Inspiration & Transformation

Michael’s Inspirational Story

Michael Fine’s life was changed forever on April 14, 2010. On the drive from his Glenview home to work, his vehicle collided head-on with a truck. What immediately followed for Michael were days in the intensive care unit, and eight surgeries over several weeks. Among his injuries was the permanent loss of his left arm, which was severed in the accident. The pain was excruciating, and depression came with it.

To overcome these obstacles, Michael gradually responded with courage and gratitude. The love and support of his wife, teenage sons, and old friends and new, helped him accept the realities of the accident and appreciate the many good things that remained in his life. One of his new friends, Eric Coleman, had saved his life on that April morning by making a tourniquet out of tree branches. Michael and Eric will spend the one-year anniversary of the accident together under much better circumstances.

Michael continues to experience daily pain from his phantom limb. After the accident, he became re-acquainted with a childhood friend, Dr. Howard Weissman, clinical director and founder of The Chicago Stress Relief Center, Inc.

“The therapy that I receive through Dr. Howard is two-fold. The Floatation Tank is a great source of relief. It allows me to kind of drift off into a different state. I feel balance in there, and it’s really hard to tell where your body ends and where the water begins,” says Michael.

Outside the tank, his phantom hand is almost always in pain, feeling clenched and tight.

“There have been times when I’ve been in there where I’ve actually lost the feeling of pain in my arm and it feels almost that my hand is open and completely relaxed.”

In rating the relief on a pain scale of 1 to 10, Michael estimates that a float reduces the pain from a 7 to a 3, with the benefits lasting for an hour or two afterward. He credits the Center’s approach to integrating body, mind and spirit with the positive results.

Michael knows that his life will never be what it once was, and one of the reasons is his perspective. He is using his experiences to teach and inspire young people to overcome obstacles. Michael is a sought-after speaker who talks with kids in schools, places of worship, and other community centers about ways to nurture their strengths to achieve their goals. Teaching kids how to respond when forced to take one of life’s detours is one of the most satisfying things about the man he is today, and part of his healing process.

With love & light~

Dr. Howard K. Weissman

Dr. Howard K. Weissman, Psy.D., B.C.E.T.S.

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