Cure Medical’s Bob Yant Learns to Cope With His Injury

Editor’s Note: Bob Yant, the president and owner of Cure Medical, a leading catheter manufacturing company, has personally made a positive impact on the world of spinal cord injuries. He is a Hometown Hero and a great inspiration. This week, we’ll see why he’s such a strong advocate for finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. We will also learn what he and Cure Medical have done to aid in the effort to find a cure for SCI as quickly as possible, along with his plan for the future. Part 2 of a 5-part series.

Bob Yant vividly remembers the day he was injured.
Bob Yant vividly remembers the day he was injured.

I was saved from drowning, but I knew I was badly hurt. I remember lying on the beach, lifeless, when the paramedics came. They put me into an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. I did not feel pain, but I couldn’t feel my body, and I couldn’t move. One thing that really scared me at the hospital was when the neurologist came to see me in the emergency room and said, “You and I are going to get to know each other pretty well.”

That statement alone showed me that my injury would not be short term. I hurt myself pretty bad—all because of one dive into the ocean.

When I woke up the next morning, I was in the middle of a living nightmare. I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  I heard things like, “Your family is on the way.” and “The guy who pulled you out of the water made sure you were okay before he left.” This wasn’t a nightmare—it was real life. Doctors told me that I had broke my neck at C5 and that I would most likely have permanent paralysis. The break in my spinal cord occurred in the middle of my neck. I could move my arms and my right wrist, but I had no finger movement at all.

I was devastated when I found out how little function I had left. I learned later that anyone who has any type of loss goes through four stages of accepting their situation. The first stage is denial. When friends came to the hospital to visit me, I would tell them, “Don’t worry; I’ll be walking out of this hospital.” A few weeks after the denial stage when I realized that I would be like this for a long time–possibly for life, then I moved into the stage of anger. My dad tried to do what he could to satisfy my anger, but it actually caused him to get angry. I constantly asked the question, “Why me?” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who asked that question after a traumatic injury.

Bob understands the emotional struggle that people with SCI endure. Here he is supporting a friend after their injury.

Bob understands the emotional struggle that people with SCI endure. Here he is supporting a friend after their injury.

Looking back, I think the anger stage is better than what follows. The third stage is depression, which is the scariest. I was suicidal. It is not uncommon for people in the early stages of spinal cord injury to feel this way. I knew people who actually committed suicide. I was in the worst, deepest and darkest hole of depression in once I was transferred to a third hospital. I lost the motivation to be myself and to do anything. I didn’t have the desire to live. When I mentioned suicide to the doctors and nurses in the hospital, they took it very seriously and reacted quickly. They put me on Elavil, to alleviate my depression and suicidal thoughts.

Not everyone with spinal cord injuries will have same depth of depression that I did. Everyone handles his or her depression in a different way, and I’ve learned this from talking with people from all over the world who have spinal cord injuries.

Recently, I talked with a young man who only had been injured for a month. This 30 year-old man was extremely positive about his injury—he had a wife and children. He knew from the moment he was injured that he was paralyzed and that he may have to do certain things differently. He didn’t have the sense of loss that I had. This young man went back to work and school within a month after his injury. Everyone deals with loss in a different way, whether it’s the loss of a loved one or the loss of certain body functions.

The fourth stage of loss is coping. The medication I took helped me move into the coping stage of my injury within a couple of days. But I had a new problem–I was very concerned when the doctors wanted me to no longer take the Elavil. I was afraid that I might become suicidal again, but I remained positive and was no longer depressed.
 
Bob Yant believes in getting out and enjoying life!

Bob Yant believes in getting out and enjoying life!

In the 1980s, many spinal cord injury patients stayed at the hospital for six months, as I did, but today, because of the healthcare system we have, patients are discharged within two months. This is very unfortunate because not everyone can recover physically and emotionally in such a short time. In the first six months the hospital staff not only taught me about living with my injury, but they also trained my family on how to help me transfer from one location to another. They also monitored my physical condition, taught me how to get in and out of a car, take a shower, and feed myself. They even made a splint for my left arm and taught me how to type. I had thorough physical and occupational therapy. I had no idea what my life would be like when after being in the hospital.

A psychologist told me that after I left the hospital, “You’ll lead a fairly normal life.” Now, 30 years later, I can see that he was absolutely right. I know what a fairly normal life is.

Next: Bob Yant Returns to the World After His Injury

About Cure Medical:  The Cure Commitment is unsurpassed in the industry. Only Cure Medical has committed to donating 10% of net profits to SCI scientific research. Only Cure Medical catheters are DEHP and BPA free. Simply by using new Cure Catheters® or Cure Catheter® Closed Systems for routine intermittent catheterization, you take part in the sustained pursuit of a cure.  Learn more at http://www.curemedical.com.

 
 About the Author:
For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

2 Responses to Cure Medical’s Bob Yant Learns to Cope With His Injury

  1. Pingback: The Eternal Significance of Cowboy Boots For Cure Medical’s Bob Yant « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

  2. Pingback: The Eternal Significance of Cowboy Boots For Cure Medical’s Bob Yant

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