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T4 injury, what can they do?

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    Originally posted by newbee View Post
    Tonight I was taking out the garbage from the kitchen and asked him to take his garbage from his bathroom. His reply to me was "I cant!"
    Really? I know people that are paras live on their own. So does someone come to their home and empty their garbage, do their laundry, grocery shopping, everything else?
    Yes, there are many of us that live on our own, and I am sure he is perfectly capable of taking out the trash, especially if you think he is.

    However, I would add that it is sometime immeasurably easier for you to do something rather than him.

    Certainly I can and do take out all of the trash from my apartment. However, it is a huge pain in the ass non the least because I have to carry a bag of garbage on my lap (so if it leaks I have to do laundry and take a shower because I got rotten garbage juices all over my legs) up and down a ramp on an elevator ride and wheelie over a curb to get to the trash cans for my building. While I can and do get this done all the time, it is probably ten times easier for a person who is able bodied to do it. When I was able bodied, I could have avoided the elevator and the ramp, carried four bags at a time and be out and back in half the time with no risk of getting messy while doing so.

    So while that is certainly no excuse for him to tell you that he "couldn't do it", you might want to take into account the difficulty in doing it.


      This thread came to mind today....

      I was throwing out the trash and decided to get the recycling bin too.....

      yep. was looking real fresh and crispy when I left the house only to have trash juice on my lap within 2 min of leaving the door.

      FUCK this injury man.


        u gotta luv the trash juice.


          I'm T4 and I must admit I resent having to take the rubbish, er, trash out. So I always get somone else to do it.
          It takes an ab about two 30-second trips, with them holding the bags away from their body. For me, it means putting stinking big bin bags on my lap, so I've got the stench right in my face. I can also only manage one bag at a time = numerous trips. Also have to make sure the bag stays on my lap while I'm wheeling (manual wheelchair user).


            And don't forget....I already "take the trash out" each morning; its called a bowel program.....wanna swap???


              T4 injury, what can they do?

              Short answer: Some zillion things I would think.

              A bit more seriously: I believe a person with a T4 injury can do many things. If one are not too much suffering from pain and injured aside of the injury level itself that is. But I believe that most people with a spinal cord injury can do more because many studies suggest that people with SCI are much more passive than the injury itself should dictate. Thus, when it comes to do all kinds of daily household things and so on, I think it could be a good way to view it as exercise. I’m a T4 (inc) and live alone and likes to do whatever I can do myself, just to get the daily dozes of exercise and ROM just because of that. I like to do grocery shopping, house cleaning, house painting and even carpentering (built for example my own deck by sitting on my ass on a pillow and scooping along as I built it), I also changes my winter tires on my car, repair things and do most of the things myself. And by doing that I get a prize, in form of daily exercises, and the best of all, all the things I want to have done, gets properly done (haha). I can receive help for much of this, and sometimes I accept, especially if it involves things to do I can’t reach or do without involving to much helping aids, for example outside house painting at roof level. I also remember a good story as for what I am trying to get at here; many years ago when I was a young lad we worked on a oil rig and was pulling cables, we organized this into cable pulling teams to ease the work on us. But then there was this guy whom wanted to pull cables on his own by himself. I asked him if he was nut since he wanted to do it on his own, he just replied; I get much more exercise by doing it this way. So my point is, do what one can do, and receive exercises for free as a bonus.


                Same for me!

                I feel like I can most everything I could before I was injured except that it takes much longer. lol


                  Originally posted by newbee View Post
                  I feel terrible complaining because I know his life is difficult, painful and tiring but I dont know if I am strong enough to do it all.
                  You don't have to feel terrible for complaining/venting. Is your life not difficult, painful and tiring as well? You matter too ya' know.

                  And no, you are not strong enough to do it all, and that is okay. No one is strong enough to do it all. Why should you be expected to do what no one else on earth can possibly do. You are only human.

                  I also know it's not "just" about the garbage. It's the garbage and all the other stuff too. And I know first hand the volume of it all. It's not taking out his bathroom trash that is hard for you, it's the volume that makes you tired and worn to the bone. It's the fact that you get up working and you go to bed working. I know right where you are and I hear you.

