Eyes Wide Open

A Perspective From Within

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. ~Vidal Sassoon


I asked my Miami PT therapist, Carla Ruhl, to write something about the various activities that I’m doing at therapy and the strides that I’ve made. It’s interesting to see my progress through someone else’s eyes, especially someone who knows the technical aspects of what my level of injury will yield. I’m my worst critic. I’ve always been, and I get disappointed about my therapy successes when I should be celebrating them. I know that I need to be more positive about how far I have come considering the catastrophic injury that I had, but that’s easier said than done. June 11th will be my one year anniversary for my injury. If you had asked me when I was in the hospital what I would be like June 11th 2013, I would’ve told you I would be walking and back to work. I know that my expectations were probably not reasonable, but I might not have gotten to where I’m at today if I didn’t shoot really high. After reading Carla’s note that she sent me for the blog, I’ve realized that I truly have done some incredible things, and I need to give myself more credit…

These are Carla’s words:

When Mary asked me to write something about her so that she could put it her blog, I wasn’t surprised. From the first sessions that we worked together, I knew she’d be different.

She’s the type of person….type of patient that inspires you…pushes you. She’s sassy and remarkable in many ways. I could see from our evaluation that she already had a particular presentation allowing her to feel below her level of spinal cord injury (very lucky). Considering the extent of her injury I knew what expectations I had for her. But she’s accomplished those and more. She also has this attitude…knowing what she wants….not taking no for an answer.

In 25 years as a physical therapist I have had the experience to work with and know several “SUPER quads”. Can there be something such as a SUPER SUPER QUAD ?. It’s not really tangible…she’s just doing things that are amazing….activities that have me asking “where is that coming from because I wouldn’t expect that from my muscle testing scores ? ”. With each new challenge I give her, she says “lets do it”….she wants to perfect her movements, her new exercises. As you’ve seen in the pictures and videos she’s moving throughout what therapists call the neurodevelopmental sequence (in simple terms, they are the movements that helped us as children develop strength, stability and mobilty….movements that trained us to move from laying on our backs to our tummies to crawling and in time, walking). I hope that this will be the case but…I can only say that we need more (it’s so redundant isn’t it ?…always wanting more). More function, I mean, in the legs to accomplish this full neurodevelopmental sequence but for now…..Mary’s abilities are AMAZING ! She has developed postural strength, balance and function that considering her level of spinal cord injury surpasses our expectations.

We will continue to work…continue to work on sit to stand transitions (who knew ?)…standing balance (WOW!). I look forward to our intensive 4 hour sessions…her desire to work hard… her willingness to push the envelope inspires me…inspires those around her. As I have read in her blogs and have had the honor of meeting her friends and family, I have come to understand that she has always been this intensely charged woman. Thank you Mary.


9 thoughts on “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. ~Vidal Sassoon

  1. Mary, I know that you are more critical on yourself than anyone. With that being said I know I am hard on my self as well, but you have inspired me beyond belief and you know that’s no easy task! Your incredible fight, your tanacious attack on rehab, and never giving up on your goals is truly inspiring! Keep it up Mary, even in your darkest days I still see the ray of light you present! Xxxooooo

  2. GO MAV!! Thoughts and prayers to you! – Smooches

  3. Thanks Carla…Mary is a TOUGH and STUBBORN kid…It’s a Vaccaro thing…Thank you for taking time to see what she’s about and taking an interest in my sister’s well being…Frank…

  4. You are inspirational Mary. ….continuing to pray for your healing daily.
    Lisa Craine

  5. Love reading your updates Mary!!! You are truly AMAZING!! Think of you daily.

  6. No surprise here! You are amazing, Girl! Hope to see you soon!

  7. Mary So good to hear from you and all the wonderful progress you are making. Keep up the good work. You write beautifully. Love Judith

  8. Hi Mary !….it sounds just like the marry angela we all know…a true perfectionist !!..u are in my thoughts and prayers..would lv to c u !!!…just let me know when u r up to it!…all my love dena

  9. Mary
    Wow!! You go Girl! Your strength is amazing! And yes your nails look gorgious but of course!! I miss the hell out of you! Looks likeI must come back down for a visit. I will text you to make a date. Love ya Biatch! Kristine

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