be able to make a choice about this when you go home. Wheelchair backpacks, tote bags for walkers, and related items can also be used to individualize your equipment.
Finally, you can put your friend or family member at ease by preempting negative comments. By saying something like “I really hate this brace. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. I wish I didn’t need it, but I guess I’ll have to get used to it,” you are giving the other person permission to think that the brace is ugly and thus to feel less guilty or awkward. At the same time, this also focuses the negative perception on the brace and away from you. The brace may indeed be ugly, but you are not!

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