                  My husband was independent, T2, until a series of health issues, illnesses, surgeries, increasing pain levels and then the cherry on the top, a TBI in 2006, caused him to have "a few setbacks" in the independence department. So, I also understand that not everyone is the same. What one can do does not depend on injury level alone. However, we are working on regaining his independence and will continue to work on that until the day one of us dies. I tell him he must work toward functioning as if I don't exist, because one day, I might just not. I don't expect him to do things I know he truly cannot do, and I know you do not expect that of your husband either. But, I do expect him to do what he CAN do, even if it is difficult or painful, because I cannot do it all anymore. I think that is fair. Any given task may be "easier" for me, but like I tell him--a lot of "easy for me", turns into "hard as hell and ready to kill you" for me by the end of the day--- When there is something I know he can do, and tells me he can't do it, I don't step in and do it for him anymore. I used to, because for so long after the TBI, I really had to, but its time for independence again for both of us. There is sometime such a fine line in recognizing a true need and enabling dependence. For me anyway it has been that way. I think that is something a lot of caregivers struggle with. Hang in there!
                  Last edited by WM; 11 Aug 2010, 2:16 PM. Reason: Because I wanted to ;-)
                  "I just want you to know, it was the best time ever." J.F.F.


                    Originally posted by Alick View Post
                    I can't move an inch but I still managed to play in the NFL, carry five grossly obese men up Everest and break a world record for most consecutive backflips (93, for the record).

                    So, I think this guy can do the trash.
                    Am I missing something here?? "can't move an inch", but you can do backflips? Plus you play in the NFL? Something stinks here with the bull in the barn.


                      Danielgr you're missing a little thing called sarcasm.

                      As far as garbage juice it can be avoided with decent garbage bags & a little work, see my post above.


                        I was thinking as I was reading the first post that I usually have the opposite husband gets bound and determined to do something or other and I'm not sure that he can. Why can't he just let me do it if I'm available and I offer? We get into little tiffs from time to time (I'll do I'LL DO IT). I have to admit this usually works in my favor; if he insists, I just let him do it. Of course there was that one time getting out of his chair, wouldn't wait for me to spot him and he broke his leg...

                        I'm not quite sure that's it, on reading the rest of the responses.

                        This idea of who does what for whom, when...that is really interesting to me to hear all the different perspectives. What happens between us is, if we are in a good relationship place at any given moment, he sometimes lets me 'help' him with whatever. If he is in a really good mood, he might even ask for help for something he's doing that will take him longer than it will take me. But when he is annoyed, or goodness forbid really mad, I am not allowed to help do whatever it is he has put his mind to, no matter what happens...

                        So, I agree this whole who-helps-and-when, can/can't business can easily get tangled up in relationship politics power struggles. It's amazing how stressful it can be to not be allowed to help if you want to. I've been trying to decide if that's more or less annoying to me than "I can't". Thankfully we don't have too much of either extreme!
                        AB wife of T8 complete para


                          He sounds a lot like my BIL. He is 2 years post T12 and has never even attempted to take the trash out. He lives in a seperate part of my house and the only time the trash gets taken out is when his kids are visiting (12 and 8) and they take it out. Otherwise it just sits there. He does not work any other job...does not do anything. He doesn't even drive so he has to rely on everbody to pick him up and take him places like church and grocery store. Truthfully, I think he thinks most extra things are too hard and its just easier to rely on everybody else. He rides around in the house on an electric wheelchair. Tell you the truth this is the first post that I could relate with. BIL is not depressed, I think he just likes watching tv and playing on the computer all day??


                            T4. -A hammer, some nails and some four by four.


                              I'm a T4 and I'll add my voice to the chorus. It sounds like a psychological hurdle he needs to get over, which are sometimes more difficult than physical ones. Some serious tough love may be required.

                              As for the trash juice issue, I always take my trash out IN THE CAN and then remove the bag once I get to the dumpster. It can be cumbersome if you have a very large can, but I'm sure one could figure something out.