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I Feel Like He's Giving Up !

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  • I Feel Like He's Giving Up !

    Hello everyone , hope you all are doing wonderful ! I am the main caregiver for a dear friend who's injury happened on Feb. 16th this year. While in I.C.U AND then Sheperds Spinal Clinic we were told he was a c5-c6 incomplete , which gave us much hope. Plus he had already started making so much progress , by moving his right arm very well and started moving his left. He can now feed himself and a few other choirs. However when he came back from V.A in Augusta Ga. we were told there he is complete injury ? I don't understand two totally different diagnoses !?
    Now it seems he wants to sleep in his chair a lot of the day or play on his computer. He has a shop with motorcycles and several friends that will come over and let him guide them to fixing some of them. Or at lease starting. That is something we have talked about . Getting his brain thinking again. Friends call freq. to ask him to come over , they offer to come pick him up and everything and he always responds with , nah i guess i shouldn't my blood pressure is actin up. I'M WITH HIM 24-7 AND IT AINT BEEN PERFECT SINCE HE'S COME HOME ! But we know how to keep it in check....very well . So he is just letting this get the better of him i feel. First you have to know this is a 65 year old man , who's been riding' motorcycles 50 yrs , fought in Vietnam , very very smart motorcycle mech , and can fix or build anything he puts his mind on. We had decided before his release from hosp. that he had the brains and many friends who have the hands .But i see things slipping' away. Is his not wanting to get back into life a normal process and should i not expect him to want to become social again right now ? All i care about is his well being and i know from experience if ya give up your disability will win !! CAN'T HAVE THAT

  • #2
    One word. Exercise?


    • #3
      Does he have friends that come to visit? That may help him somewhat, especially fellow motorcyclists. I can't comment on energy levels, but exercise would help.
      C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.


      • #4
        Here's a great piece of equipment for him to use as I have one myself. Could probably get it for a great deal.


        Here is what they look like..

        Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

        If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia


        • #5
          I can relate to your email a lot today.

          My father is also 65, and is a relatively new spinal cord injury (Nov, 2007). He was in the ICU a long time followed by inpatient rehab. His fracture was at T11, and although he is very fortunate to have a lower level injury, he had many other injuries from that damn taxi hitting him.... and it made his rehab course very slow, full of complications, and lots of pain. It is a constant roller coaster....

          While my dad is quite different from your friend (computer programmer for years, big jazz fanatic, hasn't ridden a motorcycle since a couple accidents on his bikes and broken bones in his youth!), today was a day when I also felt like he was "giving up". He often has days where he is unmotivated.... where it is hard to get him out of bed or he falls asleep when left on his own.... where he resists going outside, or letting a friend come visit because "it's just too hard...".... where he doesn't want to remember (or be reminded) to cath, or drink, or go to rehab, or exercise. Usually his pain is worse on these days. What is particularly hard is when he has a good day, and then you think things are getting better.... and then the next day is slow/bad/depressing again.

          Yes, spinal cord injury sucks. Your days are filled with constant reminders of what you have lost. With my father, I am sure depression is playing a big part. This is incredibly common problem for most people with SCI (and their families!) at some point. Certainly it is important not to forget this cause because it can often be helped. Maybe it's time you took your friend to his physiatrist/doctor to talk about it?

          Definitely it is striking to see that my dad's mood and behavior is always better when he goes to rehab/therapy. He does better "on the outside"... when he's around poeple who aren't afraid to talk to him even though he's in a wheelchair.... And I think exercise makes him feel better in general, and still gives him some hope that things will get better. Trainman and jazzyjeff definitely are on the right track.

          Goals are good. Even if they are small.

          I think it is wonderful that your friend is still interested in motorcycles, and getting him tinkering again sounds like great "therapy" in more ways then one. If he is resisting going out, tell his friends to keep coming with their bikes, and maybe they can slowly coax him out. Every time my dad resisted having a friend come over, he was always glad afterwards that they did.

          I'm sure you are a great support for your friend.